Now, neither of us are what you’d call runners, but we are competitive – so when asked to be on a team, we usually agree. The first time we competed in a race like this was three years ago. Craig, not owning a pair of running shoes, would train by running several loops around the pasture in his boots and coveralls when he finished the chores. In that race, he ended up losing several toenails. He bought a pair of running shoes for the next time.

Louder erica
Freelance Writer
Erica Louder is a freelance writer based in Idaho.

This race was held in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the Point of the Mountain. There was a basecamp set up with lots of vendors catering to the needs of serious (and not-so-serious) athletes. People offered massages, gave away protein bars, sold solar panels, and best of all, there was the Utah Beef Council booth.

We’d brought our three kids with us, so while I ran the first leg of the race, Craig took the kids around to gather up all the swag from the vendors. When they got to the Beef Council booth, the volunteers immediately pegged Craig as a fellow rancher. Even in a pair of sweats and running shoes, it’s hard to mistake your people. Especially when the runner in question was wearing a Bovitech jacket and an Idaho Farm Bureau hat. Anyway, my kids walked away with a cowbell each and a bagful of beef sticks. They were happy, and I finished my leg of the race with the frantic rings of cowbells as I passed off the baton to the next runner.

Another thing about a Ragnar, team name creativity is an art. It is a matter of pride of who can come up with the best pun to brand their team. Unfortunately for us, the vegans of the world seem to know their puns. Our team name is usually lack-luster in comparison. Craig promised the Beef Council volunteers to send over all the vegan teams, and in a race like this, there were a few. The race sheet boasted the Nutritional Beats, the Savage Cabbages, Scrambled Legs not Eggs and the Breads without Butter. I hope they enjoyed their post-race, plant-based burger, because it seemed like a big missed-steak to me.  end mark

Erica Louder is a freelance writer based in Idaho.


PHOTO: The Louder family with the rest of their team at the Ragnar race in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo provided by Erica Louder.