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One of the biggest challenges for me packing for Ragnar was that I had to do it twice–once before I left Georgia, a full week before the race, and again when I was in Chicago. I did my best and I wasn’t flying, so it was okay to take a lot of ‘just in case’ stuff. Thankfully! Here’s what I packed before we left. Not included here are any actual clothes I planned to wear while running. That was to be packed in a different bag, since I planned to run after I arrived at my parents’, but before the race.


Big ol’ pile of electronics. My husband’s and my Garmin. iPhone and iPod chargers, headphones, armbands… a hotspot so we could hit WiFi on the road. You see lots of electrical, not car chargers there, because my husband planned to rig up a car charger converter to a power strip so we could have electric in the van. It was great–a full six outlets to use, plus standard car chargers. We’re tech nerds, what can I say?


Here you see our sweat towels and my flip flops and swimsuit. I’d gotten a heads up that some of the showers are communal and that a swimsuit would be, um, nice to have. SO GLAD for that tip, thank you Chrisy Tang!


Pants, compression socks, shirt for bumming around the van. I never used the pants or shirt, I just put on my next outfit and added a jacket in the overnight hours. I should DEFINITELY have put on the compression socks, though. Rookie mistake which I will not make again. I brought spare shoes in case of rain. I didn’t need them, but easily could have, so I’m glad I brought them.


Accessories–a hat for sun, sunglass, arm warmers just in case. I did use the arm warmers for part of my overnight leg. Took ’em off a mile in, but that’s what they’re designed for. Can’t say enough good things about my arm warmers. Hydration stuff. The stainless was for chocolate milk, an idea I ditched when space in Chicago go tight, but which I’d made room for. Recover is SO IMPORTANT in a relay. But more on that later. Also, I ended up using all 4 bottles of my hydration belt during the race–the heat indices were over 100 both days we ran. Even if your legs are short, you won’t be sorry you carried hydration if it’s hot like that.


Safety stuff: I use Knuckle Lights instead of a headlamp and I love them. My husband uses the Black Diamond Sprinter. It’s great and well designed–doesn’t pull your head forward with the weight of the lamp. Plus it has a red blinky light built in on the back. We also brought along our old Petzl Tikkas for the other van. We are big fans of the Amphipod Xinglet for an alternative to the bulky reflective vest. Lightweight and super-bright. You can see our trusty RoadID’s there, too. The wrist kind, because as my sister says, if you get hit by a car your shoes will fly off. Good to know. RoadID also makes the red and clear visibility lights you see, too.


Shout out to my new duffel bag! Isn’t it cute?


This is packing in Chicago: You can see that we put each leg’s outfit in a seperate gallon-sized ziploc so we could double check them and grab them easily when it was time to change. We are Ragnar nerds. I don’t care. See the Wet Ones and the Baby Wipes? Those are important. REALLY IMPORTANT. For the love of everyone in your van, get you some. Also added to the stash: a first aid kit with bandAids, Body Glide, and some personal food items. See that Peanut Honey Pretzel Luna bar box? Those are the best kind of Luna Bar, I promise. I am fueled by them, basically. Everything else pales in comparison.


Also seen here: my sleep mask and some sunscreen. Both indispensible. Looking at the stash, I think it appears that I’m going camping…with a baby… and some potheads. I love Ragnar.


Our captain Tim told us to pack light. This is what we ended up. Instead, I felt like we needed a Ragnar Sherpa. (My duffel, David’s duffel, the bag of camera gear, and the suitcase that held our stuff for church Sunday morning–we were staying over with Kristiana in the city).


One more thing to do: Fake tat up! Now we were ready.