Race: Ragnar Rainier

Runner: Matt P

Race Date: 08/23/2019

Location: Crystal Mountain Ski Resort

Results: 50/240 overall (open)

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/2645252972

ragnar trail relay rainier race report

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. Really well organized and very relaxed atmosphere – fun!
  2. Camping out and running trail loops is really fun.
  3. Night runs!

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

Don’t like the long periods of inactivity.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

The team costumes. Hard to call out just one.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I enjoyed 3 distinct effort types from the 3 legs. Green: Short and nice to put out an intense effort, Yellow: A steep climb with lots of optional running sections – kind of rough terrain. Red: Long and downhill with great views.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Don’t camp close to the Ragnar village, so that you can actually sleep. Also, don’t expect to actually sleep 🙂

Here are the Strava links for each leg:
https://www.strava.com/activities/2645910491
https://www.strava.com/activities/2647749591
https://www.strava.com/activities/2645252972

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Stay warmed up closer to your run time – it can be hard to gauge but eventually you start to realize approx. how long your group is taking.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

If the legs don’t change for next year — Yellow is the actual hardest for most regular runners probably. Red is the longest so it gets tagged as hardest but it’s actually probably the smoothest of all the legs. Green is a trick to put out all of your energy — depending on your training and purpose, maybe that’s what you want! Yellow is hardest because it’s rough terrain with some steep grades. The mid section is runnable and with a full tank all of it is runnable but it’s a difficult climb overall.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Gorgeous! The views of Rainier, the gondola rides, etc — amazing!

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

None of the legs are hard in their own right for a regular trail runner if managed properly. Not sleeping and being worn out over a couple days can make it particularly tough.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Pretty well-run and generally pretty chill.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

If you want to compete, there are folks out there pushing, and then usually ultra team setups, alternate routes for smaller teams and more mileage, etc.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

The organizer of your team needs to move early and stay on top of things to make it work. As a participant, I really just showed up, said hi, setup camp and started having fun!

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Lack of energy bars, actually!

Weather and typical race conditions

It was chilly and can also be wet, but mid day is warm.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

I used distance poles on the yellow leg, and I also power hiked and outpaced people trying to run them, so I feel it was a good choice.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Friends could definitely come out and spectate. Lots of room on the trails and campsites.

How’s the Swag?

Lots of stuff to buy in the Ragnar village, but the medals are unique!

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

I give it 4 stars for what it is: a fun relay race to do with friends!

ragnar trail relay rainier race report