For the 4th year in a row, teams representing Dylan's Wings of Change took on the challenge of the Cape Cod Reebok Ragnar. This 193-mile non-stop race from Hull, MA to Provincetown tests the strength and endurance of runners and the drivers who ferry them around the course. Our teams joined over 500 others - that's 6000 people – prepared to run all day and night in all conditions to reach the finish line.
On the morning of Friday May 13th, our eight teams donned their purple shirts and cheered off their first runner from the start line. A regular Ragnar team is comprised of 12 runners split across two support vans. They each run a “leg” between two landmarks and hand the baton to the next in rotation. Once all 12 of them have completed their first leg it's back to Runner #1, continuing until all 36 legs have been covered and the team crosses the finish line arm in arm to celebrate. Those looking for an extra test join an ultra team, formed of 6 runners or less, multiplying their distances and reducing their recovery time.
Reebok Ragnar Relays are held across the United States, on both road and trail taking runners through some of the most stunning environments the country has to offer. Seamlessly operated, these events provide the opportunity for ordinary people to achieve the extraordinary.
As well as Dylan’s Wings of Change, many other charities use the race for fundraising. Teams from Ben’ Lighthouse, REACH, Jessica Rekos Foundation and Hole in the Wall Gang Camp were all seen sporting their distinctive shirts. Donors recognize the training, preparation and energy required to participate in this event.
The teams Running for Dylan raised almost $60,000 for the foundation that this year has been dedicated to the Wingman program, our unique youth leadership program that inspires students and young athletes and dancers to go above and beyond for each other to build truly inclusive societies.
Special mentions are risky as every one of these runners and drivers is a rockstar. We want to recognize Paul Mezick who ran 45 miles this weekend; his team Run DWC completed the race with five runners and one driver. Many of our teams were under strength and team-mates did what was needed to get across the finish line. 19-year-old Christopher Gamble ran five legs for 33 miles while averaging under seven minutes a mile. Ultra team Beer Witch Project won the Masters category and came in 53rd overall.
But above and beyond all this was the love and coming together of so many people for a common cause. Running for a little boy taken from us far too soon. Friends old and newly made, runners and drivers pushing themselves further than they thought they could. The amazing generosity of donors who continue to support the programs of the foundation that seek to promote acceptance and inclusion for all children.
A special thanks to our captains who work so hard behind the scenes to make race day a success. We are grateful to the families who give up their loved ones for 48 hours and take care of them returning home exhausted but exhilarated.
You can still donate to the teams over at their online site here. Thank you.
If you want to register your interest Running for Dylan next year you can contact us to join the mailing list. Recruitment for regular and ultra teams will begin in November 2016.