Mizu Mission: Zion Ragnar Race with McKenna Waitley
“Ragnar is about doing things together that we could never do alone - either out running on the road or on the trail.”
In a Ragnar trail relay, teams of 8 (or 4-member ultra teams) run relay-style on three different single-track loops that start and finish at Ragnar Village. Teams run day and night until each member has completed all three trail loops. The legs on our race were: 3.1, 4.3, & 7.6 miles each.
The course was a loop and each team sets up a little campsite to hang out between runs. The race goes until your team is done, which means you run all through the night without much of a chance to sleep - it’s rough but it’s part of the challenge we signed up for!
Our race was 120 miles through Ponderosa Ranch. We each ended up running 15 miles through warm days and cold nights. Some of my college friends and I thought the race would be a fun way to reunite and get our feet running again! Four of us played Division 1 soccer at the University of Washington, so we have no problem throwing ourselves into some type of physical competition. We just can’t help ourselves. The 4 guys played football and baseball at a college in Oregon.
I’ve always wanted to see Zion National Park in Southern Utah, and the next Ragnar Race just happened to be there - it was unbelievably gorgeous!
Ragnar Village is the heart and soul of the Ragnar Trail Relay. Each trail loop begins and ends in the Ragnar Village. It is the start line, the finish line, and the exchange point. After each loop you will return to the support of your teammates and the adulation of the teams around you. The Village includes:
- Bonfire, s'mores, coffee and hot chocolate (bring your own reusable mug)
- Yoga (bring your own mat)
- Physical Therapy
- Food and Beer sales
- Live Band Thursday night - Stonefed
- 1 Free Meal per registered runner – but bring your own reusable cup
- Hot Showers (located in camping areas)
- 1 pool, 2 hot tubs
- Games and giveaways
- Ragnar Gear Tent
- Billions of stars in the sky
- There were definitely some hiccups. One of our guy runners was unable to run last minute and a couple of us had to pick up his running portions! But that’s what teammates are for.
- There’s no better feeling than being able to be there for someone who needs it and I’m so proud of our team for the supporting each other through the hardest parts!
- The next struggle was running in the dark. Yes.. pitch black! That was a first for me. I ran two of my legs (7.6 miles & 4.3) at 10pm and 4 am. Headlamps are a MUST. I’m thankful my friends had some to share! People definitely fell and I tripped multiple times but caught myself. So I definitely recommend preparing for the dark!
- Racing in the desert, you also get extremely dusty. Not just on your body but in your nose and mouth. So having buffs (hankerchiefs) sold there really helped keep that out!
- For the day race portion I wore shorts and a tank top as it was 90 degrees. A night I wore long sleeve compression shirt with long spandex pants. I also wore a small puffy jacket for one leg because it was pretty cold.
A huge part of our success was because of Mizu. The S6’s we used are versatile, durable and sustainable. Ragnar is a zero waste race - so teaming up with Mizu was the perfect match to help us go reusable. Also, I’m really into their style and sleek design. My favorite is the S6 - which comes in 7 colors and is vacuum-sealed to keep your water icy as well as lightweight so you can run with it! It even fit in our running packs super easily.
In the end, our team killed it! We placed 6th overall out of 459 teams (3.6k runners) & 1st in our category! We finished the 120 miles in 21:02:46. We ran from 3pm-12pm.
I have never ran a marathon but I think running a team relay is something I’d enjoy more as your motivation is more than just finishing but to get back because your teammate is relying on you! If you ever have the chance to run a Ragnar where you live, I’d say give it a try because we LOVED IT!
- Written by Mizu Ambassador McKenna Waitley