In early September, a team of 12 runners will compete in the Ragnar Relay, a 196-mile relay race from Summit County to Snowmass.
They call themselves Team We Run Things.
Team captain Kelly Rienks, who has been running competitively for about four years, enlisted a group of friends from Delta County and the Colorado River Valley, along with daughter Jordyn, to compete in the two-day race.
Each runner will complete three of the 36 legs of the race. Much of the race will be run on bike paths and service roads that parallel I-70 and Highway 82 from Glenwood Springs to the Snowmass exit near Aspen.
While most of Team We Run Things are in their 30s and 40s, at 21, Jordyn is the youngest. All 12 team members have competed in at least one distance race. Ten have run half-marathons (13.1 miles), and four, including Stacy Griffith and Jennifer Bowler of Cedaredge, Tara Cox of Paonia and Kori Satterfield of Collbran, have completed marathons.
For all but Cox, who competed this spring in the 31st annual Hood to Coast Relay in Oregon, the relay experience will be a first.
Ragnar, named after a 9th-century Scandinavian king, was created in 2004 in Utah as a way to test runners' limits in a team setting, according to ragnarrelay.com. This is the second year Colorado has hosted a race.
More than 200 teams, including a handful of six-member "ultra" teams, are signed up.
The Colorado relay is considered the highest and most difficult course in the country. Each runner has her own reasons for joining the team. "My friend said, 'You can do it. It'll be fun,'" wrote Lisa Gilmore of Cedaredge of her motivation. Gilmore is also a new mother and wants to get back into shape. As with most runners, her family will be on the road with her.
And while each runner has her personal goals, their collective goal is to finish, said Rienks. Runners will make a total of 36 exchanges during the two-day race. Distances vary from a 2.6-mile "easy" run to a 9.2-mile "very hard" section. Total distances range from 10-22 miles. Rienks said the team did its best to match runners with their abilities.
Satterfield will start the race, a 7.9-mile uphill climb from Copper Mountain to Frisco, listed as "very hard." Satterfield, the last to join the team, said Rienks asked her, "'Do you want to run?' I said, 'Sure.' She said, 'OK, you're No. 1.'"
Deb Carlson, a 41-year-old mother of two and preschool teacher from Eckert, will run the final, "very hard" leg from Highway 82 to the finish line at Snowmass Village.
Their team shirts include a Dr. Seuss "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" logo, and each is assigned a "Thing" number between 1 and 12, depending on their assigned running order.
Because the relay is nonstop, each of the 12 runners will run one leg at nighttime. Along the way they will have the support of family and friends, and will have opportunities to converse with other racers.
Rienks said she expects the team to finish in about 30 hours. And while their collective goal is to finish, "It's all about supporting an all-woman team," said Rienks.blog comments powered by Disqus