Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Minimalist Ragnar Packing List

If you've never heard of Ragnar, it's a 200-ish mile relay, where 12 runners (or sometimes 6 crazy ones) alternate running legs & driving around all through the night until they've RUN to their destination. Ragnar veterans...does that sound like a pretty accurate description?


It's obviously different from a half marathon or a 5K for several reasons, but the biggest being you'll be running 3 times in about 36 hours. And, since you'll be in a van with 5 of your stinkiest closest friends you won't exactly have a lot of room, this isn't packing for a destination race where your duffel bag gets to sit in your hotel room all weekend.

NOPE. From the time the first runner takes off you're on the move. If you're lucky you'll stop for a real meal or two, and if you're really lucky you may even catch a few hours of sleep or snag a shower. But either way, you're lugging all your stuff with you.


I'll be running Ragnar DC for the third year in a row. In 2014 it was a little warm, but not bad weather wise. We did have 2 runners bail about 6 hours before start time, so we all tacked on some extra miles, but if you're already running 24 miles, what's a few more? In 2015 Hurricane Joaquin was slamming the east coast, so we spent our 36 hours slogging through rain. 2016 is calling for temperatures in the mid to high 80's, so it's gonna be a hot one.


I've learned a few things over the past few years that have helped me get my Ragnar packing down to a science. I hate to bring more than I have to, and I especially hate to bring something that someone else already brought. Essentially doubling up on things we only need one of. I also don't pack for every what if. We're running from Maryland to DC, not the middle of nowhere. If there is something we need, but not a single one of us brought it, I'm sure we can get ourselves to a Walmart.



Running Clothes 
4 x shorts
4 x tech shirts
3 x running bras
3 x running socks
3 x tech undies
1 x running shoes
1 x calf sleeves

Each outfit gets its own gallon baggie - this makes it easy to get dressed!

You'll notice an extra pair of shorts & shirt. Why? 'Cause you just never know. I like to change into the clothes I plan to use for my next run when I finish a run, but, anything can happen, so I like to be prepared to run an extra leg if I need to. I don't love to re-wear a bra and socks, but it can be done. But ain't nobody trying to be near me re-wearing a t-shirt & shorts.

Running Accessories
Hydration pack
Reuseable water bottle - great to keep in the van & fill up as you get the chance
Sunglasses
Garmin
iPod // headphones
Preferred fuel - I always aim to eat real meals, but bars & gels will keep hunger at bay
Electrolytes (Nuun)
Headlamp - required for night time running
Reflective vest - required for night time running

Creature Comforts
Flip flops - Taking your running shoes off after you finish your leg is the best feeling
Stick - Your muscles will be tight, having the Stick or a foam roller will be much appreciated
Deodorant
Beach Towel - Can double as a blanket, pillow, or makeshift changing room in mixed company
Sweatshirt

Extras
Phone charger - Bring the car adaptor
Gallon baggies - I store my clean outfits in these & then fill them with dirty clothes after my leg
Hand sanitizer - Shit gets gross, fast
Wipes
Mouthwash - 36 hour old breath is no good
Pain reliever
Body glide - I love Bag Balm since it doubles as chapstick & Neosporin
Baseball cap - To hide my 3 run old sweaty hair when I try to go to a bar after Ragnar
Bug Spray
Sunscreen
1 x post race outfit - To get some of the stank off before I can get a shower



A few notes, you won't see an extensive list of snacks. Usually we eat an early breakfast before we start the race, followed by an big awkwardly timed meal when we finish with all our legs. Then we repeat after each leg. I'll be runner 6 this year, so I figure most of my fuel will be used pre-run rather than post run, since once I finish running we'll be safe to head for food. How's that for some motivation to run fast!?


So this is it. This is the pile of things that'll go in my car to head to Ragnar. Everything from above fit into this backpack. The only thing missing is wallet, keys, phone + reuseable water bottle.

Any must haves you don't see on my list?
Have you ever run a Ragnar?
What's your favorite post run meal?

Linking up with AmandaMarcia x Patty x Erika for Tuesdays on the Run

38 comments:

  1. Very similar to my packing strategy. I do always have a pair of long pants though - I get cold when I'm tired. This will be my third Ragnar and second Ragnar DC.

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    1. I thought I wouldn't need long pants, but I wished I had them the morning of day one, I settled for wearing compression sleeves, but next year they're getting added to the list!

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  2. I have done Hood to Coast, and Ragnars in Colorado, Napa and Northwest Passage..all of which I loved. Next month we are going to Hawaii to run a Ragnar! so excited!
    Your list of things looks pretty good to me! Good luck and have a great time

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    1. AHHH, Ragnar Hawaii sounds incredible. I would hate to be the random family on vacation trying to rent any type of van that weekend though! Good luck. :)

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  3. 200???? shit, and here my body is screaming after 8K LOL. you go!!!!

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    1. Haha, well I don't run the whole 200, thankfully. I would definitely be screaming!

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  4. I really want to do a Ragnar, it's been my dream for the longest! I hope you have a great time - this packing list is so helpful!

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    1. So. Much. Fun. There is one in PA next year. Lancaster to the Poconos - it's next on my list. You should check it out! Teams are always looking for runners if you don't have a team.

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  5. I have never done Ragnar but sounds like a fun experience. Looks like you ate good to go. Those gallon size bags are a great idea.

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    1. I love it because I can stuff my stinky clothes back in and not contaminate the whole bag!

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  6. This is such a great post! The whole Ragnar race is fascinating to me - I'm trying to read all I can about it! I'm a terrible packer so this will help :)

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  7. You go girl . . . that's all I got! Such a cool race - glad you get to do it again!

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    1. Thanks Amy! It's such a unique event!

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  8. Doing a Ragnar is so on my bucket list. I would LOVE the adventure of it all.
    I need to save this post for when my day comes :)

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    1. Do it! There is a similar style race in KY called The Bourbon Chase that follows part of the Bourbon Trail, that's on my list for some day. (https://www.bourbonchase.com/)

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  9. Wow, that's impressive that you managed to get all of that packed so tightly! The lack of creature comforts is what keeps me away from doing a Ragnar. I've been hearing about the Ragnar trail options and that sounds a bit more appealing to me with tents instead of a van.

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    1. Ragnar Trail is definitely on my list, especially because there is one in WV that would be close. I also love that everyone gets to hang out, so you get to talk with all your teammates, not just the ones in your van!

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  10. I so want to do a Ragnar. The problem is I've got two little kids now and no one I can convince to run with me. Whomp whomp. Maybe one year! Have a blast -- looks like it'll be awesome!

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    1. Oh no! Well, if you can manage to pawn the kids off on someone there are ALWAYS teams on Facebook looking for runners. It really is hard to find 12 people you know. That's how I met the folks on my team!

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  11. It looks like you've got it all sorted, girl! I feel like running with the promise of food has to be the best position to be in, haha! ;)

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    1. Haha, that's pretty much all that's going on in my brain the last half of any run I've ever done.

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  12. You're so well organized, girl! I've never run a Ragnar, but you make it sound like fun :)

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    1. It's so much fun! And they're all over the place, and such a great way to explore the area the race is in. You drive and run backroads which to me is even more appealing.

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  13. You go girl! Such an inspiration. Love your zest for life. xx

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  14. Love this! I feel like when I did Ragnar we were oddly way too lucky with having a house to use as our "base" after each leg. I'd love to do it sometime and just stick with the van/car. Sounds crazy, but experiencing it that way sounds like a ton of fun! Haha. Good luck with it!!

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    1. Yes, we were able to shower between legs 2 & 3 and snag a few hours of sleep which was amazing. I think that's what would make Ragnar Trail so fun, is you would have a home base for everything instead of having to pack up & keep driving.

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  15. Have a great time ! Glad to read the weather will not be pouring rain, hope the heat is manageable.

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    1. The humidity wasn't my favorite, but I can run in that, plus it gets people out & cheering, much better than the rain for sure.

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  16. That top picture of you is awesome! I have never done a ragnar (not sure I could do the limited sleeping part), but I give you so much respect! My husband does these 200 mile relays like they're going out of style. My favorite post run meal is a huge smoothie bowl, topped with fruit, dry cereal for crunch, PB and chia seeds.

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    1. Mmm. I would have killed for a smoothie at some point during Ragnar, but I just didn't have an opportunity. I would have even accepted a McDonalds smoothie at that point!

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  17. The Ragnar is one of my goal races someday! :) I love that picture of you running at the top, because you look so excited despite the fact that it was raining. That's some contagious joy right there. :) I hope the Ragnar goes well; it will be wonderful to read a recap? :)

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    1. I think there are several out your way Emily! Especially if you like trail running! Haha, I should confess that I look that excited because I was about 100 feet away from being finished with my run! Haha. But I was excited for sure.

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  18. I am running Ragnar ADK next week! You bring a lot and I love this list! I don't bring nearly as much, but maybe I should. Definitely need to bring a towel this time around =P

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    1. I would be so intrigued to see your packing list, I always feel like I bring nothing compared to the rest of the folks in my van.

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  19. my fave post run meal is EVERYTHING. seriously. i could run a 5k and be like i deserve 3000 calories.
    i am kinda glad i don't know enough people in this country to do this race hahaha. it sounds terrifying!

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    1. It's so much fun! I love it because there is never any pressure to run a certain pace. They change your start time based on when they think you'll finish, but the finish line party goes on all day anyways. So, if I'm slow, I'm slow, in the scheme of 200 miles a minute or two off my normal pace is NBD. :)

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