If you’ve participated in a Ragnar Relay, chances are you’ve attended their pre-race safety meeting. While they go over a variety of procedures to help keep you safe while running at night, it was their photograph comparing a runner in reflective gear versus a runner in dark clothing taken at 100 yards using the headlights as the only lighting source that remains etched in my mind. Without reflective gear, you are invisible to oncoming cars.
All relays require runners on the night legs to wear reflective vests, which certainly makes sense, but not all relays ask the non-running team members to wear reflective gear when outside of the van to support. Because of this, we often don’t think to make sure we are visible to passing cars. Most of us don’t want to wear the awkward reflective vests unless we have to, and so we end up in our regular running gear, virtually invisible as we stand outside to support our runner.
So what’s a relay runner to do? Fortunately, there are some great reflective products on the market that you can wear comfortable to ensure you are visible. Here’s just a sampling of what’s available:
Relax Reflect Gear
Featuring some of the coolest reflective gear on the market, this company makes a wide variety of shirts, armsleeves, tights and more with funky designs that will ensure you are not only seen but noticed. You can even make your own custom reflective shirt - now that would be a team uniform!
Brooks’ Nightlife line features jackets, shirts, hats and shorts that reflect light powerfully. Their primary colors are black and green.
Similar to the Brooks Nightlife line, Saucony Vizipro features a variety of apparel in pink and orange that will reflect light brightly.
Nike Vapor Flash Jacket
The entire jacket seems to glow at night; no one is going to miss you if you’re wearing it.
Low tech solutions
Have a little fun with reflective tape and an old sweatshirt. You can create designs or words that will light up just as effectively as the fanciest of gear. If you come up with a design that is really cool, send us a photo and we’ll feature your work. Just make sure you purchase reflective tape that works on fabric.