For this notorious over packer, packing for a relay race can be quite a challenge. I like options! What can I say? Packing for a Destination Relay Race can present even more of a test. Next week, I will jetting off to San Fran with my running besties to take on Ragnar Napa Valley. As this is my 4th relay race, I’ve finally come up with a winning packing system.
How To Pack For A Destination Relay Race
Packing for a destination relay race has a few extra challenges. Carry on because no one wants to lose their run gear the day before a race. Carry on bags (preferably soft sided duffle types) save space in the race vans. I use a large backpack as my “personal item” instead of a purse etc. This really gives me 2 bags and a lot more space.
First things first. I pick out my 3 running outfits complete with sports bras, socks and any under garments. Each outfit goes into it’s own ziploc bag labelled with run 1, run 2, run 3. A comfy, dry outfit to wear between run legs usually loose fitting yoga/sweat pants, extra t shirt and sweat shirt is a must along with extra socks and undergarments. Wearing a sweaty sports bra is never fun. Dirty running clothes go right back into the bags.
I always bring 2 pairs of running shoes because you never know if it will rain. No one wants to put on wet shoes for a run. To save space, I will wear one pair of running shoes on the plane. Always bring an extra pair of recovery shoes to wear in between legs. I’m packing my favorite Oofos sandals. Since I will be staying in Napa after the race, I will bring one pair of regular sandals/shoes.
Ragnar has some pretty strict safety regulations in place for night time running. All of my safety gear goes into one bag together for easy access. All batteries have been replaced and tested.
All weather gear
A lightweight water resistant running jacket and a regular waterproof rain jacket fold up easily into my bag along with sunglasses and visor/hat.
Other Run Gear
Anything you normally use for a run: race belt, water bottle, any gels/chews etc. This gear is also packed into it’s own ziploc so it’s available for easy access. Running watch with chargers, phone chargers and sunscreen.
Some people choose to bring small sleeping bags as sleeping areas are usually available. Personally, not a sleep outside person myself, I choose to bring a small travel pillow and blanket in case I curl up in the van. These easily fit into my backpack. I suggest a pair of ear plugs and eye shades as sleeping is not always at night.
Travel sized shampoo, soap, face wash and small towel. Showers are usually available at least once during the race. Shower Pill body wipes to clean up after each run. Any medications or other personal toiletries you need. Flip flops for shower. (I will use the Oofos I packed for recovery shoes).
Hard to know what you will find along the way so taking along a few airplane friendly snacks is helpful. We purchase water and fruit when we arrive. Many races are now “cupless” so know whether you need to bring your own water bottle.
Hanging around after the race? A pair of jeans with a few different tops that can be easily folded into your bag is the way to go.
If you still have space…It’s nice to have a small foam roller along for everyone to share.
The most important thing to pack is your carefree attitude. Part of a successful destination relay race is just stepping out of your comfort zone and going with the flow.
Whew! All packed and ready to go! Have you done a destination relay race? Have I forgotten anything?