After writing about both Miami to Key West Ragnar Relay Race, the Colorado Ragnar Race, the Wild West Relay, the Palmetto 200 and the Race to Kinvara, I’ve gotten a lot of responses that you can’t wait to do a relay and a number of invitations to join you for other races, which is so tempting!!
The truth is I think 1 relay a year is probably my limit for crazy madness.
You need to be ready to go all out to have a truly amazing Ragnar relay team, checkout my 7 tips for a legendary relay! I’ve now done 5 and each time learned a bit more to make it fabulous. The tips below apply to all relays and I hope answer your questions so you can go from nervous to prepared!
Since so many of you said you want to do one, but are nervous, I thought I throw out some of the basics to help you understand what to expect at a relay race and what you need to know in advance.
How long is a relay race?
You can do a marathon relay which is usually 3 runners for 26.2 miles run during the same time as the regular marathon. But here we’re focused on the standard multi-day races which are usually 180-200 miles.
How many runners are in a relay race?
The standard team is 12 runners divided in to 2 vans. However, if you want to push your boundaries you can run it as an Ultra and do it with just 6 runners.
How do you find enough runners?
Honestly I have done a couple relays that were largely friends I met through Instagram and the blog! We all love running and it was a great reason to get together! Otherwise ask friends, ask their friends or there’s a section on the Ragnar site where teams who need a runner can post…so if you’re interested and can’t find enough folks, do check it out!
Additional Ragnar Planning Tips:
- You must have a very organized team captain, who is willing to harangue people that haven’t paid or need to take care of other items.
- You will need to rent vans or cram in to 2 mini vans if some of you have them…they will smell and really need to be washed afterwards.
- You will need to secure hotel rooms for the night the race finishes.. nights in between you sleep in the van or on the ground.
- It can easily run $300 for the experience and that’s without flights.
- You will need a reflective vest for every runner, minimum 4 headlamps and 4 blinkie lights
- You will need to find 2-3 volunteers or pay extra
- You will then need to figure out how to pick up or drop off those volunteers so they can enjoy the post race fun
- You won’t know your start time until a few weeks prior to the race, so you may want to plan hotel rooms the night before the race near the start
What Your Team Atmosphere Will Be Like
The thing that makes a Ragnar Relay so amazing is your team and the energy of the teams you’ll meet throughout the race. Don’t just grab the closest runner, think through your teammates to create an atmosphere of fun!
- You will be in very close quarters for a couple days
- You will smell
- You will not really sleep
- You don’t need to know them in advance, you will get to know them
- You will need to remember all your sophomoric humor and let go of any concerns about how you look…be stupid, have fun.
- You should get matching outfits, it really makes things way more fun in pictures and allows other teams to identify you
Relay Race Must Know’s
A few things that get overlooked as you’re thinking just about getting there and training for your 3 legs of the race.
- If someone gets hurt, someone else will get to pick up their legs of the race.
- You will get to run in some of the most amazing places. Places you would never run otherwise…the middle of nowhere Colorado with wild horses at midnight?!
- Someone will be running at 2AM, it may not be fun or it may be freaking awesome with the right mindset.
- You will start based on your teams expected finish time, meaning the slower your average team pace, the earlier you start and of course the longer you are out there.
- The support van will stop every couple miles to get in and out cheering for your runner… this is what will actually make your legs hurt.
Ragnar Team Names
One of the hardest and yet most fun parts of the Ragnar experience is everything that you create with your team. I DIE every year seeing some of the vans roll by with hilarious names or the team shirts that so accurately represent us runners.
- Who Run The World
- Just Here for the Food
- Will Run For (insert any food)
- Run Loco
- Run. Eat. No Sleep. Repeat.
- Yogging Club
- Fast and Furious
- We Paid for This
- Run Nuts
- Baby Got Track
- Whiskey Business
- Turtles and Hares
- Running’s A Beach
- Chuck Norris Never Ran a Relay
- Running Winded
- Taco Bout Running
Honestly the punnier you can get the better!! Why not make other teams laugh and enjoy this crazy experience just a little bit more!
Any tips you’d add from your experience?
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