After multiple bombs went off at this year’s Boston Marathon, America watched in shock. Only hours later, citizens jumped back to support their fellow (wo)man.
I’ve heard that a lot of avid runners and newbies are lacing up their sneakers for the next possible race in honor of the victims of this terroristic act.
I want to make sure you are prepared for what may be your first big race. I ran my first 5k about a month ago and wished I had some sort of list before I headed out the door.
Here are 10 things that I suggest you bring to a marathon, 10k, 5k or any sort of race/run.
Cell phone and car key
Bring your cell phone with you. I had a pocket on the back of my sweater that I shoved it in and didn’t find it a hindrance. I found myself alone on a few streets as I zigzagged through the path and I was very glad I decided to bring my cell phone along. See numbers 7 and 10 for other ways to use your phone during the race. Also, unhook your main car key and stash it somewhere. Some races have lockers for things you don’t need during your run.
Something to carry it all in
I had a small pocket on the back of my sweater that carried everything I need. I saw a lot of folks with a fanny pack, some people kept their stuff in clear bags in their strollers and others stashed things in shorts pockets. Beware of loose items that might fall out along the run if you decide to just put stuff in your pocket. Try out carrying a few items during your runs before the big day.
This might be the smartest thing to bring with you. A 20 dollar bill is so small that you could throw it in your sports bra if you’d like. Your parents always told you to carry cash and a race is no different. You never know what might happen and that spare cash can really help you out in an emergency.
I brought my ID with me which was a great idea because I needed it when I signed in to get my bib (the sheet you wear with your number on it). I kept it with me and wrapped the cash I brought around it. Your ID could really help you out if, heaven forbid, you don’t end up finishing the race like you planned. I hope your endurance and training would push you through the end, but sometimes heat exhaustion or muscle pains can cut your day short.
My run was in the middle of winter in Georgia, mind you. It was about 55 degrees and with my sweater and tights, my body was warm enough. I wore a headband that went over my ears and that really helped when the wind was pushing against me. Personally, I’m cold natured and wanted to bring my gloves. Figure out what’s best for you and what you’d be comfortable with.
Water bottle and snack in the car
I left a big bottle of water and a sandwich bag full of carrots in the car. Once I was done with the race and headed home, I was so relieved to find my water to rehydrate and a little snack on the road after losing so many calories.
iPod and headphones
I am a music-listening runner. Your iPod could be replaced with your iPhone or Andriod that allows you to download playlists or listen to music apps. I’ve heard that some races don’t allow headphones which could be a problem for some, so double check before you sign up.
Sport sunglasses would be a great idea for those hot, midday races. As we all know, there’s just nothing worse than sun in your eyes and I couldn’t imagine running toward the sun and squinting the entire time. Be sure to test out your glasses too because you wouldn’t want to feel uncomfortable with sunglasses hanging off your face for miles
Clean set of clothes
This is the best tip for you sweaty runners out there. If you know that running in an air conditioning gym makes you sweat bullets, I suggest you bring a clean set of clothes with you. This tip is important if you plan on going to any type of restaurant right after the race. You don’t want to chance a soggy, sweaty shirt disrupting your congratulatory meal!
App for timing or path
That cool Verizon commercial that shows the guy riding his bike in the shape of a heart is awesome because there’s a real app for that. The app shown in the commercial is the Runtastic app for Android or iPhone. They’re both $4.99. But, I would never leave you without a free option. Here are links to free Android and iPhone apps for MapMyRun, which is pretty self explanatory. After you cross the finish line, you can take a screenshot of your path and spread it throughout every social media outlet.
You deserve to brag. You’ve completed something people dream of doing.
Overall, make sure that you’re comfortable. Some people run with absolutely nothing on them and others carry two fanny packs.
Add any suggestions below!