Oops, I Forgot My…

Greetings friends, with spring marathons just around the corner and many people gearing up for them with tune-up races, I figured I would do a quick little post meant really for newer runners, especially those of you who have never run a race before.  For me at least, nothing can take my head “out of the game” faster than reaching into my running bag and realizing I’ve forgotten some key item that I all of a sudden cannot live with out.  To help you avoid that feeling, here are some items that I always make sure I have on me, and some that are more weather-specific (I’ll preface this by saying my bag is usually pretty packed because I’m anal like that).  Assume this is a March, New England race (I also assume you’re already wearing at least your shorts and top).

  1. Outer layer, specifically one to block the wind if it’s looking like it could be cold.
  2. Extra pair of socks, because you never know with socks.
  3. Sunglasses, which I’ve come to wear even when slightly overcast because I like the eye protection.
  4. Watch.
  5. Running cap, if you like them.  I like the mesh kind with a sweat band.
  6. Thin running gloves.  If it’s looking iffy weather-wise, think about a pair of painters gloves you can toss when you’re too hot.  Old socks will work too.
  7. If it’s a longer race starting in the cold, think about a long-sleeve shirt you can ditch if you get too hot.  But think hard about it, I ended up ditching a nice UnderArmour long sleeve because of poor planning once.
  8. BodyGlide.  I think you all know why.
  9. Sunscreen.  I like the sports spray stuff.
  10. Racing flats, if you wear them.
  11. Race number, if you already have it.
  12. Safety pins, because some races never give you enough.  I recommend keeping a bunch pinned to the strap of your bag so they’re always handy.  Careful though, they’ll rust on ya.
  13. Energy foodstuffs e.g. gels, bars, etc. plus post-race food just in case e.g. bananas and bagels.
  14. Water bottle.
  15. Warm, dry post-race clothes.  I suppose the “warm and dry” part would be obvious, but I don’t want any of you faithful readers packing cold, sweaty clothes because you thought that’s what I meant.
  16. mp3 player, if you like to run with that sort of thing (I have thoughts on racing with headphones).
  17. Cash and ID.

Well, that’s all I can think of for now, though I’m sure I’ve missed something myself.  I’d add this anecdote about being careful with your bag.  The night before I was set to go to Green Mountain Running Camp when I was in high school, I did the Connecticare Corporate Classic 5k in Hartford.  Being the savvy high-school I was, I decided it would be safe to leave my bag unattended beneath a tree in Bushnell Park.  Of course, the bag contained my literally brand new Saucony 3d Grid Hurricanes.  And, of course, when I went back to retrieve the bag after the race, it was gone, leaving me probably the only kid going to running camp without having a pair of running sneakers to pack (don’t worry I got a pair on the way).  Who knew Hartford, CT was so sketchy?

So, what do you need to pack in your bag?  Any horror stories of having forgotten something important?

Happy trails.


One Response to “Oops, I Forgot My…”

  1. jumbolaw Says:

    I think Mickey, or certainly Michael Eisner is to blame for the mishap!

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