Here’s what I’m taking with me to the Big Apple, but is relevant for most races away from home…
- Race bib and chip, or race registration to bring with you to collect your bib and chip.
- Money for the expo- great for picking up anything last minute, or buying things you’ve had your eye on for a while (BIC bands at NYCM) Often items are on discount at the expo so you can stock up on gels, hydration tabs etc.
- Breakfast– if you’re staying at a hotel or at a friends house, bring your preferred pre-run breakfast with you, and any snacks you’ll want before you run. I bring my own crunchy peanut butter and a banana, and usually hope that I’ll be able to find some bread, an english muffin or a bagel to go with them! I’m also bringing tea bags with me to New York to ensure I get a good cuppa before the marathon!
- Race fuel– whatever you use, gels, sweets, shot bloks, bring it with you, and make sure you have the flavours you like. Make sure these aren’t new fuels to you on race day, you never know what they’ll do to you stomach!
- Hydration– a water bottle, camelbak, hydration tabs, remember to bring what you’ve trained with for the big day.
- Garmin/Race watch and chargers– make sure it is fully charged before you leave.
- Phone, mp3 player or camera– whatever you plan on bringing with you to the race, and make sure they’re fully charged too, and don’t forget your headphones! (I spent the Bath Half marathon without music after my ipod died at the start line, it was painful.)
- Vaseline/bodyglide– great for use before, during and after your run.
- Loo roll– there is hardly ever any left in the portaloos at the start so it’s worth tucking some into a pocket or up your sleeve.
- Warm throwaway clothes to wear beforehand, including bin bags to sit on or wear if you have a long wait for the start (so yes, this definitely applies to the NYCM!)
- Race day outfit– with options for different weather conditions- long sleeves, short sleeves, but most importantly, your tried and tested trainers.
- Headband/visor/hat and spare hair ties and grips.
- Comfy clothes to change into post-run, as well as shoes, deodorant, plasters, snacks, sudocream (or another antiseptic), a change of underwear. Something that will make you feel comfortable after you finish your race.
- Money, oyster card, credit card to get you home after the race.
What would you add to this list? Please let me know if I’ve missed anything, or if you’ve got any unusual race day essential!