Since spring racing season is now upon us, I thought it would be a good idea to include my 5 must-have pieces of gear to stash in your race bag. There’s nothing worse than getting to the start line of a race and realizing your forgot something important….like safety pins! Without further ado, here’s my list:
- Safety pins— Unless you have race belt to attach your number, you will need safety pins. Usually you will find a set of 4 safety pins in your race expo bag or at number pick up. Occasionally I pick up an extra set or two to stash in my running bag. I would stash a set in an inside pocket of your running bag, so you are never stuck at the start line wondering how you are going to attach your number!
- On the Run Nutrition— I like to use GU on my long runs/half marathons, so I always have an extra one in my bag. While many longer distance races have nutrition along the course, it might not be what you are used to consuming on the run. Better safe than sorry (especially during a race!).
- Extra layer of clothes and socks— You will generate A LOT of heat during a race, and the heat stops as as soon as you stop running. Especially after longer distance races, you will find that you will be sweaty and begin to feel chilly. An extra sweatshirt or warm up pants is a must! Ditto for your feet, so pack some extra socks.
- Post Run Snack— As with on the course nutrition, you don’t always know what foods will be offered at the end of a race. If you have a go-to post-run snack, pack one in your bag. My favorite post race snack was at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon/Marathon, where they gave out Philly soft pretzels!
- Road ID/Personal Identification wear during the race— While your race number is linked to your personal information, and your name may be on your big, it’s much better to have personal identification on you during a race in case of emergency–especially if you have a medical condition! In medical emergencies, seconds count, and it will be much easier to get you medical care and notify your emergency contacts if you are wearing a Road ID or carrying another form of ID.
What do you stash in your race bag?