Ragnar Trail Relay – Lake Tahoe 2016
So this was one of the three main races I was hoping to complete this year. (The other two were Escape From Alcatraz Tri, and Half Iron Michigan that I opted out of in favor of a full Iron in December)
Ragnar was first introduced to me through a buddy of mine in Florida. He had brought up the possibility of doing a relay with our group out there in the Keys. But that was the road relay. Ragnar has two styles of races. Point-to-point road running, and multiple-loop trail running and camping. As I looked at the two different options I found their Tahoe race that immediately appealed to me _because_ it was in Tahoe and I knew it would be hard.
I’ve lived and trained in Tahoe two different summers for Ironman Tahoe. So I knew exactly what this race would require from me.
But I didn’t know enough people to assemble a team on my own. And frankly, at the time of this writing in July, I have competed in 11 races that I can think off the top of my head. Ragnar didn’t look like it was in the cards for me.
And then I randomly found a team last minute..
Everyone calls this race a “bucket list” race. Personally I think that term is ridiculously cliche and can’t stand it. I would prefer just to say “Yeah, it’s definitely one you should try and do if you’re interested”. And there’s currently a solid argument to be made that the 40% increase in cost this year is due to every triathlon writer calling this race “bucket list”.
I had first heard about Escape from friends. And then looked it up online back in 2014 for the 2015 race. I entered the second drawing, but was not selected. However I did get selected to race in the 2016 race in the next drawing that was held.
Reading about the race online was interesting because you see everyone’s underlying panic when they ask questions in forums or discuss it online. I didn’t consider the race distances to be difficult lengths. It was a 1.5 mile ocean swim in the Bay, 18 mile ride through San Francisco, and 8 mile run – including a beach section.
But my background with triathlons includes Ironman Lake Tahoe – so I now compare nearly every race to that one. People were particularly scared about the water, but when I lived in SoCal before recently moving back to the SF Bay Area I would train in the ocean. So waves don’t really bother me, nor does the salt.
And when it came down to the actual race, I knew I would have a fun time racing with minimal struggle throughout the day if I wanted. My goal would be 3hr 30min. And when race day came around I managed a 3:35:06