Running Relay Checklist: 2019 Version

Doing a relay this year? I am … one I’ve never done before but have wanted to check out for years. The Wild Rogue Relay starts in Medford and finishes in Brookings, and it’s a challenging and beautiful route. It’s been a while since I’ve done an overnight relay, so I figured I better update my relay checklist (see the bottom of this post for my list). I’m 40 now, so I don’t think sleeping on the ground will be quite as easy … but I also know better what I really need and what’s just “nice to have.”

The first addition to my list is the myCharge HubMax portable charger. Once I’ve fully charged it (by simply plugging it in), it holds 10050mAh. What this means is that you can completely charge your phone a few times over before you need to plug our myCharge in again. (Of course, the age and health of your phone’s battery, charge capacity, and other factors make a difference.)

I like the HubMax because it’s got an Apple® Lightning™ cable, an integrated micro-USB cable, and a built-in USB port (so you can charge your running watch). This makes it great for a relay because these options all but guarantee that everyone on your team will be able to power up enough to at least call home and check on the little ones, furbabies, or just call between vans during those windows of actually having phone service on a relay route.

The HubMax is available online for $99.99, but there are other smaller versions as well at $79.99 and $49.99. Check out the complete line, including chargers for older iPhones with different jacks.

The next addition is a pre-toothpasted toothbrush (or a disposable toothbrush, just make sure it’s got the toothpaste already in there). I actually was able to get some of these for free from my dentist, so check there first and see if your dentist’s office has any. (And if you need a dentist, Dr. Thao Nguyen at Beaverton Dental Arts and her team are amazing.)

You can buy pre-toothpasted brushes on Amazon, and both Crest and Colgate make some, but then you’re talking about buying in bulk or paying more than it’s probably worth to you. What you’re looking for is one where you can just add water and brush.

I am not always a fan of disposable items, but on a relay, when everything is jammed in your bag and finding your toiletry bag in the middle of the night is possibly the noisiest activity every, a disposable toothbrush is worth it. Plus, you’re not having to bring your standard size toothpaste or buy a travel size toothpaste. They’re also great for overnight/international travel.

And last but not least, new sunscreen. Again: I’m 40, and my dad has skin cancer, so I’m even more vigilant about making sure my sunscreen is current and effective (which means it’s also applied correctly). My favorites right now are Coppertone Sport (I use 50 SPF) because it goes on easily and doesn’t “soak in” too quickly, so I can make sure I’m covering everything; and Neutrogena’s Clear Face 55 SPF sunscreen for my face. I also wear a hat, and make sure to get the tops of my ears! It’s easier to ensure full coverage with a lotion, compared to a spray, but if you’re more likely to use a spray, do it. And re-apply according to the label, especially if you’re sweating!

Kelly’s Relay Checklist:

  1. myCharge Maxhub Portable Charger
  2. Pre-toothpasted toothbrushes
  3. A new bottle of sunscreen
  4. 3 Gallon-size Ziploc bags – put each running kit into each one so you aren’t scrambling to find socks, and then after running, but the sweaty clothes into one so it doesn’t contaminate your other gear (include hats!)
  5. Comfy easy-to-slip on shoes for between and after your legs
  6. Warms: sweatpants, sweatshirts, hats, and gloves (it gets cold at night, especially at elevation so this is more important at some relays than others)
  7. Stuffable sleeping bag (check its rating, so you will be warm enough – borrow from a friend if you don’t have one) and a sleeping mat (unless you’re like, 22, and sleeping on the ground doesn’t bother you)
  8. These Sterilite drawers are available at Target for $5.99.

    Small drawers (like the ones pictured, or on Amazon these Sterilite brand drawers which are about 5″ by 8.5″ by 3″) to store important things like wallets, contact cases/glasses, inhalers, vaseline, sunscreen, toothbrushes, headlamps, watch chargers, etc. Put these in the back of your vehicle so they’re easily accessible

  9. Depending on the relay, a paper map of the area you’ll be in, just in case you don’t have phone service and get lost (if you get really lost, the relay handbook won’t help you)
  10. 3 garbage bags – do a cleanup during your van’s last runner’s leg each time and you’ll have a much more pleasant ride and be able to get ready more quickly after your rest
  11. An obnoxiously large/bright keychain – be like Starbucks and use a plastic cup or something that will be very hard to lose in the van

And last but not least, my #1 relay rule: NOTHING ON TOP OF THE VAN. I speak from personal experience that setting a phone, wallet, or water bottle on top of the vehicle may be forgotten about and lost forever as you drive off.

Happy relay-ing, friends!

About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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