Tips for first time Ragnar Wasatch Back runners
It’s almost time for the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back. And if you’re a newbie to the race your stomach is turning in knots. You may be wondering what to bring, how it all will fall into place, and if you’ll be standing after that third leg. Let me try to calm some of your worries. Last year was my first race, and like a crazed running addict I signed up again for this years race. So here are some tips that will hopefully make your run (and van) time go smooth and fun.
What to bring for food:
- Grill some chicken breasts with olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. You’re going to want that protein at some point, and unlike a sandwhich, it won’t get soggy or need to be assembled at 3 a.m. when your brain is no longer functioning.
- Ginger Snaps, or hard ginger candies. Because of the odd hours you’ll be keeping, your stomach may get upset and ginger is said to help settle the stomach.
- Chocolate milk is great for your post run. It has carbohydrates and proteins that help replenish muscles and replace fluids lost from all that sweating. Plus, the sodium and sugar helps retain water and regain energy.
Other food you may want is oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, and energy bars. Don’t eat just energy gels and bars because then you may have to visit the bathroom one too many times.
In addition, be sure to change your clothes at least once, if not after every leg. It feels great to be in dry clothing in-between runs. If you have the opportunity DO take a shower at one of the offered locations. I took one last year in between my second and third leg. It was refreshing and helped me feel energized for that last leg. So bring a little bottle of soap - it’s amazing how grooming (brushing your teeth and washing your face) makes you feel better when you’re exhausted.
Most importantly, if you’re in van 2 and you get to where you think your first exchange is (exchange 6) and it just doesn’t feel right…you may be right. Ask one of the other runners if you’re in the right place. Volunteers, if it’s their first time, don’t always know the answers. Don’t be like our van last year and be at the wrong place for nearly 2 hours. Just ask someone; it will save a lot of stress and confusion.
Lastly, make sure someone in the van is taking pictures. You’ll want to remember silly moments, but later in the race everything starts to feel like a dream due to exhaustion. With photos, you’ll be able to look back and remember all the fun you had, which will drive you to sign up again for 2012′s race.
Most importantly, be safe and have fun!
For more information, visit the Ragnar Wasatch Back website.