10 Race Day Tips & Tricks From a Veteran Runner

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1) The lines for the porta-potties will always be longer than you expect. If you think 10 minutes, give yourself at least 30.

2) Recycle and carry extra safety pins for bibs, wardrobe malfunctions, or blisters. I have a few on my car key ring. Trust me, you’ll be your own hero or someone else’s hero sooner or later.

3) Don’t ever think that you can skip the Vaseline/Body Glide.

4) Recycle your mylar blanket. What better throwaway item will you have for waiting around in the corral at your next race?!

5) Pre-race butterflies are a good sign. Nervous excitement for what you are about to achieve never gets old.

6) Say thank you to the volunteers. If you can’t talk, at least smile. Remember you paid for this, they are helping you for free.

7) Don’t rely on the course gels. It is your own fault if they run out or don’t have your flavor by the time you get there. No one wants to waste 12 weeks of training because they didn’t stick an extra gel in their pocket.

8) If you aren’t racing for prize money, give that spectator kid a high five. I promise it will make both of you feel better.

9) My own personal drop bag rule of thumb is that my car has to be parked at least as twice as far as the pickup area. If not, do yourself and the volunteers a favor by leaving it in your car.

10) Flip-flops and baby wipes will make you feel like a new person after finishing.

Carissa Liebowitz has run the Boston Marathon as well as dozens of marathons and half marathons. You can follow her running adventures on Instagram and her blog.

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