As you’ve probably heard, the Boston Marathon is a marathon like no other. There is a certain electricity to the city this time of year that just adds to the excitement. A big part of it, too, is the history behind the course. It’s just an incredible experience and I am so thankful for the opportunity to be able to participate in it.

One of the big challenges for the Boston Marathon, or really, any destination marathon is figuring out what you need to pack. Of course, you don’t want to over pack but you want to make sure you pack enough so you have options in case the weather suddenly changes or if you just have a change of heart for what you want to wear on race day.


Here are the most important things in my suitcase:

1. Running gear. 


This is probably a “duh” but definitely the most important thing in my suitcase! (Plus I know people who have actually forgotten to pack their running shoes… so this should top your list, even if it is super obvious!)

I always pack a few different options — at least two tops — just to make sure I have my bases covered. I know I’ll most likely run in the hot pink top (and be an UA model for the day) but it sure beats worrying about finding something at the last minute (which I had to do last year when I ran Boston).


2. Throwaway gear.


In addition to having some throwaway gear that I can wear while in the Athlete’s Village, I also saved some mylar blankets to sit on and wrap myself in in case it’s really chilly.

The thing with Athlete’s Village is you look at the weather and are like, well it doesn’t seem that cold. But you don’t realize that you are literally sitting outside for 2 hours. Some people even bring sleeping bags!

This is probably the best dressed I’ll be in all the years I’ve run Boston. (Throwaway gear is really important at most large races, as you won’t have access to your gear bag before the race.)


3. Running duds, not to be confused with running gear.


Oh yes, the best part of a destination race is the fact that you have every excuse under the sun to break out allll of the gear that you’ve accumulated throughout the years. That throwback tee from that 5K three summers ago? Fair game. At Boston, people have insane gear… like today I saw a picture of a guy who was wearing a jacket made of his race bibs. People wear their finisher jackets embroidered with all the years that they’ve run… and some people are out of space.

Perfectly fair game to brag it up. After all, this is one group of people who won’t be annoyed by it.


4. Food!


I’m sure you’re like “oh I’ll be fine, there are tons of restaurants blah blah blah” but no, you need to have a stash of food with you, especially if you are with non-runners for the weekend.

Race weekends, especially big races like Boston and New York City, are BUSY! The expo is fun, but there’s so much going on that you can look up and realize that you haven’t eaten lunch yet and its 2 p.m. Which doesn’t mean you are going to start eating at 2 p.m. It means that from the point you realized you should eat, you have at least another hour before you’ll be eating.

So important to have fuel with you… including water. That way, you can grab a bite to ease your hunger and still manage to enjoy a late lunch.

(I think this guy is really sad he didn’t make the list:)

What’s on your race packing list?

Any packing tips?

Further distance you’ve traveled for a race? 

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