REI and Ragnar Series Take to the Trails to Foster a Greater Sense of Community Among Trail Runners

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REI has announced a two-year partnership with the Ragnar Trail Series presented by Salomon, the country’s premier overnight trail relay series, through training classes and a presence at races during the 2016 season. Runners can win a team entry and prize package valued at $11,000.

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“From training programs to ongoing support, we look forward to helping runners prepare for these epic weekends and growing the trail running community.”

Outdoor specialty retailer and the nation’s largest consumer co-op REI has announced a two-year partnership with the Ragnar Trail Series presented by Salomon, the country’s premier overnight trail relay series. As the official outdoor retailer for the series, REI stores will host in-store and field training classes and have a presence at races during the 2016 season.

From the deserts of southern Utah to the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest, Ragnar boasts 19 trail relays at some of the most scenic venues in the country. The new overnight trail running relay format was introduced in 2013 by Ragnar and quickly evolved into one of the industry’s fastest growing events with nearly 35,000 participants annually.

Teams consist of four or eight runners who complete a total of 120-ish miles over two days and one night. Each runner completes three different trail loops of varying difficulty. When not on the trail, teammates cheer on their runners, curl up under a bed of stars, enjoy campfires with s’mores and movies, and make new friends at Ragnar Village.

To help runners prepare for their race, REI Outdoor School, the co-op’s signature outdoor education program, is holding custom 12-week training programs at select REI locations and events that offer tips from REI and Salomon experts. The training series joins REI Outdoor School’s trail running in-store and field classes. In addition, the co-op’s Trail Run Project app provides recommended local trails in each host city so runners can train on similar types of terrain they will come across during race weekend.

“We couldn’t be more excited to team with Ragnar on their growing race series that inspires trail runners to tackle some of Mother Nature’s most scenic trail loops,” said John Sheppard, REI divisional vice president for Outdoor Programs and New Ventures. “From training programs to ongoing support, we look forward to helping runners prepare for these epic weekends and growing the trail running community.”

Leading to race weekend, select REI stores will also host gear up meetings and packet pick up events featuring all the outdoor products Ragnarians need from top of the line brands like Salomon, Klean Kanteen, Smartwool and NATHAN Sports among others. During races, visit the REI area to kick back and relax during well-deserved down time before your next leg in the relay.

“Aligned in our missions to get people active and outdoors, we are thrilled to partner with REI and its team of outdoor experts to offer Ragnarians an enhanced experience, training and great gear deals,” said Chris Infurchia CEO of Ragnar. “Ragnar has always informally worked with REI and we are excited to formalize and grow this relationship across the entire country.”

Trail runners can enter to win a sweepstakes prize for their eight-person team valued at $11,000. The winner will be decked out in Solomon gear and apparel and a Suunto watch, while their team receives an entry to any Ragnar race in the country, travel expenses and an ultimate REI camp set up of four tents and cooking gear. Learn more at http://www.rei.com/ragnar-trail-relay. Sweepstakes ends on February 29.

About REI
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 5.5 million active members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 143 stores in 35 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI.com/outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs 150 custom-designed itineraries on every continent. REI’s Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner- to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to–and steward–the outdoor places that inspire us.

About Ragnar
Based in Utah, Ragnar is the largest overnight running relay series in the United States. Traversing inspiring and scenic destinations around the country, these events make testing your limits a team sport. In the Ragnar Relay Series, teams of 12 run a 200-mile relay over two days and one night; in Ragnar Trail Relays, teams of 8 run a 120-mile trail relay over the same time span. The more than 100,000 runners that participate each year embrace their inner wild to conquer what they thought impossible; sacrifice sleep for unforgettable moments and cross the finish line to receive our glorious finisher medals (Relay / Trail) and coveted Double Medals.

Co-founded in 2004 by Ragnar President, Tanner Bell, the company began as a single relay from Logan to Park City, UT and has grown to include 18 Ragnar Relays and 19 Ragnar Trail Relays with more locations coming online every year. Engage with us on Twitter @RagnarRelay or on Facebook @TheRagnarRelaySeries and @RagnarTrailRelays.

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Megan Behrbaum
REI
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