RAGNAR: packing, tips, and what to expect!

As an adult, I never thought I would be pulling all nighters – and here we are, 3 Ragnars & 1 similar trip later. What is a Ragnar? It’s 12 people (or less if you’re crazy), 2 vans, 200 miles all done in about 24ish hours!

I’ve only ever done road Ragnar races but there are trail options as well! Honestly, it’s an adrenaline rush and an adventure which ends in no sleep and new friends (or brings you closer to old friends)!

When I was first invited to do a Ragnar I was lost and had no idea what to pack, insider tips, and even what to expect – so here we are. Here’s your all inclusive list!


  • 3 Running Outfits – you will be running 3 different times and you don’t want to be stuck wearing the same clothes. Extra socks, underwear, sports bras, tops, bottoms, etc! x 3
  • Gallon Baggies –  When I was packing I put each outfit in a gallon baggie, then when I was done running and switched into the outfit from the bag I put the sweaty outfit in the gallon bag. (good for smell in the van and keeping your wet clothes contained)
  • Extra shoes
  • flip flops or Oofos
  • Rain gear – you never know!
  • Sweatshirts and sweatpants – bring layers as it gets cold at night!
  • Clothes for the post race festivities!
  • Blankets & pillows – if you can fit blanket in your bag I would but not totally necessary!
  • Phone charger & car adapter
  • Reusable water bottle
  •  Headlamp, blinky lights, Safety Vest – you NEED these to run at night
  • GPS watch
  • I brought a flipbelt to carry my phone
  • Headphones if you choose to run with them
  • Foam roller or stick
  • Deodorant and shower wipes
  • Sunscreen
  • FOOD – I always recommend bringing things you know your body can digest or you’re used to eating
  • Misc: hair ties, aspirin, compression socks, nuun for electrolytes, hats, sunglasses, body glide, van markers, etc!


  • Know how many miles you are going to run and speak up if you want more or less before race day -be honest & I’m sure your team can work with you.
  • Eat what your body knows – the last thing you want is to be sick and your van is trying to hurry to the next exchange zone
  • I’ve done two where we had a designated driver and two without a driver – I loved it both ways!
  • I brought pre-workout or caffeine pills (I don’t drink coffee) for my runs! Those 2am runs are hard when you’re tired and that last run you’ll want a little kick!
  • Take recovery seriously – drink aminos, electrolytes, roll out, stretch, walk around outside the van when you can, etc!
  • Get to know your team before! In almost all my groups we had chatted before about who was bringing what or swapped phone numbers.


  • I’ve been thrown into a van full of people I know and full of people I don’t know. Both are great – know you’re going to spend 24 sweaty, tired, and absolutely hilarious hours together.
  • When your van gets ready to start you’ll watch a 2 minute safety video, check in with your safety gear, and get ready for your first runner to begin.
  • Each runner has a bib and a snap-it bracelet is handed off between runners as a “baton”.
  • The Ragnar App is amazing – all the directions to each exchange zone is in the app & details with updates. Basically all you need to know – in the app!
  • As the runner: every turn is marked with Ragnar signs & even the infamous “1 Mile to go” sign is out there! I’ve never gotten lost – even at night the signs are blinking!
  • As the runner pt 2: there are so many teams that you’re most likely always going to see another runner!
  • The little exchange zones are between runners in the same van and the bigger exchange zones are when you’re exchanging between vans. Usually these are a big party and they have food, places for sleeping, one race even had shots of bourbon, etc!
  • While the other van is running – this is your time to go get some substantial food.
  • You’re going to get tired, so sleep when you can, but trust me – your adrenaline will be fired up and you’ll get through!

You get really close to the people you spend 24-30 hours in a van with they become like #vanfam .

Have any Ragnar Relay race questions? Any tips I forgot?? Share them or comment below!

About: I have ran in the Ragnar Relay Cape Cod, Bourbon Chase, and Colorado.

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