The 2010 DC Ragnar Relay

The day of reckoning came…well, it was still night when we gathered in the fog at the DPE house at 5 am.  We got to this point because 6 crazy soles decided to run a Ragnar Relay in 2009 and thought it would be a fun event for the fraternity with a team of Alumni running against a team of undergrads.

Remember that this was a fraternity function so the first thing we needed to do was head over to one of the undergrad’s apartments and wake them up from their drunken slumber.  Fortunately, they just needed to get to the van and fall asleep for the 3 hour drive to the starting line – Did I mention the relay went within a mile of the fraternity house, but it would be almost a day and a half before we would make it back.

The drive was through an eerie fog that the sun slowly burned off to reveal a stunningly beautiful day.  Unfortunately, the sun also brought with it a record high of 97 on this day.  It was still much cooler as we set off from the starting line.  Dan led off for the Alumni and Sam pushed out of the gates first for the undergrads.  At the beginning they jockeyed back and forth with a man decked out in a chicken suit for positioning.

The first run was around a giant lake and handed off to the first of many runs on the country roads.  The Alumni quickly developed a lead that would ebb and flow due to issues beyond their control.  The third leg took us into the mountains including a 2 mile segment that was on a 1 lane dirt road and was all uphill.  At the top was a rallying point, but the first DPE runner passed it before the van made it there.  Ultimately, the third exchange turned into one of many where the runner arrived before the van did.

After that we stuck closer to the runners as much as possible.  At one point we pulled off to the side of the road.   While waiting for our runner we loaded a supersoaker with ice water and sprayed runners as they came by if they wanted it.  After many hours of running the first van was done and set out on its Chick-Fil-A quest.  What a delicious meal.

About 6 hours later it was time to run again, but this time in the dark.  After a mad scramble to make sure we had enough lights it was off into the wild black yonder.  This proved to be interesting as jokesters in one of the towns altered the signs and sent some of the runners the wrong way down a dead-end street.  While there was frustration we knew this was part of the adventure and we had all been lead astray before in a Thing or two.

After our runs it was time to get a good night’s sleep.  This involved rolling out our sleeping bags under the stars… and next to a busy freight train line.  At least we didn’t oversleep when the new runners came in.  We did; however, leave one of our runners behind as we pulled out of one of the exchanges.  Maybe it was the stunning sunrise that blinded the driver when he did a headcount.

After 24 hours of running we reached the DC suburbs.  We slowly finished up our final legs and celebrated at local restaurants before all gathering at one of the final exchanges to thank our volunteers. From there it was on to the National Harbor where we all triumphantly ran across the finish line together with our DPE banner.  It was great experience running together, hanging out in the vans, and having the undergrads meet some of the alumni.  We’re already looking forward to 2011.  Maybe we can get a couple of teams together and compete against each other.  Huzzah!

UPDATE – 04OCT10 – Christian Dully’s Photos


~ by Rob Page III on September 30, 2010.

2 Responses to “The 2010 DC Ragnar Relay”

  1. […] Sanjenis somehow ‘coaxed’ me into running another Ragnar Relay after we had such a good time running one in the fall.  This one took us through the Hudson Valley as we started in Woodstock and made our way to Dobbs […]

  2. […] are roughly 200 miles long and the last two years we’ve managed to field two teams for the DC edition of the relay series while also running in New York.  This year, the Alumni defended their […]

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