If you have never run a Ragnar relay, then you really should consider it if you like a challenge. Two days before the race begins, a friend of mine named George Prate asked me to be part of the relay (12 people 200ish miles). I had never heard of it and people train for months to prepare for the race. Two vans of 6 people each and each person completes 3 legs throughout a 30+ hour process. Van 2 (my van) consisted of Tyson (Van Leader), his son Hunter (speed demon), Allan (Ironman), BJ (Laid Back), George (Hustler) and myself. Little sleep, a lot of smells, but so much camaraderie, it’s been one of the best experiences in my life.

Many observations of styles exist when it comes to the relay. You have ultras (only 6 people and 1 van) that complete 30+ miles on their own.

You have 12 people doing 15-20 miles at a fast pace and then you have some who just want to finish.

I’m pretty sure, I fit into that last group, I only had a two-day notice and I basically went from Couch to Ragnar. (Trademark pending)

My first leg was a doozy. 90 degrees. Very Hard terrain (according to Ragnar) and it was 6.9 miles. For many runners out there, that doesn’t seem that hard and I thought the same thing until you realize there is little shade and you mentally know you have two more legs to run.

The second leg was nice. A flat 2.7 miles and at 2 AM, the temperature was perfect. 60 degrees and a well-marked course made this one fun.

The third leg? Well, this is where the story gets interesting. Since my 3rd leg was canceled, due to an issue, I had the privilege of running with my friend, but it’s not as pleasant as you think. Our mile times were vastly different (7:45min/mile vs. 9:30min/mile) and in the running world, that’s huge. This leg was the most elevation change in the entire course and there were three things I noticed while running those monster hills in the last two miles.

As mentioned, George said, “These last two miles are going to get Gnarly.” Gnarly is not a good term here, in fact — I think it means, look up at the gigantic hill in front of you, but he was definitely referencing the elevation change.

I let George know my idea of success for that leg. No walking, it can be a slow pace (and it was), but I wasn’t mentally going to give up and walk.

As a group passed us, they sprinted and then walked. I would catch them, then they sprinted and they walked. It was a lot of energy being spent by those two runners and it was an interesting strategy.

The Ultrarunner I saw walked the hills. (I can only imagine after doing 30+ miles) But I found that interesting as well. Run all this way — and then walk the most difficult part. Hmm.

WE all have our own definitions of success in business and in life, but which group do you fit in?

I am one that even if I am going 1 mph, I am still making progress, regardless, I just keep going and I’ll reach my goal. It may not be as quick as I want it to, but I don’t give up. That’s success to me.

How many of us have been that second group? We start off on a goal or dream and we sprint as hard as we can, but when we see another hill in front of us, we take a break or walk? We all have done it when it comes to setting goals, this may work for some people, but not all — as some people will just find another path versus finishing the race.

What about the last group — do you fit in here? Work so hard in training or at our jobs or on a goal/dream and it comes down to the final leg and we stop. We’ve spent all our energy getting to that point and we just can’t move on anymore. (For the record, the Ultrarunner still beat me walking versus my running — just want to be clear about that)

In life or in business, we all have our own styles to getting to the goal line. Whatever you deem success, you follow that, not someone else’s version of that. If you are consistenly not reaching your goal line, maybe you need to evaluate your style/approach to trying to achieve it. Maybe you fit into one of those three groups above and should change something?

If you have completed a Ragnar relay and want to share your insights, please do so below or if you have another great race story, please let me know as well. We all have our own styles to meet goals and running the race of life.