Ragnar: The Countdown – #ragnarflk #CNNRagnarD

One week from today I’ll be running in the Ragnar Relay Key West! Or I’ll be watching my teammates running! Or I’ll be squished into the back of a 15-person passenger van trying to sleep! It’s going to be so great!


I can’t wait. It’s been a looooong planning process. I’m pretty sure we all started texting and tweeting each other around February of this year formulating the plans and gathering teammates. (Finally! We have all 12!)

The Team:

  1. Monica
  2. Leif
  3. Andrea keep-calm-and-ragnar-on
  4. Brooke
  5. Stephanie
  6. Lindsay
  7. Adam
  8. Roxie
  9. Amanda
  10. Melissa
  11. Robert
  12. Me!

And miraculously 3 volunteers

  • Zach
  • Nicholas
  • Andre

How Ragnar Works:

I explained this briefly in my previous post here. Here’s another shot at hopefully correctly explaining everything. Runners 1 – 6 start in Van 1. Runners 7 – 12 start in Van 2. We rented two 15-person passenger vans for the race.  (If you want to donate any gas $$ for our team, we will gladly accept! lol) The vans will essentially leap frog each other down. We start at the Coconut Grove Convention Center in Miami and will end up at the Southernmost Hotel in Key West around 36 hours later.

Yes, 36 hours. No, we’re not renting a hotel halfway. We’re literally either awake for 36 hours or sleeping in the van or running or eating or a combination of all four. Sounds awesome, right? That’s what I thought.


Along the way, each runner runs 3 legs of the race. There are 36 total legs of the race. We run in order, so runner number 1 runs first, then runner number 2, than runner number 3… all the way to runner number 12 (me!)… then runner number 1 will run her second leg then runner number two etc etc etc. Each leg of the race is a pre-determined distance, and not all legs are the same length, distance, or difficulty.

Who Runs What Where When?

How did we determine who would be what runner? You can view all available runner and legs on the Ragnar Relay Florida Keys website. I copied the chart below.


The good thing about each leg of the race being a different length and difficulty is it makes it possible for a variety of runners of different skill and experience level to participate. Runner #11 runs a total of 12.3 miles, where as runner #3 runs a total of 20.3 miles. Plus, just because some legs are shorter, doesn’t mean they’re easier. Some have varying elevation levels or little to no van support.

To determine which sucker would get which runner number, we each emailed our captain, Stephanie, our top 3 choices in our order of preference. She then had the fun task of coordinating who would run what all while considering who wanted to be in what van together.


Some people had specific desires of what legs of the race they wanted to run like the 7 mile bridge pictured above.

I personally picked runner number 12 because I want the glory. Runner number 12 crosses the finish line. That has my name written all over it!

We also submitted our estimated 10k pace to the race. The race compiled everything (they actually give you an excel sheet to input everything and then submit it to them). They then go “boop beep bop boop” in their magical Ragnar computer and spit out a start time for your team based on your overall pace times so that you can finish the entire race by their designated race close off time the following day, Saturday. Based off of all this, our current start time is 9:30 am.

Based on our 9:30 am team starting time and the fact that I’m runner number 12, I have the estimated running distances and times.

  • 5.3 miles | Moderate | 5:44 pm
  • 6.9 miles | Hard | 7:36 am
  • 5.8 miles | Moderate | 6:09 pm

A total of 18 miles in 36 hours or so. Yeaaah, baby!

I’m kinda bummed I don’t have to run at like 3 am, but that’s ok because I get to cross the finish line.

Here is the information provided to me on the individual legs:


Did you read that clearly? I get to start running on the Homestead Speedway! That’s kinda a fun way to kick things off (for me)!


Some middle of the keys running.


And finally, running around Key West to the finish line.

The Team Shirts

Oh, and last but not least, our team shirts came in!!


I looked at a bunch of places online and ended up going with a company called UberPrints.com. I’d emailed a TON of places, even a few local to Jacksonville, and only 2-3 actually contacted me back. UberPrints had an easy website you can plow your way through to make your shirt. I had already designed the logo itself in Photoshop and had the team select it, so I pretty much knew what we wanted. I was just worried that it wouldn’t turn out as well printed on a shirt as I had in my head.

What was the final selling point? I called UberPrints to have them look at the design in my cart and talked to a live human being. She said they personally look at each design before it prints and even tweak it a bit to ensure it will print at the best quality. She even pulled up my order while I was on the phone and said it looked fine. (I was a little concerned it would print blurry because I designed it in Photoshop myself and not in InDesign or some other software actually MADE for print design). So bam, we ordered from there. We paid a few dollars extra per shirt to ensure the order would arrive in time, which it did. Due to cost and time restraints, we didn’t get fancy whicking shirts (those would have ran $50+ per shirt, no thanks!). I personally prefer the cotton. I don’t really plan to run in the shirt, so it shouldn’t be a huge dealeo anyways.

The Finale

So that’s some rambling on my part about the race. Just some excitement and geeking out over the fun that is to come.


If you’d like to follow along next Friday and Saturday as we run the race, you can follow everyone running by going to http://search.twitter.com and typing in #ragnarflk or you can type in #CNNRagnarD for specific team updates from our team, Chuck Norris Never Ragnar’d.

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