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It was around 6 a.m., on the side of a road someplace outside Park City, Utah, as I danced with a human banana, that I ultimately accepted the suggestion that this was not your normal running race.

In reality, if the dance banana hadn’t been among my colleagues spruced up and also waiting for her count on run, I may have believed I was visualizing. Our team had been going through capitals of Utah given that 2 p.m. the day in the past. We had actually slept merely a few hours in our massive individual van, consumed a weird mix of Oreos, salami sandwiches, as well as Clif shot obstructs, as well as only gotten shed two times. And we had another 12 hours to precede we were finished with the 200(ish)-mile relay race. But, right then, we were largely concentrated on dance. The track finished and also a person yelled, “Once again!”

“Do not take the race also seriously,” stated Christi Leong, a.k.a., the dance banana.

Our group of 12 people, broke up into 2 vans, ran the Ragnar Wasatch Back relay in Utah earlier this month. It’s one of a growing number of over night relays, which have ended up being significantly preferred events in the last 20 years.

Ragnar, which is the largest of the relay race coordinators, held its initial occasion– the Wasatch Back relay– in 2003. Just 264 runners participated after that. 10 years later, the Wasatch Back race had 17,500 joggers. This year, when my team got to the race’s goal at the Soldier Hollow ski resort– residence of the 2002 Olympic Games– the groups of people appeared to stretch via the fields for miles. “It’s like Coachella,” stated my Aussie teammate.

Ragnar now has 16 races and also an additional eight path relays. Other occasions have actually seen comparable development, with virtually 20,000 joggers taking part in the popular Hood to Shore relay in Oregon and concerning 2,000 individuals running in loads of smaller events, like The Relay throughout the Golden Entrance Link in San Francisco.

The development in group running relays has even prompted its very own RelayGuide web site, with a full schedule of occasions– in addition to its own debates. RelayGuide has actually gotten rid of all Ragnar races from its listing due to grievances over copying various other events’ paths as well as plans.

The appeal of these occasions is both in the difficulty– running isn’t really very easy– but likewise in the team element and also the approachability. The majority of the specific relay legs typically aren’t overly challenging for everyday joggers. And also, with a team cheering you on, you’ll most likely do greater than you believed you might– and also enjoy doing it.

“It’s not concerning running away from each various other. It has to do with running with each other,” stated Roger Butturini, the race supervisor for Tom’s Relay, which has been going strong because 1999.

Whatever occasion you as well as your close friends decide to take on, here are some suggestions for going the distance:

Pick Your Team

You’re visiting be investing a great deal of time with these individuals, so select intelligently. Many occasions are created to be performed in groups of 8 to 12. “I believe exactly what made it so fun for me was obtaining a group of people that I understood well, love, and also trusted for this occasion, as well as recognized would be encouraging me, and also knew would certainly all look out for one another,” claimed Leong.

Ragnar teams are normally composed of 12 runners, that each run three legs totaling about 13 to 19 miles. Some groups, however, do the very same mileage with just six or three runners– indicating everyone runs a whole lot more. Tom’s Relay, on the other hand, let’s teams have as numerous or as few people as they desire. “One team this year had 46 people,” claimed Butturini.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Once you have a team and also an event chose, it’s time to begin preparing. The majority of these relays cover about 200 miles, so you’ll should make certain you have everything ready.

Rent a Van: Many occasions are organized so that you require 2 vans– one that is “on” as well as one that is “off.” This allows the team that isn’t really running to remainder and also consume and also take a time-out. While larger vans or RVs are more difficult to drive, you’ll value the added room to nap and stretch (and also not hop on each various other’s nerves).

Find a Home Base: When you’re done, you’ll intend to shower, eat and sleep. You’ll likewise want to socialize as well as amuse each various other with stories of your valor, particularly the teammates who were in the other van.

Divide Up the Legs: Make certain every person feels comfy concerning their forecasted legs and will certainly have the ability to complete their task. The individual in our van who obtained stuck with the 10.5-mile steep climb up a ski mountain really did not realize that till we arrived. He was an excellent sporting activity and also just began downing on up!

Food and Everything Else: Tons up your van with snacks, massage devices and also sleeping bags, along with tidy clothing and wet wipes. Lots of occasions make arrangements with regional senior high schools to supply food, puts to rest as well as showers, however it can be worth it to quit at a restaurant or supermarket for actual food. Gels and nourishment bars just go so far.

Don’t Get Lost (Too Much): If you make it completely with the whole point without obtaining lost when or missing a single jogger exchange, consider it a success. Have a plan, and contact number, wherefore to do if that happens. Our group was hanging out at an exchange zone at twelve o’clock at night when we realized we were at the exchange zone at the end of the mountain. We required to go to the one on the top of the mountain instead. Every person back in the van! While we reside in the age of the Web and numerous of these races have online directions and even their own event applications, you have no idea how excellent your information insurance coverage will be. It could be worth it to have printed directions, maps as well as addresses. There are a great deal of places you’ll have to reach over the training course of a couple hundred miles.

Take It Seriously– But Not Too Seriously

Because these events are typically prepared to make sure that everybody surfaces around the exact same time, the faster joggers begin later. It matters not if you’re fast or slow-moving, however be truthful. When asked for our 10K times, everybody on our group took down our Public relations, which we did not end up running– and also so we found ourselves rather alone for the first 10 hours.

“You have to remain in excellent enough form to do exactly what you say you’re going to do,” stated Butturini.

Although the other teams that began at the exact same time as us ran much, much faster (and took it far more seriously), I would love to think we had more enjoyable. Keep in mind that this is a group occasion: so support each various other on, let everybody pick a pump-up song and take a heap of photos.

“Despite exactly how tired you are and just how much you may desire to keep sleeping and also stay in the van, at each exchange obtain out of the van, extend your legs, and applaud your runner on. Ensure that they know you’re here for them. It will just keep the morale up,” claimed Leong.

And, she directly encourages that you “do one leg, a minimum of, using something entirely ridiculous.” There’s nothing like getting identified by your teammate, as everybody dances to your song, as well as taking off going through the hills– all dressed as a banana.