A REFLECTIVE RUNNING VEST TO MAKE YOUR RELAY RACE SAFER

reflective running vest for relay racers

Some of world’s most exciting and challenging relay races are run, walked and ridden in the States.  The feeling of achievement when completing one of these gruelling races, is only surpassed by the magnificent scenery that these races encompass.  Races take place in mountains, deserts, forests, beaches, vineyards, tulip fields, around lakes and in orchards. These races are carefully planned not only for their challenges but also for their beauty. 

Relay races are run over a 12 to 48 hour period.  All the big relay races continue throughout the night and so, safety is a big issue.  All participants, van drivers and people in the support teams are required to wear reflective vests, headlamps and red flashing lights that clip onto your back.


THE RAGNAR RELAY SERIES

The Ragnar Relay and the 24+ hour relay, was the dream of Steve Hill who organised the first Wasatch Back Relay in 2004. The Ragnar Relay is the biggest series of relay races in the world and organises 13 different races throughout the States and Canada ( two more are to be added shortly).  Most races are around 200 miles (320 kms) long and are run over two days and one night.  The terrain varies greatly from race to race.  The Colorado is the highest, going up to an altitude of over 10,000 feet.  It begins at Copper Mountain Ski Resort and runs through spectacular mountain scenery, ending at Snowmass Ski Resort.  At the other end of the spectrum is the Ragnar Relay Florida Keys which includes a lot of beach.

The Ragnar website states in its safety section, “Each runner starting a leg after night-time hours (night time hours are designated before the race), must wear a reflective vest, a headlamp, and a blinking LED tail light.  Any participant (not just the runner) who is outside their team van during night time hours must wear a reflective vest.”

One Ragnar Relay participant used the Tuvizo reflective running vest and left this review of the product on Amazon: Brett P said, “My friend and I got these to use during the Ragnar Relay Race and we tried them out just to make sure they were going to work.  They fit great and were comfortable.  It did take some getting used to, not having run with a reflective vest before, but I felt very safe running at night and I did feel like it increased my safety and visibility to be seen by traffic.”


EPIC RELAYS

Epic Relays run three relays – Oregon, Rocky Mountain and Cache-Teton.  The various races offer different terrains from mountains to forest, vineyards, orchards and fields of tulips.  Under their ‘Safety Section’, they have written the following, “Between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. every participant outside the team vehicle must be wearing a reflective vest.”


NIGHT TIME RELAYS

There are a number of relay races that are ‘night time’ only relays.  The Red Eye Relay in Indiana was run this weekend and you could choose from a 55 mile run or 110 mile run.  The race started and finished at a brewery, what an incentive to finish quickly!

The 81 on 81 Relay is an 81 mile run in North Dakota and is run from dusk until dawn.  All the night time relays insist on participants and support teams wearing a reflective vest.


WEBSITE

If you are interested in learning more about relay racing in the States and Canada, www.relayguide.com is an excellent source of information and gives you general information about all the reputable races, together with links to their websites.