Packing for @NiagaraMarathon Weekend (or any race)

Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a very run/race friendly city (Chicago, New York, Boston) you’re going to need to travel to get to most of your races. Thus, the new breed of travellers – the racecationers. The travellers who cling to their carry-on bags full of race-ready gear lest the airline lose their luggage forcing them overnight to become a whole new breed of Natural Runners.

I know as a frequent traveller thanks to my travel-related job, packing can be a huge pain in the butt. What to bring, what to leave behind, what if I need *this*?

I’ll be in Niagara from Friday to Sunday, so here is what (and how) I’m packing for the Niagara Falls Marathon Weekend.

First of all, set the suitcase aside for now. Don’t start putting things in it yet. Instead, use your bed or floor for a visual aid. I’m a big “I need to see it so I don’t forget it” kind of person. Plus, once you know exactly what you’re bringing, it’s easier to pack it in a more organized fashion.

Two running outfits: I’ll be joining in the International Breakfast Run on Saturday morning, so I will need an outfit for the 5K that morning and an outfit for the Half Marathon the next day.

Two running outfits, ready to go!
Two running outfits, ready to go!
  • 2 Sports Bras
  • 2 Long Sleeve Running Shirts
  • lululemon cowl
  • 1 Pair Running Tights
  • 1 Sparkle Skirt
  • 2 Pair “Runderwear”
  • 1 Pair Wicking Socks
  • 1 Pair Compression Sleeves
  • 1 Pair Compression Socks
  • 1 Bondi Band
  • 1 Hydration Belt
  • 1 SPI Belt (with race belt dongles)
  • Running Shoes
  • Sunglasses

Then there are the running accoutrements:

I'm my own personal Pit Crew.
I’m my own personal Pit Crew.
  • ENERGYbits (and plastic baggie)
  • KT Tape
  • KT Tape Adhesive Spray
  • Endurolytes
  • Body Glide
  • Honey Stingers
  • Ultima Refresher packets
  • Tylenol
  • Extra Compression Socks (for recovery)

Plus electronic stuff:

Garmin and all cords go in that handy plastic pouch.
Garmin and all cords go in that handy plastic pouch.
  • iPhone with charger
  • iPod Shuffle
  • YurBuds
  • Garmin with Charger + ANT stick
  • PEAR HRM Strap
  • Computer with Charger
  • Kindle with Charger
  • Extra battery booster

And then, for the rest of the weekend:

Is it sad that I'm more excited about my race day clothing than my regular clothing?
Is it sad that I’m more excited about my race day clothing than my regular clothing?
  • Passport (just in case we make a run for the border)
  • Wallet (double check for Ontario Health Card & Insurance Card)
  • Purse
  • Jeans
  • lululemon pants
  • 2 Pair Regular Underwear
  • 2 Pair Socks
  • Shirt for VIP reception
  • Shoes for VIP reception
  • 2 Regular Shirts
  • Sweater
  • Toiletries
  • Jacket
  • Umbrella
  • Raincoat

It wouldn’t hurt to have a print out of my hotel reservation, or an electronic copy on hand for check-in. Ditto, train tickets.

Our bib numbers should be emailed today, which is another piece of information that will be good to have printed out when we go to packet pick-up, but not absolutely necessary since the Niagara Falls International Marathon Expo will also have bib number look-up service available at the entrance to the event.

There! I hope this helped sort out any questions you might have about what to pack. Everyone has different needs/wants. You might want gummy bears and band-aids, or have a special pillow that you can’t sleep without. Just take a deep breath, step back take it one element at a time.

Best part is, if you forget something, that’s an excuse to do more shopping at the Expo! Speaking of which, I’ll have a handful of ENERGYbits samples with me this weekend, so if you see me, ask for some bits!

And because no Niagara Falls Marathon Weekend update would be complete without a weather-check…

Holding steady.
Holding steady.

What’s your best packing tip?


tabethawells View All →

I am an actor/writer/director based in Chicago, IL.

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. So true. There was a time my vacation carry on was a simple bathing suit for an all inclusive resort. Nowadays, running shoes and my Garmin. I went shopping last week for a new pair of running shoes…giddy as a girl in a candy store. Then, this week, I went shopping for boots….not so giddy. Funny that! Have fun on the 5K. Nice sparkle skirt. Haven’t seen that one yet!

    • Thanks! Rachael picked up the Sparkle Skirt for me while she was at Dumbo Double Dare – I kind of love it, sparkles and all.
      I’m going to go ahead and call that 5K a stroll… I can’t see us breaking much of a sweat attempting it. I’m really mostly in it for free breakfast!

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