How to Prepare for a Ragnar Relay [and a Giveaway!]

Ragnar Relay Cumberland to DC | almost getting it together

First off, I want to thank everyone for their kind words on yesterday’s post. Truthfully, I wrote it while still a little angry, went back and edited it the next day, and decided to just publish it anyway. Thanks for not thinking I’m a brat.

Earlier this summer, either June or July (I remember being in Portland when this happened), Emily texted me to ask if I wanted to join her Ragnar Relay team. Secretly, I had been super jealous that she was doing a Ragnar Relay and was hoping she would ask me to be part of Team Beer (Yes, that’s really our team name).

So, I decided I should probably try and prepare because my motto is “be over-prepared in things and under-prepared in plans and everything else”. You’re actually required to have certain safety gear since you’re running at night.

How to Prepare for a Ragnar Relay


  • I’m in the midst of marathon training, so obviously I can run ~16 miles in a 30-36 hour time frame so I’m okay there.
  • I have been running 2-a-days one day a week (Tuesday, because of Trail Run Tuesday, obviously) to get used to running on tired legs. Also, this week marathon training really hit me. I am tired. And sore. And rungry.

Gear (note: this is besides all the obvious stuff like toiletries, etc.)

  • I’m packing three running outfits in three separate ziplock bags so they don’t get everything else gross after I’m done running. Right now I have Lululemon Speed Shorts and Nike Dry-Fit Tanks as my outfits, but I need to check the weather (re: planning).
Ragnar Relay Cumberland to DC clothes packing | almost getting it together

Shorts, sports bra, tank, socks and a dryer sheet in a ziplock bag – one for each leg!

  • The cool thing about your dad working for an oil and gas company means he can usually scrounge up really random safety things. He gave us headlamps, which are required.
  • My dad also gave us safety vests, but they were too big, so I went to Gingerbread Man Running for ASICS Lite-Tech Vests for Emily and me.
  • My friend Lorraine who ran a Ragnar (and who I went to visit in Boston last weekend!) told me to buy ShowerPill body wipes so I ordered those.
  • I’m taking two pairs of shoes (they suggest it, in case it rains) but mainly because I’m running in two pairs of shoes. (If anyone cares, I’m currently running in Mizuno Wave Rider 17
    and Brooks Ghost 7.)


  • Apparently, it’s a good idea to memorize your routes, or write them down or take them with you or something, especially at night in case you’re alone. I have mine printed out thanks to a prepared teammate, so I should probably put them in my phone so I have them readily available.
  • I need to research places to eat on the course (see below) but the second van exchange is at a creamery, so the ice cream stop is covered. (Is it a trip/long run day without ice cream? NO.)


Ragnar Relay Cumberland to DC food packing | almost getting it together

Ragnar Snack Essentials: Kind Bars, Nuun, Overnight oats (in a bag, just add yogurt + almond milk) and nut butter).

  • Luckily, Emily’s parents are with us in the van so we figured we will be the ones deciding where to eat. Neither of us are “snacks as meals” type of girls, so we will hopefully find places to get real meals.
  • I’m packing Nuun because I never do a very good job of replenishing my electrolytes because I’m not a Gatorade/Powerade/Sports drink filled with fake crap type of girl. I’ve been drinking a tablet almost every day lately and it has definitely been helping in my recovery process… plus it’s a nice change-up from plain water. I’m giving away some Nuun to a lucky reader… scroll down to the bottom of the post to enter!
  • KIND was kind enough (pun intended) to supply us with a bunch of bars because I’m obsessed and ALSO for the most part they have a great carb-to-protein ratio which is good for recovery. They are seriously the only snack bar that keeps me full and satisfies me (yay fiber, protein and fat from nuts!). They are currently in my freezer because I don’t trust myself to not eat them all before Friday.
  • Just to be safe, I’m going to pack some overnight oats and energy bites as extra snacks/emergency breakfast.

I’m definitely probably forgetting a ton of things so check back next week for a recap and probably a “things I wish I had done for Ragnar” post.

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Top Photo Credit: Ragnar

Chat with me:
Have you ever ran a Ragnar Relay? Would you ever? Have any tips for me? What’s on your fitness bucket list… or bucket list in general?

25 comments on “How to Prepare for a Ragnar Relay [and a Giveaway!]

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Em Todd @ CFGF on September 10, 2014 8:03 am

An important plan you missed: the party at the finish and the BEER!!!

Em Todd @ CFGF recently posted…BALTIMORE EATSMy Profile

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Danielle on September 10, 2014 8:27 am

Hi Cassie! It sounds like you are well prepped! My husband Kyle runs the Ragnar–the one from Cumberland/Rocky Gap to National Harbor–the past three years with Hilton. (Their team name is We Came We Saw We Ragnared.) I asked him for some tips. Aside from the things that you mentioned, he suggested moleskin, body powder and Glide–all personal preferences. Also, he suggested trying to generally maintain the pace you set for yourself. Shaving off a minute from your per-mile pace = not worth it. Since the entire event is based on coordination, you want someone to be at the exchange to meet you.

I haven’t run the Ragnar but I spectate, have volunteered at an exchange, and usually am at the finish line for the after-race shindig. One of my goals is to run a half marathon and a Ragnar (because it looks SO fun!).

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Breakfast Runner on September 10, 2014 8:44 am

I checked off one of my biggest bucket list items this past year. Run Boston! Now I just need to go back and NOT die at mile 20.
Breakfast Runner recently posted…This Week’s Training Recap: Last 20 mile LR!My Profile

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Cassie on September 16, 2014 10:05 pm

2015 is your year. You’re going to kill mile 20 as well as miles 1-19 and 21-26.2.

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Annmarie on September 10, 2014 10:08 am

I’m running a Ragnar at the end of the month! Have fun & good luck at yours! :)
Annmarie recently posted…Nuts for NuttZo- Review & GIVEAWAY!My Profile

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Cassie on September 16, 2014 10:05 pm

I hope these tips/my recap help you prepare… e-mail me if you have any questions!

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Susie @ SuzLyfe on September 10, 2014 10:25 am

Totally want to do a Ragnar! Can’t wait to hear about your experience!
Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Gluten, Dairy Free Chocolate PB Zucchini Oat Protein BreadMy Profile

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Marcia on September 10, 2014 10:52 am

Have a great time! I ran Ragnar a couple of years ago and it was a freaking blast. NYCM is on my bucket and fingers crossed, that one will be checked off on 11/2/14!

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Jessica on September 10, 2014 11:00 am

I checked off one item on my fitness bucket list last summer – trained for and competed in a powerlifting competition. After this baby is out and I’m recovered, I want to shoot for my first 10K!

Good luck with the race!
Jessica recently posted…Relationship Like You Mean ItMy Profile

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Lisa N. on September 10, 2014 12:19 pm

On my bucket list is: Run Boston!

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Alli on September 10, 2014 2:08 pm

I ran my first Ragnar this past summer in Chicago and I loved it. Wish I would have read this blog before hand!

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Erin on September 10, 2014 2:47 pm

my big bucket list item of the moment is a helicopter ride, perferably through a city or the grand canyon (do they do that?!) or something really cool

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Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner on September 10, 2014 3:03 pm

I’m so excited too hope I get to meet you! I haven’t done any 2 a days as I am nursing an injury and trying not to let it get worse. I’m feeling much better now so I think I will be good. I am runner 1 how about you?
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…200 must haves for a 200 mile Ragnar Relay-An Overpacker’s GuideMy Profile

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ali on September 10, 2014 6:55 pm

nyc marathon is tops on my bucket list!

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liz l on September 10, 2014 7:44 pm

Disney Marathon

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Rebecca on September 10, 2014 10:16 pm

I haven’t run a Ragnar Relay, but I’ve run a couple other ones (HTC and CLR) and they are a BLAST! Seriously, relays are the best! One thing that I’ve learned is that I end up eating more than I regularly do—because there’s not much sleep involved. Also, take plenty of warm clothes–depending on where you are at, you’ll need a lot of layers when you’re not running. :)
Enjoy the experience!

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Cassie on September 16, 2014 10:04 pm


The warm layers were such a smart call, thank you!!

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Mary Beth Jackson on September 11, 2014 7:32 am

I haven’t run a Ragnar yet but it is definitely on my bucket list! Good luck and enjoy the experience!
Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…Skora running shoes & AMRAP winners!My Profile

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katie on September 11, 2014 10:07 am

bucket list = ny marathon, big sur, comrades

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Brittany Koelmel on September 11, 2014 1:57 pm

I want to go to Japan!

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Cy on September 11, 2014 3:00 pm

hehe it’s pretty nice that you’ll be able to cross this off of your bucket list :)

One thing that I’ve always wanted to do is visit every national park in the United States. There’s 50 something of them and I only have like 5 down, so I have a long way to go!

[…] have effectively dodged the end of Summer Fridays (aka Half-Day Fridays) by running Ragnar today! If you haven’t, you can head to that post and enter my Nuun giveaway and stay hydrated […]

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Justin F. on September 14, 2014 12:27 am

Go Team Beer! Have a good Ragnar Relay!


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Lisa F. on September 15, 2014 10:55 pm

I actually haven’t started compiling my bucket list. I’m going to see where life takes me the next few years and then think about that.

[…] I’m a creature of habit. I’ve talked about my love of Nuun before but I love having one while I’m traveling or after I land to get some extra hydration […]

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