Pacers and Buddy Pass

Running at night can be invigorating. The temps are cooler, the stars are out, and for some, it is a new experience. It can also be intimidating, especially if you are new to running by yourself at night. We encourage you to conquer the fear and you’ll probably find it was your favorite run…ever! However, if for some reason, you feel it is unsafe to run one of your legs, we have provided the following options:

  1. Run with a Pacer
  2. Wildcard Division - Switch up the runner order for someone who feels more confident about running your leg. Information on the Wildcard Division can be found Here
  3. Buddy Pass (not applicable for Trail events)

*All of the following information is included in the Race Bible and Trail Guide for your event!

Road Pacers

Run pacers are allowed at any time during the race. Any pacer that is not a member of the team must sign a waiver. The waiver can be filled out Here online. Runner and pacer must run single file. Pacers MUST wear the same night safety gear as the runner (reflective vest, headlamp, and LED). Bike Pacers are ONLY allowed on trails (separated from the road) during Ragnar defined night time hours (reference the Ragnar App for race specific nighttime hours). In addition to the other night safety gear as runners, Bike Pacers must also wear a helmet.

Road Buddy Pass

The Buddy Pass is basically running with a pacer. The difference is that the leg will count as two legs of the course, effectively allowing you to “skip” a leg. You have two options as to how you can use the buddy pass:

  • Option A: Recruit a team member or “buddy” to run the leg you don’t want to run by yourself. The buddy runner can skip a different leg at a later time during the race.
  • Option B: Skip the leg you don’t want to run altogether and buddy up to run with a teammate on another leg at a later time during the race. Here are some more details should you choose the Buddy Pass (Option A or B): 

Text Race Command which leg you are doubling up on, and which leg is being skipped. Estimate the time it would have taken you to run the skipped leg and wait that amount of time before beginning the next leg. Don’t just skip the leg and drive ahead to the next exchange and start up immediately. This measure is to keep you safe by not getting ahead of our setup crew, volunteers, and police. Check in with volunteers at the restart exchange to ensure your team is recorded as back on course. Teams who utilize the buddy pass will be placed in the Unofficial Division. Teams will still receive shirts and medals and be able to finish like all other teams, however they will be excluded from results and are not eligible to place in their respective divisions.

Trail Pacer

Running pacers are allowed during the race. Please try to pace within your team before recruiting outside pacers. Runners may run with ONE pacer at any time (humans only, sorry no dog pacers). Runners are not allowed to have more than one pacer at a time. Pacer and runner should run single file when passing another runner or being passed. Bicycle pacers are never allowed on the course. Note that all pacers must sign a waiver if they are not already on the team roster. The waiver can be filled out Here online. Trail running at night under a blanket of stars can be one of the best experiences. It can also be thrilling and even a little frightening to hear a deer rustling in the bushes as you run past. But just because it is thrilling, doesn’t mean that it is dangerous. At Ragnar, we are very focused on safety. Any safety concerns on a course or specific loop will be addressed quickly during the race. In an extreme case, this could include “holding/closing” one of the loops or the entire course for a portion or entirety of the race. The “Buddy Pass” as offered at Ragnar (Road) Relays is not offered at Ragnar Trail Relays. Any runner who does not feel comfortable running a nighttime loop by themselves should run with a pacer. Any team who skips a loop (IE – runs less than the full 24 loops) will receive a DNF on the official race results.

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