- Stick with what you know. Whether it's food or clothing or shoes, treat a relay like any race when it comes to new things--DON'T DO IT. There's a chance it might end up fine, but when you're going to be stuck in a van for about 30 hours with no sleep and don't know when you'll see another store for supplies, you're better of sticking with what's tried and true. You want to be as comfortable as you can, both mentally and physically, because a relay has so many more variables than a regular race.
- HAVE FUN!!! Having fun is why we do relays, right? Remember this, even when it's dark and scary, or the porta potties are extra stinky, or when you're tired and cranky and your feet are blistered--THIS IS FUN! Every time I've done a relay, I swear and curse and wonder why I run at all, and question my sanity for running a relay... and yet I just manage to get sucked back into the FUN year after year! :)
- Flashlight or headlamp or approved hat with headlight--make sure you have NEW batteries (because mine almost died half way through my 8mi leg in the middle of nowhere at midnight during Ragnar...) I have an inexpensive but bright LED flashlight that I picked up from the drugstore for a few bucks!
- Reflective vest and 2 LED flashers (one front and one back)--I actually have the Amphipod Running Xinglet that has built in flashers, so it's an all-in-one item! It costs about the same as buying them all individually (maybe even less!), it's super "breathable" and lightweight since it's just straps, and it's more convenient!
Bring some food, some fuel and hydration! Sometimes it's good to coordinate these items with your van-mates so you don't double up, and you make sure no one has allergies!
- FOOD: You will probably get sick of granola bars, bananas, and PB&J. Sometimes it's nice to bring some REAL food if possible! I'm lazy and barely cook anyway, so I bring things like Wheat Thins, Clif Bars, peanut butter, bananas, PB & J anyway.
- FUEL: I like Power Bar Energy Blasts because they're readily available at Fred Meyers, and I like the texture. Usually the legs are short enough that I don't end up using them, but it's good to have some on hand.
- HYDRATION: I recommend that everyone bring reusable water bottles and a big container of water and refilling them instead of bringing throwaway bottles! I like Nuun while running and Zico Coconut Water for post-run.
Think in layers. My "base outfit" is for hot weather, and I bring additional light layering items for mixing and matching since I frequently change my mind and the weather can change.
- APPAREL: 3 complete running outfits in gallon ziploc bags (tank top, sports bra, underwear, shorts, socks); 2 pairs running shoes; arm sleeves; lightweight tech long-sleeved shirt; visor; hoodie and sweatpants; lightweight rain jacket
- GEAR: Garmin, hydration belt with bib clips (or handheld bottle and safety pins), blister prevention items (I prefer kinesiotape, but Body Glide is also good), compression socks, headphones or portable speakers, small foam roller, The Stick
- ESSENTIALS: Wallet with cash, cell phone, car charger
- STUFF! Nalgene, scissors (esp for cutting KT tape), sharpie and ball point pen
- Printout of your 3 legs; printout of team schedule
- Camera. You can use your camera phone but I'm going to bring my dSLR to get some better quality pics!
- TOILETRIES: Roll of toilet paper and/or paper towels, Wet-ones/baby wipes, shampoo and conditioner (the hotel size or sample size packets work great!), sunscreen, deodorant, towel, shower shoes. You may not have time to shower or may not want to shower (sometimes the shower situation is gross or the lines are too long), but bring everything just in case!
- Garbage bags. Bring two or three--for trash, for sitting on, for wet/dirty clothes and shoes.
- Ziploc bags. FOR EVERYTHING.
- 1 complete extra outfit (for after running): Flip flops or comfy shoes, yoga pants, shorts, shirt, long-sleeve shirt, undies, bra
- MEDICAL: Band aids, Ibuprofen, allergy medication,
- SLEEP: Pillow (having a legit pillow helps me sleep sooo much better), GORE Windstopper throw blanket (or sleeping bag, tarp and/or tent, sleeping pad--I usually just sleep in the van, and my little throw blanket is awesome for wrapping around myself at night exchanges too), sleep mask (when you're trying to sleep at random times in the middle of the day, this is a life saver).
- HTC Handbook
- Several plastic bags for wet clothes, garbage
- Cooler with ice (for water, other drinks, snacks)
- Water (can use bottled or gallon sizes and refill reusable bottles)
- Tarp and/or tent
Note: I updated this again after HTC 2014! haha my teammates said I definitely come prepared.