All packed up and ready to hit the road and trail for our 204+ mile trek from Cumberland, MD to Washington DC! We leave tomorrow to spend the night in Cumberland, only to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn and start kicking it out. Checking the weather it looks like we are in for a cold wet t-shirt contest!
I’ve never done a Ragnar, but I’ve done enough hiking and long runs to have a pretty good idea what I’ll need based on the distances and conditions. I’m trying to pack light, but when you’re trying to prepare for a 36 hour run in the rain, there aren’t enough shoes, which means there isn’t enough space! We have an awesome captain who has stocked our van with all the necessary goodies, snacks, a few beverages (we’re trying to use reusable as much as possible to eliminate plastics and waste YAY ENVIRONMENT!) and emergency stuff… But if you’re wondering what to pack on something like this then here’s your guide!
Most importantly, clothes. AAaaaaand zip lock baggies (the big ones). If you’re like me, and even if you’re not, you probably don’t smell very good after a 3, 6, or 8+ mile run. When you’re sharing a van with at least 5 other people, do your team mates a favor and change clothes after your leg. And then zip that stink up and do not DO NOT open it again until you’re ready to throw it in the washer at home. With fabric softener. And extra hot water. Maybe even a presoak. I label them because I will be running 3 different length legs, at different times of the day and in different weather, probably on very little sleep. It just takes the guess work out of it and makes life easier! (for everyone)
Since most of the food is taken care of either stocked in the van or when we have breaks between legs to chow and rest, I’m only bringing my Honey Stinger waffles. They’re super packed with super energy, easy to eat on the run, and they taste soooooo good! I snagged lemon, strawberry and gingerbread and usually eat 1-2 on the longer runs. I’m also bringing my BCAA’s because hellloooooooo recovery! My muscles will need all the help they can get! Finally, I’m sneaking in some pre-workout. I know my last leg is over 8 miles and I know I probably won’t have a lot of rest before that, so I have no shame in throwing in a little C4 to boost my energy and throw a pep in my step! Since I don’t use it often, it should be enough to push me through that last bit.
So if you’re keeping track that’s spare shoes (I haven’t decided how many), 3 separate run outfits in 3 marked bags, Honey Stinger waffles (or other favorite mid-run energy component), aminos and C4. There’s also a hydropack – I use a Nathan pack because it has pockets in front. The Camelbak that we have does not, and when you need your energy, phone for some reason, or whatever, it’s really convenient to not have to take the thing off while you’re running and try to find what you need – I’m not that coordinated. A lipstick charger for the phone is another essential. I have plenty of time between my runs to get a full charge in, but I don’t know where we will be, or when we will have access to power for it. And since it’s my first Ragnar, you bet I’m bringing my GoPro! (wait for my Vimeo after the race for a full video recap!)
What about sleeping arrangements? I stuffed the ENO hammock in my bag because it takes up almost zero space and takes 15 seconds to set up. That’s a luxury I can afford! With the predicted weather, we’ll probably end up “sleeping” in the van, so I stashed a wool blanket and a travel neck pillow for “comfort.” That’s a loose word! Other goodies in the bag are a towel (I picked a raggety one I won’t have issues parting with after the race), head lamp for night running, reflective vest, a change of comfy clothes for between runs, minor toiletries, and baby wipes. Baby wipes go a looooong way. Other than a small stash of cash and my ID for the post-run beer… I think I’m set!
Follow the progress on Instagram (@thefermentedsole) I’m also doing a yoga challenge the month of October, so I’ll be mixing Ragnar with yoga and all sorts of fun!
Experienced Ragnarians?? What do you do?