Overnight running relays – they’re all the rage. You and some of your most adventurous (or craziest…kind of a fine line) friends pile into two vans and tag team, running a couple hundred miles, under the sun and through the dark night, relay style. Only one person runs at a time with each participant running multiple times and at varying distances. You might get decked out in team matching costumes or try to top the other teams with the most uniquely decorated van. You’ll get to know your teammates in this adult slumber party on the move. You may brave through episodes of sleep deprivation, GI issues and increasingly stinky confines. You’ll definitely make lasting memories and have stories to share for years to come.
Planning on joining in on the fun? Here are some essentials for your packing list:
Multiple sets of clothing: Keep in mind that when your running clothes get sweaty, the salt crystalizes on your clothes and if you run in them again, you can chafe big-time (not to mention the not so pleasant aroma you might be sharing with your van-mates). Also, you might consider different clothing options for varying weather conditions.
Massage Roller: When you get in the van after a leg, you will start to tighten up. Unless you are so lucky to have a massage therapist on board, you’ll need something to help you limber up. Use a roller to loosen up your muscles so you are ready for your next leg. The Stick and the Trigger Point Grid (foam roller).
Reflective Vest: We’ve got it from Amphipod (in yellow and pink) with or without blinky lights.
Blinking Light: You will for sure need a blinking light for your rear end. This will help you to be seen when you are running in the dark. Try the Nathan Strobe Light. (The Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp also has a strobe light on the back and the Amphipod Vest has a stobe light option .)
Headlamp: So you can see where you are going, and so people can see you from the front. We’ve got Petzl, UltrAspire and Black Diamond lights. (The Black Diamond Sprinter also has a strobe light on the back.)
Hydration: There are many legs of relays that are not supported and you’ll need to carry your own water! We have hand-held, waist and pack options from Nathan, Ultimate Direction, and Salomon.
Multiple pairs of shoes & socks: Consider bringing multiple pairs of each. Between sweat, potential rain and foot swelling, blisters and discomfort can result. A pair of fresh shoes and socks give your feet a fresh start.
Nutrition & Electrolyte Supplements: You may want to eat something prior to or even during your runs, but are afraid this will result in an upset stomach. Consider easy to digest, but energy maintaining options, like gels, chews, bars, and mixes. Keep cramping at bay and good muscle efficiency by maintaining electrolytes. Remember to supply your body with nutrients after your runs so you are fueled for your next leg. They provide your body with the carbohydrates and protein to repair damage and replenish glycogen stores. Our brands are Gu, Hammer, Shot Bloks, Nuun, Cliff, Skratch, Huma, Picky Bar, Sport Beans, Muir Energy and Trail Butter.
Compression: Great for during the run and to aid recovery, compression sleeves will help prevent soreness, tightness and increase circulation. We’ve got sleeves from Zensah and 2XU.
Anti-chafing: You can chafe most anywhere with repeated doses of running and sweating –use Body Glide, Blue Steel or Friendly Foot liberally to save yourself from some unnecessary discomfort.
Injury/Soreness: Anti-Flamme is great for those aches and pains that creep up. KT Tape and Kinesio Tape may be helpful for small injuries that happen during the race.
Sunglasses: A great pair of sport sunglasses can be helpful to reduce glare on the run and maybe even help you get some shut-eye in the backseat before your next turn running. Check out our Goodr Running Sunglasses.
Recovery Sandals: With tired feet that just want to breathe between run legs, consider investing in a pair of Oofos Recovery Sandals. Soft plush feeling, they will help your feet relax and recovery faster.