Ready, Set, Ragnar: Q & A with "Ragnar Rob" June 27, 2014 16:29

As runners ourselves, we love getting involved with different running events and supporting runners that are pushing themselves on the roads and trails. From local 5ks to relay races to marathons and beyond, there is no shortage of great events! One series we've been intrigued by is the Ragnar Relay Series. In 2004, the first ever "Ragnar" relay took place in our backyard - the beautiful mountains of Utah - when 3 locals, looking for a new challenge, ran 188 miles from Logan to Park City. The rest is Ragnar history (which you can read more of here!). This year, to help support Ragnar participants across the country, we are pleased to announce our Ready, Set, Ragnar campaign.

What is the Ragnar Relay?

Ragnar is the overnight running relay race that occurs across the country throughout the year - it makes testing your limits a team sport.

The Ragnar Relay Series has teams of 12 run a 200-mile relay over two days and one night. The teams of 8 run a 120-mile trail relay over the same time span. Often called a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant, this unique relay turns out crazy costumes, inside jokes, close quarters and unforgettable stories. Each Ragnar brings thousands of people together to create deeper connections and celebrate together as they conquer a challenge they couldn’t accomplish alone.

Ready, Set, Ragnar!

To help Ragnar participants acheive their individual and team goals, we're offering select individuals/teams a complimentary ensō roller to help with their training. It's also a great opportunity for us to receive product feedback and testimonials from a group of individuals this product was designed for: runners! It has been a blast getting to know so many Ragnar participants and we are excited to share their stories with you. 

This weekend is the Ragnar Wasatch Back in Park City, Utah. Our friend Rob Estell, (aka Ragnar Rob), will be running with the Away Team. Here's our Q&A with Rob and the team! 

What inspired you to sign up for Ragnar Wasatch Back? I ran with the Away team in Las Vegas 2013 and found them to be a very organized team, mostly because of the captain Heather Osborn. This is my 11th Ragnar. I was initially inspired to try Ragnar to help me be around more runners.

Tell us about your team. Our team is "bi-coastal." Members hail from LA & San Diego, California and Ft Lauderdale, Florida and include marathon runners, triathletes, middle distance runners, and idiots (note: I am the only person on our team to fit into the last category! Our team captain is Heather Osborn, who is based in the Los Angeles area.  

What inspired the name of your team? The Away Team is based upon Star Trek. The Away team always wore the red shirts and when deployed to a new planet, they would never return (they would die).

What are you most looking forward to in Utah? I am looking forward to running Ragnar Hill. I’m nervous about the altitude difference from sea level “Miami”.

Anything you’re nervous about/not looking forward to? Yes, one teammate is a crazy ex girlfriend. I’m glad she is in another van. (Editor's note: good luck with that Rob!)

How is your team approaching the race - are you taking it seriously (going for a specific time/place) OR just running for fun? We are definitely running for FUN. Ragnar is the most fun you can have while running, so this shouldn't be too hard.

What’s your training like- describe a typical week! I train on my own, and occasionally train with a person of lesser ability to inspire them. I am the captain of my own running group called the “Dirty Running Scoundrels” and we run anything from 5k’s, to adventure races, to marathons, to Ragnar Relays. I am a single father; my ex wife and I share equal custody 50/50. Saturday from 4pm thru Wednesday 4pm, I am kid free and run at any time of the day that I want to. However Wednesday at 4pm, I break out the ‘race car” (that’s what my 3 year old daughter Faith and my 6 year old son Luke call the double running stroller) and I run 2 miles to my daughters daycare, pick her up, run another mile to my sons summer camp then run another 1-1.5 miles home depending on my path. I repeat this Thursday and Friday morning and evening, weather permitting.

Do you train together as a team (either virtually or physically together)?  We live so far from each other it is hard to train together, even for the LA team members. We only try to run races together.

What are you favorite pre and post training meals and beverages? Pre and post meals include endurox, Aquafina water (its the best). I have been eating DeliverLean prepared meals to help with my diet. A lot of white meat and fish, and I stay away from red meat, alcohol and sweets. What types energy snacks/fuel do you take with you on some of your longer runs? Sport Beans seem to work the best for me. I take Nuun tablets in my drinking water.

How have you incorporated the ensō roller into your training? Has rolling out with your ensō helped your recovery? Do you plan on bringing the ensō with you to Ragnar? I definitely plan on bringing my ensō to Ragnar. I stretch, rehydrate and then roll my legs and my hips after every run. I enjoy it so much, that I lay on the floor and watch TV while rolling my back, hamstrings, back, calves and quads.

What are some essential must-have items that you will be taking with you as a team and as an individual? Pillow, ensō roller, 1 gallon Ziploc bags for stinky clothes after a run. Dry goods anti-chafe spray, water belt, clean towel, a change of clothes for every run and my crazy costumes.

Tell us about your team outfit choices. It will be a suprise- everyone will be wearing a different costume or theme. 

How did your team decide which legs to run? Who is running which leg and why? I begged for the “Ragnar Leg” because it was the hardest leg in all of Ragnar. Most people chose to be in Van 1 because the harder legs are in the beginning. Van 2 had the harder legs at the end of the race.

 We know that the Guardsman Pass is the toughest leg, and usually most racers have to walk it.  To the team member(s) brave enough to run this leg - are you nervous or excited to run it? How are you preparing/anticipating conquering the Guardsman Pass?  I shopped around looking for a team that would guarantee me to run this leg. I will pace myself with run/walks and conquer the hill. The altitude, difficulty and incline of this leg are one of a kind. Just like me.

We see that you go by the name “Ragnar Rob.” How did this nickname come about, and what is it about Ragnar that you love so much that you are named after it? I got the nickname from my chiropractor Darren Kreitman (Pinnacle Health and Fitness), who was my first Ragnar captain for Florida Keys 2012. I then went on to run 2 more Ragnars that year: Southern California and Napa Valley on an Ultra Team “The Dirty Running Scoundrels”.  I ran 5 Ragnars in 2013, 3 of which were Ultras and I have scheduled 5 Ragnars in 2014.

Last year you dressed up in a Burger King costume for the Ragnar Relay. Are you planning on dressing up in any crazy costumes this year?  I have run 6 Ragnars in the Burger King costume. Because of the heat, I will be wearing a new costume showing off my body after using the EvoFit ensō roller.  It is a body suit with all of the muscles in the body exposed.

From everyone at EvoFit, we are wishing Rob & his team good luck & much fun this weekend! Follow Rob and the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram