Tips Archives - Cascade Lakes Relay | Relay on Us™

A Complete Packing List for the Cascade Lakes Relay

Wondering what to bring along on your CLR adventure? Here’s a complete packing list to make sure you don’t forget a thing:

Complete Packing List

By |July 18th, 2013|Tips|Comments Off on A Complete Packing List for the Cascade Lakes Relay

The Importance of Hydration




We are surrounded by it as we run the Cascade Lakes Highway, and yet the lack of it in our bodies can spell trouble to the hardworking athlete. Water can be the difference between a good race and a bad one – the difference between heat exhaustion and just being hot. Do you know how to use water to your advantage during a relay?


Do you need to drink a ton of water in the days leading up to the relay? Probably not.  As long as your urine is normal, keep doing what you’re doing. You can’t cram in water; your body will just get rid of the excess. So spend your energy packing or studying your legs!

Everyone knows that hydration while running is important. While recent research suggests that drinking to thirst is enough to keep our bodies in balance, it is still important to make sure we have water available when our bodies ask for it. You should plan to carry water during the hottest legs (between noon and 5 pm), especially if your run is unsupported (legs #1, 4, 26, 36). If you are not going to carry water, have your team stop every mile to check on you. If you feel thirsty, drink. Your body will repay you by feeling better later.


Hydrating after the run is just as important as hydrating during the run. Let thirst be your guide, and keep a water bottle near. Be sure to keep extra water in your vehicle – after you leave Hwy 97 on Friday, there are no provisions until you reach Silver Lake. On Saturday, once you leave La Pine, you will only have two small resorts to find any provisions at. Stock up.


Don’t […]

By |July 18th, 2013|Tips|Comments Off on The Importance of Hydration

Worried About The Heat? You're Not The Only One

We received the following message the other day, and we thought she is probably not the only one who is concerned about running in the heat. She graciously agreed to let us share her question and our response.


hey there…i was wondering if you have any helpful hints for me and elevation/heat sickness when i am over there again?  I start drinking lots of water a few days before, limit alcohol,have salt and sugar handy..i got sick 2 years ago* on leg 10 and just ran holding ice and being sprayed down by my team for the rest of the relay. i was just over there and the same sickness came on after about mile 10 of the dirty half…i have been training in the heat mid day here in the valley but what other helpful hints do you have?  my team is prepared to help in any way..thx


First, let me say you are already taking the major steps to handle the heat. Being well hydrated and training in the heat are really helpful. The more you can acclimate your body to running in the heat, the better off you are. It takes about two weeks of training in the warmer temperatures for your body to make the adaptations, so the more you can run in the heat, the better. According to this NYT article, the more you learn to sweat in the heat, the better off you are.


Although the NYT article disagrees, I’ve found that keeping yourself cool is another key piece. Ice in the sports bra or wrapped around the neck, dousing yourself with water – all good. The cooler you can stay, the better off you’ll be.


I have read that caffeine can cause […]

By |July 12th, 2013|Tips|Comments Off on Worried About The Heat? You're Not The Only One

Taking Care of Your Stomach So It Doesn't Go South

There’s nothing worse than having your insides rebel against you when you are running an intense event like the Cascade Lakes Relay. Relays are notorious for wreaking havoc on your internal systems, so finding ways to manage your digestive tract can mean the difference between a great race and an uncomfortable experience. What is helpful to know is that there are multiple causes of g.i. distress when it comes to running. Some are preventable, while others must be managed. Here’s a guide to the different ways your stomach can go south and ways you can manage so that it doesn’t get the best of you.

Race anxiety/nerves:
It’s no coincidence that you need to use a restroom multiple times before a big race. Your body picks up on the cues being given out by the sympathetic nervous system – adrenaline, namely – and prepares the fight or flight response that will help you perform to your highest level. However, this also means that your body will rid itself of anything in its digestive tract so that it can focus on performance. Now, it’s pretty tough to not get nervous and excited if that’s your temperament but spending some time deep breathing or listening to relaxing music may help. If you know that you are a person who reacts strongly to the crowd and the energy, you will want to make sure that you avoid many of the other diarrhea triggers in the days leading up to the race. A preventive dose of Pepto Bismol may also help.

One of the temptations of a relay race is to pack all kinds of junk food for the journey. But sugar is bad news for sensitive stomachs. When you are running […]

By |June 22nd, 2013|Tips|Comments Off on Taking Care of Your Stomach So It Doesn't Go South

If The Van is A' Rockin'…


Music and relays are like peanut butter and jelly; they just go together.  If your team hasn’t picked out a theme song yet, start your brainstorming, because nothing will unite your runners or walkers like a blast of AC/DC in the middle of the night.


Music can play many roles in your relay experience:


Team Theme:
A good theme song not only provides a backdrop to any video you may decide to produce for our contest, it can provide a way to identify your van in the dark. The night legs for the Cascade Lakes Relay are especially dark, and it is easier than you might think to have your runner go by with no clue that you’ve stopped to help them out. A distinct song, blaring through the night, can help you hone in on each other.


Vehicle Mood:
A music playlist can also help keep spirits and energy up as it ebbs and flows through the weekend. Find a team member who loves music and let them create some playlists to fuel your activities. You might be surprised by how helpful a little 80’s metal can be to perk folks up before they head out to run their leg.


Personal Playlist:
If you are a runner who likes to run to music, you’re in luck; our relays still allow you to wear headphones on the course. For safety’s sake, we do ask that you keep the volume to a level that you are still able to hear vehicles, team members and volunteers – using just one ear bud is a great way to ensure that you can hear what you need to and still get the music you want to push the pace.


There’s been a lot of research about music […]

By |March 6th, 2013|Tips|Comments Off on If The Van is A' Rockin'…

Packing List for Individuals

This is the list for individual runners.  Check out the list of van supplies to see what you should have for all to share.  A printable list is available here.

Running Equipment
– Running shoes (one or two pairs)
– Team uniform (if you have one)
– Cool weather running gear (long-sleeves or sweats) for two segments
– Warm weather running gear (short sleeves and shorts) for two segments
Here’s a great tip for organizing your clothing. Look at the approximate time of day you will be running, and select outfits for each leg. Place each outfit in a large zip-loc bag labelled with the leg you intend them for. This makes it much easier to find the clothes you need once the van becomes a mess.
– Running socks (three pairs)
– Under-wear or jog bras for running (three sets)
– Running hat (one or two)
– Water carrier / water bottle
– Watch
– Flashlight or headlamp (if not provided by your van)
– Hydration drink (Gluekos, Gatorade, etc.)  Bring what works for you!  Your team might have shared supplies, but unless you’ve tried it before race day, stick with what you know.  Trust me.
– Energy food (gels, PowerBars, etc.) See note above!
– Sunglasses
– Sunscreen
– Bug repellent – bring a DEET based one in addition to a natural style.  The bugs are huge out here.  And if you are allergic, bring some Benadryl.  Just in case.
– Deodorant
– BodyGlide – if you don’t know what BodyGlide, you need to learn! This is magic stuff – prevents chafing from your shorts, bra or shirt.  You can find it at your local running store.
– Wipes – Facial wipes or the super cool Action Wipes are nice to have to clean off between legs.  Even if you plan to get […]

By |June 10th, 2012|Tips|1 Comment

Van Supply Boxes

There is a lot of equipment that a team needs that can be shared by the van.  If you are a team that competes yearly, build two van boxes and store them during the year.  When it is relay time again, you can do a quick inventory, purchase what you need, and be on your way.  Here is a list of supplies for each van box (click here for a printable list):

Cooler with ice
Headlamp, waistlamp or flashlight
Cellphones and/or two-way radios – cell service is spotty in many places on the course.
Timing worksheet, stopwatch or timing software
For more about keeping track of time, check out this article. There are several ways you can keep track of your runners.
Copy of legbook
Runner on road sign
Reflective vests (2 – 3)
Antibacterial soap
Extra garbage bags
Fix a flat
Space blanket
Tea tree oil (or similar) for repellent
DEET repellent
Icy Hot
Extra batteries
Thermometer (for gauging heat exhaustion)
First aid kit
Blister care kit (Moleskin, secondskin, bandaids)
Wound / sprain care kit (gloves, tape, bandaids, antiseptic wipes, prewrap)
Toilet paper
Reflective tape
Masking tape
Spray bottles
The afternoon legs can be quite warm.  Spray bottles are great to cool off your runner, and most other runners welcome a mist as well. You just might be their hero is you do (but be sure to ask!).  Some teams even bring squirt guns.  You can also purchase a new sprayer like you would use for spraying pesticides and fill it with water for the ultimate sprayer!
Paper towels
Plastic eating utensils
Pepper spray
If you are worried about cougars, pepper spray is the best defense. While chances are really low you would encounter one, the mental relief of having protection can be worth a lot.
Garbage bags
Window markers
You can find the window markers in Fred Meyer in the school supply section. The ones […]

By |June 10th, 2012|Tips|Comments Off on Van Supply Boxes

Managing the Leg #18 Van Switch Off

One of the challenges of the Cascade Lakes Relay course is the lack of a major sleeping area at the end of leg #18 – where Van #2 takes over from Van #1 deep in the night.  After completing legs #7 – 12, Van #2 can choose to eat in Silver Lake before heading to La Pine High School to rest or sleep (food available in LaPine also) until they are called in to active duty on leg #19.  But figuring out that timing is a bit more complicated than having Van #1 show up where you are sleeping and rousing you to run.  Because it is a 35 – 40 minute (19 miles @ 30mph) drive from La Pine to the exchange point, you have to do a bit of planning to make sure it all goes smoothly.  Here’s what your team needs to do to make sure that the exchange comes off:

1. Van #1 must check in with the communications tent at the start of Leg #16.

No matter how crazy the exchange between runners might be for your team, someone must remember to check in at the Communication Tent/Trailer when your runner gets prepared to depart Ex Pt #16.  (Don’t assign this task to the person heading out to run – there is just too much going on for that person to remember to check in too.)  This check-in starts the communication process with La Pine.  The Comms team will relay your team number and time of arrival at Ex Pt #16 to LPHS.
2. Have someone in Van #2 follow @cascadelksrelay on Twitter with their phone.
The communications team will tweet the arrival of each team at Ex Pt #16.  You should have a […]

By |July 22nd, 2011|Tips|Comments Off on Managing the Leg #18 Van Switch Off

Can You Handle the Heat?

Two years ago, the temperatures on the Friday of the relay were near 100º.  Last year, the temperatures were in the mid-80ºs.

Guess which year had the most problems with runners dealing with heat exhaustion?

If you guessed last year, you would be correct.

When the mercury nears 100º, we all know what to do.  Drink lots of water.  Slow down.  Seek shade.  But when the temperatures are in the 80s, we are tempted to throw that solid advice out the window.  80º just doesn’t seem that hot, but for most of us living here in the Pacific Northwest, it is more than warm enough to give us problems.  We need to make sure that we treat an 80º degree day as we would treat a 100º and take the precautions necessary to keep us safe on the course.  What do these precautions include?

1. Hydrate.
If you are thirsty, drink.  Especially while you are running.  The bigger you are, the harder you work, the more out of shape you are, the more you need to pay attention to how much you are sweating and how much you are taking in.  Make sure that you are also getting electrolytes while you are drinking – you can pick up electrolyte tabs that you add to your drinks or pills you take with water at your local running store.  The elevation of this course (4500 feet) will make some extra demands on those of us who live at sea level, so bring extra water for the day.  Continue to hydrate even when you are not running; hopping in and out of vans and being out in the sun will take its toll as well.  Here are some good tips from Runner’s World.

2. […]

By |June 27th, 2011|Tips|Comments Off on Can You Handle the Heat?

What In The World Do We Bring?

One of the most challenging aspects of a relay is knowing what to pack, especially when vehicle space is limited.  I’ve had teammates arrive with enormous bags with enough equipment to get them across the country, and I’ve had teammates show up without a change of clothes for the entire weekend.  (For the sake of your team, don’t do this!)  One of the best ways to ensure that your team has what it needs without having too much is to spend a little bit of time organizing the van equipment, having team members volunteer to bring some shared supplies so that you don’t end up with 20 rolls of KT tape and no water.

Start by sending out an individual packing list to each team member.  These are the things they are responsible for – if they want to bring them.  Here’s one sample list. And another.  Don’t forget to check out some tips on CLR specific gear that folks may want to bring on certain legs.

The next step is to work on van supplies – the things every van needs, but not everyone needs to bring a supply of (like blister kits, pain killers, toilet paper and so forth).  A sample list for a van supply kit is here.

Some equipment you may want to seek out:

Walkie-Talkies can be  useful for finding your other van in the major exchange areas or giving them a heads up that you are getting near or how you are doing versus your predicted times.   Most walkie-talkies are going to work only when you are within a couple of miles of each other.  Cell phone coverage is spotty at best (Verizon seems to be the most reliable on this course), […]

By |June 21st, 2011|Tips|Comments Off on What In The World Do We Bring?