LIFE AS YOU LIVE IT: Ragnar Trail: Appalachians West Virginia + FREE Printable

Ragnar Trail: Appalachians West Virginia + FREE Printable

16 September 2018

(Runner's Village)

One of my goals this year was to run a race every month, most of which thus far have been 5ks. Despite how huge and well known Ragnar races are, they are (shockingly) still pretty new being only 5 years old. We have a few local ones, Reach the Beach and Vermont, and I had been tossing around the idea of putting together a team for Reach the Beach in September. Coincidentally, my Aunt and Uncle were signed up for the Ragnar Appalachians Trail Relay and invited my sister and I to be apart of their team which was an opportunity we couldn't pass up! Despite it being a little bit of a haul (11 hours each way) we are both so glad that we did it as it is a one of a kind race!

(Running into the Transition Area after my first Leg)


I had been doing really well January through June and logged A LOT of miles, however, I completely dropped the ball in July and didn't run once. About a week before the Ragnar I decided it would be in my best interest to hop on the treadmill and run 3 - 4 miles a night, pitiful, I know. Surprisingly, I felt great for all 3 of my Ragnar Legs which were approximately 4, 5 and 7 miles. Granted, my mile times were nothing close to what I had been running, but that is to be expected with uphill trail running. They do have recommended training plans on the Ragnar website should you want to properly train for one, unlike me.

(Free Workout Schedule printable - you can purchase the rest of the planner here)

(Cousins and Sister!)


I read a blog or two about what and how I should pack that offered a decent amount of insight as to what to expect. These are tips that I would pass along:
  1. Outfits - Pack your three different running outfits in separate ziplock bags (and then shove them back in the ziplock bag after your leg and don't open them again until you do your laundry)!
  2. Toilet Paper - Bring a roll of toilet paper with you and take some with you every time you go to the portos! They pumped ours at least 4 times throughout the weekend and kept running out of TP - NEVER a situation you want to be in right before a run!
  3. Lights - If you are running at night it is essential to have a headlamp. I also ran with a small flashlight and it made a huge difference. I was able to see roots on the ground much better and appreciated the extra light. 
  4. Battery Pack for your phone - Ragnar had a huge charging station up at the runner's village, however, when you are back at the tent, chances are your phone is next to dead. I use the Nike+ App to track my runs which kills my charge. It was nice having a battery pack to jolt my phone in the meantime.
  5. Warm Clothes - Despite what summer month you run in, it will get cold at night. I only brought some running leggings and wish I had some sweatpants I could have worn at night. They have Ragnar apparel for sale down at the Runner's Village if you forget. 
  6. Crappy Shoes - Pack the pair of shoes that you don't care about. Mine were destroyed from all of the mud (which is fine because I bought them 4 years ago at TJ Maxx). Solomon had a tent set up where you could borrow their shoes, however, they did run out quickly. That is what my sister opted to do since she brought her brand new fancy shoes.
  7. Don't over pack - in addition to any running gear and snacks that you bring, keep in mind that you will also need to bring camping supplies. 
(My sister and I after our early morning night runs!)

The Race:

Was very organized!
  • The trails are very well marked - there was never a moment where I felt "lost" or off trails, even at night! There are trail signs everywhere which are reflective and have small lights on them. 
  • There can be obstacles - it's a trail so there are lots of roots, slippery rocks and boulders that you have to climb over. Take your regular mile time and add 3-4 minutes. 
  • There is always another runner - it brought comfort knowing that there was always another runner on the trail somewhere close by, especially at night!
  • The last 1/4 mile was energizing - the last 1/4 mile of every leg for this Ragnar runs through a section of camps that are so wonderfully decorated and encouraging to run by. People are cheering and you are cruising!
(Our wonderful team!)

Other Thoughts from the Weekend:
  • Down Time - there's a lot of it! Which is nice because it gives you time to relax and enjoy everything they have set up at the Runner's Village and your camping experience. 
  • Take Advantage of Everything - Ragnar goes above and beyond to make sure you have a fun weekend. Take advantage of it! REI had various games and hammocks set up, there was a band performing Friday night, they had s'mores ALL NIGHT and into the morning on Saturday/Sunday (thank you, REI!), there was hot cocoa and coffee available, REI also had a "make your own key fob" tent, there were a lot of companies there promoting running gear which gave out free samples, there's a big bonfire, and a huge and carbalicious meal on Saturday that was catered. There was probably even more that I missed out on. 

Will I be Signing up for Another Ragnar?

ABSOLUTELY! We will (hopefully) be doing this same one again in 2019!

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