We are sooooo ready to twist off the top on the bottle—we're classy like that—on this, our second-annual Ragnar Relay contest.
We're headed to the Napa Valley Ragnar Relay, a 197-mile route which starts in lovely San Francisco and ends in even lovelier Napa Valley. (Check out this great video to get your juices flowing for some good running—and some good wine.)
We're taking it on as one ridiculously solid, ridiculously strong, ridiculously entertaining team of 12 mother runners. Team name? The Badass Mother Runners, of course.
And now we need some mother runners to fill our team. We're looking for 11 mother runners who can join us in Cali from September 18-21, 2014. (11 runners because we'll have 1o runners + 1 alternate, who will train and join us if somebody gets injured while training.)
In case you're not up to speed on all things Ragnar—and you missed the whole Team Dimity vs. Team Sarah showdown last year—the two-day race is a team relay: 12 runners each run 3 legs that range from roughly 3-10 miles each. By the end of the relay, each runner will covered between 13-22 miles, and spent anywhere from 24-30 hours in a van with, optimistically, six total hours of sleep. (And maybe there's a shower, or maybe there isn't.)
The logistics can be daunting—you've got to stay on route, make sure you're communicating well with your teammates, and deal with a little sleep deprivation—but those issues are nada compared to the whole experience of competing as a team, meeting new, probably lifelong friends, making crazy, funny memories, and feeling as carefree as you did when you were about 9 years old.
Ragnar is just good, pure, down-home mother runner fun.
Oh, and then there's this: the 11 women who fill our team will get this unbelievable prize package chocked full of our favorite training gear.
A selection of what each relay runner will receive—and more will likely be added to the mix as the race gets closer (and please note: these pics are just representations, not the exact quantity or style of what each winner will receive):
Nuun: tasty hydration in non-sticky, super-convenient tablets (and sponsor of Ragnar)
GU: a sampling of gels and chomps that fuel you for plenty of miles
110% Flat Out Sox: squeezy gradient compression socks to keep your legs fresh and kicky
Strava: one month of premium membership, plus a Strava Sweaty Band (and a place to log all your miles and chat with your new teammates)
Saucony: a technical running jacket so you can #findyourstrong in all conditions
Tough Girl Tutu: because no mother-runner relay team would be complete without tutus
Ultimate Direction: a Handy-20 handheld bottle from the new Jenny collection
AMR Top: to-be-determined (and designed) tank or shirt for our badass team
Ragnar: the all-important entry to the badass mother runner team
Thule: a pro-deal card so you can grab a sleek backpack, some rugged luggage built for gear transport, a Chariot Carrier at a significant discount (just one rule: no strollers at the Ragnar, please)
Soleus: a pro-deal card so you can buy at a way-steep discount, a GPS to mark your miles while training and at the race
You will receive the majority of the prizes at your home, weeks before the relay, so you'll have plenty of time to get acquainted with them before the Showdown begins.
We need 11 women to fill our team. Before I get to how we'll do that, here are a few very important details:
What is included in winning: entry to the race, vehicle and gas during the race, all the great prizes listed above, nibbles for the vans.
What is not included in winning: transportation to and from the race; hotel before or after the race; meals before, during, and after the race. (We will obviously try to minimize costs by sharing rooms and helping with airport transfers and such. Oh, and we'll order boxed wine at the end. Kidding.)
Dates: Race is September 19-20. You need to be in San Francsico, CA by 5 p.m. on September 18, and depending on where you're coming from, you will likely not be able to head home until September 21.
O.k., a few more important details:
How do I enter?
All we ask is you be creative and tell us why you want to join the Ultimate Mother Runner Showdown. Do what you can with the time and resources you have.
So you can make a video; paint a picture; decorate a poster; collage some photos; knit a sweater; do a dance; design a team uniform; plant some flowers in BAMR style; write an essay (please keep your word count under 600); whatever works for you. (Need some inspiration? Check out the entries from last year: Team Dimity + Team Sarah.)
Sarah and I will pick the winners based on originality and presentation.
Where do I send my entry?
To us, at runmother [at] gmail [dot] com with "Ragnar Entry" in the subject line, please.
When does the contest close?
We need to receive all entries by April 28. We will announce the 11 winners (10 runners + 1 alternate) on May 5.
Do I have to be a super-speedy runner?
Absolutely not. But you definitely need to be a fun runner. We value entertainment way more than we value speed. That said, by the time the race rolls around, you need to be able to capably cover the distance of the various legs. (If you can run a 10K now, you can easily run Ragnar by September.) We are going to have Coach Christine Hinton, BAMR in every respect, write a training program that will get you ready to Ragnar.
Is this contest open to mother runners from other countries?
Yep. If you can get your jet-lagged self to San Francisco by September 18, we want you and your cool passport.
Can I do a joint entry with my BRF (best running friend)?
Not this year, since we only have one team. One mother runner per entry, please. (And don't worry about showing up solo. As the mother runners who joined us last year prove on a daily basis: You'll make friends quickly and meaningfully faster than you ever have in your life. That's the beauty of Ragnar.)
What if I really, really want to run but I didn't make the team?
Ragnar is generously offering AMR a special discount code to our tribe to run Napa, which we'll share with you on May 5. We'll also provide a social media place for you to find teammates, understanding there's a slight possibility that you don't have 11 BRF's who are ready to head to Napa.
Any other q's? Hit us below in the comments and we'll answer them.