Reserve your vans! This is one of the most important parts of Ragnar. Not only does your team need a vehicle so do all the other 600 (give or take) teams. Vans can sometimes sale out so once you decide that you are going to participate, make sure your team captain has the vans reserved. Can’t run a relay race without a vehicle!
Find a Driver. Some teams will decide that they will take turns driving but from experience it is much easier to have a “driver” who only drives and navigates.
Pre-plan all your outfits. Plan your three running outfits, three ‘chillin’ outfits and pack them in ziplock bags. Ziplock bags?? Yes, then once you are finished running or ‘chillin’ in your clothes they go back in the ziplock. This helps organize your gear plus it keeps most of the odor from escaping into the vans! Yay, less stinky vans J
Don’t over pack. You will only be running three times… don’t bring 8 outfits to choose from. The vans are small and overcrowded to begin with; we want to make sure that your teammates still like you at the finish line!
Coordinate with your vanmates. Not everyone needs to bring 7 rolls of toilet paper, a first aid kit and 11 trash bags. The more communication you have between each other the better your experience will be out there. Make sure you have toilet paper, trash bags and a first aid kit but assign items so no one is over packing.
Don’t try anything new. Stick to what you usually train with for your runs.
Pack all your meals – even better if you can get with your vanmates and have everyone bring one meal that will feed the entire van – then you don’t have to worry about food too much. Be sure that everyone voices their likes and dislikes though… if you are a picky eater I would recommend just bringing your own meals.
Drink LOTS of water! You will be running three times, you need to be hydrated J
When you are at the exchanges get out of the van and stretch, use a foam roller, get your yoga on… move your body so you don’t get too stiff and sore!
No “timing chips.” What? Yep, you have a starting time then they record all the teams as they finish so there is no need for actual timing chips.
Each runner will have their own Race Bib that they have to wear during each leg so the race know you are a part of the race… makes since right? We suggest getting a race belt so that you don’t have to keep re-pinning it to each new shirt you run in. J
Do you remember Slap Bracelets? If not you will shortly! The race “baton” that you usually see for running relay events has is little differnet for the Ragnar Relays. Who wants to carry a baton around? Not us, so for Ragnar we get super awesome slap bracelets! **Make sure to take it off and have it ready for your next runner when you are coming up to a hand off; this makes it easier for the next runner to put it on and go.
Know YOUR ROUTE – take a map with you. This is one of the ways Ragnar is totally different than a normal race. Sometimes you will be out there and not very many other runners are around. This can make you start doubting the route you are on, so it’s nice to be able to double check. This is where the map comes in handy!
CHEER!Ragnar is FUN! Bring cow bells, silly string… anything fun you can think of and CHEER for EVERYONE you see running!
Reflective safety gear. Ragnar requires reflective gear during all morning, evening and night hours. Be sure to know when you will finish your run; if it is close to being during these hours you have to be wearing your vest, even if you are not running. Make sure if you have a “Driver” that they have their own reflective vest to wear too.
SLEEP? You will have a couple chances to sleep at the major exchanges. Bring a pillow and sleeping bag and try to get some rest. It can be hard but it’s worth the fight J
Finishing the race! FINALLY! YAY!! To make the most out of finishing be sure to gather everyone on your team and run the last few yards in with your runner so everyone gets to finish as a team!
Post Race Partying. Don’t expect to have too much energy to celebrate. Most likely you will want to get home or to your hotel to clean up and get some shut eye. You worked hard. Now rest you super awesome Ragnar Relay Finisher!!