Are you someone who leaves packing to the last minute? Or do you prepare days in advance and double check everything in your bags before leaving the house? Whatever your packing style might be, we have the ultimate marathon checklist to help make sure you don’t forget a thing on race day, whether you’re running a marathon or a half marathon.
Print it out, check off the items, and add anything to the list that will make your travels smoother and your race stress-free. After all, when it comes to a Rock ‘n’ Roll race, it’s all about having fun!
Download the Ultimate Race Weekend Checklist here.
Travel Document Basics
You still have to abide by the same travel rules and restrictions as any other place you visit. Remember your ID, boarding pass, and any other documentation you might need to get from one place to another, especially if you’re traveling out of the country to attend one of our international races. In that case, check out The International Race Weekend Checklist.
It’s a good idea to have a go-to folder or zippered case that holds these all-too-important documents so you don’t have to rummage through your bags or risk seeing them ruined, lost, or stolen. Also, bookmark emails in your phone (or have printouts readily available) of hotel reservations, shuttle information, and other parts of your trip.
It may sound fun to just go with the flow, but when it comes to departures and arrival times, structure comes in handy. The chaos of traveling can be reduced with a little pre-planning and preparedness.
Whether this is your first race or your fifteenth, you know your running style and how your body feels after a long run. While pain relievers may work for some, others may long for a hot shower filled with essential oils to recover. Pack what you’ll need immediately post-race to ease soreness and potential injury. Don’t forget to bring a foam roller to stretch your muscles before the race and to prevent soreness afterwards.
During the race, combat the sun with plenty of sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply. Bug spray, lip balm, and a mini hand sanitizer are smart items to have on hand as well. Research the climate you’ll be in the day of the race. A San Diego race in June will likely mean very different weather conditions from a Las Vegas race in November. Keep in mind the seasonality of where you’ll be and also the fluctuation of temperatures from night to day.
Don’t Go Anywhere Without Your Gear
Pack your running shoes, race day clothes, and any necessary running accessories. But don’t forget about what you’ll need pre- and post-race as well. Will you be sightseeing? Celebrating with a nice dinner? When customizing your own marathon checklist, think through each day of the trip and make piles of what you’ll need per day before placing everything in your suitcase.
This can help you visualize your essentials for your entire trip and make you feel confident you don’t leave behind anything important. Toiletries can always be purchased at your chosen destination, and hotels are becoming more accommodating with the items they provide upon request.
Prepping for the Race
Take it easy on your legs the day before a race. While you will want to stretch and keep them limber, limit walking long distances or engaging in too much strenuous activity since you’ll want to conserve your energy for the big day.
Try to get a good night’s sleep the days leading up to the race. Give yourself enough time to prepare and get to the start line the next day. If you have time, plan out your get-to-the-race route ahead of time, so you don’t get lost or stuck in traffic.
Running a marathon is a huge accomplishment, and any runner knows preparation is key to make it a success. By planning your pre-race checklist and getting your bearings ahead of time, you decrease the risk of stressing out and spoiling the fun. Make it easy on yourself and plan ahead. See you at the next race!
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