The midpoint of the run was dark and filled with tension as we waited for our partners to arrive. Who would be first? We could spot their shapes in the distance but couldn’t quite make out their faces. We waited with baited breath to receive our partners’ orange slap bracelets. And then, energized by the thrill of the hand-off, we jetted forth, propelling ourselves towards the finish.
Our Ragnar Mini Relay event had started with a round-up of all the participants at our Fairfax location who were greeted by shop staff and some great partners who came out to bring extra energy to the evening’s happenings. Brian, a representative from TomTom had a full range of GPS watches available to lend out so folks would be able to track their stats. And, Alex from Nathan had a selection of reflective vests and lights for runners to try.
Of course, we also had three great Ragnar Relay Ambassadors on hand to explain how their events work and to talk up this year’s race in the DC area to be held in October. Ragnar Relay is a unique race format with events spread across the country. The races involve teams of 12 running day and night to complete a 200(ish) mile route with team members switching off as they take on the course. We are definitely fans of this great idea, and, in organizing our Mini Relay, we wanted to give our Fun Run participants a way to get a taste of relay-style competition.
When it was time to take on our relay challenge, all the participants separated into groups of two. Then, each of the two partners of all the groups split up to go opposite directions on a four mile loop. They would again meet at the route’s halfway point, hand off their Ragnar Relay orange slap-bracelets that served to take the place of proper batons, and then diverge once again to continue onward and back to Pacers Running.
The course itself was four miles and generally went downhill in each direction from the shop. That meant a hilly return route that was fairly challenging. I found myself checking the TomTom watch to see how far I had run, and ultimately how far I had left to go!
Also a bit of a challenge, it got dark out almost immediately after we took off on the run. In some places, there were some uneven sidewalk sections or no sidewalk at all. Fortunately, the reflective vests and lights Nathan had lent out ensured no sprained ankles.
After arriving back from the race and turning in their slap bracelets, participants grabbed some welcome refreshments. And, people made sure to stick around for a raffle contest. A single lucky winner received a free entry into this year’s Ragnar Relay in DC. And, most everyone got some great swag including t-shirts, water bottles, and the like.
All in all it was a very fun event and a great way to learn more about the Ragnar Relay—a truly unique race! We really appreciated all the participants who turned out and took on our relay format with a ton of enthusiasm.
We are grateful to our friends from Nathan and TomTom as well as the Ragnar Relay Ambassadors who helped make the event a big success.
And much credit to Eileen and the rest of the Pacers Running staff at Fairfax, for organizing everything and being great hosts!
See more photos from the event below: