My Return to Running: The Ragnar Relay

The city of Wichita has a huge base of runners. There are a good number of running groups in the city, running events, specialized stores for runners, what seems like a race every weekend in the city. Running has almost turned into “the cool thing to do”.

Is this your idea of fun?

I’m by no means a runner. I don’t call myself a runner. I don’t like running. I consider myself more of a glutton for experiencing things regardless of how stupid it may be. The number of races I’ve ran in Wichita in the past 15 years can be counted with three fingers. There was the time I ran the River Run after little training and a couple bottles of wine the night before. I ran the Susan B Komen race and was beaten by every single kid in the 7-10 age group I think. And there was the time I ran the Prairie Fire Half Marathon with essentially no training.

Like I said earlier I’m not a runner. I strongly dislike it actually. It’s bad for my body like ice cream is and any other lactose. But why do I run then? I think I do it for the experience or because of a dumb bet or a lot of peer pressure. It’s never really my say whether I run; I rarely truly have a choice. Parents always say to their kid, “If so and so told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?” I’m glad my parents never asked me that because I would likely said “Yes…..Yes I would.”

This week I was peer pressured into running into another race. This isn’t just a race, it’s the Ragnar Relay. It’s a relay race where you and 11 other team members run 200-ish miles from city to city. This time it’s Hull to Provincetown, MA right near Cape Cod. See the video below:

So for 27-28 hours, it’ll be me and 10 others (we don’t have a twelfth) in two different vans going from city to city, running, sitting in a van, waiting for runners, sleeping in a sleeping bag, peeing in port-o-potties, bathing in a van with baby wipes, running more, cramping up, running again and asking ourselves “Why the hell did we sign up for this?”. Everybody I’ve spoken with says it’s a great time which makes me think they were under the influence of drugs the entire past races because 200 miles in an overnight race doesn’t strike me as a great time. Needless to say, I’m doing it. My portion of the race adds up I believe 14-15 miles. I’ve never ran that many miles in a 24 hour span.

I have ran three miles just once in the past year and a half. I have to buy new running shoes because my old ones are…..well old. My ankle is still a little injured from playing basketball. My diet lately has consisted of non-stop burgers due to trying to find The Best Wichita Burger. It’s been since August that I last ran a mile. I’m getting older. Oh yes, did I mention this race is next week?

Yep. I was pressured to join the team as a replacement for another person so on this short notice I have two options. 1.) Practice running now or 2.) Just wing it and see what happens.

I will try to do my absolute best to represent the city of Wichita in Cape Cod for this race. I’ll be keeping notes to release a full report of this experience hour by hour with pictures and everything. This race is really going to cut into my burger eating which I should at least slow down for the next week.

What do I get out of all this? I think a t-shirt and a medal……..oh yes….and memories and probably lost toenails, leg aches and pain, and a week of hobbling around.

I blame all my coworkers for this. This might be the worst idea ever in the history of worst ideas. Mom, if you’re reading this I may still be out of town and miss Mother’s Day. I’m sorry. Like I said earlier, it wasn’t my choice.

Wish me luck. I will need A LOT of it.


0 thoughts on “My Return to Running: The Ragnar Relay”

  1. Just make sure if you're buying new running shoes that you go to an actual running store to get fitted. A little professional guidance will go a LONG way towards the best possible fit.

    I came down with pneumonia five weeks ago, and was feeling pretty unprepared for this weekend… but if it's a contest, you win. Good luck, maybe I'll see you out there! And remember, it's okay to walk part of the course.

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