In case you missed the news, HOTSHOT is loading up some pretty exciting events over the coming year. We will be at several Ragnar races and we couldn’t be more excited! So, what is a Ragnar race? Well, you have options: Ragnar Relay or Ragnar Trail. The basics are the same for both. You and a team will pack up in two vans and run a relay over the course of two days and one night. The relay involves a team of 12 folks (or six for an Ultra team… twice the mileage per runner) covering 200-ish miles. The trail race is a team of eight runners (four if you’re going Ultra) running relay style on three different single track loops. Ragnar ranks the loops from “hard” for loop one to “really freakin’ hard” for loop three. From Friday through the night and into Saturday, your team runs until everyone has completed all three loops.
Sounds awesome already, right? It gets better. The runners make the race what it is. You’ll see racers in Speedos and tutus, tiaras and superhero costumes. Teams decorate their vans and make t-shirts. It is a festival, just with lots of running involved. The trail experience is even more true to this festival theme. There’s music, campfires, and an entire village of tents with all the energy a close-knit community affords.
The Ragnar series sounds like something many in our HOTSHOT community would really get into. And we’d love to see you at some of these events! To make sure you’re ready, we’ve found a few Ragnar vets with some insight. Here are a few of their tips:
- Study your routes – For Ragnar Relay races, you’ll be running portions in the dark in a city you likely don’t call home. Get familiar with where you’re going. Make mental notes of memorable landmarks, street names, and even some “you’ve gone too far” markers.
- Make a food plan – You’ll be running on very little sleep with intermittent breaks and nothing close to your normal routine. Plan your hydration and food intake accordingly. You’ll be guessing at when your next leg will be, so no big meals during the event. Keep it carb-centric for burnable fuel and do what you can to keep your tummy tame.
- Pack extra clothes – You run, rain or shine. Then, you cheer on teammates, sneak in some nap time, and prep for your next leg of the race. You’ll want to change clothes -- at least a few times. Great suggestion: package your clothing changes in large plastic zip bags. This way you’ll have a great place to stow your stinky clothes after you freshen up.
- Keep your phone with you – Again, you’ll be running these stints solo and in the dark at times. Your teammates in the van may be ahead of you, zigzagging to the next rendezvous or running through a drive-thru. If you get lost, miss some turns, or experience an injury, you’ll want your phone handy.
- Keep HOTSHOT handy – Ragnar athlete Jay Gray did all the right things getting ready for the hardest leg of his Ragnar relay. Cramps almost stopped him. Thankfully, he downed a HOTSHOT and was ready for a cramp-free run. We know what causes cramps. If there was ever a recipe for overexcited neuronal signals, it may be a little sleep deprivation, irregular food intake, and intermittent bouts of extreme exercise and quasi-rest, i.e., Ragnar.