Fuels: Fuel early, a couple of days before the race, but nothing excessive. Start drinking water and ensuring you eat the proper meals per days (No spicy 3 alarm chili the night before …unless you are used to that type of meal before races). During the race you want to bring real food too. Cliff bars, snacks, bananas are only going to cut it for the select few. You need real food. Trust me. Pack a sandwich that will survive being out (Peanut butter and jelly/Nutella?) or another food that can survive such as oatmeal (which I think tastes great cold). Whatever you can stomach, try to bring.
Electrolytes: Water is important, but never underestimate the power of Nuun or another type of electrolyte for those hot days. It has been sickingly hot this summer a few times, and you could be hydrated going in, and dehydrated by Friday evening. Having a backup can be a lifesaver.
Body Care: Trust me, being in an enclosed space for 36 hours, opening the windows can only do so much!
- Baby Wipes: When we asked Runners what items they would choose for a relay if they were limited to three- and baby wipes was one of the most selected. They can be very refreshing after a run..
- Under armpit care: Please, for the sake of your friendships and van mates, bring deodorant. Degree worked great during my (military) deployment but I have found Schmidts Natural deodorant smells great and works awesome too. They are a bit on the spendy side ($9), but last forever. Not only that, it has a health conscious formulation, worked awesome on half marathon+ runs in 90+degree heat, and have tons of very enticing smells (like the two I own Lavendar sage and Cedarwood Juniper) that will have your van mates thanking you.
- Your teeth: Disposable toothbrushes are a great way to get that quick fresh feeling in the morning without bringing your toothpaste and toothbrush.
- Feet: Flipflops and Slides are a great, inexpensive way, to let your feet air out and stay comfy. I like Oofas, but they are so many options out there. They really help if you get blisters too.
- Inner body (sleep) : Ear Plugs and a night mask will do amazing things for helping you rest. Will you get great, deep sleep? No, but these items will help get a couple of quick Zzz’s by drowning out and dimming the outside world.
Safety Gear : Nowadays it seems there are so many options for safety gear! You can use the Tracer 360 Nox we have previewed on the blog, and as a bonus the Nox counts as reflective vest AND blinky lights in addition to being comfy and fun. Currently they are running a 10% off summer special. There is also the Road Noise Running Vest with counts as a Reflective vest and Provides tunes for you to run too! (You can read the Tracer 360 Nox review here and the Road Noise review here)
The extras: there are so many more items, but here are a few more must-haves!
- Ziplock Bags: Keep that van fresh by stuffing your shoes or sweaty clothes into these after your run. Also great for keeping trash as you get it.
- Febreeze (spray) : just in case someone doesn’t bring deodorant or the shoes are exceptionally smelly.
- Sign : Make a sign for your teammates to find one another! Saves stress and hassles as you easily find one another.
- Tarp : if you have time to sleep, a tarp helps keep the dew off you and allows a bit more comfort and ability to catch a quick rest.
- a Foam roller or stick: Really helpful for easing some of the lactic acid between legs
So that’s it! There are so many more, but those were the ones I felt I kept reading about and hopefully will help your relay be easier! Did I forget a must have item that is going in your van? Someone mentioned Oreos 🙂 Does that classify as real food? 😛