Training A big question for first time relay runners is about training; how do you train to run 3 legs in the course of 24 hours? Do I have to run twice a day to be prepared?  How long should I go? It can be a lot to digest, but thankfully, there is a lot of information on the subject.Start with looking at what you will be expected to do.  If you already know your legs, see how far the longest one will be.  Take a look at the hills; are you going to need to prep for a monster hill?   One rule of thumb (from Alberto Salazar) says to do the training plan that corresponds most closely to the approximate distance you will be running during the relay.  So do you need to run twice a day to train properly for a long relay?  That depends.  There are certainly plenty of people who do just fine without it.  If you have a good, solid base of miles, you will probably be just fine.   However, if you want to know what it will really feel like, you might want to do a few “daily doubles.”  A couple of rules of thumb – keep them relatively short, rest at least 8 hours between runs, and don’t run them too hard.  You don’t want to cause injury just because you are overly enthusiastic.  Another thing to remember – it takes your body about two weeks to process any training you do, so don’t

Van #1 

Start Time
Finish Time
Leg Time
Total Time
8.5:45:00 AM
7:02:24 AM
7:02:24 AM
7:31:35 AM
77:31:35 AM
8:34:35 AM
8:34:35 AM
9:42:59 AM
6.69:42:59 AM
10:30:50 AM
8.710:30:50 AM
11:49:08 AM
5.411:49:08 AM
12:37:44 PM
Van #2
5.512:37:44 PM
1:23:06 PM
6.11:23:06 PM
2:18:00 PM
8.62:18:00 PM
3:19:38 PM
5.63:19:38 PM
4:14:14 PM
8.24:14:14 PM
5:20:31 PM
3.25:20:31 PM
5:52:31 PM
Van #1    
13Tom7.55:52:31 PM
6:56:54 PM
5.66:56:54 PM
7:47:18 PM
6.47:47:18 PM
8:44:54 PM
6.78:44:54 PM
9:33:28 PM
7.29:33:28 PM
10:38:16 PM
5.310:38:16 PM
11:25:58 PM

Van #2

7.311:25:58 PM
12:26:12 AM
312:26:12 AM
12:53:12 AM
6.312:53:12 AM
1:38:21 AM
3.21:38:21 AM
2:09:33 AM
5.22:09:33 AM
2:51:35 AM
6.62:51:35 AM
3:57:35 AM


Extra batteries
Blister care kit (Moleskin, secondskin, bandaids)
Wound / sprain care kit (gloves, tape, bandaids, antiseptic wipes, prewrap)
Toilet paper
Reflective tape
Masking tape
Spray bottle
Paper towels
Plastic eating utensils
Pepper spray



Headlamp - 2 per van is required
Orange Safety Flag - 1 per van is required
First aid kit
Runner on road sign
Reflective vests - 2 per van is required
Antibacterial soap
Extra garbage bags
Fix a flat
Space blanket
Tea tree oil (or similar) for repellent
DEET repellent
Icy Hot

worry about squeezing in a bunch of workouts the last week before the race just because you didn’t bother to train.  You won’t help your fitness level at all.  You’ll probably only tire yourself out. When Will We Finish? 

 Here are some tips to help you determine your team pace:

1.       Ask your team members to share recent race times with you.  We want your 10k pace because this is going to be closest to your average pace over the course of the legs.  (Half- marathon pace gets used a lot too)   If a team member doesn’t have any recent race results, have them time a run they know the distance running a bit harder than normal (remember –  that competitive drive will kick in!).  Use a pace calculator to translate that pace to the 10k distance.

2.       Use the predicted pace to estimate when you’ll reach each exchange point.  You can build a spreadsheet that calculates the time it will take to run each leg, the time of day that will happen (based on your start time) and a total estimated time to complete the relay.    You can use this information to plan meals, sleeping arrangements and more.  

3.        Don’t sandbag.  The Ruby Mountain Relay cracks down on the teams that are way off on their pace.    

1.  Find your spreadsheet application.

If you have Microsoft Excel, great!  But if you don’t, not to worry.  Google Docs has a great free spreadsheet that is easy to share with the team.  Build your spreadsheet, email the link, and your whole team can have access to your predicted times.  You don’t need to have a Gmail account to use this product; you can use your current email to register.

2.  Setup the spreadsheet columns.
You’ll want a column for the Leg #, the runner name, the leg distance, start time (actual time of day), finish time, leg time (time in hours running), pace (per mile) and total time (accumulated hours running).  The start time and finish time should be formatted as full time – i.e. 5:45:00 AM.  The leg time, pace, and total time columns should be formatted as hours.

3.  Enter the race’s leg information.
This can usually be found in the race handbook.    Enter the distance in miles for each leg.

4.  Enter your team’s pace information.
Fill in the predicted pace for each runner on each leg.  You can make adjustments to each leg depending on how fast or slow you think they might be on that particular leg.  Remember that runners tend to go out very fast with the adrenaline; 2nd and 3rd legs tend to be slower than the first. Night legs also tend to be slower, and big hills, of course, will affect performance.  You don’t have to go too nuts figuring it out; an average 10k pace is probably close enough for planning.  I put the pace info into an hour format – i.e. 9:00:00 for a 9:00 minute mile.  The calculations work out for me.

5.  Enter your Start Time.
Your assigned start time goes in the first row under Start Time.  If you don’t know your start time, you can just plug in your approximate time. Take a look at finish times for similiarly paced teams from the year before; you’ll probably be seeded with teams with the same predicted pace.

6.  Set up your calculations.
This is where things can get a little bit tricky.1.    Leg Time
This calculation starts on the first row.  Leg time is Pace x Leg Distance.  Remember to have it formatted in the hour format.  Fill this calculation down the spreadsheet.2.   Finish Time
This calculation starts on the first row.  To determine finish time, add the Start Time and the Leg Time for that row.   Fill this calculation down the spreadsheet.3.   Start Time
This calculation starts on the second row.  The Start Time after the first row is the Finish Time on the row above.  Fill this calculation down the spreadsheet.4.   Total Time
This calculation starts on the second row.  The Total Time after the first row is the Total Time from the row above + Leg Time on the current row. Fill this calculation down the spreadsheet.7.  Review your predicted pace.Hopefully the calculations are all working at this point.   Once you have the spreadsheet up and running, you can play around with different paces and scenarios.  You can also get a general idea of when you will want to eat and sleep so that you can plan your race.Here’s a sample 

RELAY PLANNING GUIDE - PDF File Download from our friends at

RMR LEG CHART- See Home Page

MORE Relay planning tips:


Creating a RMR Team * See the Race Information tab for more Q&A

* The best way to put together a team is to put someone in charge of filling each van.  That way two people are trying to find just 5 people each
*Don't just rely on your friends.  Friends of friends can join as well as friends of friends of friends.
*Start putting your team together in advance if possible.  It's a lot easier to recruit people when they have time to train and befroe their schedule gets too busy.
*Don't just look for runners.  Lots of people that are in reasonable shape would love to compete.  Talk to everyone.
*Try putting together just half a team and use the Ruby Mountain Relay Facebook Fan page to recruit the other half.  You should be able to find someone that has enough runners for another vehicle
*Make a list of active people you like and would have fun doing something off the wall like this (remember that leg assignments fit runners of all abilities)
*Choose the most responsible team member to be captain or co-captain. They can help gather registration funds, organize travel etc.
*Set a firm date by which you want to register and begin collecting entry fees from members of the team.  Your team members will be more committed to their training and the event once they fill out an entry form and pay their share of fees.
*Make your team name!  Be creative not crude.  
*Set up a team blog, Facebook group, email chain etc.  This will help you communicate with team members and generate excitement for the Ruby Mountain adventure!  We will communicate mostly with TEAM CAPTAINS so  you will need a system set-up for getting information out to team members.  You can use our FACEBOOK PAGE to communicate with your team or other runners.
*Make a plan for the two team vehicles.  Most ideally they should be vans or large SUV's.  You many be able to find them among team members or you may have to rent one.  
*Consider your team uniforms.  You can use the shirts we provide or you can create something more unique for you.  Matching uniforms are not required but help everyone feel unified.  We also give an award for best team costumes.  Yes, this is your chance to run in a superman cape.
*Make sure both vehicles are packed with adequate liquids, food, and basic first-aid.  Remember that your "Cowboy" and "Indian" vehicles need to be 100% self supported. 

If you’re reading this website, there’s a good chance you are excited to participate in the Ruby Mountain Relay.  These unique races allow you to participate in a typically individualistic sport and turn it into a team event.  You’re excited about getting to spend a full day with your friends doing a sport you love. You’re excited to see the scenery and participate in an adventure that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.  But, running a relay event has its own set of quirks too.  You’re going to get little to no sleep for a day.  You’re access to showers is going to be limited.  You’re going to run a long distance, sometimes in the middle of the night.  The van is going to smell like a locker room.  While these things may seem trivial to an excited participant, your friends and coworkers may not be as excited about the prospect of a baby wipe bath.  Yet, you still need them to be excited about the race enough so that you can form a team.  How do you get your friends excited about running a relay and recruit them to join your team? The humorous video below demonstrates an incorrect approach. How NOT To find people for your relay team click here.   

So, how could this situation have gone better?  In this situation, the runner seemed like he was more interested in bragging about how tough he is for participating in an ultra relay, where he is going to run twice the distance of everyone else.  While this may work if you’re trying to recruit the super athlete into your team who wants to find a new physical challenge, it’s not going to work on most people.  Most of the people you know probably aren’t this type of person. So, what can you tell them in order to participate in a relay race like this.  The key is, sell the fun.  The guy in the video above tried this, but he was talking about aspects of the race that wouldn’t be fun for your average person.


The term used for a person you pass during your leg of the relay.  The methods for counting roadkill vary.  Purists will subtract from their roadkill tally if they are passed.  Others will count a person as roadkill even if that person passes them again.  Opinion varies about roadkill; some folks love it, while others feel it is unsportstmanlike.

The term for each section of the relay.  Typically, each runner is assigned legs in a predetermined running order, although the Ruby Mountain Relay allow more flexibility in how each runner rotates.   Each leg will end at an exchange.

The set area for exchanging the wrist bracelet between two runners.

Major Exchange:
A larger exchange where one van takes over from the other.Self-supporting:
All teams are self-supporting, meaning that the team is responsible for providing water, food and transportation for its team members.  The race will not have aid stations along the raceway.

 How To Plan Food for A Running Relay: Spending 24-36 hours in a van with little time to stop for food can be intimidating to say the least.  Last minute shopping trips can leave you with a pile of food that is suddenly unappetizing at 3 am.  Choose the wrong foods, and you might pay the price during your run.  Here are some of the tips we’ve learned through the years to help you plan your meals for your big adventure.

Consider the Course
You will you be out in the mountains miles from civilization! There are no vendors or stores on the route so carrying your own food is vital.  The race guide outlines the various provisions available along the route.  Make sure you are well acquainted with the race before you start! 

Consider Your Schedule
How long is the race?  When will you be running?  If you find yourself with a leg close to the dinner hour, you may need to adjust your eating needs, regardless of what the team plans to do.  You may find that you need to eat at least an hour before you run or you feel the effects the entire time.   If your eating needs don’t jive with the team’s, bring the food you need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.

Consider Your Fueling Needs
Estimate how long it will take your team to finish your race and then determine how often you need to eat to keep you on a relatively normal schedule. Don’t forget that you are going to need some protein as well as carbs for that period of time; solid food really seems to help keep runners feeling their best.  Lots of runners will experience g.i. distress during these races, and some of it can be traced to your eating.  

 Consider Your Team Captain / Team Dynamics
If you have a team captain who wants to run a tight ship, you might not be able to have the luxurious restaurant meal you planned in your head.  It is definitely worth discussing as a team the eating plan, but you also need to have a backup just in case you are running behind or ahead of schedule. Too many people have gotten stuck without a chance to eat because transitions and driving took far longer than they thought it would.   It’s always good to have backup food just in case things don’t go the way you thought they would.

Consider Your Worst Eating Behaviors
Plan for your own personal munchies.  Consider this: head to the store with the best of intentions – healthy eating, low fat foods, perfect fueling for the race – and shop accordingly.  Then, 4 or 5 hours in to the race, after you’ve run a leg, you might start craving salt and sugar, fatty foods and soda.  Don’t be miserable with the boring bagels, bananas and energy bars you’ve stocked up on.   Make sure you have a mix of the foods you should eat, and the ones you know you will want to eat.Consider Your Liquid Needs
Most likely you will be running in warm weather so you’re going to need lots of water.  Drink the types of drinks you are used to; this is not the time to try out a new energy drink.   Stick to what you know.  
Consider Your Electrolytes
If you are one of the “salty” runners (lots of salt left on you after you sweat), make sure you’re replacing those electrolytes with energy drinks and simple foods like chips and salsa work well too.

Van Supply List

It can make a lot of sense to prepare a van supply box – shared supplies to be used by all team members in that particular vehicle.  Do you really need six bottles of ibuprofen? You’ll find that between your various team members, you probably have everything on the list.