Ragnerds 196-mile Relay

Eleven local men team up for an around-the-clock relay run across Minnesota .
The Ragnard Team of 2010 included (back row): Brian Vaughan, Brian Ramsey, Mike Klauda, Kevin Lentsch, Scott Slater and Scott Peterson; (front row) Jim Bengston, Dan Patterson and Marc Nosal.

How would you like to run a 196-mile relay—from Winona to Minneapolis—in just 30 hours? Still interested? The Ragnerds are. These 11 men from the southwest metro suit up every year to compete in this one-of-a-kind event.

“Some guys have golf, fishing or football weekends, we just choose this as our ‘fun’ guys getaway,” team captain Brian Ramsay says. Four years ago, the Chaska resident gathered guys from his neighborhood and his Eden Prairie church to the team. The group, with an average age of 47, will tackle the heat, hills and overnight obstacles of the Great River Ragner Relay (ragnarrelay.com) on August 19–20.

“The Ragnar is supposed to be a challenge and an adventure, but most of all fun,” says Great River race director Ricky Baker. It is this combination of personal challenge and team camaraderie that keeps the Ragnerds coming back year after year. The working dads and husbands find time to train together, running as a group up to six times a week. “We hold each other accountable not to skip workouts,” Ramsay says.

Fear not, the Ragnerds aren’t strictly business; nerd-taped glasses, encouraging words and perhaps a beer or two keep these men trucking to the finish line with proud smiles.