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Marathon Packing

Friday I asked all the Boston Marathon runners if they have started packing yet.

Marathon Packing

When traveling long distances for a race you have to plan ahead. Fortunately, Boston is not in the sticks and the Boston Marathon Expo will have anything you need for the race. If you forget something (except your shoes!), no worries.

Advice on marathon packing

Thinking about your marathon can be nerve-wracking. It’s always difficult to know if you have prepared enough for the race. The conditions on race day are often a guess. Many runners have a check list for marathon packing and usually pack their gear several times. Part of this may be nerves and part may be the need to control something that is under your control.

If you are travelling, you may want to wear your running shoes while you travel. That way you know that you brought them. It’s also a good idea to put your running clothes and food items in your carry on. Just in case your luggage gets lost.

At a major marathon like the Boston Marathon you can buy anything that you forget or that the airline looses. However, it’s not a good idea to run in brand new clothes on marathon day. A smaller race, such as the Bay State Marathon, will have a smaller expo with fewer vendors. If you need to buy a complete running outfit you may not have many choices. This is just too much stress to put on yourself.

How I do it

This photo was taken the day before the Bay State Marathon in October, 2013. I was driving to this marathon. You can see my shoes in the bag on the left, the bag on the right has all of my nutritional items. I had clothes for a warm October run and items for a frigid autumn run.

My philosophy is – you can never over pack for a race. Not for a marathon anyway. I start collecting my items a few days before the race. I usually have some food items on hand. Starting early gives me time to head to the running store and get any last-minute items that I need. The last thing you want is to be up late the night before your marathon doing laundry. Start early and try to relax.

Running kit, marathon packing
Packed fours times, probably one more will do! infographic on what runners pack when they travel to a race.

  • What are your must have items for a race?
  • Do you have any unique foods that you like pre-race or during a race?
  • How soon before your race do you start packing?


Run well my friends! See you in Boston!, pub-4167727599129474, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0