Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Runner's packing list

In less than 48 hours, I will be headed to Orlando for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Yay!

In the discussion yesterday about pre-race preparation, Pete mentioned that he was working on creating a race checklist to make sure he has everything before he leaves for a race. I had previously put together a packing list for races that involve travel in general. I am using it to pack for Disney and thought I would share it here. I always like to err on the side of being overprepared versus underprepared, so this list is pretty extensive!

On that note, I had to share this picture because I think it is SO TRUE:

NOTE: This list focuses on a runner's packing needs and fundamental info needs. For more on overall runcation travel preparations, Lauren put together a list of great tips!

OK! Without further ado, here is the list:

  • Running shoes (a pair with adequate mileage or any necessary break-in period already conducted)
  • Running socks
  • Shorts/capris/tights, or some combination depending on the range of local weather
  • Sports bra
  • Shirt (long-sleeve, short-sleeve, tank, etc., dependent on local weather)
  • Underwear that is suitable/comfortable for running
  • Weather-appropriate hat or visor
  • Headband/bobby pins
  • Hair rubber bands, et al
  • Sunscreen
  • Bodyglide or similar
  • Sunglasses
  • Contact lenses/regular glasses
  • Facial wipes/towelettes or similar
  • Lip balm
Cold-weather gear as needed
  • Throwaway clothes
  • Gloves
  • Neck warmer/scarf-type item
  • Arm warmers
  • Jacket
  • Vest
  • Garmin or other sports watch and charger
  • Heart rate monitor, if you use one
  • MP3 player, headphones, and charger
  • Phone/camera and charger(s)
  • GU or other fueling items
  • Handheld water bottle or other hydration gear
  • Nuun or other hydration drink powder
  • Salt capsules and something to carry them in, if necessary
  • Any other snacks/drinks and pre- or post-race foods (I like to bring bagel thins, peanut butter, and bananas for breakfast, and carry some water with me to the race start)
Race info
  • Location/map/directions
  • Parking/transport data
  • Packet pickup time/location/requirements
  • Course map
  • Spectator locations
  • Fuel stations
  • Pre- and post-race meetup points
Other race-day items
  • Race bib
  • Runner's belt
  • Safety pins just in case they are not provided to pin on your bib
  • Driver's license or other ID
  • Cash/credit card
  • Kleenex/toilet paper
  • Gear checkable bag in case one is not provided
  • Knee straps or any other PT-type device, e.g. KT tape, ankle brace, etc.
  • Change of shoes/clothing
  • Towel to sit on
  • Plastic bag for sweaty belongings
  • Compression gear (can also be worn before or during the race, if that's what you like)
  • Foam roller or stick (maybe don't bring it to the race itself, but have it for when you get back to wherever you are staying)
  • Any medications
  • Bandaids
  • Bug spray for trail runs, et al
  • Feminine supplies
  • Hand sanitizer

Did I miss anything? What other must-haves do you bring with you to a race and/or runcation?


  1. For the record, I usually pack the night before which means I'll be 95% packed a good 8 hours before departure. So that's something...

  2. You have a good list. I pack the night before too. But my suitcase already has the basic stuff and I just add my racing gear and clothes for the next day. My trips are usually 1-2 days so there isn't much to take.

    I am looking forward to hearing about the Wine and Dine Race. I am planning to run it next year.

    Have fun!

    1. I do have two sets of all my toiletries so that I don't have to worry about unpacking them and packing them all the time. I just keep them in my suitcase all the time ready to go. That helps out a lot! Packing for 1-2 days makes things a lot, easier, too - if you forget anything, you'll be home soon anyways. =)

      Yay for Wine and Dine! Depending how things go, I may be back for it next year, too - in which case we'd have to meet up in Orlando! How fun would that be!?!?!?!?

  3. I think I'm married to the one Caveman in the world who packs more than I do. I think I need to call him the metrosexual caveman. Have a great trip and great race!

    1. Thanks, Marcia! A man that packs more than a woman does!?!?!? That is just pure craziness!!! Does he bring lots of food and clothing or anything in particular that he is finicky about packing? LOL on the "metrosexual caveman." =D

  4. My one addition to the list would be to pack your raceday clothing, including shoes, in your carryon if you are flying. That way if your bag gets lost you have your running clothes with you. It is not a big deal to run to the drugstore and buy more makeup, but racing in a pair of shoes that aren't broken in because you just bought them is not that fun.

    1. YES! Oh my goodness, packing the race-day essentials in your carry-on is MUCH importante. I can only imagine the stress of having to run out and buy a pair of last-minute running shoes because your luggage got lost. One other great tip that I heard was that if you are traveling with someone else, to put some of your essentials in your travel companion's bag and vice versa. This is because the odds of BOTH of your bags getting lost is much smaller than just one of them getting lost. So if one bag does get lost, you'll have your essentials available in your travel companion's bag!

  5. I like that you broke it down into categories. That's probably the best way to ensure that you don't forget anything. Also, good on ya for including food. The one race I traveled to, I didn't think about taking breakfast. Well, the hotel didn't serve breakfast until well after we left for the race. That meant a late night trip to Walmart to buy a bag of bagels.

    1. Thanks, Amy! I remember your race report where you had mentioned having to run out to WalMart to buy bagels, which helped me out at the time because I had never thought about something like that until you mentioned it! If I remember correctly, there was an instance where you had to go buy an affordable sports watch, too, yes? In addition to my Garmin, I've thought about bringing my no-frills sports watch as a backup (it is basically just a timer). I've had enough problems with my Garmin watches over the years that it's almost become a necessary precaution!

  6. Thanks for posting this. I need to cross check your list against mine to see if there is anything I left out! Have a great race/trip. I love the name of the race, so it sounds like you'll definitely have a good time! :)

    1. Thanks, Pete! If you find anything when you cross-check our respective lists, please do let me know as well. Btw - I was thinking about some of the gender-specific items on a male runner's packing list versus a female runner's packing list. Wonder how many of those there might be that I'm not aware of?

  7. Have a great race- can't wait to hear a recap!

    1. Thank you so much, Katie! Watch out for the mouse... he is an international icon and I am sure hidden Mickeys will make it into plenty of my pictures. ;-)

  8. Thanks for the shout out! I go back and forth when packing running stuff between wanting to be as prepared as possible (and bring everything) and be an efficient packer (bring only what I need).

    1. Thank you also to YOU for your tips on runcation planning, which I utilized in planning this weekend's trip to Orlando!!! My strategy is to be as prepared as possible but to squeeze everything into as small a suitcase as possible. It's like playing Tetris with all of my belongings and my bag always ends up being insanely heavy, but very compact. =D