Weekly Wednesday Ragnar post: Meet Katie!

This is from Ragnar 2009-- getting ready for a sunset run w/ reflective vest and headlamp!

This is from Ragnar 2009– getting ready for a sunset run w/ reflective vest and headlamp!

Name: Katie M.

Location/hometown: I grew up in Lakeville, MN (a southern suburb of Minneapolis) and now I live in South Minneapolis.
How long have you been running? I started running in 2008 as a way to cope with the stress of graduate school that fit a graduate student budget (free) and ran my first 5K in the fall of 2008 with a group of women in my class. And then I was hooked and constantly looking for more challenges– faster 5Ks, mud runs, triathlons, Ragnar, and eventually a marathon.
Why did you decide to run Ragnar? In 2009, it was equal parts “let’s have an adventure!” and peer pressure that got me on the team. I had a group of friends who were genuinely excited about it, and that made me excited too. It also seemed like such a unique experience– it certainly isn’t every day you hear someone talk about running a 200 mile relay over the weekend.
This time, my reason is pretty much all “let’s have an adventure!” based on my 2009 Ragnar experience. It is easily one of the most fun running events I have ever done, it is challenging but not grueling, and it makes me shake up my training routine. Ragnar is my ideal running event because it has the team aspect– hello, six stinky friends in a van! and six more in another van!– but I can do the running part by myself. I am not a group runner, team runner, or running buddy. In fact, I loathe running alongside other people. This is the best of both worlds.
How many Ragnar Relays have you run? I have done one previously (on Hyedi’s team in 2009– “Made in the 80s!”), so 2013 will be my 2nd Ragnar.
If you’ve run Ragnar before, what’s your favorite Ragnar memory? In 2009, my second leg was 5 miles. The leg started in a small Wisconsin town, just before the sun came up. I ran through town, crossed a bridge that spanned a small pond where 2 geese were lazily enjoying an early morning swim as fog lifted off the open water. After leaving town, I had 4 uphill miles through farm fields or alongside really small neighborhoods. The sun rose to my right, illuminating the sky from hazy purple to vivid pink to bright orange, as row of corn after row of corn flipped by on my left. There was no traffic on the road, except for the occasional van full of crazy runners who each gave a hearty “toot toot!” of their horn as they passed, whether they knew me or not. It was one of the most peaceful runs I have ever had, right in the midst of a big, silly adventure.
What are you most looking forward to about Ragnar 2013? I am looking forward to running as a more experienced runner, having more knowledge about fuel and recovery, even with such a short time between runs. I am looking forward to cheering on teammates, some of whom I have not yet met, and seeing a different part of the course.
Give me one fun random fact about yourself.
I am hoping to spend some time training this guy (see pic) to run with me this summer! He is a 2 year old greyhound, so maybe he can give me some speed training tips.

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