This weekend I had the pleasure of joining eleven other athletes to run from Chattanooga to Nashville for the third straight year. There is something about the relay experience that is unique and special. To say the experience is simply a chance to run, drive, sleep and then repeat would be omitting the best part of the experience, which is the team. Your team encourages you, motivates you and shares all gross and sweaty things with you. Over the days and weeks that follow this experience, you run faster, walk taller, and preform at a higher level. You try to explain to everyone you come in contact with about the adventure you had while crammed into a van. This is called the Ragnar Effect!
What is the Ragnar Effect? The Ragnar Effect is running further than you ever have before, because your team is counting on you. It is running up a giant hill with little to no training. The Ragnar Effect is knowing when your teammate needs a pace runner and when you should just let them blow off steam. It is also setting a personal record in their next race or two. It is having a bond with people who you have little to nothing in common with except for 30 plus hours in a van together.
I was somewhat apprehensive about Against Our Better Judgment 3.0. It seemed like we were a rag tag group of misfits. We really didn’t have a lot in common. We had new runners, half marathoners, friends, colleagues and a hitchhiker or two. But in a relay, it doesn’t matter your running pedigree. What matters is can you work as a team. Can you push harder on the run for those driving in the van or sleeping on a gym floor? Can you suck up your pain and focus on encouraging others? Can you find joy in running slower to help a fellow runner make it to the next exchange in the dark? This group of AOBJ runners did all of that and more. I feel like I personally learned more along the way!
We don’t show up to win, we come to encourage and grow! Each runner of Against Our Better Judgement has tons of fun and along the way we push ourselves to run faster and farther than we thought we could. I may have rambled in the post, but it truly is amazing how much I love every single miserable moment driving through the hills of Tennessee! I am amazed by my teammates and love each and everyone of them! The Ragnar Effect is the closest I will ever be to being a superhero!