Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage

Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage

Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage

( 3 reviews )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Langley,
    United States
  • July
  • Relay, Other
  • Road Race
  • Event Website


Washington, District of Columbia, United States
6 8
"Race Review: Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Runaway 's thoughts:

Follow my running adventures at http://runawaywonk.blogspot.com/.

Friturday, July 18-19, I ran the Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage (NWP) from Blaine to Langley, Washington, with eight other women. I had been looking forward to this Ragnar Relay for a long while, and it was on my race bucket list.

The premiums.

This Ragnar Relay is sponsored by local company, Brooks Running. For the teams that meant a Brooks technical shirt in a bright green. It was nice, and I ended up wearing it on my last leg which is not something I have done before. In addition, we got Clif bars and blocks as well as the captain received a NWP trucker hat.

The weather.

I thought it was perfect, but that can be subjective. Coming from the swamp to 70s and low humidity was amazing. There was a little rain on the overnight legs, but it was a Seattle rain. I don't even think my clothes were wet. As long as I wasn't sweating into a puddle, I didn't mind the sky was a little dreary.

The start.

Bellingham was our starting point. We stayed at a hotel there on Thursday night and Boundary Brewery for our pre-race team dinner. The brew pub had live music and a great casual setting.

The starting line was in Blaine, Washington at the Peace Arch State Park. It is on the US-Canada border. The park was great. Parking with a little tight, but there was the ocean, the border, and lots of green space. Our team started at 9am on Friday with about 20 other teams.

The course.

The course went from north Washington south to Whidbey Island. It was mostly flat, with some hills. I ran four legs of the 36. My first three were flat as pancakes.

The first one (leg 2) being along a highway that skirted the ocean.

The second (leg 4) was through country roads and an easy sight on the mountain range beside me.

The third (leg 16) was my favorite. Despite it being pitch black and straight, there was a bright spot at the end. Exchange 16 was the most amazing exchange I have ever seen at a Ragnar. Leg 16 had a total elevation change of -1 foot, and about 1.5 miles out from the exchange I could see these bright lights. As I got closer, I could hear music. I ran into the exchange chute and my team was no one in sight because they were busy taking in the exchange. It was some type of farmers' market stand with fresh fruit, coffee and hot chocolate, hand dipped ice cream, and hand-woven baskets. It was something to behold! As a consolation, Kayla bought me an ice cream cone. It was the best ice cream cone in the world!

My final leg (leg 28) was a cruel joke. At over eight miles, it was my longest run of the relay and the most difficult. It was flat along the ocean and then there were two hills. Just two. But, they were monsters. The first one rose 300+ feet in less than a mile. The second was 300+ feet elevation gain over two miles. I ran the entire eight miles, but it was very slow. The two hills had nice downhills with them.

The exchanges.

The minor exchanges were well staffed with volunteers and some of them were in great locations (e.g., Exchange 16). Exchange 1 was in the parking lot of a local grocery store that had a sale on fresh berries.

The majors were at local high and middle schools with indoor showers and toilets. While there was food being sold, we didn't get much. We stopped at grocery stores along the way, there were plenty. And, did a couple of sit-down restaurants, including Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen in Bellingham and Christopher's in Coupeville.

The finish.

The finish line was the most disappointing. It was at the Island County Fairgrounds... so not very scenic, especially given the course that we ran. When our team finished around 5pm, most of the activities were over despite teams still finishing. We did not get our pizzas, and you had to pay for the beer. Getting dinner in Langley was a lost cause because of the very limited options, so we ended up driving 45 minutes. Not really what you want to do after running for 30 hours.

My take.

I was so excited to run this Ragnar, but it turned out not to be my favorite. The course was amazing and the weather could not have been better, but the finish line left us deflated.

Here is where I would rank it compared to the other Ragnar Relays I have ran:

Wasatch Back (Utah)
Pennsylvania (RIP)
Northwest Passage (Washington)
Adirondacks (New York)
Washington, DC
Florida Keys

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