Posted by: Joe English | February 29, 2008

Ragnar Del Sol Relay 2008 – Pre-race

When I arrived in Phoenix yesterday, I suddenly remembered why people live here: it’s the weather — not the summer weather mind you, the winter weather. I left the chilly Pacific Northwest behind and was greeted by 75 degree sunshine and blue skies. The evening last night was cool and clear, but the low temperatures were still higher than the high temperature in Portland yesterday. It’s just a big comfortable “ahhh…”

I’m here for the Ragnar Del Sol Relay, which starts today. The relay will run 187 miles from a town northwest of Phoenix through the rugged desert and foothills of the Mogollon Rim, eventually winding its way down to the Salt River on the east side of Phoenix. About 2,000 runners are already making their way to start the event, with slower teams taking off during the day today.

Our team will start in the last wave of the day at 6:00PM with the other five fastest teams. No pressure.

I’ve been up since 6:30AM and it occurs to me, as the anchor of our relay, that I won’t run my first leg until about 2:30AM tonight — and I probably will not sleep until tomorrow night. It’ll be one long-assed day. But that’s what makes relays fun. It’s a combination of the camaraderie between the runners and the euphoria induced by complete exhaustion and a total lack of sleep.

My gear is packed — three pairs of running gear, GPS navigation units, maps, food, and plenty of fluids. Head lamps for running on dark desert roads, reflective vests and blister pads too. Stuff to sleep in (no chance) and don’t forget the toilet paper — who knows where you’ll go. It’s time for an adventure.

As I head out to the race course, I’ll have my laptop, my cameras and my microphone. I hope to be able to paint a vivid account of this rolling, running, meandering circus of a relay. So get ready to experience Ragnar Del Sol with me, my van mates, my friend Coach Dean, and 1,988 other crazed runners.

Let’s go get it!

Related articles:
Running the Ragnar Del Sol Relay with RxRunning1 (the complete story)

Selected photos from the Ragnar Del Sol Relay 2008

Coach Joe English, Portland Oregon, USA
Running Advice and News



  1. Yeah Coach!!!

    Good luck! Cash is just ADORABLE!! Love the picture! Have fun and be careful!

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