We're less than 5 days away from Ragnar SoCal. Are you excited? You should be! This will be one of the craziest, most amazing, fun adventures of your running life. You might be wondering, what do I need for a 200-mile relay? What do I pack? Well, here are some tips from a Ragnar veteran and Ragnar SoCal Ambassador - me!
First, you don't need as much stuff as you might think you do. Second, you can fit everything you need in one backpack. Third, if you forget something, you can always buy it along the way.
My first tip is this, lay out everything you think you're going to need. Then realize you probably don't need all of it.
Three sets of running gear - unless you want to be super stinky and make your teammates smell your funk for 24-36 hours - this is not advisable, bring changes of clothes. Include three pairs of socks, three bottoms, three shirts, three sports bras (if you're a girl)
Running shoes (last year I brought two pairs, only needed one, I'm only bringing one this year, but this is a personal preference)
Sweats and sweatshirt (for keeping warm in between legs)
Sandals (you probably don't want to wear your running shoes the whole time)
Lightweight jacket or windbreaker (doesn't look like rain or cool weather in the forecast, but you never know)
All must haves - some can be shared on teams, but having your own can be helpful
Toilet Paper (trust me, you'll want your own, the porta potties will run out)
Body glide (so much body glide)
Toothbrush/toothpaste (no one wants a van-mate with bad breath)
Sunblock (lets avoid the skin cancer, shall we?)
Chapstick (with SPF is best)
Baby Wipes (again, with the smell factor - you want these, trust me)
Hair brush and hair ties (this is necessary in my world, I have long-ish hair and I don't want it to be a tangled mess at the end)
Medication (if you take medication - bring it)
Ibuprofen (or pain reliever of choice)
Car charger for your cell phone - unlikely that it'll stay fully charged the whole time
ID and cash/credit card
Camera (because, duh! you're going to want to remember every second of this insane adventure!)
Visor or hat
Gloves (for your night run, if you get super cold)
Compression gear (socks or pants or shorts or some combination, will help you recover between legs and keep you feeling fresh - I will definitely have my Pro Compression socks and Asaperis compression shorts with me)
Sleeping bag or blanket (to get some shut-eye, I brought a sleeping bag last year and didn't use it, but my teammates did - it was thick and fairly good cushioning on the ground)
Pillow (for comfort when sleeping)
Watch/Garmin (I go for the Garmin so I can track my pace, but any sport watch will do)
Hydration belt/handheld (it's gonna be hot out there, you can never be too safe, hydrate hydrate hydrate!)
Road ID (I never go for a run/ride without mine - for safety reasons)
the Stick (I love mine and it will come with because it will help between runs)
MP3 player or ipod (I usually run without music, but if you run with music, don't forget it and don't forget to charge it!)
Beach towel - to sit on in the van when you're all sweaty and nasty
I think that's everything. Like I said, if you forgot something, you can always buy it on the road. Now, you might be wondering how you're going to pack all this stuff for your adventure. Here's my recommendations:
Use a backpack, if possible (or tri-bag) - not a suitcase, backpack is easier to manage and easier to have in a van - suitcase just takes up too much room.
First, take each outfit for running, fold it up and put it in a gallon size ziploc bag. When you change after your leg, put your sweaty, stinky clothes back in the ziploc bag, and then you don't have to deal with the ick til you get home. (Make sure all the air is out, to take up less space.)
Second, put all your safety gear in a small ziploc bag (just to keep it together).
Third, put your toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, hair ties, hair brush, medication, ibuprofen, etc) in one ziploc bag.
Then, pack this all into a backpack, it'll fit, just don't take everything you own. I recommend when you are between legs to wear the clothes you are planning on wearing for your next leg, you don't need a full change of clothes between each leg, seriously, not necessary - you don't need jeans and cute outfits - you'll just want to be comfortable. I did this last year, and it was easier than changing in the van (plus, I was in a van with strangers - both men and women). Seriously, its just easier (also, my running clothes are pretty comfortable, all stretchy and spandex-y). You can always throw on sweats over it. But, putting on a sports bra while you're in a van is no easy feat (at least not for me - I have a larger chest, and the sports bras are hard enough to get on without trying to wiggle into it in a van).
|all that stuff from the first picture, in this bag - seriously - i'm a legit good packer|
the dog is not coming along, and was not amused by my packing
Remember to have fun! Wear costumes, if your team has a theme wear a fun costume or add things to your usual running gear, it makes things more interesting. I'm not posting pics of my outfits/costumey things, you'll just have to find us. ;-)
Come find me and my super awesome team - So Much Cooler Online (there is one 12-woman team and one Ultra 6-woman team). You'll find me somewhere along the course sporting my Ragnar Ambassador gear too.
Remember, its gonna be warm out there, so start hydrating now!
Get excited. You're in for one of the most fun adventures of your life!
Is there anything on this list you think I missed? How do you pack for a relay? Got any tips to help me improve my super packing skills?