Ragnar Trail Richmond: April 26-27, 2019

It was in the middle of one of our monthly BRO meetings when we started discussing our February trail race issue. Seeing as how we are an outdoor magazine, someone brought up the idea that it might be fun if a group from the office got together to run the Ragnar Relay in Richmond, Va.

The Ragnar Relay Series started 16 years ago as the Ragnar Wasatch Back in Utah. Today, there are more than 40 road and trail relay races in the series across the U.S. and internationally.

We’re now a month out from the race weekend and training is really kicking into gear. Each member of our team is preparing to run three trail loops for a total of 16 miles over the course of 36 hours. In between loops, runners will rest and hang out with friends at the centralized base camp before gearing up for another round.

We caught up with all the members of the team to see how they are preparing for the big weekend.

Hannah Cooper, Account Executive

Have you competed in other races?

I have run 3 half marathons, two 10 milers (three by the time we do the Ragnar) and lots of short races. They only trail race I have done is the Blue Ridge Burn which is only a 5K, but I do run on the trails around Charlottesville.

How are you preparing for the race?

I am doing the Charlottesville 10 Miler a month before the race, but then I am getting married and going on my honeymoon, so I am a little nervous, to be honest. When I get back, I plan on doing two a days with a long run the day after to be ready to do 15 miles in 36 hours.

Craig Snodgrass, Web Director

Have you competed in other races?

Yes. The Blue Ridge Burn several times. 

How are you preparing for the race?

Great question! Here’s my daily training schedule:

6:30 AM: Hit Snooze Button

6:40 AM: Hit Snooze Button

6:50 AM: Turn off alarm, look at Instagram until I drift back to sleep thinking about how I should get up and do some High Knees.

7:15 AM: Wake up in a panic realizing we’re going to be late for school. Adrenaline spike causes heart rate to hit 110% in a matter of seconds.

7:16 – 7:50 AM: SPRINT through the house making coffee, Eggos, showering, waking up the kid and LEAP into the car. (Every other day I do the same routine only while doing High Knees.)

7:51 – 8:55 AM: BREATH OUT. One long steady outward breath for 50 minutes during commute.

9 AM: Arrive at work. POWER-SKIP all the way to my office.  

9:10 AM: Check email.

9:11 – 11:30 AM: Stop checking email to answer a multitude of questions from my office mate about the internet, grammar, journalism, squirrels, dietary supplements, basic arithmetic, and more. All while doing High Knees double-time.

11:31 AM: Realize I’m dangerously close to missing my protein intake goal. Eat 18 Tabasco Slim Jims.

11:42 AM: Sit down and hold on to my office chair with white knuckles because the trans-fat induced psychedelic journey is about to commence.

1:34 PM: The trance reaches its peak. I meet my spirit guide. It’s former NBA super star Dennis Rodman. Things get weird. We do more high knees.

3:40 PM: Return to Earth in a complete flop sweat. Vomit.

3:41 – 5:15 PM: Listen to office mate tell me every. single. thing. she did the past weekend. 

5:15 – 6:00 PM: Commute home. Maximize this time by doing seated cherry pickers and glute-flexes. 

6:02 – 8 PM: Time to carb-load AND re-hydrate! Consume 8 pints of Guinness Stout while doing leg lifts and playing Minecraft with the kid.

8:30 PM: Find the most questionable “cross-fit” trainer on YouTube and proceed to go through their routine with MAXIMUM FORCE.

9:30 PM: Fairly certain I’ve done permanent damage to myself I wash down 6 ibuprofen and an enthusiast glug of Manischewitz.

10 PM: High Knees

10:15 PM: Rest

Melissa Gessler, Business Manager

Have you competed in other races?

Yes, about 7 years ago I started running for my health (and let’s face it- probably my mid-life crisis- since I was almost 40!)  I have done a bunch of 5ks, several mud and adventure races, and then 2 years ago I did the Virginia 10 miler.  

How are you preparing for the race?

Sleeping late and drinking whiskey- but seriously- I have been running weekly and then recently started going to a sadistic torture professional- otherwise known as a personal trainer.  She’s great- I come away weekly remembering all the muscles I forgot I had for the last 20 years and with bruises and stories to entertain the whole office.

Shannon McGowan, Digital Content Editor

Have you competed in other races?

Yes! I distinctly remember my first XC race in middle school and thinking to myself, “This is the worst thing I have ever done. I will NEVER EVER EVER do this again.” I saw my then crush’s mom cheering me on and thought “PAM PLEASE LOOK AWAY. DON’T LOOK AT THE SHAME OF YOUR FUTURE DAUGHTER IN LAW.” I don’t know why I kept running after that, but it’s been over 9 years since my first race, and I’ve raced more 5ks than I can count! Never anything longer than a 5k though… Sooooo this should be interesting. I’ve never raced on a trail, but I’m excited too because I love trail running! I feel like a deer galloping through the forest in slow motion… I’m hoping running in slow motion doesn’t hurt my time.

How are you preparing for the race?

I try to do some kind of workout every day and been making it a point to make those workouts runs as much as possible. Also, a friend recently taught me how to body roll in case I trip and fall head first. I can be clumsy on non-level terrain so that’s an important skill to me. Let’s see if it works ha! Also, VEGETABLES. 

Ellen Kanzinger, Travel Editor

Have you competed in other races?

Hahaha. I ran one 5k my freshman year of college and almost threw up as I crossed the finish line. I have not run a race since then.

How are you preparing for the race?

I am trying to run a couple times a week mixed with some core workouts. I’ve also been doing a lot of ankle strengthening exercises because I have sprained my ankles playing soccer too many times to count and they’ve never fully healed.

Quick thank you to Jordan, Alec, and Cailyn, friends of BRO, for rounding out our team and, truthfully, picking up our slack on the course. Check back in a few months to see how the BRO team fared out on the trail.