Ragnar Relay Contest: Team Dimity vs. Team Sarah in the Ultimate Mother Runner Showdown

We're about to embark on our version of The Amazing Race.
We're about to embark on our version of The Amazing Race.

On October 4, Sarah and I are each going on a 197-mile journey from Cumberland, Maryland to Washington D.C.

No, we're not planning on morphing into Dean Karnazes and cover that distance solo. As if.

Instead, we each need a team of 11 other mother runners to make an even dozen so we can take on the amazing Ragnar Relay and have our first-ever Ultimate Mother Runner Showdown.

ragnar showdown

In case you're not up to speed on all things Ragnar, the two-day race is a team relay: 12 runners each run 3 legs that range from roughly 3-10 miles. By the end of the relay, each runner will have run between 13-22 miles, and spent anywhere from 16-24 hours in a van with, optimistically, four total hours of sleep.

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 mouse crumbs compared to the experience of running at times (2 a.m., anybody?) you wouldn't normally run, and hanging out with other like-minded souls who love to run, laugh and chat. (Or at least tolerate running so they can laugh and chat along the way.) Way better than sitting on the soccer sidelines, which is where we usually are on a Saturday morning in October.

Oh, and then there's this: each of the 22 women who fill our teams will get this unbelievable prize package chocked full of our favorite training gear:

It's like Christmas on April 1st around here.
It's like Christmas on April 1st around here. Better than Christmas, actually, if you got oven mitts, like I did last year.

A rundown of what each relay runner will receive:
Nuun: tasty hydration in non-sticky, super-convenient tablets (and sponsor of Ragnar)
110% Flat Out Sox: squeezy gradient compression socks to keep your legs fresh and kicky
Saucony: sampling of products from our fave running company
Sof Sole: custom-to-your-arch Fit insoles for cradle-like support
AMR Top: to-be-determined (and designed) tank or shirt for our kickass teams
Skinfare: organic, healing balms that soothe chafe, chapped lips and everything in between
Ragnar: an entry to the mother runner version of the Amazing Race
NuttZo: delish organic nut- and seed-butters that are brimming with healthy, good stuff
Hyland's: Calms Forte, our must-have homeopathic sleep aid, and Muscle Therapy Gel with Arnica

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 it before the Showdown begins.

We each need to 11 women—22 total—to fill our teams. 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 margs by the pitcher after the race to be economical too.)

Dates: Race is October 4-5, 2013. You need to be in Cumberland, Maryland in the evening of October 3, and depending on where you're coming from, you may not be able to head home until the 6th.

O.k., now the fun stuff:

How do I enter?
All we ask is that you be creative and tell us why you want to join the Ultimate Mother Runner Showdown. We realize not everybody has time—or eqiupment—to make a  video, so we just decided to throw the Creative Doors wide open and let you 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; write a poem; give us the top ten reasons why you deserve to be on the team; compile the Ultimate Mother Runner Ragnar playlist; make your dog wear a sign; make your cat wear a get the  point. Feel free to write a short essay, but please keep your word count under 600.

Miller, Sarah's feline, wants to join her team, and so does Mason, Dimity's hound. (Mason would win this one. Just saying.)
Miller, Sarah's feline, wants to join her team, and Mason, Dimity's hound, wants to take on some miles. No four-leggeds allowed, sadly.

Where do I send my entry?
To us, at runmother [at] gmail [dot] com.

When does the contest close?
We need to receive all entries by May 27. We will announce the 22 winners on June 10.

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. (Ragnar also has a training program for newer runners; check it out and see if it seems doable for you. If you can swing it—the longest run tops out at 2 hours—you can swing Ragnar.)

Is this contest open to mother runners from other countries? 
Yep. If you can get your badass to Cumberland by October 3rd, we want you and your cool passport.

Can I do a joint entry with my BRF (best running friend)?
Yes. But please limit it to 2 BRF's per entry.

Do I have to pick if I want to be on Team Dimity or Team Sarah?
Nope. If you're just happy to be on a mother runner team, great. If you prefer one team over the other, make that clear in your entry.

It's on.
It's on.

Is this really a showdown?
Nope again. (Or at least I—Dimity—say nope.)

After all, at the end of Ragnar, all of us will be able to say, It's all good. I ran today. (And yesterday.) And that is a solid win in any book.

Any other q's? Hit us below in the comments and we'll answer them. 

68 responses to “Ragnar Relay Contest: Team Dimity vs. Team Sarah in the Ultimate Mother Runner Showdown

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  2. At what time today is the deadline to enter the Ragnar rely contest? I know, I know….don’t even say it about waiting till the last min. Thank you

  3. I entered, I tried to be creative! Every time I see a tweet about the contest, I say to myself “I really, really, really want to win!” Good luck to all!

  4. I already have a team, The Running Divas, but I want to try and find y’all and get a picture!!! I’m runner 11, and that isn’t likely to change.

  5. Sounds like the bomb…..can I be the resident women’s health specialist on the team? (Read, I know a lot about vaginas and bladders…….)! Thinking about creative entry ideas right now!

  6. Wahooo!!!!!!! Ragnar is top on my bucket list, and I can’t wait to make my video! I’m going to my first Mother Runner party tonight, and couldn’t be more excited. :). Fun, fun, FUN!!! (Run, run, RUN!!)

  7. ME! ME! ME! ME! ME!
    Pick me!!!!
    OH!!! I WANT TO GO!!!

    But I am soooo not creative….sigh. I am, however, a badass mother runner high school biology teacher that would love to run this race (?)!

  8. This sounds like so much fun! I have to think of something creative now! I’ve done Ragnar Napa Valley the last two years and it is so much fun! The farthest East I’ve every been is Denver so it would be a whole new experience for me!

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  10. I was just about to write my entry when I saw someone mentioned that this is the same weekend as the Twin Cities Marathon. Dang!

    1. Hi Kate
      I don’t know you, but am also in the Twin Cities area, and thinking about doing the marathon (did it last year!). There is a ragnar here too, maybe we should talk about a local women’s team?? Where in the Twin Cities are you?

  11. Awesome opportunity! I ran (and was a van driver for) my first Ragnar in 2009. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had on the least amount of sleep!!

  12. Ahhhh–I gotta come up with a great entry, this would be SO AWESOME to do with you! I did two Ragnars last year (Northwest Passage and Las Vegas), already signed up to do Northwest Passage again this year. I would LOVE the chance to do it with you!! 🙂

  13. I would give anything to be on a relay team with either one of you awesome BAMRS! Alas, I’ve bitten off my first 26.2 in Portland on October 6th… I hope this is the first of several times you do this!!! Maybe Hood 2 Coast next year?! 😉

  14. Do you have to be fast? I am really slow, but I grew up in that area and would love to run it (while the 4 kids stay with the grandparents in Gaithersburg)!

    1. Nope. You just have to be able to complete the legs and the training program that Ragnar recommends. (See similar question above…). Sounds like you’ve got a perfect set-up!

  15. So … I’ve been chatting with a friend about this, and we have a couple of questions – really logistic questions.
    1) If we were to drive down to Cumberland, Maryland and then do the relay to Washington, how would we get back to our car to drive home?
    2) If we were to fly down – what airport is closest?
    Pick us pick us!

    1. Laural: We’d give you a ride back to your car in Cumberland. As for airports, I’d google it (not much help, I realize). Guessing a DC or Baltimore airport…

  16. Omg I’m already on a team – Moms Run (Ragnar) This Town – but am looking forward to seeing you out there. Survival tip also welcome!

  17. Oh my god- I know EXACTLY what I am going to send you guys, and I’m hoping you love it as much as I think you are going to! I’ve been looking at Ragnar Adirondacks as my first relay- because it sounds like so much fun, but this sounds like The.Most.Fun.Ever!!!

  18. Oh my! I have wanted to run Ragnar for the longest! I’ve thought my first would be a West Coast one, beng from CA….so this opportunity is very exciting!

  19. Oh my goodness I would LOVE to do this!! Is there any chance this will be an annual thing?? My husband is running his first big race that weekend (Tower of Terror 10-Miler at Disney) and I already committed to being his biggest cheerleader. So bummed to miss out on the opportunity!

    1. Definitely thought of making it an annual thing, Kristin…but we have to get through the first one first! Bummed you can’t enter, but kudos to you for being a cheerleader!

  20. Oh man!!! This chick is psyched!!! I’ve been hoping to win a pair of socks or a bra or something. Now I feel so much better about not having one something -YET! My creative juices are flowing

  21. Are the teams only open to Mothers? I am not a mother yet (nor do I know when I will become one), but I enjoy reading your blog, and I’d love to be a part of this adventure.

    1. Nope, Katie, you don’t have to be a mother. Sorry I didn’t make that clear. All female runners are welcome.

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