I can hear the groans now – Another running post?!? I promise, it’s not that bad once you get started. The event that really kicked off and inspired my increased running was the Ragnar Relay Napa Valley back in the Fall of 2014. Ever since then, I’ve really learned to take joy in lacing up and heading out for a few miles.
However, running doesn’t have to be solely about the sport. I’ve become involved in Team Beef quite regular and for the third year in a row, I’ll join a group of Montana ranchers who participate in a 200-mile relay as an opportunity for advocacy, sharing the message that beef is part of a healthy diet, spreading a piece of Montana ranching with runners and athletes from across the country. You can read about our 2014 Ragnar Relay Napa Valley, the 2015 Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage, and catch up on our year-long activities on Facebook.
This year, the Montana Running Ranchers are participating in the inaugural Ragnar Relay Hawaii on October 14-15. We’ll join 300 teams of 12 people from across the country on the islands for a few days, get to know them, and share our beef story with participants and volunteers along the route.
My favorite part of these events is getting to know other teams along the race. We usually see each other several times during the 24-hour event. Our vans are decorated in ranch brands from Montana and we’ll hand out beef jerky to others along the way. At first, the conversation is casual, getting to know where we’re all from. By the end, we usually have several questions from others about beef, ranching and agriculture. We’ll even be asked about topics brought up in projects like Food Inc. It’s such a great opportunity to connect with others based on mutual interests (running, health, food, fitness) and see them become comfortable enough to ASK US questions. We don’t have to try forcing any advocacy message upon them.
These races do cost – travel, hotel, van rentals, entry fees, food, jerky samples, clothing, van signs – and we couldn’t do it without the support of many organizations, ranchers, individuals and businesses. Our major sponsorship comes from the Montana Beef Council, through a Team Beef grant, which covers some of the expenses.
The majority of our expenses are covered through donations and Brand Sponsorships. Brand sponsors ($50 for a ranch. $150 for an agri-business) get their ranch brand or company name on our vans during the race. This is a HUGE conversation starter for our team and, now several years into it, gets our teams recognized by Ragnar-regulars.
This year, you can support our team through a Brand Sponsorship or donation of any amount by visiting our Square store to donate. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about mailing in a donation or sponsorship via check or cash.
We would greatly appreciate your support as we continue this effort to share our stories about beef and Montana ranching with people from across the country who are interested in health, fitness and food. It’s our small way of making a difference each year. All donations/sponsorships will be used to support the team members during this event.
To help you get to know our team and the people behind Montana Running Ranchers, I’ll be sharing guest posts from team members. They’ll share how they’re involved in the ranching community, how running is part of their lives and why efforts like Team Beef are such an important tool for agriculture advocacy. I hope you enjoy this series and consider helping us out through any support you can offer!
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