So you fancy yourself a bit of a runner?
You’re a fan of carb loading. You idolize Forrest Gump. You can’t stop listening to “Eye of the Tiger.” And you’ve nicknamed yourself Usain Bolt.
If this sums up your life, you might want to put together a team and join the Ragnar Relay. It’s a 200-mile race for teams of 12 taking place in some of the country’s most scenic vistas, such as the Florida Keys, Napa Valley, Cape Cod, and Utah’s Wasatch mountains.
Each participant runs three relays, between three to eight miles each. It pays to have your team’s novice runners tackle the easier sections, saving your star players for the tough terrain. This makes Ragnar a team sport, where runners of all abilities can participate.
The “Wasatch Back” Ragnar Relay in Utah begins June 19. Utah was the first state to hold the race, and this will be the 13th year for the series here. Its founders, Tanner Bell and Dan Hill, named the race after a “Scandinavian hero” to suggest the mental and physical toughness required to compete.
Starting in Logan and heading south toward Park City, these teams will conquer three mountain passes with cool, crisp air and fields of wildflowers. Key sections include the infamous “Ragnar Leg” of Guardsman Pass and the finish line at Soldier Hollow (the Olympic venue in Midway, Utah, with views of Mt. Timpanogos). This year there will be an added Park City/Deer Valley section to the race.
For the standard team of 12, it costs $130 per runner. Last year there were almost 12,000 competitors, and this year is shaping up much the same. With registration currently 90 percent full, those looking to secure a spot need to act fast — especially those who truly fancy themselves as runners.