So I’m sure some of our Ragnar family would like to know how the PA Ragnar was and how it compares to DC. So here is my two cents:
Both are really tough. But Pennsylvania is an absolute beast. It’s 4 miles longer, but that’s not the tough part. In DC, you tackle the mountains first, then as you get more and more exhausted, the course gets flatter and flatter. In PA, you get the rolling hills of Lancaster and Reading, and then you end with an absolutely insane set of runs in the Poconos. So you get very little flat, and just when your tank is on empty, you get punched in the face with the toughest section of the course. Props to my boys of Van 2 for combining on the toughest stretch of 4 consecutive runs in either race, and to our girls for finishing it off by killing their runs like the rock stars they are! Also, will definitely be recommending a better choice than having Van 1 run right through the middle of Reading in the middle of the night. Josh & his Ladies get serious kudos for a brave late night run…
The split in PA was great… right up until the 3rd round, and then it was brutally bad. The 44 mile trek through the mountains wasn’t only bad for Van 2. Van 1 finished their 3rd round just before 9am and had to kill time until almost 4pm to collect their medals. We had some of that in the beginning/middle of the DC race as well, but has to be worse when you’re finished and have to wait almost 7 hours for the finish.
I guess you have to understand a couple things. In either race, you have a Start line and Finish line and 36 exchanges in between that need to be staffed. So, when you have a smaller race like PA, you basically had 150 less teams than DC. That’s roughly 450 less volunteers throughout the course. There were some great stops, there were some stops that were less than helpful, and there were a few stops that had no volunteers whatsoever. Hopefully this race gets more popular and gets more workers as a result. Big thanks to Karen and Jordan for pitching in and representing our team on the volunteer side. You guys are awesome!
So the big question is… If you were only going to do one, which would it be? PA is a tougher challenge. DC is significantly better run. But frankly, with two groups of people as awesome as we have, I can’t imagine this will be my last double header medal. Can’t wait til next year!!