We have our winners! After sorting through hundreds of heartfelt, fun, exciting, interesting, and humorous entries for our Ragnar Trail Tahoe sweepstakes with Salomon we’ve picked two winners. Congrats to Megan Killian of St Louis, Mo., and Chris Taylor of Milwaukee, Wis.
These readers hit upon a few crucial criteria points and made convincing cases to win the gear from Salomon and Suunto as well as join our team in July to race at the Ragnar Trail Tahoe event.
Chris Taylor wins in the consistency category. Of all contest entrants, Chris made the most passionate and persistent continual case, even building a Twitter hashtag and a stream of near-daily tweets around the contest. (Sample: “@TheGearJunkie @RagnarRelay I’ve been daydreaming, all day, about running in the mountains with you guys. Adventure’s calling, #PickMe!”)
Keeping on the radar worked. But beyond just the persistency, Chris made the cut for his exhibited enthusiasm for the Ragnar trip, Lake Tahoe, and his confessed lifelong love of the sport. “I have been running for more than half of my life and I will never stop,” he wrote. “Running has always helped to define who I am and it has always seen me through the best along with the most challenging times in my life. I want to bring my passion for running and my love for the outdoors to the Gear Junkie team as we crush some epic miles in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.”
Megan Killian, a post-doctoral research fellow in Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, is a marathoner and former NCAA Division II athlete in cross-country and track.
Her contest entry, a long essay and images, spoke of a lifetime love of running and the personal growth the sport can forge. “Running brings people together. It’s an individual sport (no one else can run for you!) but it makes a community and it challenges, humbles, and gives us confidence to simply try something we never thought we’d be able to do.”
She included a dozen short anecdotes in her essay and built a great case as a passionate “ambassador” of running. Of a dramatic high school track meet that changed her view she wrote, “I remember every second of that race like it’s a video playing on a big screen.” Megan promises to be a strong and motivating force on Team GearJunkie this July at the Tahoe race!
Thanks to all who entered. We received so many great essays, photos, and short videos. Choosing two winners took a ton of effort and much deliberation here at GearJunkie.
Our winners will travel with Team GearJunkie to Lake Tahoe for the weekend-long Ragnar event. They also get gear from Salomon and Suunto, including the Sense Mantra shoes and an Ambit GPS watch.
Watch our blog as we travel in July to Lake Tahoe and the race, where GearJunkie editors will document the experience with Megan, Chris, and all the Ragnar Relay runners in a content series live from the trail.