Monday, July 23, 2012

What to Pack for a Relay

So I know you're all DYING to hear about RAGNAR, and if you followed me on Twitter and saw my approximate 1,000 tweets over the weekend you probably already know the low-down (I tweeted more this weekend than I probably did in all of June AND July!).  But writing all my thoughts (and more importantly, getting all my teammates' pictures) is taking some time.  So, let's get back to the task at hand...

So you're going to do a relay you say?!?!  Well kudos to you - you will have a BLAST, I guarantee it.  As I have just now completed my 3rd relay (4th to be with Nuun at Hood to Coast in August!) and have captained all 3 of those teams, I think I've got the relay packing thing down.  So without further ado, here's everything you need to contemplate bringing for a relay:

You will likely have time for one good meal at a restaurant after your first set of legs (at least depending on how fast your team is and your start time - I've always been on slow teams who've started pretty early), but you'll need snacks and food for the rest of the time.  I'm pretty flexible and can eat almost anything so easy it is: stuff to make sandwiches - both peanut butter and jelly (YUM!) and turkey, bagels, pretzels, chips & crackers (mostly for my husband), granola bars, apples & cherries.

Duh, hydration is key - you're running a ton of miles and hanging out in the hot sun (probably).  Water - duh, this is a no brainer.  I brought 2 gallons just for JMan and I, plus Nuun - it's so easy to just add it!  Coke Zero - for a caffeine boost and 5 Hour Energy - for a SERIOUS caffeine boost plus some delicious Blue Moon ready and waiting for your celebratory finish and you're all set.

Yes, this is a category all its own!  Whatever candy floats your boat.  I like Mike & Ike's, Swedish Fish, Gummi Bears, Hot Tamales, and red licorice.

Fun Stuff
You need fun stuff!  The Dollar Tree is the best place for that.  This includes glow sticks (for the night legs), air horns, fairy wings, tiaras, bubbles, cowbells, and pretty much anything ridiculous.

If there's space in the van, a pillow and sleeping bag are always a good idea.  Having a soft-top carrier makes carrying those things so much easier if you can borrow one.  A tarp to put on the ground to lay your sleeping bag on is also helpful, though at Ragnar we got to sleep inside which was awesome.  A sleeping pad would have been lovely.  Ear plugs and an eye mask are ESSENTIAL if you're not the heaviest sleeper in the world.  

This does seem like quite a bit of stuff for just 2 people though...!

Obviously, you'll need clothes for the number of legs you're running, unless you just want to wear your sweaty clothes over and over again (hey, I'm not here to judge).  I think it's super helpful to pack each outfit in a gallon Ziploc bag - that way it's all ready to go and won't get mixed up or lost and you can also stuff your gross sweaty clothes back in the bag after to contain the smell.  Make sure to keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly, and always remember that no matter how hot it is during the day it might be pretty chilly when you're running at 3am!  Don't forget to bring a towel sweatshirt.  Just kidding, bring a towel too.

 It doesn't get much more ridiculous than this.

Here's where the real bulk of the things you need adds up!  Garmin, iPod (if they allow it), reflective vest, the Stick, Gu, Body Glide, water bottle, toiletries, a towel (if there's going to be a chance to take a shower anyway), a hat, book or magazine (lots of sitting around!), cell phone car charger, etc.  Then there's some of the things your van needs (not necessarily you): LED lights, flashlights / headlamps, walkie talkies, print-outs of the legs, stopwatch, clipboard, first aid kit, ibuprofen, rockin' music, van paint, team t-shirts, etc. etc. ETC.!

 Don't forget your headlamp, sweatshirt (though this is JMan's!), Nuun water bottle, etc.!

Have I forgotten anything that needs to be added to this list?