Another Sol Systems Ragnar

7 Oct 2019

The Sol Systems team, “The Mad Ones”, poses after completing the 200-mile relay

Last year, I wrote about my first time participating in a Sol Systems leg-destroying tradition: the 12-person, 200-mile Ragnar relay. Twelve months rolled by and I found myself back in New Hampshire, waking up in a crammed van at five in the morning preparing to run six miles for the third time in 18 hours. Why? Because at Sol Systems, we know that to reach our goals, whether it’s taking on a Ragnar or transforming our country’s energy grid, we need to embrace the madness that comes with it.

For the unfamiliar, Ragnar relays are run by 12 brave individuals (or in some cases, six insane individuals) who each run anywhere from 12 to 26 miles over the course of three separate legs. Ragnars are run across the country, but for the past two years, our team has run Reach the Beach. Starting in Bretton Woods, and spanning most of the length of New Hampshire, the course ends at the Atlantic Ocean near Portsmouth,will where our CEO and teammate, Yuri Horwitz was raised.

Krisztina Pjeczka finishes her first leg of the relay

Running a Ragnar feels like a condensed version of working in the solar industry. Your body and mind need to be ready for the fight. When your legs are firing signals to your brain to stop (which my non-runner’s body was doing a lot of), you need to push even harder. When a fossil-fuel-powered world is trying to slow the clean energy revolution, we need to work twice as hard to fight back. Change isn’t created by people who simply clock in and clock out every day, but by dedicated individuals hell-bent on bringing that change. In the same vein, Ragnar isn’t run by folks who are set on walking.

However, I’d like to think that even in the solar industry, it’s hard to find too many companies with 12 participants who are happily willing to spend 27 hours crammed in a van with their coworkers every year. I certainly never thought I’d be running the race, much less two years in a row. However, the feeling when finishing your last leg, and cheering on your teammates as they complete theirs, is well worth the struggle, especially with the teammates I have at Sol. Some of them will even tell you they had fun running (I’m skeptical). In solar, the feeling of putting clean energy in the ground is well worth the scrapes you inevitably take along the way. Do you need to be able to run a Ragnar to be in the solar industry? Not at all. But solar professionals would have an easier time relating to these runners than most. Perhaps the most relatable thing: at the end of each success, you deserve a cold beer.


Sol Systems, a national solar finance and development firm, delivers sophisticated, customized services for institutional, corporate, and municipal customers. Sol is employee-owned, and has been profitable since inception in 2008.

Over the last ten years, Sol Systems has delivered 800 MW of solar projects for Fortune 100 companies, municipalities, universities, churches, and small businesses. Sol now manages over $650 million in solar energy assets for utilities, banks, and Fortune 500 companies.

Inc. 5000 recognized Sol Systems in its annual list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for four consecutive years. For more information, please visit

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William Patterson

William Patterson