Ragnar Trail Appalachians – Marka OConnell

Race: Ragnar Trail Appalachians

Runner: Marka OConnell

Race Date: 08/11/2023

Location: Big Bear Lake Campground, West Virginia

Results: Finisher

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

  • Glamping
  • Camaraderie
  • Unlimited memories
  • Finisher medal
  • Sense of accomplishment

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

  • The red loop tried to kill us
  • The check in was a little overwhelming but you just had to be patient

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

  • All the funny team names and costumes
  • Running through the campground at night

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

Beating the red loop!!

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

Don’t let the loops scare you, especially the night run! Ragnar makes everything every safe! Just have fun!

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Bring a battery charger to charge your phone. Make sure you have a good headlamp!

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Trust yourself and trust you’re on the right trail!

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Depends on if your running it at night! The Pines are pretty cool!

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Yes unless you’re part of the elite or ultra team (which we were NOT!) But we had fun with the challenge!

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

Very well organized! (Expect the check in part)

Competition – Is there a strong field?

About 800-1000!!

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.

Depending on where you’re coming in from! Definitely get the glamping package so you don’t have to carry everything in! Register as soon as possible!

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

Standard. If you’re running in the dark, be careful of the two skeletons guarding the water stop!!

Weather and typical race conditions

It’s in the mountains so prepare for any weather!

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

Gators are helpful in the mud!

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Only if your family or friends are also camping

How’s the Swag?

Ragnar has great finisher medals! Nice tee shirts!!

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

10!! And can’t wait to do it again!!