It is difficult to understand all the demands of a long-distance relay like the Wasatch Back. Running 200-ish miles over 26-30 hours can create some unusual circumstances. In an effort to help first-timers avoid some common mistakes, our staff and readers came up with this list of the Top 10 things we wish we’d known before we ragnared.
Watch what you eat. Constant running and very little sleep will wreak havoc on a person's digestive system. Eating grease, too much or too little can mean spending a lot of time in a port-a-potty. The onion rings are not worth it.
Decorating your van is part of the race. Yes, there is a competition for the best van, but more importantly, who wants to be the only kid at Halloween who didn't dress up? Tap into that childhood creativity and let loose. It all adds to the atmosphere, let’s be honest, looking good makes up for smelling bad.
Sleeping on the gym floor, wrestling mats, or on a little patch of grass adds to the experience. You can sleep in a bed for the rest of your life. This is Ragnar. Live a little!
Flip flops or sandals can save your feet. Do you really want to pickle your feet as you try to navigate 200-miles of the Rocky Mountians. Let 'em breathe!
Bring a plastic bag for your dirty clothes. Your teammates will appreciate your thoughtfulness. You will appreciate how it mitigates the stench in your own bag - at least temporarily.
Changing your clothes can change your attitude. It also mitigates the stench - temporarily.
Even in Ragnar there is etiquette. Thank volunteers, appreciate (and respect) those who live in communities we're invading; don't criticize; share your food and water; help everyone; cheer often; smile more; and don't drive too fast on those dirt roads. Runners need to breathe.
The Night Run Rocks. Many women are nervous about it and a lot of men dread it, but running in the middle of the night, often under a full moon, is one of the best experiences the race offers. Don’t dread it, savor it.
Baby wipes can be your best friend - and the best friend of those in close proximity to you. Not only do you feel a little better after a wipe-down, but it tends to mitigate the stench - at least temporarily.
More important than running ability is attitude. You will feel sleepy. You will feel sick. Your joints will tighten up and your legs will stiffen up. But if you have a positive attitude, you will connect with people in a unique and beautiful way. Keep in mind - anyone can run 12-20 miles in 30 hours. But it takes a Ragnar runner to do it without complaining.