All over the country, in the most breathtaking stretches of America, teams of runners are pounding the pavement (or hitting the trail) in the name of adventure.
It’s a little something known as the Ragnar Relay. And yes, there’s a finish line somewhere out there. But conquering this challenge with your crew is what it’s all about.
A run-cation with friends
You gotta have guts… annnd friends to run a Ragnar.
On one hand, you can choose the classic Ragnar Relay, a 200-mile point-to-point race across sidewalks, backroads, and asphalt. Sign up, and you and 11 of your friends—or six if you’re ultrarunners—will pile in two vans for a two-day, one-night supported run. The “support” is from the 11 runners that aren’t running at the time, who’ll be driving your personally accessorized van (honestly, van is life) to scrape you off the concrete at the end of your turn, anywhere from 11 to 24 miles.
It’s a time to rally and truly come together on the open road. Really, if you were just “sort of” friends before your journey, these people will probably all be in your wedding by the end.
But if you’re more hardcore (or want to be!), Ragnar also offers a trail relay.
Think of the Ragnar Trail Relay as a gateway drug to trail running. First, round up eight friends who aren’t afraid to go off-road and rough it. Over two days, your team will take turns continuously running three different loops — one that’s hard, one that’s harder still, and one that’s just plain not easy — until everyone’s had three loops, close to a half-marathon’s distance. Then, you crash.
In between loops, you’ll rest up at base camp in the Ragnar Village — basically a tent village filled with fellow runners, bonfires, and endless s’mores. Expect a grown-up summer camp vibe, all under one billion stars (you’re in the sticks, remember).
West Virginia: Wild and run-able
And this summer, they’re coming for us. Ragnar Trail Appalachians goes down at Big Bear Lake Camplands in West Virginia, about 40 minutes south of Ohiopyle (two hours from PGH). There, you’ll get to run wild over those fabled country roads (read: single-tracks) of WV.
So start assembling your team; decorate your tent; break in your trail sneaks; and for goodness sake, watch out for that damn sasquatch.
After a long, cold winter in Pittsburgh, we can’t wait for summer to get here. And we’re not the only ones.
A SUPER. NATURAL. Summer
Come one, come all! Let’s Move Pittsburgh and UPMC Health Plan are hosting a family-friendly day of activities at Phipps Conservatory.
On Sunday, April 30, UPMC members will receive 50% off admission to the Conservatory where they’ll enjoy games, cooking demos, crafts, healthy tips and more while taking a sneak peek at Phipps’ new glass art show, SUPER. NATURAL. Glass Art by Jason Gamrath and visiting the fluttering friends in our Butterfly Forest.
Family yoga and much more
But wait, there’s more! After you check out the cooking demo at Café Phipps’, find your flow outside.
At 1pm, Let’s Move Pittsburgh and YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh are hosting an all-levels yoga class on the historic front lawn of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Check in begins at 1230pm R.S.V.P. is required, as space is limited. Don’t forget to bring your own yoga mat or towel and water!
After a long winter spent hibernating, it’s finally time to get outside to play again.
Maybe you’ve got big plans for some killer outdoor adventures, or maybe you just want to take a hike once the weather warms up. No matter how you get down with the great outdoors, you’ll find the equipment you need at the Used Gear & New Beer Fest happening April 23 at the Ace Hotel in East Liberty.
Sip and shop
3 Rivers Outdoor Company is hosting this spring’s Gear Fest just in time for Earth Day AND Pittsburgh Beer Week. The concept is simple: Outdoor enthusiasts do a little spring cleaning and haul their used (but still perfectly functional) gear to the Ace Hotel. Other outdoor enthusiasts (like you) come to the Ace Hotel to buy said gear and get ready for a summer full of fun in the sun.
Beyond the used gear sale, the fest is also celebrating all things beer-related. Hop Farm Brewing Company, Spoonwood Brewing Company, Grist House Craft Brewery, and East End Brewing Company will all be on-hand to sell their tasty, local brews. Plus, live music will keep the mood festive as you sip suds, shop, and swap your favorite outdoor stories.
Join the club
After you’ve browsed the used gear selection, hit up the vendors tables at the event. You’ll find artisans like Apothecary Muse and Banker Supply — so you can get new parts for your bike and all-natural deodorant (for your armpits). And outfitters and clubs like the brand new ASCEND rock climbing gym and the Explorers Club of Pittsburgh will be reppin’ too.
Plus, there will be nonprofits and conservancy organizations like BikePGH and First Waves. They work hard to keep outdoor spaces pristine and help people get outside to enjoy them. Both causes that we can really get behind, and, if you’re going to Gear Fest, you probably care about too.
Admission to the Used Gear & New Beer Fest is totally free and open to the public. All you have to do is show up, shop, and sip.