There's nothing like waking up really, really early so you can run further than most people walk in a year! The last thing you want to be worrying about the morning before a race is what you should bring with you. If you’re new to the racing world don’t panic! Here is a definitive list of essentials things to bring with you on the morning of your race.
1. Toilet Paper.
There is nothing worse than waiting in a long porta potty line and then realize that there isn't any toilet paper. (IT HAPPENS! IT'S HAPPENED TO ME.) Some people even go the extra mile to bring wet wipes! An added bonus to the toilet paper is that it doubles as Kleenex for those chilly mornings when your nose is running faster than you are.
2. Chafe Stick or Vaseline.
Yes this stuff isn’t cheap and it’s hard to part ways with a perfectly good chafe stick but depending on your start time you will definitely want to take a minute before the gun to generously coat your body in this miracle cream. Why bleed if you don’t have to?
Whether they are for your nipples, a delicate body part, or for your feet, just having a couple on hand will put your nerves at ease because you know you have them. You never know what is going to happen and it’s always a good idea to have some around.
4. Hair Ties.
LADIES! Haing a hair tie snap has happened to me more times than I can count and it's always traumatizing, BRING EXTRA HAIR TIES. You never know who will need it! (And think of the karma points if you help someone else.)
5. Safety Pins.
During the NYC Marathon it was so windy I saw someone’s bib almost rip off their chest. During the madness he lost a few safety pins and he went sadly walking to find someone who could help him. Sometimes it’s great to just have 2 on hand should someone need them. (Again with the karma here.)
6. Lady Products.
Girls, this one is a no brainer. I bring them to every single race just in case someone needs one. (Again, charma points! I hear they shave time off your PB so I try to rack them up before the race as much as possible.)
Even if it’s cold, a little sunscreen never hurt anyone. And if you’re about to run a marathon think about it like this, do you really want to add a sunburn to your list of aches and pains? It’s not worth it!
8. Fuel and Hydration.
I’m the Queen of rolling up to a half or full marathon without a water or Gatorade. (I did it at the Berlin Marathon just a few weeks ago.) You should be sipping on something up to 30 minutes before the race. And make sure you have a banana, bagel, or an energy bar if you are showing up or in transit long before your race.
9. Something to sit on!
If you plan on hanging out for anything longer than 30 minutes, think about bringing a newspaper or a pool toy to sit on. You are about to spend hours on your feet...Just sit down. Hell bring a magazine while you’re at it! It will keep you off your phone (save that battery!) and take your mind off the race.
And if the weather is anything below 60 degrees…
9. A garbage bag, foil blanket, and/or Layers
A runner’s best friend before a race is their throw away layers. Here’s what you do, pop into the Goodwill or Salvation Army, spend $10-$20 on jackets, sweaters, and sweatpants, you wash them, wear them and then you toss them! Most races donate everything left behind anyway so everyone wins! Otherwise wear a garbage bag or foil blanket to keep warm. (I save space blankets from races to wear to starting lines.)
10. An Old Pair of Running Shoes or Plastic Bags
Sometimes while you’re hanging around the start village there can be muddy areas or puddles. Keep your race shoes dry by wearing either an old pair you don't mind tossing to the start line or just wear plastic bags over your shoes.
There you have it! Everything you need for a smooth pre-race morning. Am I missing anything? Is there anything unique you bring to the start line? Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.