Northcentral Ragtags Team Finish 204 Mile Relay Race from Prescott to Tempe

In late February, several members of the Northcentral University faculty and staff along with two family members of staff and several friends participated in the Ragnar Relay Del Sol, a 204 mile, 12 person relay race from Prescott to Tempe, Arizona. Northcentral sponsored the team, which was named "The Northcentral Ragtags” and was headed by Team Captain, Dr. Branden Henline, Northcentral’s Director of Marriage and Family Therapy Programs at the University.

Six months prior to the race, Dr. Henline received approval by the University to form a team and immediately began recruiting faculty and staff to fill the twelve spots for runners. In order to fill a full team they ended up inviting friends and family from the Prescott area to join the team and gratefully welcomed several team members from the local medical professions. In short order, all twelve runners were identified and the team began training for the event.

Several changes in the team had to be made as the race drew nearer, but the Northcentral Ragtags started the race on Friday, February 26th at 9:30 AM and completed the race just before 4:00 PM on Saturday the 27th. In addition to the twelve team members that actively ran in the race, the Ragtags had three volunteers that helped race officials at various locations throughout the course. The volunteers included Melinda Lyons, Chair of General Education at Northcentral, Christine Gearhart from Library Services, and Shelley Stophlet from the Yavapai Regional Medical Center.

The tagline for the Ragnar Relay series is "Run. Drive. Sleep? Repeat.” This apropos statement describes the Ragnar experience well. The race is completed by having each of the twelve team members run three legs of the race in a consistent sequence until the 36th leg is completed by crossing the finish line. Each leg is between 3-9 miles in length so each runner completes a total of 12-22 miles across his or her three legs. The race is run continuously through the night and takes from 24 to 36 hours to complete. As safety is a priority in the race, runners and team members are required to wear reflective vests, head lamps and blinking rear lights when they are out on the roads during the night hours.

The team sponsored by Northcentral University completed the race in just over 30 hours and looks forward to participating in the event in future years. The Northcentral Ragtags had a great time during the race and formed friendships that will last for many more miles and years of running.

More information about the Ragnar Relay can be found on the organization’s website at: