Next week at this time, I’ll be in the Athlete’s Village, getting ready to run the Boston Marathon! I am not sure about you, but it feels like these last few weeks have flown by and I can’t believe we are so close to marathon day! It always seems to go that way… just when you are cursing the hard training days, you are in taper stage and suddenly wishing you could get up at 5 a.m. to whip them out. No? Just me?
Anyways, today I share my Boston Marathon packing list and everything that you need to have to make sure that you have a successful race, as well as memorable moments before and after the race! Check out my previous Marathon Monday posts HERE to learn more about the Boston Marathon and other things to do before you hit the road.
Pre-Boston and Expo
The weekend of the Boston Marathon, you will see everyone rocking old race shirts and gear from previous Boston Marathons. Join in on the fun and wear your old Boston Marathon jackets or participant shirts, or rock the finisher shirt from the marathon that you wore to qualify for Boston. Even when it was 1,453 degrees in 2012, I managed to survive wearing my jacket from 2010.
I have a few things on my list to bring for this year’s race weekend:
>>> Run Far Girl Boston Marathon shirt (benefits Girls on the Run, super awesome!)
>>> Boston Strong shirt from adidas
>>> Boston Marathon official jacket and finisher tee (likely from 2010) and sweatshirt (probably from 2013)
Beyond outfits —> make sure you have enough snacks and fuel to get you through the days before since you will likely be busy and need to grab something on the go. On top of that, don’t forget your water bottle! Boston is great where you can fill up water in most locations, and you will want to hydrate as much as you can leading up to the race.
You will likely be in the Athlete’s Village for at least a few hours before the race and one of the best pieces of advice I got before my first Boston was what to bring with me to the Athlete’s Village. Some people bring magazines, have their phones or jam to music. Others will find new friends and spend time chatting; and more (like me) will veg out and just people watch.
When you head to Athlete’s Village, make sure you have throwaway gear. This gear will be donated to charity by the BAA and will keep you warm while you sit in the village for a few hours. I usually pick up a few things from Goodwill before race day for a few bucks and it does the trick. Note: if you wear jeans, everyone will think you are super suspicious and ask to see your bib a million times — apparently it makes you not look like a runner although they are super warm.
Also make sure to bring something to sit on. I usually save an old finisher blanket from a previous race and sit on that, as well as offer more warmth to my feet on a chilly day. These serve as great conversation starters, too! You can also bring a garbage bag, newspaper, etc.
And don’t forget your fuel. You will be out there for a few hours, so you need to think about your fueling and how it fits into the picture. I usually bring mine with (bagel) and snack on it about 1-1/2 hours before the race. Also make sure you have a disposable bottle of water to toss before you hit the start!
Some other things to think about:
>>> Markers: most people will write their names and/or bib numbers on the side of their arms; make sure you bring a marker or find someone with one if you want to do this (it helps with cheering along the course).
>>> Sunscreen! As of right now, the weather sounds like it will be partly cloudy… but there will still be some sun. Grab a cheap bottle of sunscreen and lather it up as you hit the start line; I did this in 2012 and passed the bottle through the crowd, so I think it was all used up by the end.
>>> Anti-chafing: I usually put this on before I leave the hotel and it works, but if you are really concerned, have some with you to be on the safe side. I use the Gold Bond Friction Defense.
>>> Entertainment: Like I said, there are a number of ways you can entertain yourself in the Athlete’s Village… you need to think about what works best for you. There are even a few people who sleep! I do best by just chilling and not doing too much, so never feel like I need a book or a magazine. But you can bring that stuff if it helps to calm your nerves!
Race day essentials
This is the obvious stuff that you need and probably something that most people think about leading up to the race. I do encourage you to be on the fun side with your outfit! After all, that’s why we run the race, right?
I am still thinking exactly about what I’m going to wear, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to wear the Bring It Racerback from Brooks Running:
I’ve been running in it the past few weeks and I love the fit — it literally does not move when you are running, which is the best. Plus, the fabric is extremely light and makes it perfect for race day. And as an added bonus? I love the bright colors… 🙂
And also rock the brightest socks I can find from PRO Compression:
But like all the advice tells you, don’t try out some new clothes on race day or some new fuel. Stick to what you know, what’s comfortable and what you love.
After the race, most people will rock their finisher jackets or finisher shirts and wear their medals. Yes, WEAR YOUR MEDAL. Everyone wears them everywhere! I see it more than after any other races that I run. Even when you leave on the plane a few days later, there will be people wearing their medals. Wear it with pride!
I will also have another pair of PRO Compression to wear the night after the race and the next morning to help with the soreness. Also bring some super comfortable shoes… usually I go for some non-running shoes to make my feet happy. 🙂 Oh, and of course, comfortable pants… tight jeans will not be cozy for you at all.
What else do you have on your packing list for Boston?
Do you like to read or nap before a race? How do you get your “game face” on?
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