Ragnar, D.C., preview: packing list

Hey! What do you say me and you grab 10 friends, rent two vans, drive 200 miles into the boonies, then take turns running five or so miles until we get back? We’ll make up for the lack of showers and sleep with slap-happy exchanges and junk food.

Most sane humans would laugh, shake their heads “no,” and back away slowly. But because we runners are the sorts who constantly seek out new things that make us want to puke and die, as my friend Katie of Run This Amazing Day puts it, I, along with 11 of my running buddies from Pacers Silver Spring Fun Runners, will embark on a 24-hour, overnight relay from Cumberland, Md., back to D.C., starting tomorrow morning.

Here’s how it’ll go down, according to Ragnar’s Web site:

“During the relay, each team member runs three legs, each leg ranging between three to eight miles and varying in difficulty. Each team is responsible for providing two support vehicles, with six runners in each vehicle. The first vehicle will drop off the first runner, drive ahead a few miles, cheer the runner on, and provide them with water, snacks, and plenty of love. That vehicle will then drive ahead to the first exchange point to drop off the second runner, and pick up the first runner when that leg is complete. They will repeat this pattern for six legs until they hand off to their second vehicle. This leapfrogging pattern will continue all the way to the finish line.”

I’ll be running third, starting with a 6.9-mile leg labeled “very hard” through Green Ridge State Forest, and has one climb of 250 feet (which I’m used to) and one of 800 feet (which I’m not). But then, all I do the rest of the race is an easy, flat 2.8-mile leg through Williamsport, and another 3-miler through Clarksburg. Not bad, right?

I truly have no idea what the race will bring, so in lieu of a preview, I offer my personal packing list, which I’ll amend post-race to reflect lessons learned:

Flashlight
Headlamp
Reflective vest
Pillows, earplugs, sleep mask (thanks to Brian of A Runner’s Blog for this tip! Check out his race report from Florida Ragnar for more information)

First-Aid kit including Advil, Tylenol, Body Glide, Band-Aids, motion-sickness pills

Running shoes, several changes of running clothes, sweats, flip flops, sunglasses

Garmin, iPod, chargers

Every Nalgene bottle I own, full of water

Toiletries including toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, Kiehl’s toner, deodorant, baby wipes, sunscreen, bug spray, foot powder

Shopping list: Apples, grapes, almonds, dates, Nutella, gummy bears, candy corn/mellocreme pumpkins (because it’s better to consume these with a large group of hungry people than alone)

Cooking list: Whole-wheat couscous with raisins, pine nuts, tomatoes, peppers

Baking list: Whole-wheat sourdough bread, banana-dark chocolate bread, pumpkin-dark chocolate bread.

Banana and pumpkin breads, ready to go.

I found this helpful Running Times story with tips for distance relays. But I’m eager for tips from experienced Ragnar runners: What was the best thing you brought, or the thing you most wished you had? How many changes of running clothes is enough? What did you *really* want to eat in the middle of the night?

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Ragnar, D.C., preview: packing list

  1. Dee

    Don’t forget a couple of towels to protect the seats from all the sweaty bodies. No one wants to be in the wet spot.

    also
    -ipod radio adapter so the whole van can jam out to tunes on the long trek
    -sleeping bag or blankets to lay out in a park and catch a couple zzzz’s
    -garbage bags (for rainponchos, storing all the smelly clothes, using as tarp on wet grass, and of course, for tossing trash)
    -duct tape – never leave home without it
    -car paint & other decorations
    -foam roller or The Stick

    I changed after each leg bc i hate sitting for hours in sweaty clothes. As for food, i wanted a pita with hummus & avocados & lettuce. I got tired of all the snacky food real fast.

    Good Luck! You’ll have a blast!

  2. blanket! just a fleece one will do.
    You’ll be great on the hills! Have fun!

  3. Liz

    I can’t wait to see your recap – I’ve always wanted to do a relay. Good luck and HAVE FUN!!

  4. lizard151

    An air mattress if you have one to go with your sleeping bag and pillow. I got three hours of sleep on the grass outside a hotel, and it wasn’t fully inflated, but the air mattress helped a lot. It folds down pretty small. I second the need for meals–I ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches though.

    I also wore my compression socks all the time, so if you have a pair bring them along too. They really helped my legs recover. Have fun!!!! It was just about the most fun thing ever!

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