How to Prepare for Your First Relay Race
How to Prepare for Your First Relay Race
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How to Prepare for Your First Relay Race

Are you ready to take on your first relay race but have no idea where to begin? No problem! We’ve got the basics covered, so all you need to worry about is logging those miles and peppering your Insta with that finish line glory!

Choose Your Team and Your Captain

When putting together a team, you’ll probably want to cast a wide net - family, friends, co-workers, classmates - consider them all. You’re looking for a combo of fit, fun, friendly, and flexible people to be your teammates. You’re going to be in a van with these people for hundreds of miles and dozens of hours, so finding the right personality types is critical. Don’t worry if you don’t have everyone chosen when registering - it’s common for teams to recruit as race day approaches. 

Once your roster starts to come together, you’ll need to choose a team captain. This person is responsible for registering the team, assigning runners, picking a team name (make it a fun one!), booking vehicles and hotels, keeping the team informed, and tons of logistics. He/she should have a keen eye for detail and big-picture planning, but also needs to keep people motivated and in good spirits. Choose your captain carefully!

Book Your Hotel and Van Rentals

Many relays have special rates for hotels and van rentals, and it’s imperative to monitor the race site and jump on the bookings ASAP. Those babies go fast! Typically, you’ll need two vans and a hotel close to the start line but definitely refer to the race website for any special nuances and other considerations. Your team might also have special restrictions or lodging needs, so communication with the team will be essential.

Determine the Cost Breakdown

Take careful notes on all expenses you incur (and instruct others to do so as well), so you can add everything up and divide it amongst the team. Some costs include but are not limited to van rentals, van decorations, gas, snacks, nighttime safety equipment, etc. The team captain should determine a method for each teammate to pay and a check-in process to ensure everyone is on track.

Create Your Race Bible

Your Race Bible will include everything - from each team member’s social handle and cell phone number, to the runner segments and van schedule, to the overall course map. Rules and regulations? They should be in your Race Bible. Emergency contact info? Yep - Race Bible. Organization will be critical, but your Race Bible is a repository for all crucial information throughout race weekend. 

The Race Bible will also be an integral part of each team member’s training. Are you taking a midnight shift or waking up with the roosters? Get some nighttime or early-morning training miles so you can get used to running at all hours of the day!

Gear Up and Jam Out

The race will likely provide a comprehensive list of all the necessary gear to stay safe and compliant. Things like headlamps, reflective vests, and blinking red lights are all staples, so be sure to check with the race and bring all the required gear on race weekend. 

If you run with headphones, you’ll want to opt for something that keeps your senses open and sharp. Our headphones use bone conduction technology to transmit sound via transducers that send mini vibrations through the cheekbone to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrums. This leaves your ears open to hear cars, environmental hazards, and other runners and pedestrians. Check out our favourite wireless models here.

Have Fun!

You’ve put in the planning and training; now it’s time to execute! Whether it’s competitive or for fun, your first relay experience is one you’ll never forget. Relish the challenge, and come prepared to have fun with an exciting, new experience!

If you’re thinking about running a relay, consider one of these AfterShokz partner races - Ragnar Relays or Hood to Coast relays. And, be sure to share your relay race glory with AfterShokz on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!