An all-high school team made up of teenagers from Morgan ran RAGNAR and garnered 11th place in the high school division and 25th overall in the mixed category. For many of the youth it was their first time to participate in RAGNAR although most had seen or helped with the race in the past.
The group ran under the name and hashtag, #noteamnameyet, but has since re-named themselves, “Running Sucks.” Rising senior Verl Johansen said that he would “run RAGNAR again in a minute” but during the race “running was really hard and really sucked.”
Rising junior team member, Broc Mathews, gave the inside scoop on the team name, “In cross country we would always cheer, ‘Running sucks!’ so we just went with it for our team name.”
Team captain Adam Lucas, a rising junior as well, was the driving force behind organizing the team. Four years ago, Lucas filled a spot on his dad, Jeff’s, team. “They were missing a runner and I jumped in. This was my third time to run RAGNAR in four years,” he shared. Lucas assembled the high school team by asking around school.
“It started out kind of slow because you have to register six months before the race, but it caught on and we made a team. It’s kind of like ‘get friends and just run.’” The team is mainly composed of cross-country runners, but Lucas himself is a soccer player and hasn’t participated in cross country.
Lucas ran the brutal 6.1-mile Guardsman Pass leg in Park City that increases in elevation with every step. “I knew it would be hard, and I just went and ran it,” he stated with determination and the vigor and energy of youth.
Rising senior Parker London, a cross country and track team member, really enjoyed participating in his first RAGNAR. London’s hardest run was the nine miles from Wanship to Promotory on the rail trail. “You run the entire canyon. There is no van support the entire nine miles, and it was hard. I learned that it is a lot easier when your team is there to support you.”
Mathews, who was Runner 11 and ran almost 10 miles near Huntsville, echoed London’s sentiments. “The distance was tough. We were by ourselves for a while—just me running 10 miles by myself was hard.” Mathews plays on the MHS soccer team with Lucas and runs cross country, but not track.
“We just finished soccer season, and I didn’t really train for this. I have volunteered for RAGNAR before parking cars, but haven’t run as a participant. I was proud of our team because we passed 300 people and did pretty well. The lack of sleep was the hardest part of the race.
“We stopped by our house and slept, we had to sleep in a parking lot for two hours and we tried to sleep anytime we could.”
Captain Lucas was pleased with his team’s performance. “I think we did ‘way good’ and if we actually trained, we’d do a lot better.”
The team was a mix of rising juniors and seniors with a lone rising sophomore. In addition to Lucas, London, Johansen, and Mathews, Shelby Lynam, Taylor Polad, Megan Bartol, Caleb Lunt, Talon Thornton, Caleb Dregde, Cole Niederhauser and Cameron Winn ran on the 12-person team.
London was thrilled to run in the race, “It was definitely worth the medal and I am an insane runner,” he stated. The majority of the team plans to compete again next year in RAGNAR and would love to race in the Vegas RAGNAR so they can earn the “Saints and Sinners” medal awarded to those who participate in the Utah and Vegas races.
The team is exploring the option of running the Vegas November race. Congratulations to Morgan’s all-high school team for their great performance!