Use This Overnight Relay Racing Checklist For a Successful Event
Overnight relay races are a test of endurance and athleticism. They are complex events that push the body to the limit and require planning, organization, and the proper gear and equipment. To have a successful event, you must bring the necessary supplies and equipment, including the right clothes, accessories, and high-visibility safety equipment, to ensure a fun and safe race.
When preparing for an extended relay racing event, it is helpful to reference a relay race checklist to ensure you bring everything you need. Use the following relay race running checklist to pack your gear and ensure you have everything you need to run comfortably and safely at your next overnight relay race.
You must wear the proper race attire for extended relay racing. Weather conditions and terrain can affect your attire choices. Plan ahead by familiarizing yourself with the landscape and listening to weather reports. For example, running in cold, wet weather requires jackets, gloves, and warmer hats than running on a warm summer night.
Different runners prefer different setups. Some are minimalist dressers, wanting only shoes and shorts. Others prefer headphones with music, a water bag backpack, and a smartwatch. No matter your preference or style, you will need the following gear for your overnight relay race. Pack at least one of each item for every leg you intend to run:
- 1 or 2 pairs of running shoes. Ensure your shoes fit well and are suited for the trail you will be running. Some experts recommend 2 pairs of shoes, which may be necessary if the course is long or has a varied terrain
- Head gear like hats, bandanas, visors, or headbands
- Running shorts/leggings
- Moisture-wicking shirts
- Undergarments, including underwear and sports bras
- Compression socks and shorts
- Weather gear: raincoat, running jacket, gloves
Beyond your attire, you need gear to run safely and comfortably. This equipment, such as a hydration belt and sunscreen, helps you stay hydrated and protected on the course. Consider bringing the following items on your run:
- A light, reusable water bottle, hydration belt, or backpack hydration system
- A running belt, also known as a PT belt or physical training belt
- GPS or smartwatch
- Anti-glare, anti-UV sunglasses
- Bug spray
- First aid kit
- Emergency contact information
Keep a copy of your emergency contact information in a backpack, fanny pack, or another device you always have with you. If you have an iPhone, input your data and emergency contact person into the Emergency Access Medical ID function. If you have a Samsung device, consider downloading a medical ID app that responders can access if you have an emergency.
Nighttime Racing and Safety Gear
In addition to standard relay racing gear, you will need special equipment to run a night race safely. If you are running a road race or your course is near vehicular traffic, you must be visible at night. Even if your course is in the woods, it is crucial to be visible to other runners and race organizers.
Low visibility is a common factor in accidents where runners are injured by cars or motorcycles. Any road race where cars might be present carries risks, and unfortunately, drivers have severely injured runners in the past. Tragically, runners like 33-year-old Jeremy Kunz have lost their lives.
Wearing protective, high-visibility gear like reflective belts for running or headlamps can save your life.
Headlamps can be seen from ½ a mile out, and drivers can see reflective clothing 150 yards away, giving them ample notice of your presence on the road. Essential safety gear includes the following items:
360 USA’s reflective running harnesses and belts come in various colors and feature a large reflective stripe for high visibility. Our products are lightweight, adjustable, and made of elastic for a comfortable fit that does not affect performance.
Rest and Downtime Gear
Relay races will have downtime between stages, and it is crucial to use these times effectively. Pack gear to help you relax and recuperate, as well as comfortable clothes and footwear. Consider packing the following items when preparing for your relay race:
- Pre- and post-race clothes
- Comfortable clothes like sweats
- Extra socks and undergarments
- Comfortable shoes, slippers, sandals, or flip flops
- Foam roller, yoga mat, massage sticks
- Blankets or a sleeping bag
- Eye mask
No matter your relay race running style, carry personal toiletries to stay comfortable, clean, and fresh throughout your overnight race. While every person has different needs and preferences, most people should bring the following necessities:
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash
- Soap and shampoo
- Deodorant, lotion, lip balm, anti-chafing cream
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
- Wet wipes
Extras for the Big Event
Beyond your race attire and gear, you may want to bring some creature comforts to make the race more fun. Consider packing cleaning supplies as well, as group vans or staging areas tend to become messy quickly, and keeping things clean and organized is better for your team and all participants.
- Garbage bags
- Snacks and drinks
Bring snacks and drinks that are easily transportable and do not require refrigeration. These snacks include protein bars, trail mix, nuts, and dried fruit. Bananas, raisins, dates, coconut water, peanut butter and jelly are all excellent mid-race snacks that keep you running at your peak without causing cramps or discomfort.
Also, bring at least one gallon of water per person, more if the race takes place in hot and humid conditions.
Find the Racing Gear You Need at 360 USA
The right clothing, gear, and accessories can help you prepare for your overnight relay racing event. 360 USA carries a large selection of reflective racing gear that will keep you safe on your overnight run. We provide athletes with affordable hi-vis gear to add to their attire, so they can safely run in all lighting conditions.
Shop our collection of reflective running harnesses, running belts, and military-style PT belts to complete your relay racing preparation checklist and have a successful overnight race.