Ragnar Relay

Ragnar Relay
9

Communications

9/10

    Venue & Festival

    9/10

      Course & Obstacles

      9/10

        Swag & Awards

        9/10

          Overall

          9/10

            Pros

            • Road Running
            • Relay

            Cons

            • Not an OCR
            • Can be expensive

            2014

            Featured Review: Ragnar Relay Cape Cod
            Community Review: Ragnar Relay Cape Cod

            2015

            Featured Review: Ragnar Relay Cape Cod
            Community Review: Ragnar Relay Cape Cod
            Community Review: Ragnar Relay Trail MA
            Featured Review: Ragnar Relay Trail MA

            13 Responses to Ragnar Relay

            1. Danielle Carrier says:

              Communications

              10

              Venue & Festival

              10

              Course & Obstacles

              8

              Swag & Awards

              10

              Overall

              9

              This was my second year doing this race and my second time in Van #1. I was runner #1 which was a fun experience to start the race and to be one of the “major” exchanges.

              We had an early start, 5:15 am. When we arrived at that start time there was not a lot of directions or sign from where we parked so it was a little confusing to figure out where to register and watch the safety video. Once registered everything went smoothly.

              For the most part the course was marked well enough but it would have been nice to have a couple more “straight” signs at intersections when running long distances without a turn. It was a little unsettling to not know if you missed something (for slower runners like me). Also, I found that the Exchange addresses provided didn’t always get us quite to where we needed to be. It would be nice to have better coordinates to use in case we can’t always follow the van directions exactly.

              I was happy to see that the shuttle nightmare from the previous year had been addressed. I never saw any teams waiting for a shuttle or missing their finish due to a backlog.

              Overall, Ragnar Relay is one of my favorite events and I will definitely be back for Cape Cod next year and maybe a few others too.

              • Race or Product: Cape Cod 2017
            2. Paul Jones says:

              Communications

              10

              Venue & Festival

              10

              Course & Obstacles

              7.5

              Swag & Awards

              10

              Overall

              9.5

              My third Ragnar Relay on Cape Cod.
              My third year in Van #1 of team #nesninjas

              This year, I ran as runner #5.

              Once again, glowing reviews. Once again, very little bad to say. Once again, my hat is thrown in for the next year already. If they offered on the spot registration, I would have done so, immediately.

              There is always room for improvement though. Our team was of average speed, but went out in the first 5am wave on Friday. As a result, we always felt “ahead” of the main pack, and more than a couple of times found ourselves at exchange points ahead of the Ragnar crew, who were still setting up or finding their feet. We knew what we were doing, but every now and then we felt like the volunteers didn’t quite know, yet.

              We also had a couple of spots (specifically, exchange 26) that didn’t have it’s signage out when we arrived, which meant we pulled into Exchange 27 by mistake (it was visible from the road) – causing us to wait for our runner at the wrong exchange for 20+ minutes before figuring it out and back tracking.

              BUT, those were easy to resolve problems, for sure. When we had parked in an incorrect spot, Ragnar were quick to message us before the police ticketed, and pre and post race communications are second to none.

              As is typical of the event – another life changing, life affirming event that causes people to have serious “FOMO”. One of my favorite events, again.

              See you in 2018!

              • Race or Product: Ragnar Relay - Cape Cod 2017
            3. Sabrena says:

              Communications

              9.2

              Venue & Festival

              7.3

              Swag & Awards

              8.3

              Overall

              9.2

              This was my first Ragnar, and it was epic. I paid attention to the chatter on Facebook, and listened to the advice given by my amazing captain, Niki. Going into it, I had a good idea of what was going to happen: Van 1 starts early, all runners (1-6) run their respective legs while the others cheer them on, then hands off to Van 2 (runners 7-12). Repeat a few more times. And you get minimal sleep. Also, lots of shenanigans. I like to think of myself as a fairly experienced obstacle course race participant, but I have only completed a couple of 5k road races. Even with all of that knowledge and experience, you still don’t fully grasp what you are about to endure.

              I was runner #4 (Van 1). My team had a start time of 6:15am. I am very happy that my captain suggested that Van 1 stay at a hotel near the start line, so that we may get as much sleep as possible before hand. It was also extremely helpful that we went to the Pre-Race Party at Reebok’s headquarters to get the check-in and safety briefing out of the way the night before, rather than the morning of. I just wish we, as a group, were able to get to the party earlier so that we might have been able to see what was offered outside for samples and gear. By the time we got there (about 8pm), most of it had closed down outside.

              The festival area at the start line was much the same as what I saw at all of the other major exchanges; the same vendors, and very little food. Our captain was runner #1, and the rest of the runners in my van were Ragnar newbies. We got a crash course in trying to find the best places on course to stop to cheer her on and make it to the exchange point in time (plus trying to find some coffee!). Luckily, we accomplished our goals, and made it in time for runner #1 to hand off to runner #2. From there on we were golden.

              I was nervous about keeping the pace I had initially given. I knew that I didn’t train for this event like I should have. However, I knew that I would keep putting one foot in front of the other until I was done, however fast that would be. I was happy that I kept within my time for the first two legs, and was slightly over pace for my last leg. Not having done a road race longer than 3 miles, I wasn’t sure about myself. But as I began to run, my nerves began to calm. I found my stride. It was great to see my van full of teammates drive past, ringing the cowbell and cheering me on. I got a little extra push when I was cheered on by fellow Spahtens on other teams. I loved seeing all of the familiar faces out there, either driving past, or at the exchange points. I truly felt like part of the Spahten family here.

              I had met some of my vanmates prior to this, but only briefly. I think what made it work for us was the constant communication throughout the months, from registration until the end. It allowed us to get a feel for each other’s personalities prior to being crammed in a van together for 36ish hours. I have to thank my captain for that. She was excellent at disseminating the pertinent information, as well as making all twelve of us feel like a team. I wish we had more time to spend with the people of Van 2. The brief time we had together at the major exchange points didn’t allow for much interaction.

              As for things specific to the way Ragnar put on the event: initially we were asked if we wanted a men’s/unisex shirt or a women’s shirt. It was later changed to all unisex shirts. However, not all of the sizes were updated. I ended up with a unisex shirt that was slightly larger than I wanted, although a very nice quality shirt that I will wear. The medals are fabulously made, and I love how they piece together. I was dismayed by the lack of etiquette of other runners, especially in the middle of the night when we were trying to get some sleep. I think there should have been more opportunities to discard recyclable items, rather than at just one exchange point (the bin was already overflowing when we got there). The bus situation, transporting participants from the free parking lot to the finish line and back, was unacceptable. Having that many people, and encouraging them all to park in the free lot so as to not overload the town with large vans, should have required more than just two school buses to be in operation. The wait time was on average 40-60 minutes ONE WAY. This caused many Van 2 participants to miss their last runner as they approached the finish line. We made it through 200(ish) miles together, and were not able to finish together. Also, the last runner was left unsupported by their teammates for the majority of their last leg, in quite warm temperatures, without Ragnar providing an additional water station. Once all 12 runners were reunited, and medals handed out, the options for food was highly inadequate. The “meal” ticket gave runners a handful of a “salad”. The chowder/soup had run out 3 hours earlier than when the festival area was slated to close. There should have been other options of food to be purchased, especially since the majority of us did not have our van nearby. Once we were ready to leave, there was only ONE school bus in operation to transport people to and from the free parking lot. This part needs to be changed for the future.

              All in all, I had an excellent time. It was odd to complete a race and not be covered in mud and bruises, but I think I can handle it. I will be returning to Ragnar in the future. I highly recommend this to anyone!

              • Race or Product: Ragnar Relay Cape Cod 2016
            4. Erich says:

              Communications

              8

              Venue & Festival

              8

              Course & Obstacles

              8

              Swag & Awards

              9

              Overall

              9

              OVERALL:
              I’ve run many road races in the past, but this was my first Ragnar, and overall I thought it was great.
              As others have commented this is not your routine run, but pushes your boundries of endurance and skill.
              While being an avid runner definately helps, your average runner can do great here.
              As with most events that the Spahtens enjoy, this is all about the camraderie and friendship.
              Going in I had a rough idea of what to expect, but was hoping to get in more sleep. Perhaps being the runner just past the trade off from Van1 to Van2 limited that, but each “break” only gave me no more than 2 hours of actual rest.
              I knew at most half my teammates going in (all in Van1,) and got to know the others fairly well in the end.
              I’ve never been to the Cape before, so that alone was an experience in beauty.
              I always love running with views, and this race more than compensated.

              PROS:
              Camraderie
              The Views
              Killer medal

              CONS:
              Running for 3+ miles without a race marker telling you you’re going the right way can be nerve wracking.
              Not as much interaction between the vans as I had hoped – were were practically two teams that just met three times for a brief period.
              Prerace party was mainly for pickup and an exposure to the merchandisers.
              Post race party was a letdown. About all you could buy was merchandise and beer. No food vendors other than the one supplier, who only handed you a single small bowl. No surprise that many teams came in and left quickly after taking a few pictures.

              • Race or Product: Ragnar Relay Cape Cod
            5. Nicole says:

              Communications

              10

              Venue & Festival

              8.5

              Course & Obstacles

              10

              Swag & Awards

              10

              Overall

              9.5

              This is my second year back to Ragnar Cape Cod, this time as a Captain, and it is arguably the only road race I’ve ever actually enjoyed! It is a “must do” on my calendar against any RaceLocal event, and that should give you an idea of how strongly I love this event, as I’m known for my FOMM (Fear Of Missing Miles) and #200MilesOrBust in the RL series.
              The Breakdown:
              Communication-
              As the team captain, communication with Ragnar was amazing. A lot of e-mails. The captain’s meeting a few weeks before was incredibly informative. The website is always up to date with all the current information. Throughout the race there were text messages from headquarters coming to me about nighttime hours, parking, etc. I know every member doesn’t see this, but as a captain, I see and hear a LOT from Ragnar (but not too much), and it’s my duty to pass along all the information to my team. We set up a team group text to keep in touch. Everything went really well for us.
              Venue & Festival-
              The venue! A long winding route from Hull to Provincetown. Yea, it was awesome. We ran along the beach, through bike paths, sidewalks along main roads, on the shoulder of community roads, over bridges, through the woods, along the water, and so on. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Exchange points where everywhere from beach parking lots, to churches, to schools, and grocery store parking lots. A lot of exchange points changed this year, and all seemed to be for the better! There are really multiple festivals starting from the pre-party the night before at Reebok headquarters to the one at exchange 6 (where everyone from both vans will be) to the finish line festival. The festivals always had great music playing, the classic Ragnar arcs, tons of free samples from vendors, plenty of vendors to visit, their giant (arguably overpriced, but I always seem to splurge) merchandise tent, and so on. My only complaint about the festival is the finish line festival, and not necessarily the festival itself, but two components of it; 1. Ragnar encouraged teams to park at their designated free parking lot at the beach and take a shuttle to the monument. While this is completely acceptable and pretty standard form for many OCR and was a-ok for my van, they only had 2 busses shuttling, and we had a 40 minute wait to get on a bus, and later heard it was up to an hour not long after us (we shuttled over somewhere around 2pm). This caused some van 2 teams, who left their runner 12 on course to meet them at the finish, to completely miss their last runner coming in. This to me is just completely unacceptable. If you are going to encourage vans to park at the beach to free up parking in town for visitors, then you MUST be able to handle the amount of people who need to shuttle in a way that will not impact their race experience. Also, by 5pm, there was only 1 bus left shuttling, making the line to get back to the van to go home just as long. This all just left a bad taste in my mouth and makes me want to just pay for parking later, and care less about the tourists in town. The second negative hit on the finish line festival was the food. This was a miss for me last year too. This year they brought in B. Good, whose food was absolutely delicious and healthy, however the portion sizes were just too small and they ran out of chowder by 5pm when the festival ends at 8pm. Not cool. However, these are the only two things I have against the ENTIRE event!
              Swag & Awards-
              Is all pretty dang sweet! Each runner gets a T-shirt (more on this to follow), a decal (one of my favorite pieces of swag), and a medal that on the back is a piece of one of 12 which make a whole saying together. The medals are top quality and really amazing. Runner 10 after running the longest and hardest leg gets their own special medal at its completion; the “Wicked Hahd” leg medal. Last year the finisher’s shirts were gender specific tech shirts, however, after Reebok took over and put out a survey, they found that a cotton blend unisex was preferable. I don’t remember getting this survey, and I am not a fan of the unisex style, I do agree with doing away with the tech shirt (I have only worn mine once and not comfortably) and going with the blended cotton, which is incredibly soft. Thankfully, they do offer a full range of sizes, including XS, so I will likely wear this shirt! Oh, and swag for being Captain (which is not a job for the faint of heart) was a pair of Reebok One 3.0 cushions… I mean, that’s awesome!
              Overall-
              Overall, this is truly an amazing race experience. You don’t have to be much of a runner to do this. Unless you’re looking to run competitively, most teams are there for the experience, and the running is just something you do. You support your teammates, you support other runners, and the camaraderie at this race is unlike any other race I’ve ever done. Here are 400 teams ranging from 4-12 people running almost 200 miles for FUN! But it really is fun. It’s crazy. You build a family out of your vanmates. You may be sitting here reading this thinking how is running at 3am on almost no sleep fun, but really, it is. Some of the best runs happen when you least expect it, including 11pm in the rain. You can’t explain it, but you’ll love it. All I know is that I’ll be back again next year and years after as long as I can keep my two legs moving steadily for anything close to a run!

              • Race or Product: Ragnar Cape Cod
            6. chris says:

              Communications

              9.5

              Venue & Festival

              9.1

              Course & Obstacles

              9.8

              Swag & Awards

              9.2

              Overall

              9.6

              They significantly altered the course to alleviate congestion from some previous transfer areas. My legs added more elevation and more miles. But it was a blast anyway, I mean, who in here doesn’t love a challenge.

              Spending time with a great team is priceless. This is the race I look forward to above all others.

              • Race or Product: Ragnar Relay Cape Cod
            7. Communications

              10

              Venue & Festival

              7

              Course & Obstacles

              7

              Swag & Awards

              7.5

              Overall

              9

              The overall Ragnar experience is by far greater than the sum of its parts! It is all about spending 36 hours with a wonderful group of friends.

              Read a comprehensive review of Ragnar and enjoy lots of pictures on my blog: http://perseid85.blogspot.com/2016/05/ragnar-cape-cod-2016.html

              • Race or Product: Ragnar Cape Cod 2016
            8. Danielle says:

              Communications

              10

              Venue & Festival

              8.5

              Course & Obstacles

              10

              Swag & Awards

              10

              Overall

              9.5

              In 2015 I spent the day of the race watching everyone’s updates and said that I will be there next year. I found a team and participated.

              Ragnar is like no other event. It is hard to express in words. It is a complete experience and I can understand why people get hooked. This is a must do event even if you are “not a runner”. If you can tolerate running for a few miles a few times in a 24-36 hours span, you should do this event at least once to understand. It isn’t about the running. I am slow and had the longest total miles. That was a little over 4 hours of my 52 hour experience. It is the people, the comradeship, the support from teammates, friends and strangers, the random acts of kindness, and the shenanigans that happen between the start and finish line that make this a must do event!

              As a non team captain communication directly from Ragnar was sparse but communication from my captain was spot on so I assume they were giving her all the information we needed. The course is like no other, I don’t even understand how your do course markings over a 200 mile course setting it up and breaking it down while still having a seamless transition throughout the day. All of my legs were well marked and easy to follow. Some of the exchanges were a little tight on parking but I think the issue is more that the lots are designed for normal size cars and not 12 person vans and the people driving and parking the vans are used to driving normal cars and didn’t have great judgment when parking.

              Swag and medal was great. There were lots of free samples at the beginning and end and at some of the major exchanges.

              My only gripe for the race and it was a big enough gripe that I had to mark down the venue festival was the shuttling from free parking. Teams were encouraged to park at the beach and be shuttled to the finish line to meet up with their last runner. There was only 2 busses and we waited at least 40 minutes to catch the shuttle. We know some teams were waiting over an hour and actually missed their last running coming in and the epic finish line crossing. If you want people to park in the free parking make sure you have enough shuttles to get them to the finish line in time.

              • Race or Product: Ragnar Cape Cod 2016
            9. Erick Coleman says:

              Communications

              7.8

              Venue & Festival

              9

              Course & Obstacles

              8.5

              Swag & Awards

              9.8

              Overall

              9.8

              I’m waking up from my long winter’s nap.

              Wait, no; I’m waking up from my first sleep after doing Ragnar. Feels like the same thing.

              The first thing that hit me this morning? I won’t be stuffed into a bus with my stinky teammates all day eating power bars, hoping we are finding the right exchange, and arguing over who gets to cuddle with Alfred…

              And that immediately made me sad.

              Ragnar was a blast, an absolute blast. A huge part of the credit of the experience goes to Nicole, Paul, Cathy, Wes, Bobby, Alfred and Sharkey McShark Face. We started our journey at 3am on Friday, said goodbye at 4pm on Saturday and squeezed a lot of memories in between.

              Much like NES itself – with Ragnar, you come for the race. I suspect you come back for the people.

              The race itself was awesome as well. For anyone reading this who hasn’t completed a Ragnar, you can’t not underestimate how tough it is to rough three times in 24 hours. Please train leading up to the event. I thought I did okay-ish, I was running 12-15 miles a week before the event and wow, it was hard (but do-able).

              I would only take two issues with the actual course / event itself, one I don’t think Ragnar can do a thing about (but maybe they can):

              1: Some of the legs have to be better marked, they just do. My third and final leg was around 5 miles, I was running at 3am, very tired. It would have been great to see additional course markings out there at night.

              Ragnar people – as they do – took this one on themselves. People went and took their vans and, rather than sleeping, lit up four way intersections to make sure runners didn’t run down one by accident. Are you listening here, Ragnar? Put a marker here at those instead so those people can go sleep!

              2: A couple exchange points were so small it’s a wonder vans fit at all. I wonder if there are better locations? Not knowing the area at all, I don’t know…we had one exchange where we were not going to get the van out. Period. We were blocked in and traffic flow had us blocked. Another Ragnar runner in another van spotted this (one of the vans blocking us) and made sure we got out. Ragnar may have secured the only areas possible for this, if there are bigger ones available…look! 🙂

              I’m not going to mention the festival area, the medal, the post race stuff…none of that was what the race was for me. The festival of the race IS the race, to be in the moment. The whole thing is a festival.

              Communication from our Captain was a 10. Ragnar itself wasn’t. The app they use is okay-ish, but don’t count on It everything to be super accurate, and don’t get super worked up when it is. This is a “just go with it” race.

              I loved every moment of it. The only reason it isn’t getting a 10 is because there aren’t areas to rate the race on items like “all the feels.”

              Find a team and do a Ragnar. You’ll feel alive.

              • Race or Product: Ragnar Cape Cod
            10. Paul Jones says:

              Communications

              10

              Venue & Festival

              8

              Course & Obstacles

              9

              Swag & Awards

              10

              Overall

              9.5

              I’ll have more to say in a Featured Review, but needless to say, my scoring reflects how good a job Ragnar do.

              Putting on a 200 mile relay, with over 30 manned “exchanges”, course marking public roads and keeping everyone on track. They always nail it.

              • Race or Product: Ragnar Relay Cape Cod 2016
            11. Beth Jones says:

              Communications

              8.5

              Venue & Festival

              10

              Course & Obstacles

              8

              Swag & Awards

              8.5

              Overall

              9

              I had a really great time at this race, far more than I was expecting. The race was organized and a lot of fun. The trails were reasonably well marked, thought the Yellow and Red loops could have done with a bit more marking as it was easy to get off trail – in some places you’d go a good half mile before seeing a trail marker.

              Swag was good, but they made a mess of the T-Shirts. Every team got a stack of random sized shirts. They tried to sort it out, thankfully, but I do wish they had it right in the first place. Medals were a multitool which was outstanding.

              They also had a problem with the porta potties, but again, they came through and called an emergency crew out to clean them overnight. HUGE props to them for that!!

              The festival area was great and they had a ton of great vendors. Would definitely do again!

              • Race or Product: Ragnar Relay Trail - New England
            12. Jessica says:

              Communications

              10

              Venue & Festival

              8.5

              Course & Obstacles

              10

              Swag & Awards

              10

              Overall

              10

              This was my 2nd Ragnar CC event. Super organized, super fun.

              I will continue to participate in this event!

              • Race or Product: Ragnar Relay Cape Cod 2015
            13. Paul Jones says:

              Communications

              8

              Venue & Festival

              7

              Course & Obstacles

              7

              Swag & Awards

              8

              Overall

              8

              I had no idea how much fun Ragnar was going to be when I registered for it. Staying up for a couple of days, driving a van all the way down the Cape, running three legs.

              But it became one of my favorite events of the year – a must do, every time.

              • Race or Product: Ragnar Cape Cod 2015

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