Planning on doing a relay race? Relay races are SUPER fun, but they do take some proper packing. Luckily, Kate Crowley, one of our awesome readers who loves to do everything from yoga to hiking to skateboarding to growing veggies, recently completed Ragnar and has tips on the 10 essential items to pack for a relay race!
What to Pack for a Relay Race
If you’re training for an overnight relay like Ragnar, or multiple leg relays like the Texas Independence Relay, Palmetto 200, Southern Blue Relay or Illinois River to River Relay, you’ll want to be sure to pack these items to ensure a smooth and fun race.
1. Compression socks, like these from CEP. Even if you’re only used to wearing compression socks the day after a big race, you’ll want them on hand to combat fatigue over the course of the day. After all, you’re asking your body to do several big runs. They take up a small amount of space and help you feel good on your feet during the after-party, too!
2. Low-sugar, powdered hydration mix, like SOS. Normally, we’re not big on powder … but when you’re on the move, it’s nice to be able to reuse your water bottle for an electrolyte drink — plus it’s easy to measure and use as much or as little as you need. An added bonus is that SOS has “six times the electrolytes of a sports drink, 27 percent more electrolytes than your average coconut water with 1/2 the sugar and calories,” according to the packaging.
3. Sports wipes or baby wipes. It’s likely you won’t have access to a shower during a relay race and baby wipes will save the day. They combat spills and stink as well as provide a refreshing way to rinse your face after a long leg.
4. Portable power bank. We love to document a race, and a portable power bank is your ticket to keeping your battery above 20 percent. Depending on what type you purchase, you can get between one and four charges for your phone.
5. Cash. This one sounds silly, but between gas money, food money and other shared expenses, it’s easier to make change and share team expenses if everyone has cash.
6. Sunscreen. We all know we need to wear sunscreen, but it’s especially important during relay races or camp-out races when you might find yourself outside for an extended period of time. It’s also nice when that sunscreen doesn’t clog pores or drip in your eyes when you sweat (like this stuff).
7. Cooler with an ice-pack. Not only does a cooler let you bring your own healthy snacks and keep things cool, it also lets you pack a few ice-packs, which come in handy if someone twists an ankle. Six-Pack Bags are a great investment because they don’t take up a lot of space and can be used weekly to encourage you to eat healthy while on the go.
8. MUSIC! Keep the energy high in the van or transition area by playing music. Make it old school with a burned mix CD that any vehicle can play or a battery-powered radio you can crank up. Ask team members what songs they like and blast them as they arrive or depart the transition.
9. Cowbell. Why are you running a crazy relay? For FUN, of course! Cheer on your teammates with a handy cowbell, sure to be used at many races to come. It’s hard to be grumpy, even on no sleep, if you’re ringing a cowbell.
10. Something soft and fuzzy. This is your call — bring a pillow, fleece blanket or old sweatshirt that will keep you comfy on your down-time and keep you cozy if it should happen to get cold.
Any other must-have items for a relay race? Share ’em! And say it with us now, MORE COWBELL! —Kate Crowley