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What to pack for a Ragnar Relay Race

by Meghann on January 5, 2012

…or at least what I hope you’re suppose to pack. ;)

For those who aren’t sure what a Ragnar Relay is, it’s a 12 person (or 6 if you want to make it an ultra) relay race that covers XXX miles in XX hours. The race we’re doing starts in Miami at 9:00am on Friday morning and ends in Key West sometime Saturday afternoon.

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The race is divided into 36 separate legs, with each runner covering three legs of the race (or roughly 20 or so miles) over the span of the 2 days. A runner from each team must be on the course at all times, so you could end up running a leg at any stretch of the night or day.

Derek and I are the 10th and 12th runners for our team. Since the race is a straight shot from Miami to Key West (with minimal elevation changes on bridges) our legs are pretty decent.

Derek’s

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Mine

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We’re also lucky that we’re not running terribly crazy hours for the night legs. Derek is predicted to run his second leg at 4:30am and I’m scheduled for 5:30am. Those hours are just fine with me!

So basically, this isn’t your traditional race. When you’re not running, you’re in a van with 5 of your newest closet friends (our team has two vans). I’ve heard it gets smelly and I’ve heard it gets crazy, but I’ve also heard it’s the best time you’ll ever have in your life during a race. Count me IN!

Since this isn’t your traditional race, all the traditional methods of packing and preparing for the race go out the window. You will not get a full 8-hr stretch of sleep before you’re run, you will not be able to go through your regular coffee/peanut butter bagel/hour long bathroom break before you take off, and that ‘perfect race day outfit’ is only going to get your through one leg.

Eekkk!!

There’s also limited space in the van, so everything you pack is crucial. I was told to pack light and only bring the essentials. What are the essentials for a 2 day relay race? Pshh… I have no idea. But thanks to some of your comments and advice from a few friends, I had a plan of attack to figure that out.

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First up: Clothes!

Three legs = Three running outfits

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My first plan was to just bring one outfit and wear it all three legs. That was quickly vetoed after I was told to pack a change of clothes for each leg (no one wants to sit next to a stinky person still in their running clothes!) instead.

Another good tip I received was separating the outfits into three separate ziploc bags. That way I can easily grab what I need without digging around my suit case and I have something to place the smelly clothes back in once I’m done.

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Each ziploc contains:

  • Socks
  • Shorts
  • Tank top
  • Sports bra
  • headband

Besides running clothes, I also have a pair of comfy pants and shirts for my down time between legs.

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As well as a separate section of clothes for once we get to Key West (we’re staying until Tuesday) and toiletries.

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Running Gear

All of the essentials are needed, plus a few relay extras.

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  • Ragnar bible (I was in charge of printing up all the documents for exchange points, predicted time, hotel info, etc. for Van 2)
  • Towel
  • Baby wipes (for a quick post-run wipe down)
  • Road ID
  • SpiBelt
  • Ipod (freshly loaded with a new Ragnar playlist)
  • Reflective vest with blinking light ( for night legs <- thanks Dee!)
  • Headlamp
  • Garmin
  • Running shoes
  • Sunglasses

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Food

One of our van-mates already volunteered to bring the water and gatorade, another volunteered to bring the cooler, and Derek and I volunteered to bring some snacks. It’s my understanding that the Ragner Relay is just a giant road trip full of road trip eats. We already have plans to stop for meals along the way, but roadtrip is complete without snacks (especially with a van full of hungry runners).

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We’re bringing

  • Bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Jalapeno pretzel pieces (Derek’s favorite)
  • Blue corn chips
  • Trail Mix
  • Apples
  • Carrot sticks (unpictured)
  • Hummus (unpictured)
  • Yogurt (unpictured)  

I followed the same trail mix recipe my dad would always make when we were younger (peanuts, m&ms, raisins, and sunflower seeds), but added a jar cashews and took advantage of the post-holiday discounted m&ms by purchasing and using pretzel m&ms and almond m&ms in the mix.

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Derek had two big bowlfuls. I think he approved.

Sleeping

I’ve been warned that I won’t sleep more than an hour this weekend. Good thing I can sleep anywhere. I’m like a little kid – put me in a car more an hour and I’m out like a light.

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The blanket is for the van and the air mattress is for the hotel once we get to Key West. There will be 12 runners distributed in 2 rooms on Saturday night – it shall me interesting.

Electronics/Entertainment

Still need to pack this one.

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But here’s what I know I need to bring

  • Laptop
  • iPad
  • Cameras
  • Multiple chargers
  • Converter outlet for the van
  • Runner’s World

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Umm… so much for trying to pack light. Good thing we have a 15 person van to load up in.

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I’m sure i’m forgetting something, but we can always pick stuff up on the road. And it does look like a lot when you put it all together (I blame the gigantic air mattress), but hopefully we’ll make it work when we pack the van up at 5:30am (!) tomorrow morning.

Is there anything I’m forgetting?

This afternoon was crazy. I spent the morning working, so I could leave the house around 2:00 to run all of our errands, but didn’t end up leaving until three. We rushed around town bringing Maddie to the doggie hotel, going to the bank, buying supplies for the weekend, etc. etc. and I somehow forgot to pack a granola bar to snack on along the way.

I left Target needing food and ended up breaking open the containers of peanuts and cashew to stop crazy-hungry Meghann from making an appearance.

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Much better.

Derek helped with dinner tonight. We ended up chopping up all the vegetables we had in the fridge and coating them with cumin and chili powder. The veggies went on the griddle with some chicken sausage we had and also needed to eat.

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Have I mentioned we love our new griddle? Part awesome pancake maker/ part hibatchi/ part awesome. ;)

I made two fajitas with my portion of the veggies and sausage, plus some avocado.

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Stole two of Derek’s stocking Reeses for dessert.

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Our alarms are set for 4:45am! Now, that time feels like a real race wake-up time, too bad my first leg won’t be until sometime mid-afternoon! :/

Wish us luck!

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