This year I ran with Team “Running from the Law” which consisted of several criminal defense attorneys and others from the legal field in Orange County. The event itself was a great networking opportunity for me because I met some folks that I hope can become my mentors down the road. In the weeks before the event several people joined or dropped out at the last-minute.
I was among those who wanted to drop out. I had a scheduling conflict and was unsure if I could move things around. But, I committed so many months ago and my professor understood that it was a good networking opportunity so she allowed me to move around my schedule.
Ragnar events are about community and working with others towards a common objective. I think the biggest benefit of doing one is that you are all subject to the effort of the others. There are not many things that can be compared to this sort of event except for a cross-country team.
In cross-country each runner is not only hoping for a personal best but at the same time is running with knowledge that the combined times of the team will determine the winner. It is a balance of aiding others and aid to self but not to the detriment of either. Ragnar follows these same principles but it extends to not only your team but also the other teams you meet along the way.
I was part of “Van 2” and we got a late start, but that late start came with the price of having to run through the night and take the final legs in San Diego. At the start of the race I only knew one person, the organizer Hieu Vu, but found everyone on the team was just so genuine I could not help but enjoy the experience.
Van 1 was running lightning quick and we admittedly were the “slower van” but despite this everyone from van 1 was really supportive and just happy to be out there. I could not accurately describe the experience of running a day and a half with a team but one incident stuck in my mind. At the last major exchange when Van 1 handed over the bracelet for the last time Van 2 tried to catch some sleep as we waited for them in la Jolla. Three of our van mates slept under the stars in their sleeping bags. I was amazed that they were not freezing and took to the outdoor camping without much fuss or complaining. They simply headed out into the dark, set up a comfortable spot and knocked out. Mind you were right ont he coast so it was not “warm”, especially not at 3/4 am when we got there. In the morning I asked Kit, how did you sleep outside? She answered it was not all the time you got a chance to sleep under the stars.
Ragnar is one of those events that gives you gems in unexpected ways. It can be an encouraging word from a stranger, a night under the stars or just the knowledge that you worked for a goal with a team of total strangers. Just imagine what we could do if we worked just as hard with those closest to us?