It can be tough to know what to pack for a race weekend out of town. How much do you bring? What if you pack the wrong clothes? What if you forget something? Over the past few years I've traveled to half marathon races in: - Tulsa - Omaha/Lincoln - Chicago - Denver
Chicago was hot hot HOT! (Word of caution: reconsider running a half marathon there in July!)
Traveling for races is really fun! You get to explore new cities, and you get to experience new races. My favorite part about traveling for races is getting to try out these great new race routes. My most recent race in Denver had this wonderful route through the downtown area and its largest park. It might be my favorite route so far.
So if races in other cities can be so great, why spoil the fun by worrying about what to pack for them? The key is to be prepared for any weather and any situation. Don't be afraid to pack doubles of certain things like shirts, socks, or even shoes! Packing in layers can also be really helpful. That way you're prepared for almost all weather conditions!
For my latest race in Denver, I packed lots of layers. The race took place in October, so I wanted to be prepared for anything! Below is a shot of what I packed. This is pretty much what I pack for any race these days:
10. dry fit shirts - my favorite shirts are these ones from Under Armour. They come a variety of great colors. I packed two shirts: one to wear during the race, and one to change into after the race if I'm particularly gamey. (I had to do this in Chicago!)
13. jacket - I LOVE these jackets from Under Armour! They are so versatile because they're a great weight; not too thick, but still warm.
11. sports bras - yes, I pack multiples of these as well. You never know when you'll need a spare!
- windbreaker - This was immensely useful in Denver. It was pretty chilly before and after the race, so I appreciated having an extra jacket to put on when I wasn't actually racing. (see below!)
Here's me pre-race in Denver (with my parents and VP!) In the photo on the right, I'm all set in my corral for the start! Thank you, parents, for taking so many photos of me during my races this year!
8. shorts - I have a few pairs of these Nike Tempo shorts (like every girl of my generation). I'll admit it - they're darn useful!
12. capris - Yep, I get my running capris from Target.
7. leggings - I'll be honest, I'm pretty cheap when it comes to running leggings. Really, anything that isn't cotton will do the trick if you're not looking to be terribly fashionable. This particular pair came from Costco, if you can believe it!
5. socks - I love love LOVE these Balega socks that I found at my local running store. You can order your own on Amazon! They were a total lifesaver in Chicago because they do a great job of wicking sweat away from your feet so they stay more comfortable in your shoes.
6. shoes - I've worn Asics Cumulus shoes for the past three years. I think I'm on replacement pair #4 by now.
3. headphones - Vince got me these headphones about a year ago. They're bluetooth so they don't have to connect directly to my music device. This makes them especially great for running!
2. runner watch - I've always had Garmin watches for running. My latest (linked) is a Forerunner 220. It does everything I need it to and more!
music device - I typically run with an iPod Nano, if I run with music at all. Sometimes it's nice to just unwind without something blasting in your ears, you know?
energy gels - I'm personally a fan of energy gels while running long races - GUs to be exact.
water bottle - I don't personally run with a water bottle, but I know it's pretty popular. These are a number of popular ones.
Why don't I run with water? Because I run for beer!
Like I said, races in new cities are incredibly fun! Knowing what to pack for a race might sound stressful, but if you just try to be as prepared as possible you'll be good to go! Hopefully this checklist will help!