Saturday, 23 March 2013

What to Pack for Race Day

Just spent half an hour this morning Googling "scenic routes to Hamilton" so I can avoid driving the big highways to our event, chicken$@#! that I am. I strongly dislike having to pass transport trucks on the 400-series highways. Living in the country, I have come to prefer the long, windy, quiet roads.

Seeing as both afternoon and evening are going to get pretty busy, I had to come up with something to write this morning. How about "What to Pack in Your Bag for a Race." I remember during our first half marathon, the Island Girl in Toronto, our run coach Ann gave us a very detailed list of things to bring. Her business partner, Steve, all-round jock, boot camp master, certified kinesiologist and her fellow personal trainer, was there to give his advice too. When Ann got to the part about bringing a pre-moistened facecloth in a Ziploc bag for freshening up afterwards, Steve gave her this amused look and said something like, "Are you serious?" Meanwhile, we newbie female runners lapped up every bit of advice and likely circled the pre-moistened facecloth pointer with a  big red marker while exclaiming, "Ohhhh, that's a GREAT idea!" (It is! Especially when no showers are available.)

Having said that, here are some of the items, as best as I can remember, from Coach Ann's advice, that are handy to pack (See how I can write a post and write my to-do list at the same time? Clever girl.) Mine is an overnight bag. If you are not staying overnight, then you don't need to pack your race outfit. ("OBVI," as my teenagers would say. I probably spelled that wrong though. They are rolling their eyes now.)

What to Pack for Race Day
(To be packed the night before! The less stress on race day morning, the better!)

(NB: We were taught to dress for about +15 C warmer than the outside temperature, keeping wind chill in mind, of course.)

  • Bib and Chip (Not a good thing to forget. No Chip, No Time!)
  • Pins to attach bib (Unless you have one of those neat little bib belts or run skirts with the bib fasteners.)
  • Running shoes (Hopefully not brand new. Blisters on a long run - not nice.)
  • Running socks (Good ones. I have recently taken a liking to compression socks, but not necessary.)
  • Running leggings or capris or shorts (At +4 C I think I'll do capris.)
  • Running bra (So important!)
  • Running tech shirt (Moisture wicking to keep you nice and dry. Lightweight for layering. Some people wear their event shirt they rec'd in their race kit. I like saving mine for afterwards.)
  • Lightweight jacket (That you can tie around your waist if needed and it won't bother you.)
  • Fuel belt (I used to run with one of these but I haven't been training with one so now I dislike wearing it. May rely on water stations this time, not sure yet.)
  • Fuel - (Gu, Hammer Gel, Stingers....whatever fuel you tried on your training runs that worked for you. Do NOT try something new on race day. Indigestion is an awful thing to feel on a long run. Been there. Done that.)
  • Gloves (If it's cold to start out. But not too bulky 'cause you'll likely need to stuff them in a pocket, unless they're cheap enough to throw away.)
  • Garbage bag with slits for head and arms. (That you can roll up tight with elastics and put in a pocket. If it rains, you have a makeshift rain poncho.)
  • Run hat or cap (Optional. I find the baseball cap style bugs me after awhile but I like the winter caps with the opening for a pony tail.)
  • Hair elastics (Long hair stuck to the back of your sweaty neck feels awful.)
  • Face wipes or damp facecloth in a Ziploc bag and small towel. (Feels good to clean the salt and sweat off your face afterwards.)
  • Deordorant/Baby powder, brush, etc.
  • Change of clothes for the drive home. (Yeah, driving for two hours in cold sweat-soaked clothing does not appeal. I may just opt for something close to pyjamas...)
  • Change of shoes for the drive home.
  • Money for parking.
  • Change in case you need to pay for a locker or bag check.
  • Your I.D. (I shove my license in a zipped pocket during the run, just in case. Health card might not be a bad idea either. Or you can just write your info on the back of your race bib. I know you can also buy handy "Run I.D" accessories. They advertise in running magazines and might even be featured at the vendor booths. I forgot to check that yesterday.)
  • Debit card (If there are "shopping opps" or you need more money for whatever reason. Say, a celebration meal/glass of wine with your running mate(s) afterwards.)
  • Maybe some Advil for aches and pains afterwards.
  • Cell phone (And your friends' cell #s. Handy to text your whereabouts afterwards.)
  • Your enthusiasm and calm, peaceful center. (OMMMM)

I think that covers it, from my nearly 50-year-old memory bank. Let me know if I've forgotten something. If you are part of tomorrow's Around the Bay, good luck to you!

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