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Ragnar Relay Cape Cod 2016 Re-Cap

What. A. Weekend.

As 55 vegan athletes find their way back home, we’ve all been reflecting on what an incredible experience we just had. Four teams of 12 vegan runners each – plus van drivers – made their way around the twisty roads of Cape Cod, from Hull to Provincetown, covering 200-ish miles, all while promoting veganism and having a blast!

Here’s how all four teams did:
(June 2016 update: final results from Webscorer!)

(out of 514 scored teams)

Team A: 4th with a time of 23:15:59
Team C: 173rd with a time of 29:29:57
Team D: 193rd with a time of 29:50:37
Team B: 236rd with a time of 30:22:19

Pretty incredible when you consider the spread of paces amongst all four teams – we’re clearly showing that vegans are strong and fit!

We started out with not so great weather; a little chilly (but our Vegan Power hoodies kept us quite warm!) and rain most of the night. By Saturday morning, the rain had subsided, and each team’s last few legs were quite hot and humid. Due to some start time issues as well as wacky course directions, Teams B, C, and D all finished super close together (and were on course together for quite some time as well), letting all 55 us run through the finish with our 12th leg runners. By the end of the race, you had to be pretty out of it to have not seen our giant vegan posse at least once, prompting many to exclaim “how many of there are you?!”

After a long drive back to Hull, we assembled to say our goodbyes and hear from our captains about who won the MVP and spirit awards for each team. This being our biggest year yet with four teams, we had eight recipients! They were:

Team A
Spirit: Elle Pell
MVP: Aaron Zel

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Team B
Spirit: Rachel Atcheson
MVP: Lia Belardo

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Team C
Spirit: Marie Gryszowka
MVP: Melissa Centoni

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Team D
Spirit: Jeremy Rittz-Toten
MVP: Michael Harren

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On Sunday, most of the team ventured out to Maple Farm Sanctuary where we got to meet a small section of the animals we work so hard to save. Ducks, geese, cows, pigs, llamas, and other gentle creatures made lots of noise to show their support 🙂

After, we gathered in groups to find our way to airports and all points across the US: Syracuse, Ithaca, Boston, Philly, DC, NYC, Ohio, Indiana, and more. Several groups enjoyed Boston’s finest vegan grub at Veggie Galaxy, while others re-united at our namesake, Strong Hearts Cafe, in Syracuse, NY. It’s always bittersweet to part ways knowing that our adventure has come to an end, but another relay series, marathon, or ultra awaits in the future.

You can see loads of pictures on our Instagram & Twitter, as well as re-tweets from all our lovely athletes. We’ll post a round up of all the individual summaries and some videos soon! Big ups to our sponsors including Dandies, Walnut Grille, Taco Party, and Tofurky, as well as delicious food provided by Cocobeet, Rhythm, Veggie Galaxy, and Pretzilla!

As Strong Hearts continues to grow and new athletes come on board, our goal hasn’t changed: we are a vegan running team dedicated to promoting ethical veganism, showing that vegans can be strong, healthy, courageous, and friendly.

Until next time,

TO THE FRONT!

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About Sam H.

Sam identifies as a weightlifter, not a runner, but can still bust out a 5k every now and then. Vegan for over a decade, he enjoys showing people how delicious vegan pizza is and listening to extreme metal.

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