Ragnar Trail Appalachians – Getting There

So last weekend was the much anticipated Ragnar Trail Appalachians, one of the trail versions of Ragnar Relay, in West Virginia. They use the hashtag innerWILD. There were torrential downpours, extreme amounts of mud, and gorgeous scenery. It was real, it was fun, it wasn’t necessarily real fun, but we certainly found our inner wild.

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

My Ragnar weekend began Thursday evening after work, when I frantically packed all of my stuff.  I had a hectic work week and uncharacteristically left packing until the last minute. It was stressful, but luckily I ended up having everything I needed.

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

All the things, except my sleeping bag and sleeping pad, camping chair and table

I headed up to Debbie’s house Thursday night. She invited me to stay with her, since we would be carpooling with teammates Carrie and Erin the next morning. As it turns out, neither one of us are serial killers, so we both survived the night 😉 (Debbie may or may not have had family members who were worried about that) The next morning Carrie and Erin arrived and we loaded up Carrie’s van. It’s crazy how much stuff we needed for just one night. But you have to take into account the stormy forecast and the fact that we’d each be running three times.

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

Off to West Virginia we went! The drive to Big Bear Lake campground was about three hours and the trip went smoothly.

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

Debbie’s picture, Erin took it

The weather was nice as we made our way towards West “by God” but the skies darkened as we got closer.

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

Sure enough, the rain started to fall just as we arrived at the campground. I didn’t take it as a omen, but I should have. We were greeted at the campground entrance by an older gentleman who reminded me a lot of people in my neck of the woods. He was much too busy wishing his equally old friend a happy birthday to check us in. When he finished with his conversation he said to us “okay, three people?” We told him no, there were four. He grabbed a campground pass and wrote three on it, and handed it to Carrie saying “three it is!” and sent us on our way. Oh well, we tried!

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

It was another couple of miles back to the Ragnar village and camping area, where we found our fellow MRTT (Moms Run This Town) teams. Our other Ashburn MRTT teammates, Gayle, Angela, Rachel, Lupe, and our team volunteer Melisa, had traveled and set up on Thursday afternoon. They also had to brave a nasty storm that came through on Thursday night. Thanks to them our campsite and tents were already set up. All we had to do was unload!

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

We set up in the first of many rain storms. Once we got everything unloaded Carrie took her van down to the parking area and caught a shuttle back up. I shared a tent with her and Erin, and we quickly found that our tent had leaked the night before due to the heavy rain and wind. We did our best not to add to the wet and mud, but it was difficult!

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

Our campsite was very muddy and only deteriorated as the weekend went on. Little did I know I was as dry and mud-free as I was going to be all weekend!

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

Why did I even bother to clean them before the weekend? Photo credit: Debbie

Despite the rain and mud, it felt good to get unpacked and settled. I enjoyed meeting the rest of my teammates – they were all awesome! Debbie did a great post introducing our whole team HERE.

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

Photo credit: Melisa

In total I think there were four MRTT teams and one Dads Run This Town team, and we were all right in a row. It was neat to hang out and talk with so many different people.

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

Photo credit: Vanessa

The four of us arrived around 11:30 AM, which was our team’s start time. Ragnar had moved everyone’s start times up by an hour in anticipation of the weather forecast. Since Debbie was runner 2, she had to be ready to run shortly after our arrival. She came back from her run muddy and happy and that got me excited for my turn, as runner 6.

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

Photo credit: Gayle

My first loop was the red loop, a 6.7 mile trail nicknamed “Mother of Crack.” If only I knew what was to come…..

Ragnar Trail Appalachians Ragnar Relay Trails WV

Have you ever gone tent camping in stormy weather?
Who else has run a trail relay?

P.S. Today Barry and I are celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. Time flies! All I can say is “and I thought I loved you then.”

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16 Comments

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  1. Loving the recap! This was my second time camping during a thunderstorm, but the first time I was able to escape to my car. That’s a luxury I missed Thursday night! And happy anniversary!

    1. Would have been nice to escape to our cars or anything sturdier than a tent and e-z up canopies!

  2. Never have I ever…

    I did look up some of their other locations, and the one in AZ and NM both look kind of appealing. And dry…

    Happy Anniversary!
    Alison recently posted…Fitness FridayMy Profile

    1. I can’t say a Ragnar Trail in a desert area would have appealed to me before, but now….

  3. Happy anniversary!!

    Travel and arrival went smoothly but i think we can all see where this is going lol. All I can say is that I love trail runs in the rain so I can’t wait for the next post 🙂
    Richard recently posted…My Name is Schlub and I …My Profile

    1. Yea, it was kind of all downhill from there… down a very wet, muddy hill.

  4. Happy Anniversary Baby!

    LUD.

  5. I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’re not a serial killer! You realize that if you were, and had offed me, you would have had to run my legs at Ragnar in addition to your own! 🙂

    This time last Friday we were huddled under the canopy with it lowered so it wouldn’t blow away, and the rain wouldn’t blow in as badly. Today I’m nice and dry, and very happy, but I’m missing my teammates!

    Happy anniversary to you and Barry!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…A Team Is Only As Good As Its Team Members, And Ours Was The Best!My Profile

    1. And I you! You make a good point about Ragnar – so it’s definitely good that I am not.

      I had such a fun time with our team, but I am so happy to be warm, dry, clean, and under a roof.

  6. Happy Anniversary 🙂 Cheers to many more!
    I love Deb’s comment about running her leg. You all did great to hang in there.
    Karen recently posted…AnnoyingMy Profile

  7. Wow, the mud!! I can’t imagine a whole weekend of that. Your warm dry bed at home must’ve felt SO good after!

    Happy Anniversary to you & Barry!
    jan recently posted…Weather Forecast AccuracyMy Profile

    1. I don’t mind a little mud or even a fair amount of mud – it can make trail running more fun. But honestly, that was a little too much mud last weekend.

  8. Happy Anniversary! We survived a stormy night in our RV this week thinking we may have to hide in the campground restroom. I felt so sorry for the tent campers. Not the most restful way to begin a race for you!
    Tina@GottaRunNow recently posted…Running in the Black Hills & WyomingMy Profile

    1. Yikes! Glad y’all made it through. Riding out a storm in an RV can be pretty scary sometimes. We’ve sat out many severe storms, often at the beach, and the wind is what scares me most.

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