Race Day Checklist: What to Bring to the Starting Line

What to Pack for Race Day

The New York City Marathon is only three days away, and it’s no secret that I am incredibly excited for race day. We are flying to New York tomorrow morning, so today is dedicated to packing and preparing for the weekend. Packing is always slightly overwhelming as I attempt to think through all the weekend activities and what I may possibly need, so I always make myself a checklist for race morning to make sure I don’t overlook the most important day.

What to Pack for Race Day

After nearly five months of training, it would feel terrible to be standing at the start and realize I’ve forgotten something important. I make checklists for everything (I love them a ridiculous amount), and this is one of the circumstances where that comes in handy.

In preparation for race day on Sunday, I have spent time thinking through all of my past races and the things I used to be successful. Some of these items won’t be coming with me to New York (I plan to run without music), but I like to have a generic checklist that I can glance through to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything.

What to Pack for Race Day

Race Day Packing Checklist

  • Clear bag from expo for bag check or to carry things before the start
  • Running shoes
  • Compression socks
  • Shorts
  • Shirt (+ jacket)
  • Camera
  • Running pouch/fanny pack
  • Fuel for the race
  • Charged cell phone
  • Throwaway clothes –> sweatpants and a sweatshirt
  • Headband
  • Hand and toe warmers
  • Bagel & banana (or other breakfast food)
  • Mittens or light running gloves
  • Headphones
  • Bib + safety pins
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Anti-chafing stick
  • Charged running watch
  • Running water bottle
  • Cash and ID for the finish

With this checklist, I know that I will not forget anything important in the morning when I am waking up three hours earlier than usual and frantically trying to gather my things. While some of these items may seem a little obvious (i. e., running shoes), you’ll be surprised what your brain may forget when you are feeling anxious. Lists are one of my favorite tools, and I will definitely be using this one today as I pack!

What to Pack for Race Day

Packing List for Race Day
Packing List for Race Day
Packing Checklist for Race Day


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