During a Reebok Ragnar Relay, you’ll run one (or more) of your legs during night-time hours. Running at night is an experience that forces you into the moment. For many, it’s magical and winds up being one of the best things about Ragnar. Navigating open roads in unfamiliar places at night can also be naturally intimidating. Whether you’re new to running at night or consider yourself a night running owl, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1.     Wear Safety Gear

It is not only a suggestion, but a requirement for all Ragnar road participants to wear a headlamp, taillight and safety vest while running during night-time hours. In addition to the required safety gear, consider wearing bright colors and lights (like heel spurs) so you can be seen by cars, other runners and can be easily identified by your team.

  1.     Run without Headphones

Ragnar allows you to run with headphones during the race, however, during the night run we suggest skipping the music altogether. This will help you be aware of your surroundings. If you insist on using headphones, leave one earbud out or keep the volume low so you can hear what’s going on around you.

  1.     Run with your Phone

It’s never a bad idea for you to run with your phone during all of your Ragnar legs, but during the night run it’s especially important. Running with a phone will give you the chance to contact your team, race command or emergency help if needed. Plus, if you get lost you can pull up the Ragnar app and find your way back to the course. 

  1.     Have a Plan to Check-in with Your Team

Create a plan with your team for your night run. This could mean the van provides extra support along the way (as long as the leg isn’t labeled “No Van Support”), or having the runner check-in with the team half way through their leg. We suggest the runner over-communicates with the van, and vice-versa.

  1.     Bring a Personal Safety Device

We believe that running at night during a Ragnar is fundamentally safe. However, bringing a personal safety device such as a whistle, ID bracelet or self-defense spray (if legal in your state), are allowed.

  1.     Run with Others

If it’s possible, run with others during your night leg. Ragnarians are the type of people who look out for each other, so even if it means running a little slower than you normally would, strike a conversation with a fellow runner and crank out the miles together. Who knows, you might find a fellow runner who is faster than you to push you to a new PR!

  1.     Take Advantage of your Options: Pacers and the “Buddy Pass”

Nothing is more important to Ragnar than the safety of our runners. If you are timid about running at night alone, we have several options for you to consider including running with a pacer or our new “Buddy Pass” option. If a runner doesn’t want to run alone at night, they can have a teammate run with them. They are, essentially, running two legs at the same time and the ‘buddy’ runner will be able to skip a different leg. Teams who want to use a Buddy Pass will need to let Race Command know which leg they are running together, and which leg they will skip. When a team reaches the leg they intend to skip, they will need to allow time to pass (estimated pace of the ‘buddy’ runner on the skipped leg) before starting the next runner.

  1.     Don’t Ignore your Instincts

If something doesn’t feel right don’t ignore it. This could mean calling your team, contacting race command or in dangerous circumstances calling 911 directly.
Ragnar has created a robust safety system to address inherent risks with overnight running relays and we will continue to evolve our approach.
If you have any further suggestions for Ragnar regarding safety, please email [email protected], and your feedback will go directly to our safety committee.
Have fun, be safe.

1 Comment

  • Thank you for the buddy pass option. we are a coed ultra and have always stressed safety and comfort to the ladies on our team. I personally have slowed to run with other women at night when running through deserted or questionable areas. Always treating the ladies as I would want someone to care for my sister. I’ve printed this, and will show teammates. Thanks again, Tom Trytek

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