You couldn’t miss Team MRG at this fall’s Reebok Ragnar Relay Michigan, a 195.5-mile trek from Muskegon to Traverse City. And it wasn’t simply because our team of 12 women wore matching blue Michigan Runner Girl shirts. Fellow Ragnarians grew to learn, over the 2-day race, that Team Michigan Runner Girl traveled in the two purple-and-pink-and-blue Muscle Milk vans—handing out Muscle Milk goodies along the way.

Van #2 in Ludington. #vanlife #strongereveryday Thanks, Muscle Milk! Pictured left to right: Maia, Erin, Jen, Rose, Pam and Belinda.

MRG’s partnership with Muscle Milk was new this year, but logging the miles on country roads, through quaint coastal towns, and along the Lake Michigan shoreline was not. Team MRG was back again, after last fall’s inaugural Ragnar Relay Michigan event, to tackle the distance (and lack of sleep) together. On this week’s show: a rundown of race weekend with my Ragnar teammates Pam Carrigan, Erin Henshaw and Ann Eshleman. While Pam, Heather and Erin were part of last year’s Ragnar team, Ann was a Ragnar newbie and she shares how the experience exceeded her expectations in all of the right ways (she also talks about how she was apprehensive going into the experience and had plenty of questions for Pam in the days leading up to race day). {To listen to this show, click on the player at the top of this post. Or, download the episode on your favorite podcast app; simply search for the Michigan Runner Girl show}

Soaking up the beautiful Lake Michigan views at Charles Mears State Park in Pentwater, Mich. That’s me in the MRG sweatshirt with (left to right) Leah, Jessie and Ann.

During this episode, we break down how Ragnar relays work, how 12-person teams split into two “mini teams” with their own van, the challenges and rewards of running a total of three separate “legs,” including through the night, and how each van found ways to fuel (at a few delicious restaurants) and rest (a little!) throughout the race. Heather and Ann were in van 1 while Erin and Pam were in van 2. Our other team members included: Jennifer Kowal, Maia Turek, Belinda Smith Diment, Rose Coleman, Leah Doriot, Jessie Houghton, Amy Keizer and Erin Sorenson.

One of our Van #1’s stops: Barley & Rye in downtown Ludington. Excellent drinks and delicious food (I had a yummy veggie and rice bowl) Check them out here:

Whether you also participated in this year’s Ragnar Michigan (meeting up with fellow Michigan Runner Girls and Guys truly was a highlight for me!), or you’re thinking about giving one a try sometime, you’re sure to be entertained during this informative and, at times hilarious, episode. (While “what happens at Ragnar stays at Ragnar,” this episode definitely sheds some light on the silly and fun things that can happen when a dozen women team up to cover “200-ish miles” together.)

A few more photos from our epic adventure…(thanks to those of you who shared your own awesome Ragnar photos over on the Michigan Runner Girl Facebook page last week!)

MRG took over the Ragnar Relay “story” on Instagram throughout race weekend.
The hand-off!
Reflective gear: check.
Van #2 teammates, showing their love for our beautiful state. (And their yoga posing talent)

Just south of Ludington, at the large Consumers Energy power plant along Lake Michigan, members of Van #1 witnessed a beautiful sunset (and nearly missed Jessie at the next exchange…oops! We’re on our way, Jessie!)
Jessie earned extra bling for her just over 9-mile, hilly route along the lakeshore. #cherryontop #badass
Friends supporting friends—love the friendships formed and strengthened at Ragnar!
High-fiving Pam during one of the final stretches coming into Traverse City.
Jessie, handing out some Muscle Milk product to fellow Ragnar runners.
Go, Erin, go!
Jen! Looking strong, my friend!
Another food break, this one in Whitehall.
Rose, Maia, Jen and Erin.
So we saw an Alpaca farm on the side of the road…of course we HAD to stop to say hello to these cute guys.
#TeamMRG #StrongerEveryDay #MuscleMilk (Thanks for the trucker hats!)
A favorite moment: both vans at the first major exchange and all of us cheering on Ann as she finished her first leg of the race.
Finished and all together!
Finisher medals! Let’s do this again next year, ok?

Thanks to Ragnar Relay and Muscle Milk for the awesome partnerships with MRG—we are so very grateful and we had such a blast taking part in this year’s race! 

Did you run Ragnar? How was your experience? We’d all love to hear! 

The Michigan Runner Girl Show is made possible in part by the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

 If you enjoy what you’re hearing on the Michigan Runner Girl show, we’d be so grateful if you’d take a few moments to write a review on iTunes. This will help more runners and Michigan lovers like yourself find the podcasts. Thank you!! Also, the quickest way to get the podcasts is to subscribe to the show via iTunes or via Stitcher or your favorite podcast app. 

A special thanks to Mike Moran, Mike Youker and Jonny Tornga of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show. Check out this studio’s work here.

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