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by
Hannah Sternberg

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July 23, 2014 - 1:00 pm
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I was bored and restless the Wednesday I saw a friend post on Facebook that he knew a Ragnar Relay Race team that needed an extra member. That Friday, I was in a van full of camping equipment on my way into the mountains of West Virginia, wondering what the hell I’d just gotten myself into. I was about to break one of the cardinal rules my mother gave us in childhood: “If you can imagine William Shatner talking about it on Rescue 911, don’t do it.” My only comfort was that if I blogged about it, I might be able to write the trip off on my taxes as a business expense.

By Saturday night I had run 14.8 miles in three parts. I learned a lot about myself and bears that weekend. I also learned about the glory of human endurance, though I still haven’t learned exactly what foam rollers are for. And now, in the name of tax deductiblity, I will share those lessons with you.

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All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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This is a fantastic article and it describes our shared experience out there so well. Appalachians WV was my very first Ragnar event and it certainly will not be my last (Going for a double medal in Ragnar DC in September--woot woot!). I'll never, EVER forget running my first loop just as the "Ragnado" hit and returning in thunder and lightning to what seemed like a tent full of Ragnar hugs. Then later, as I ran my second leg through the ankle deep mud of the Red Loop at midnight, I'll never forget the woman I came upon who was crying through the last mile, slipping on nearly every step, saying it was too hard, and that she just couldn't do it. She could do it and DID becuase of a crowd of runners who surrounded her all the way to the finish line. I wish I knew her name so that I could celebrate the strength she gained in that last mile (the longest mile ever BTW). That teamwork embodies everything that that makes Ragnarians so great. It's the same love I felt finishing my third leg in the beautiful sunshine of the early morning. HUGE congratulations on your finish from team "Run Forrest Run!". In so many ways we're all on each other's teams. Hope to see you next year!
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
My brother just walked the entire AT from start to finish. It gave me insight into your efforts.

Good job.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you! And good job to your brother. I grew up in Vermont, and we got a lot of AT hikers through town. My dad tended to take us to little local side-trails because they were actually less crowded (by trail standards -- they're all fairly remote), so I'm not sure if I've ever hiked part of the AT system, but I know some of the areas it goes through and they're stunning (and challenging, sometimes).
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a book by Bill Bryson, Into The Woods about walking the AT. I was grateful I was reading it at home, not in public. I laughed so hard I was forced to put the book down and gasp for air.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Run faster, I hear banjos!

21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of my favorite team names!
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good work.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks!
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
It sounds interesting but how do those numbers work out? team of eight people, running every 4-6 hours, 14.8 trail miles...Did you have 2 or 3 people running at the same time? That's the only way I can picture those miles/times working out.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
We had to double up by the end. :) Though I also became convinced that the Ragnar creates a wrinkle in the time-space continuum.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good for you Hannah!
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you!
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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