I have had several people ask me what they should bring to or run with at a shorter distance local race. I have done packing lists for destination races but don’t think I have done anything about local or shorter distance races, so I wanted to share some gear for race day that I use.
I feel like as the years go by I carry less and less with me when I race. Also keep in mind that things change depending on weather, so for the purpose of this let’s assume it’s not freezing cold and it’s not raining. I am breaking this into three parts: things I do the night before, things I bring to the race, and then things I actually carry with me when I run a local 5k or 10k.
The night before:
I like my sleep, so laying everything out the night before helps make race morning go way more smoothly. I put out the proper clothing/socks/shoes that I plan to wear based on the weather forecast, and make sure my GPS watch is fully charged.
Also, be sure you do your research on the race course. For instance, if they have adequate water stops, you shouldn’t have to carry your own for a 5k or 10k.
Bring to the race:
I have a mesh drawstring bag that I bring in the car with me to the race. It’s easy for me to just throw everything in there and not have it thrown all over my car. (I also keep safety pins in the zippered pouch just in case). As you can see in the photo below, these are items that pretty much stay in my bag at all times.
- –KT tape
- –GPS watch
- – hand towel
- – sunscreen
- – some form of fuel (clif shot, GU, etc)
- – Yurbuds
- – BIC band and/or visor (love ASICS visors!)
- – friction defense like Gold Bond
- – Shower Pill body wipe
- -Photo ID for packet pickup
Carry while racing:
Things that I ACTUALLY take with me on my run, well that is a much shorter list.
- – GU/Clif shot if it’s a 10k or longer
- – headphones/Yurbuds
- -GPS watch
- – phone
- -tissue if it’s windy or chilly
If I am at a big race that has a post race party after that I want to hang out at, I will sometimes bring a change of clothes and shoes or a jacket depending on the weather and if there is a bag check or easy access to my car. Also I may bring a water bottle or bottle of Gatorade with me in my car in case I am extra thirsty on my way home, or I want something to sip on when I am driving to the race.
Be sure not to overthink things and end up looking like a pack mule. Learn from your past experiences and don’t bring unnecessary things with you. If you didn’t train with it, then you don’t need it on race day! Above all else have fun and enjoy your race.
Don’t forget tomorrow is National Running day! Look for discounts from the Rock ‘n Roll Series, and don’t forget about the ASICS giveaway!
*I would love your vote for the Runner’s World cover search.
QOTD: What gear for race day must you have?