If you know me at all, you know that camping is not my thing. It takes a lot of work, it is dirty, it is cold… the list goes on. So of course I surprised myself when I said yes to joining a team for the 2016 Ragnar Trail Atlanta race. The trail Ragnar is a relay run with up to 8 teammates, who each run three individual trail loops. Everyone camps out overnight near the “Ragnar Village,” which has food, a beer garden, hammocks, campfires, s’mores, music… everything you need to make camping way better! The other thing that makes camping way better is when you have a room at the hotel a quarter of a mile up the road 😉
Twenty six people from Sarasota traveled north for this race. All three teams camped out together, which was the best part of the whole thing. Just spending time with old friends and making new ones was a highlight for me. The other two teams were “Trail’er Trash 1.0” and “2.0,” and our all girls team was “Belles of the Trails.” The Trail’er Trash really brought it with the theme, including several costumes and tons of decorations. The Belles really brought it with awesome running- we won our division and came in third overall women’s team! Also, my BFF and I brought the champagne and bloody marys and no one was sad about that I am sure. The other highlight was getting to see my Italy tri-bestie Emily! She came up from Ft Benning to join our team. It was so much fun to see her since I have missed her dearly since she left me earlier this year.
I have never run on trails before, and let me just tell you… IT WAS AWESOME. TREMENDOUS. AMAZING. GREAT. TERRIFIC. Although I ran slower than on a road, I felt like I was flying. I really loved the night runs. A single headlamp was not enough light for me, but with a handheld I managed to avoid any disastrous spills. One trail was almost 7 miles long, with several long hills and this awful part of granite slab that I assume is actually exactly like running on Mars or something. The other two trails (4.something and 3.5 miles) were probably beautiful but somehow I ended up with two nighttime runs so missed appreciating that scenery.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the other highlight of the race (my life?). I won a pair of Salomon shoes in a lip sync contest!!! If you know me even a little, you know this is basically a dream come true. My two backup dancers helped clinch the W and we had a blast.
Although I love, love, love running Ragnar Relays, I really LURVED this trail one. Logistics were so much easier and everyone was so laid back. I 100% recommend that everyone reading this sign up for one immediately. Don’t forget the champagne and it will be the best weekend ever.
**Special thanks to my Trail’er Trash buddies and the Belles for graciously letting me use some of their pictures**