Ragnar Relay Series
The official logo for The Ragnar Relay Series
|Founders||Steve Hill, Dan Hill, Tanner Bell|
|Headquarters||Salt Lake City, UT|
|Slogan||Connect. Conquer. Celebrate.|
The Ragnar Relay Series is a series of long distance running relay races organized and orchestrated by Ragnar Events, LLC, which is based in Salt Lake City, UT. With 19 relays in different geographic locations, the Ragnar Relay Series is the largest relay series in the United States. The first Ragnar Relay was held in 2003 and encompassed 188 miles from Logan, UT to Salt Lake City, UT. On January 23, 2013, Ragnar announced their first ever "trail relay" series, the first of which would be held in Zion National Park in April of that same year. In 2014, Ragnar Events, LLC announced the first Ragnar to be run internationally, Ragnar Relay Niagara Ontario. The Niagara Ontario race was officially postponed and later cancelled all together.
Each Ragnar Relay is approximately 200 miles (320 kilometers) in distance, with races lasting two days and one night. There are two types of teams: regular and ultra. A regular team is composed of 12 runners while an ultra team consists of six runners. Each runner on a regular team is responsible for running three legs of the race with each leg ranging between three and 14 miles. The total distance a runner is responsible for ranges between eight and 26 miles, making it a good fit for participants with varying skill levels. An ultra runner will run a total of six legs and can choose to run each leg separately or run two consecutive legs.
Each team is given a slap bracelet that serves as their baton throughout the race. When exchanging runners, the runner finishing a leg of the race slaps the bracelet onto the wrist of the next runner, who then continues the relay. On a traditional team, the 12 runners are divided between two vans and only one van will be active at any given time. Once all of the runners from Van #1 have completed their legs, the slap bracelet is handed to the first runner of Van #2. While Van #2 is active, Van #1 is allowed time to rest (and vice versa).
The start times for the teams are staggered in 15-minute increments, depending upon the pace of the runners on the team. Teams estimate their finishing times by averaging the estimated 10K pace of all runners on the team. All teams must average a 12-minute mile or faster in order to finish within the time allowed. Slower teams will start earlier than faster teams, though later-starting (and faster) teams will commonly catch up to and pass earlier-starting teams during the race. This ensures that all teams will finish within a few hours of each other.
Race legs vary in distance, with most legs being between 3 and 8 miles in length. However, some legs can be as short as 2 miles, or as long as 13.5 miles. Individual runners may have all shorter legs, all longer legs, or they may have a mix of the two.
Teams are permitted to include anywhere from four to 12 people. While most Ragnar teams consist of 12 runners, many teams choose to race with six runners (i.e. an "ultra" team).
Teams consisting of seven to 12 runners are considered "regular" teams. Most regular teams consist of 12 people.
When running with a 12-person team, runners are changed at each of the 35 exchange points in the race (start and finish line non-inclusive). The order of the runners is maintained throughout the race, with Runner 1 followed by Runner 2, followed by Runner 3, etc.
Twelve-person teams are divided into two separate vans, with each van responsible for six consecutive legs of the race. Runners 1-6 are in Van 1, while Runners 7-12 are in Van 2.
Teams of seven to 11 runners are still considered to be regular teams. However, special rules apply when assigning the race legs for a team that has fewer than 12 runners.
Teams consisting of six or fewer runners are called "ultra" teams. Most ultra teams consist of six people.
Ultra runners can split up legs any way they choose, provided that the person assigned to run leg 1 also runs legs 13 and 25, the person assigned to run leg 2 also runs legs 14 and 26, and so on. Usually teams either switch runners after every leg, using one van, or switch runners after every other leg, using two vans.
Special rules apply when assigning the race legs for an ultra team that has fewer than six runners.
Currently, there are 19 different races in the Ragnar Relay Series held across the United States:
|Florida Keys||Miami, FL||Key West, FL||February 5–6, 2016 (2016 race cancelled due to permit issues)|
|Del Sol||Wickenburg, AZ||Fountain Hills, AZ||March 10–11, 2017|
|Tennessee||Chattanooga, TN||Nashville, TN||March 24-25, 2017|
|Luckenbach||Bastrop, TX||Luckenbach, TX||March 31 - April 1, 2017|
|So Cal||Huntington Beach, CA||San Diego, CA||April 7–8, 2017|
|Cape Cod||Hull, MA||Provincetown, MA||May 12–13, 2017|
|Pennsylvania||Stauffer Park Lancaster, PA||Mount Pocono, PA||June 2–3, 2017|
|Wasatch Back||Logan, UT||Midway, UT||June 2–3, 2017|
|Chicago||Madison, WI||Chicago, IL||June 9–10, 2017|
|Northwest Passage||Blaine, WA||Langley, WA||July 14-15, 2017|
|Great River||Winona, MN||Minneapolis, MN||August 18-19, 2017|
|Colorado||Copper Mountain, CO||Aspen, CO||August 25-26, 2017|
|Reach The Beach||Bretton Woods, NH||Hampton Beach, NH||September 15–16, 2017|
|Washington D.C.||Cumberland, MD||Washington D.C.||September 16-17, 2016|
|Adirondacks||Saratoga Springs, NY||Lake Placid, NY||September 22–23, 2017|
|Michigan||Muskegon, MI||Traverse City, MI||September 30 - October 1, 2016|
|Hawaii||Hilo, HI||Hapuna Bay, HI||October 14-15, 2016|
|Napa Valley||San Francisco, CA||Calistoga, CA||November 4-5, 2016|
|Las Vegas||Mount Charleston, NV||Las Vegas, NV||November 4-5, 2016|
Depending on the geographic area where each Ragnar is run, different charities are supported by portions of race entry fees, fundraising by teams, and fundraising by the charities at major exchanges along the race course. Major exchanges are the starting line, exchange 6, exchange 12, exchange 18, exchange 24, exchange 30, and the finish line. Depending on the race, Ragnar invites charities or local community organizations to fund raise at these major exchanges. Such fundraising activities include providing hot meals and beverages, showering facilities, or tents for runners to sleep in. The charities that Ragnar officially supports are:
- Adirondack Mountain Club (http://www.adk.org/)
- Back on My Feet (non-profit organization) (http://www.backonmyfeet.org/)
- Bolder Options (http://bolderoptions.org/)
- Special Olympics Massachusetts (http://www.specialolympicsma.org/)
- Clothes-Pin (http://www.clothes-pin.org/)
- Girls on the Run (http://www.girlsontherun.org/)
- It Ain't Chemo (http://itaintchemo.org/)
- Climb for Five
- Outward Bound (http://www.outwardbound.org/)
- Park City Education Foundation (http://www.pcef4kids.org/)
- Running With Ed (http://runningwithed.com/)
- Soles 4 Souls (https://soles4souls.org/)
- SOS Outreach (http://sosoutreach.org/)
- St. Baldrick's Foundation (http://www.stbaldricks.org/)
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (http://www.lls.org)
- KEEN - Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (http://www.keensanfrancisco.org/)