Ragnar Napa Ultra Team -- Race Report

I'm not going to do a whole detailed race report of Ragnar Napa. I kind of feel like the first rule of spending the weekend in a van with 5 other smelly, foul-mouthed, sleep-deprived, and smelly (yes, I'm aware that I repeated myself there) runners, is that you don't talk about it. It's a fun experience and I'm glad that I was able to share it with a group of great guys. I can't imagine being in a van that long with people I didn't know or like. I can't remember every funny story, joke, or bodily function that was shared, and the ones that I do, I can't share because I don't want to get more emails from my Grandma.

Our team was an ultra team, meaning that we each ran 6 legs of the nearly 200 mile course. It also means that we didn't have much time to stop, eat, or sleep because we were either supporting our runner on the road, or heading to the next checkpoint.

I ended up running about 40 miles, and there wasn't really anything exceptional about the running portion of the race. The Ragnar experience for me is about hanging out with friends and being part of a team. I had previously run Ragnar in San Diego and there is quite a difference between being part of a 12 person team and being part of a 6 person ultra team.

I have mixed feelings about Ragnar, and what better way to show them than some sort of list.

Things I like about Ragnar:

  • Running on a team.
  • Costumes, even though I wouldn't wear one (it was a stretch for me to wear a red matching shirt for the finish line picture), it keeps the race interesting to see what people come up with.
  • Team van names/decorations.
  • The food and drink at the end.

Things I don't like about Ragnar:

  • The course. Both Ragnars I have done have some nice parts and some really awful urban sidewalk running and a lot of running with traffic. I know it would be next to impossible putting a 200 mile route together on country roads.
  • The road. I just don't like running on it (Ragnar is putting on a trail race next month in Zion and I'd love to try that if they do it again next year).
  • Running along the narrow shoulder of a highway in the middle of the night as every car that throttles towards me has its brights on, and assuming that the drivers have been wine tasting in Napa all day.

Some pictures:

I brought wet wipes for a reason, well for a couple reasons.

James crushing the woman in the tutu.

I think I was pointing to my unusually large Adam's apple.

Passing off to Paul, who would go on to pass about 100 teams while destroying his IT band.

Seriously, it was that big.

Running through Petaluma.
Thanks for reading.


  1. Looks like a good time and I love your video about what ultrarunners say...LOL

  2. I can't believe you shared the tutu photo. What happens at Ragnar is supposed to stay at Ragnar...

  3. Come on, James. At least I left out "Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Missing iPhone Armband."

  4. Where's my iPhone armband??? Wait I found it(after the van was completely disassembled!) however, I couldn't even find the correct route so I shouldn't talk!

  5. One of our bloggers participated in Ragnar Napa as well - he should be posting the recap today or tomorrow. I also had a friend who ran the Red Rock Relay with some friends a couple of weekends ago - beautiful country. If you get to run in Zion, you should do it.

  6. That Zion Ragnar sounds cool -- most complaints about other events always focus on the boring/unsafe road segments.

  7. That last photo's awesome, what an amazing sky. And it sounds like er, basically, you don't like roads - no surprise there then, who does?!

    1. You should have been inside the van when I said "check out those pretty clouds." Could have heard a pin drop.


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