Mary Baum

7 Things Not To Leave At Home On Race Day

You have prepared for weeks on end, and race day is finally in sight! Whether you are flying in from out of town, or just driving up the block, here are 7 must have things when you head down to the marathon start!

1.The most obvious, and yet, still forgotten – your shoes!

  • Make sure that you have your favorite pair of shoes with you on race day. It is very common for people to buy new shoes at the start of training. Most people do not realize, that after 16-20 weeks of high mileage training, those once new shoes may be wearing out before race day. Start breaking in a new pair of shoes 3 weeks out from race day, so they are ready to go when you toe the start line.

2. Supporters

  • 26.2 miles is quite the long way to go. If possible, bring some support with you – family, friends – really anyone with a nice loud voice. A friendly, familiar face may be exactly what you need to power through the last 10k of your race. For me, I know that my energy levels suffer around mile 22, so I like to have my sister there with an orange or banana. Make sure your supporters are familiar with the course, so they do not get lost on the way to help you!

3. An amazing attitude

  • A marathon, whether it is your first, 4th, or 50th, is going to be difficult. You are going to have to really dig down deep at times, and convince yourself that you can do it (and really do it well). Do not walk to the starting line with any doubts – trust your training, and know that your hard work will carry you to get that finisher’s medal.

4. Your Emergency Contact Information

  • Don’t forget to fill out the emergency contact information on the back of your bib! It is on there for a reason, so do yourself a favor and fill in the correct information. It is always better to be prepared, than to wish you had been. I always wear my RoadID to make sure that my emergency contact info is readily available no matter what!

5. A change of clothes

  • In your checked bag, pack a change of clothes for post race! You never know what the weather will be like (windy, rainy, chilly) and you will  want to be comfortable. After all, you just ran a long way!

6. Clothes you have ran in before!

  • Do not wear anything new on race day. Even though you really want to wear that cute new top, or that awesome pair of shorts you got the day before at the race expo, pack it away for when you get home. You  would not want months of training to be affected by a shirt seam that is rubbing you the wrong way, just because it is your favorite color

7. Sunblock

  • It is hard to think about a sunburn when you start running in darkness, but it is a real concern. When you are out on hot pavement for hours on end, you don’t want your biggest post race concern to be a sweet racerback tan you got while running 26.2! Lather up with the same sunblock you use on your training runs – you wouldn’t want it running in your eyes now, would you?! Lately I have been using Orignal Sprout sunblock. It is non-greasy, and stays out of my eyes when I get really sweaty – super important!


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If you would like to try the sunblock, use the code FIRST_ORDER_10-U to get 10% off!

There are so many other things that you can bring with you to the start line – everyone is different in regards to their pre race rituals. Just pick yours and stick with it!

What do you not leave without before you head to the start of a race? Share it here!

***Disclaimer: I was sent the sunblock for review. I was not paid for this post. All opinions are my own***

9 Responses

  1. Tracey English
    Tracey English September 21, 2012 at 9:25 am |

    Great post – I wish I’d read it before my first (and only, thus far) half. Neglected to bring the sunscreen and OUCH – the next few days were tortuous.


  2. Theresa @ActiveEggplant
    Theresa @ActiveEggplant September 21, 2012 at 10:53 am |

    Oh, the tough act of remembering your shoes for a race out of town! A few years ago we were travelling to Atlanta for the Peachtree Road Race (an annual tradition in my family!) and once we were about an hour from home my husband realized he forgot to put his running shoes in his suitcase! He was willing to try new shoes for the race (only a 10k) but we realized it was too late to stop at any running store, and we wouldn’t be getting to Atlanta until after the Expo ended! Needless to say, we turned around and headed back home to get his shoes. Nothing like adding 2 hours to your trip, right?!

  3. Erin @ Girl GoneVeggie
    Erin @ Girl GoneVeggie September 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm |

    Thanks for this list, I wholeheartedly agree about sunscreen. As a super pale person, it’s critical!

    1. Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes
      Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes September 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm |

      Totally agree about the sunscreen–looking like a lobster isn’t cool. ;)

  4. Kasey Shuler @ Well of Health
    Kasey Shuler @ Well of Health September 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm |

    Great tips! I don’t run races very often, but I DO like to be prepared. I have a feeling I will be referring to this post for my next race!


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