Ragnar Zion is a trail relay race event held at the Ponderosa Ranch near Zion National Park in Utah. This was the 6th year of this event as this popular new tradition thrives.
Renee joined her team and supporters to camp at the Ponderosa for a few days of fun, festivities and trail running. Runners along with their friends, co-workers and kids enjoyed s’mores, campfires, a stargazing activity and a live band!
Their tents were scattered over the meadow and through the woods. And then there were the race event tents, vendor tents, medical tents and others.
On Friday, the real fun began as teams of 8 (or 4) cycled through a series of three challenging trail loops that started and finished back at Ragnar Village. They ran through sweet summer sage, under towering ancient pines and across red dirt trails that took them up to some expansive overlooks including Dixie National Forest, Cedar Breaks, and Zion National Park’s famous “Checkerboard Mesa.”
When the sun set and the moon came out the party kept going as runners headed to the trails in the dark for a spirit-quest, soul-searching, star-fueled night of running, where the real memories were made.
Renee was well equipped for her night run as she wore two Ra lights. One was rigged with velcro across the top strap of her hydration pack with the power bank inside. The other Ra light was mounted on a running belt with its power bank inside.
This was Renee's first night trail run in an event. Beforehand she was apprehensive about running at night. But in trying out this setup before she went to Ragnar, she realized she had plenty of light... and left her Nathan handheld flashlight at home.
As her team stood around the fire pit awaiting their turn to run, Renee showed off her lights and everyone was envious. When she turned them on they were brighter than 10 high quality headlamps. Her teammate said she looked like a freight train coming. They all wanted to borrow her setup for their runs. As she got ready for her 3 am start time, another runner saw her lights and said, "I'm gonna follow you".
Renee reported that the lights "lit up my entire area. It was like I wasn't even running at night. I wasn't afraid and I felt incredibly secure."
Renee also declared, "I had no apprehension running at night while wearing Ra. I ran at full speed as if I were running on the road in daylight. I could see everything and had no issues at all. I was totally impressed."
She's a little spitfire and runs at a fast pace. She completed her loop in a great time of 28 minutes. She used the smallest power bank, the BatPak1, which powers Ra at full brightness for about 3.5 hours. With plenty of power left she let her teammate use the lights for her run. Her friend had a longer loop and finished in about 3.5 hours. We were a bit surprised the BatPak1 lasted for over 4 hours. Then we discovered that she didn't have them on FULL brightness. As bright as they were for the race, they are actually capable of being even brighter.
Ra was attached to the running belt using a magnetic backer called the MagBak. It connects with the magnets embedded in the back of Ra. Then the BatPak1 was carried in the zippered pouch of the running belt.
On the CamelBak, Ra was attached with velcro strips to the upper vest strap. It was attached to one end of the strap and when the vest was put on and the straps fastened together, then a velcro strip attached Ra to the other strap. The BatPak1 was put in the vest pocket on the side. Other runners have elected to attach Ra to the lower strap. Renee chose the upper strap because she also wore the running belt. Most runners just wear one Ra Adventure Light.
Next up for Renee is the Ragnar Wasatch Back. If you're there this week, watch for her... she'll be the one lit up like a freight train.