7 Tips for Running an Overnight Relay Race

Better late than never, right? I’m back in DC and off to my internship today; I’ll share my recap of my last day of vacation adventures next, but wanted to share this post today because it’s already written and I’m running late. :) Obviously I’ve only done one relay race (Reach the Beach relay — recaps can be found on my race recap page) so I’m hardly an expert and don’t claim to be (and we had drivers for the race, making logistics way easier on us), but I thought it would be fun to share some tips I found the most helpful during our race. Enjoy!


1) Be prepared to use a LOT of porta potties. Bring your own toilet paper just in case!

2) Baby wipes are a lifesaver — immediately after each leg you run, wipe yourself down and change into dry clothes (e.g. your next running outfit).


Photo credit: Jack at /

3) Keep all the bibs and the safety gear in one place so you can find it easily — we had it all in a bag in the front of the car.


safety gear

4) Pack each of your three running outfits in ziplock bags. When you are done with one leg, put your dirty clothes back into the ziplock. Yay — no van stink!


5) Make a pace chart so you can keep track of when the runners will come in! This was our awesome driver, Monica’s, idea, and it proved to be extremely helpful. She kept it updated as we went, using her phone to add actual finish times and adjust that based on when people would be coming in.


6) Pack some Imodium. :) Sitting in a van, not sleeping much, and eating at weird times doesn’t really do great things to your stomach.

And last but not least…

7) Bring a banana costume.

banana suit

It’s really hard to be tired when you have a dancing banana with you.

Above all, just have FUN and go with the flow. Everything is chaotic, but in a good way — just embrace it!

Any of you who have done overnight relay races yourself have any tips to add? What is one thing you’d like to pass on to someone thinking of doing a relay?


  1. 1

    Those are all my tips for being a MOM too!!

    Seriously. Frighteningly close…

  2. 5

    Thanks for the tips. I’m running RTB NH in the fall for the first time. I’m definitely going to use the baggie method!

  3. 6

    Love that banana costume!! I would love to do one of these relay races at some point, it looks like so much fun!!

  4. 7

    I so badly want to do an overnight relay race someday. They look like so much fun! The tips on baby wipes and ziplocks for each running outfit are genius. I would have never thought of that.

  5. 8

    Great tips! My husband and I have done a relay but it wasn’t overnight. We are doing Reach the Beach in New Jersey in October though so that should be fun!

  6. 10

    haha love the banana! and that is one packed car!

  7. 11

    Thanks for sharing these! I’m DYING to do an overnight relay, and I’m really hoping I can get a team together for Ragnar Chicago next year. I’ve been saving everyone’s RTB posts and a few other blog posts about relays in hopes of being super-prepared!

  8. 13

    Definitely putting an overnight relay on my bucket list! Looks like such a blast :)

  9. 14

    Hi Anne, I love reading your blog! This post was great. I did RTB MA this year too. I think your tips are great! Having a driver is a huge help, having the spread sheet is a must, and I ALWAYS bring baby wipes and extra tp to the porta potties.

  10. 16

    I LOVED this race! I tell people ALL the time it was my favorite race ever. SO fun. Great tips! #1 is key.

  11. 17
    Adventurer says

    Love it! Great tips. THx –

  12. 18

    Great tips!!

  13. 19

    Excellent tips, Anne! Do you have any tips I should consider before attending this race?

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