Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ragnar Tahoe Trail (Review/Recap!)

Hi there!

Quick Updates Before the Recap:

1) The OC Fair 5k.  I'm doing it next week.  (probably as a workout, not really in racing shape). You should too.  Why?  Because it runs through the OC Fair grounds so it's flat, fast, and fun.  It's also the first place I ever broke 21, so it has a special place in my heart.

2) The iTryathlon: My friend Heather is doing this and I think I'm going to copy her.  It's high time I do a triathlon and this one is about as low key as it gets.  So low key the swim is in the pool and I probably won't drown.  Yay!

3) WatchCo:  I want to give them a mention.  They sent me a gorgeous watch (don't ask me why, but I am not questioning!), which was awesome because I've been thinking I needed a "big girl" watch for a while and they made my dreams come true.  They have a pretty huge selection (I would have gotten the wood watches if I didn't just need something more all-purpose), so it's worth hunting to find exactly what you want.

Ragnar Tahoe Trail Recap (and thoughts on the trail)

This weekend I did a whole new kind of Ragnar.  In Tahoe.  With people I'd never met on a Nuun team.  (yay Nuun thanks).

Ragnar Tahoe (and I think all Ragnar trail relays) are made up of 8 people (unless you're doing the ultra, which IMO would be really hard) and three separate loops.  Each member of the team does three loops.

In the case of this Ragnar, there was one 2.7 mile loop, one 8ish mile loop, and one 6.8 mile loop.  All of the loops were no joke and each ended on an insane uphill.  I am convinced that the race director is an evil evil person.

Here are the elevation maps, although I'm convinced they look nothing like what I ran!  Not sure why?

Despite the difficulty of each loop (I ran none of the loops faster than 10 minute mile pace!), they were truly the best part of the race.  Sometimes I would look while I was running and be amazed at how beautiful it all was.  

The first loop was short and beautiful but extremely crazy as far as elevation.  I had to talk myself down some of the downhills because it was so steep and rocky.

The second loop (that I had the pleasure to run at 3 AM) was crazy because it took us up a ski lift and dropped us up at the top of the mountain.  It was a little bit scary running on such a remote trail so late at night.  I may or may not have spent much of the time on the trail wondering if I would get mauled by a mountain lion.  That said, the experience of being taken up a ski lift all by yourself at 3 AM was eerie and pretty unforgettable.

The third loop was my favorite.  I ran/walked it with one of our teammates, Mackenzie and we both were able to take in the great views, and the gradual downhill on the tiny trails through the forest were unforgettable.

I never thought I would say this, but I actually missed the Ragnar Vans that you don't get on the Ragnar Trail.  There's something really special about hanging out with strangers (or best friends) that you HAVE TO hang out with for the next 24 hours.  In some ways, camping takes away some of the insanity and bonding experiences.  However, I did get 4 hours of sleep which is pretty insane for a Ragnar.

Ragnar did a pretty good job organizing the event for a first time go-around and the trails were marked really well.  There was always water and Nuun available and some snacks as well (smores at night!). That said, most teams took way longer than expected due to the difficulty of the trails, and having to double up so we could finish on time took away some of the fun of the competitive aspect of the event.

So in the "Regular Ragnar versus Trail Ragnar" fight I would say:  

Positives:  BEAUTIFUL views, more sleep, the opportunity to camp, don't have to pay for vans, super challenging runs.  

Negatives: Less team bonding, less variety on the course (only three loops), you're not actually traveling anywhere, and you can't allocate easier / harder / hillier legs to difference runners as needed. 

All in all, I loved doing the trail relay, but I think Ragnar is still ironing out some of the details.  I think if I had to choose, I'd still pick the Ragnar Ultra event, but I'll never forget some of the beautiful views I saw this weekend.  


  1. i'm so glad you're doing the tri!!! I did timed laps yesterday, and I might be a 30 min 200m swimmer. Maybe. Or I did math wrong, also a possibility.

    I am so jealous you got to do Tahoe!! I loooove camping.

  2. I was wondering how those would be. I like trails more but I agree that the vans were the best!!

  3. Was anyone affected by the elevation? Did you like your teammates? Or did you just not even really get to know them? Did you guys wear sparkly skirts?

  4. I want to do a Ragnar relay some day, so it's good to know the difference between the road and trail races. I guess they challenge you in different ways. The views look gorgeous, though!

  5. I did Ragnar Tahoe and agree the elevation profiles were COMPLETELY off! What was the deal with that miserable 1/4 mile climb to the finish every time? I also think that they cut some new trails at the last minute that were pretty blown out by the end.

    I did have a great time overall, but don't know if I would do Ragnar Tahoe again. Although, I live there so it's pretty convenient.