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  • Writer's pictureTIKIMA THOMPSON


Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Tomorrow marks the beginning of an anxiety-fueled journey for me – the Ragnar Black Loop. Yes, you read that correctly – two entire days of traversing the Appalachian Mountains on foot. The mere thought of running through these mountains has me trembling in my sneakers, to say the least. Who could resist a touch of mountain sarcasm? For more details about the Ragnar Trail, refer to my blog post. But let's delve deeper into this upcoming adventure.

Unlike the usual Ragnar trail races with a team of eight, this time, it's just me and my partner, Kristin. Our first day entails conquering the green, yellow, and red loops, covering around 14 miles of trail terrain. On the second day, brace yourself for the ultimate challenge – the daunting black loop, a staggering 17-mile endeavor.

You're probably curious about how I got myself into this escapade. Let's rewind to 2022 when my friend Alexis from and I hatched this crazy idea of tackling the black loop. However, due to differing paces, we needed compatible partners. Alexis secured her partner – our friend Kristin, who was part of "Straight Outta Breath" during Ragnar Appalachian 2022. As for me, finding a partner for the legendary black loop turned into a saga. I tried everything from Facebook posts to asking friends, but luck eluded me. By April 2023, I had nearly given up and put my training on hold.

A summer hiatus was my initial plan – focusing on everything but athletic goals. Gym visits dwindled, and running took a back seat. Then, a plot twist in late June: Alexis couldn't run and asked if I'd take her spot. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? Sign me up; no second thoughts are required.

Goodbye, summer hiatus; hello, summer training grind. Easier said than done – transitioning from leisure to beast mode in a few months was challenging. Yet, I pounded those trails, determined to shape up for this monumental race. Maybe I pushed myself too hard because I was injured just two weeks before the race.

Imagine this: I'm on the trail, and there's a protruding rock. Logic screams, "Avoid the rock!" My body's response? A resounding "Nope." The sharp end of the rock lodged between my left foot's ball and toes, sending a surge of pain from my toes to my knees. Naturally, I did what anyone would – text Kristin casually, "I might have injured myself, but I'll see the doctor tomorrow."

Oh, resilient as ever, the rock didn't stand a chance against me.

The doctor's orders were strict: no running for ten days. Wait, what? I was supposed to be tapering, not taking an enforced running break! Eventually, I received the go-ahead to run again, just in time for tomorrow – race day.

Indeed I'm battling some pre-race jitters due to my injury, but let me assure you, I'm stoked. This race is a series of firsts for me: my inaugural Ragnar without Alexis, meeting my team for the first time, experiencing glamping for the first time, my maiden attempt at running over 10 miles, and the pièce de résistance, my debut black loop run.

So, Homies, please, wish me luck. I'm geared up and thrilled to share every twist, turn, and trail moment of my Ragnar Black Loop adventure with all of you. Get ready for an exciting ride!

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