Hot Tips for Relay Racing

You’ve heard of the Ragnar Relay or Reach the Beach, maybe you’ve even heard about Hood 2 Coast. These relay races are becoming ever more popular and when your wacky friends convince you to take part check out these tips to make your relay race a success. You can also listen to Ray and Eric chat about their experience here.


This is no doubt the most tricky part of these relay races. We all know how to run, but do you know how to drive an eight passenger van down roads you don’t know? Can you do it while fighting traffic and supporting your runner along the way? Yeah thats where it gets tricky. We know from Our Run Club the podcast that logistics can be a killer. But the well organized races are really good at providing food, some shelter (that isn’t a van) and solid directions. Supporting your runner should be your main goal, but you do have to make it to that transition point in time! Oh and bring along plenty of snacks and water.

Get cozy

You will be in a van with 5 other people for more than a day, and they will be running. So you better pick a crew you’re comfortable with. I didn’t get that option when I ran Hood 2 Coast, and I would have been much more comfortable from the start if I knew the crew I was rolling with. You learn a lot about eachother from spending a few days in a van together. Make sure to bring along a nice sleeping bag, some blankets, some recovery tools, plenty of food and water and try to make your van as comfy as possible. Running fast + sitting down in a van right afterward = not comfy.

Power Shower

This goes without saying. Y’all will be stinky. You’re cooped up in a van with 5 other folks who are all running. You know how bad you smell after a run. Maybe help your teammates out and invest in one of those power shower wipes. Or at the very least some heavy duty deodorant.

Dress for Success

Usually you’ll have three or more legs in these relay races so you’ll want to dress for success. I highly recommend bringing along an outfit for each leg you’re going to run. You’ll feel like a million bucks, you’re friends in the van will thank you and you’ll find that there are plenty of places to change.

Oh yeah the running…

You’re going to be running somewhere around 20 miles total for the relay, if you’re on a 6 person team you can double that. So as I mentioned above bring along some foam rollers, some R8 rollers and plenty of water and electrolyte replacement drinks. You’re main goal after finishing your leg, is first cheering your other teammates on then recovering as quickly as possible so you can get back on the road feeling ok. You won’t feel great, especially on that third leg but you can at least get to OK. Remember that you may be running at night time so be prepared to rock a headlamp and get comfortable in your own head. I know for me running at night my mind plays tricks on me…and I think Ray mentioned something about seeing a moose.

Here’s the bottom line. Relay races are a blast. I highly recommend you take part in one at some point in your life!


Coach E

Bob Bischoff