Steps to getting to the relay start line

For the last few months I and eight other awesome ladies have been getting ready to head up to North Carolina to run (or drive, thanks Sarah!) the Smoky Mountain Relay. We thought we would share some of our relay knowledge gained for those of you thinking of doing one yourself.

1) Pick awesome people to be on your team. If you can find someone who is good at getting sponsors, someone who is super organized, someone who has great attention to detail, someone who has a lot of common sense, and someone who is super calm about everything your team is pretty perfect and has all bases covered. Each person on your team is gonna bring something special to the party and that is what makes relays exciting! It is a group effort.

A little relay planning a little wine- perfect evening.
2) Distribute tasks. You have a whole team. Let everyone contribute to the effort whether it is organizing the legs or gathering some supplies. No need to dump everything on one person. This is easier when your team is 85% local to the area. That being said if there is one main organizer or team captain- say thank you and say it a lot. A lot of thought and effort goes into making sure a group of people get across 200+ miles hopefully safely and happy and wanting to do it again!

3). Lists are your friend. Grocery lists, leg lists, who is resting when lists, packing lists. There is a lot of info and logistics to remember. Write it down and share it with your team. No need to show up with 12 of everything but you don't want to forget something like a first aid kit if you think you will need it. And since all my teammates have seen me run we will have two first aid kits.

4) Have a plan to stay organized with gear. When packing think small and efficient. You may be changing in a hurry/ on the side of the road/ in the dark, etc. Thing about the leg you will be running and what you want for that leg and stuff it in a ziplock bag. This seems to be the most popular way to pack for relays. Keeps things organized and provides something to seal up stinky, sweaty clothes after legs.

5) Remind everyone that they will need to speak up. We are assuming that during the relay everyone will get tired and cranky to some degree. Don't expect anyone to read your mind. Everyone should know their legs and figure out what they need from the team before they start. Do they need to meet the van half way through for water, do they need the van to follow behind during a particularly dark and scary night leg, do you need us to just leave you the heck alone so you can grind out 8 miles uphill while cursing the other runners on the team and the crazy idea that you once had that this in fact would be fun. Everyone will need to make sure they get what they need to be successful. I know when I get tired and cranky or stressed I get quieter and quieter and my face gets more and more like resting bitchy face. But there will be 7 other runners who are tired and cranky too so unless I speak up I am on my own.

6) Keep a sense of humor and a sense of fun about the whole thing. Something will inevitably go wrong ( a huge Chevy van recall that leaves you nervous about transportation, someone will probably get lost, that someone will probably be me, something will be forgotten) but it is just for fun after all. Organizing a relay can be kind of stressful just from the sheer amount of logistics (people, transportation, accommodations, etc.) don't forget that it is supposed to be fun!

7) Thank all the awesome people who have supported the team! Good Girls Gone Trail would like to say a huge THANK YOU to our families who will hold the fort while we go play in the mountains. We would also like to thank ASICS, BIG DOG RUNNING COMPANY, ASCENT ENERGY BARS, JASON BENT and AJ PRINTING for their support of our team. Our supporters have been wonderful in providing us with the means to ensure we have a great relay and relay in style!

Looks at these awesome people I get to be part of team with!
If you couldn't tell I am ridiculously excited to do this!

Are we missing anything??
Any other words of wisdom from you experienced relay runners?


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