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The Ultimate Marathon Checklist – Must-Haves for a Strong Race

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Take the guesswork out of what to pack for your upcoming race and use this marathon checklist to ensure nothing is forgotten. Even if you’re running a different distance, this list covers all you need so you can stand on the starting line feeling prepared, relaxed, and excited to crush your race.

Pre Race:

With our minds so focused on our race, it can be easy to forget or lose track of logistical details. Confirm that you have addresses, times, and reservations for the race expo, the hotel or Airbnb, a rental car, your pre-race dinner, and the starting line.

Moreover, if you’re running a half marathon or marathon, it’s likely you’re carb loading! Because of this, pack a bunch of easy to eat carb snacks, water, and electrolytes so you’re fueling on the go.

A woman is standing at packet pickup holding her race bib in front of her. She is wearing black leggings, and black fleece, and a black purse. Her brown hair is half up and she is smiling.

Race Day:

Without a doubt, you want to head to the starting line feeling relaxed and prepared for your race. Therefore, it’s crucial that you pack everything you need to run long. While packing, do a mental head-to-toe scan of what you typically wear for long runs. Start at the top of your head (hat or visor, hair ties, sunglasses) and work your way down your body, ending at your feet (running shoes, socks, band aids).

Running gear is laid out on a wood floor. Items include clothing, a watch, headband, fuel, and racing bib. All these items are included in the marathon checklist.

Post Race:

Finally, you cross the finish line and are ready to celebrate your big run! Honestly, you’re probably a little sweaty and wanting to get out of your race clothes. To make the transition from the finish line to your post-race celebration as simple as possible, have a complete change of clothes (shirt, shorts/pants, undergarments, socks, recovery shoes) on hand.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to have items that will help clean you up quickly and jumpstart the recovery process. For instance, wipes, deodorant, and eye drops might make you feel better and refreshed as you put on your clean clothes. Furthermore, have some electrolytes as well as a protein and carb snack easily accessible so your recovery can start as soon as possible.

Click on the link at the bottom of this post so you can download and print the checklist for free.

A woman is standing at the finish line of a race smiling. She is wearing a shagreen crop top, black shorts, and a race medal. She is holding her phone and a bottle of yellow Gatorade. Electrolytes are something to have on hand for after your race, and are included in the marathon checklist.

Marathon Checklist:

Pre-Race:

  • Address and time of race expo
  • Address and confirmation of hotel or Airbnb
  • Address and confirmation of rental car
  • Reservation confirmation for pre-race dinner
  • Snacks for travel days (pack extra)
  • Water and electrolytes
  • Foam roller
  • Directions to start line

Race Day:

  • Running shoes
  • Fuel (pack extra)
  • FlipBelt or Koala Clip – whatever you wear to hold your phone and fuel
  • Socks
  • Body glide
  • Shorts / leggings
  • Shirt / tank top / crop top
  • Hat / gloves / arm sleeves / hand warmers, if racing in cold weather
  • Sports bra
  • Sunglasses
  • GPS watch & charger
  • Hair ties, headband, bobby pins
  • Hydration belt or pack
  • Tissues
  • Ziploc bags
  • Band Aids
  • Hat / visor
  • Pace band, if using
  • Headphones & charger
  • Race bib with contact information completed on the back & safety pins
  • Throwaway clothes & shoes
  • Salt tablets
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Bag for bag check
  • Foam roller
  • A positive mindset!

Post-Race:

  • Water & electrolytes
  • Carb + protein snack
  • Recovery shoes (my favorite are OOFOS)
  • Change of clothes
  • Deodorant and hand wipes / baby wipes
  • First Aid Kit and eye drops
  • Portable phone charger
  • Bag for dirty race clothes

And there you have it! Clearly, there’s a lot of items to pack for one run. Ideally, lay out all your gear using this checklist and then go over it a second time to make sure nothing is forgotten.

Print the Marathon Checklist:

Click here to download and print this checklist for free!

Related Posts:

These blog posts go hand-in-hand with the marathon checklist. Use them to become a stronger and more confident runner and racer.

How to Be A Better Runner – 5 Tips to Help You Run Stronger

How You Know You’re Ready to Run Your First Marathon

Best Running Gear for Beginners

Looking to get coached for running? I would love to help you reach your running goals! Email me at [email protected] or check out my Run Coaching Services page to learn more.

Comment Below:

What’s one item you never forget to pack for a race?

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