Happy happy Thursday! This morning, I have an early morning flight out to Minneapolis. I am hanging out with my friends Katie and Clint (the awesome people behind THIS company) tonight before driving up to Duluth tomorrow for Grandma’s Marathon!
So that means I have a fresh destination marathon packing list on my brain that I want to share with you all. I feel like figuring out what you need to pack before you head out for a race adds a level of complexity to the whole I’m going to run a marathon this weekend thing. And over the years, I’ve definitely made some BIG mistakes in what I’ve packed (mostly forgetting important stuff, luckily never my shoes even though I’ve had plenty of nightmares about that happening).
Anyways, here is my must-have list of things you need to pack for a destination marathon.
1. Race day outfit!
Well, you would think. I have either forgotten parts of my race day outfit or underestimated the race temperatures so ended up underdressed (hello Boston 2015), so I’ve learned to pack a few options.
My ideal race day outfit for Grandma’s Marathon is: Kaenon Polarized Sunglasses / Garmin Forerunner 220 / Handful Adjustable Bra / Ghost Racerback Running Shirt / Women’s Chaser 3″ Running Shorts / Brooks Out of Sight Bikini / PRO Compression Neon Wave / Brooks Glycerin 14 / Momentum Jewelry Motivate Wrap
2. Snacks, snacks and more snacks!
I will have a stash of my favorite PROBAR Bite ready to go throughout the trip and also my handy dandy water bottle right at my side. This is to plan for any times, when inevitably, things will not go the way that you want. You may be delayed grabbing food or spend a little bit more time somewhere than you expected. Carrying around your favorite snacks (that you know your stomach likes) is so important — even after you run the marathon.
3. Comfortable, non-racing shoes
I am so in love with the Brooks Heritage collection for a number of reasons, but one of them is because I finally can wear comfortable shoes when I don’t want to wear my running shoes. Before, I had a hard time finding shoes that were comfortable AND looked good… especially when you are a few days out from a marathon.
Make sure you have some shoes that have good support and cushion so that your feet aren’t hurting when you get to the race.
4. Throwaway clothes
I likely won’t need much for this race because of the weather (I will be packing a Delta blanket I snagged on a recent flight), but make sure you have throwaway clothes at the start. Especially if you are running a race like NYC Marathon or Boston Marathon where they bus you out to the start, you need an extra layer to wear (even if you are checking a bag because that typically happens a good chunk of time before you’re at the start).
5. Race day fuel
I totally failed at this when I ran Boston in 2013. I showed up, realizing that I completely forgot to bring any gels and thought I could rely on the expo… nope. At the time, I used Hammer gels and couldn’t even find them in a few of the running stores in Boston.
I ended up buying Honey Stinger gels and trying them for the first time on race day (huge HUGE no no). It ended up not upsetting my stomach and I’ve been using these ever since. Trust me, not worth the risk.
6. Anti Chafing —> Gold Bond Friction Defense
This was the BIGGEST mistake I made for my first marathon, I didn’t wear anything to help with chafing. Yeah, that shower afterwards was NOT fun.
I personally love Gold Bond Friction Defense the best, but I know others rely on Body Glide. Whatever it might be, make sure that you are using something — you’ll thank yourself after the race (and for the next few days).
7. Your #humblebrag apparel
One of my favorite things to do at expos (especially Boston) is to see everyone’s old race shirts, jackets, etc. that they show up wearing. When I travel for a marathon, I try to wear some #humblebrag apparel the entire weekend… showing off my chops. 🙂 It’s also a great way to start conversations with other runners.
8. Post-race clothes
AKA comfortable clothes. Wearing skinny jeans is like the worst thing on earth after you’ve run 26.2 miles and your legs don’t want to move. Just don’t do it.
I always like to wear my finisher shirt and my medal when I go out after the race, and usually try to find the most comfortable jeans or leggings that I own. I love to wear some PRO Compression socks to help my calves recover, along with some super comfy shoes (like these from Brooks Heritage or Oofoos).
9. A mantra or two
A few days leading up to the race, I like to think about everything that happened over the training cycle and what it meant to me this time around, as well as what that means for marathon day. This is when I figure out a few mantras that work for me when I’m running to stay moving and on target for my goal.
I have a few in my mind, but will share them after the race. 🙂
10. Your inspiration
A book, your favorite person on earth, a favorite quote, a picture, whatever it may be —> bring your inspiration with you to the race. It reminds you why you are doing this and keeps you pumped for race day.
So there you have it, a handy destination marathon packing list! Here it is in a format you can print:
What else would you add to this list?
Have you ever forgotten to pack something major for a trip? What did you do?
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