15 Running Gear Must-Haves for Race Day

© Jaysi | Dreamstime

There is no one-size-fits-all list for all runners as we all have our personal preferences. I always make sure to pack an inspirational bracelet a dear friend gave to me.

But there are a few musts that every runner should check off when they are getting prepared for a race:

  1. Running shoes. Duh, right? Except I’ve known runners to actually forget them. Seriously? Seriously.
  2. Running socks. See the explanation above for number one.
  3. Running shorts/capris/leggings/skirt. You probably won’t forget them, but you probably won’t race without them.
  4. Running shirt. Semi-optional in some climates.
  5. Sports bra or band-aids. Women need one, men need the other.
  6. Bib. Your ticket to race. Forget it and you might be a spectator instead of a racer.
  7. Safety pins. Extra ones probably aren’t a terrible idea because they are so small and so easy to lose.
  8. Anti-chafe product. Your post-race shower will thank you.
  9. Nutrition. Not necessary for shorter races, but gels and/or electrolyte drinks should be packed for anything more than a 10K.
  10. Drop bag. Fill it with dry clothes and post-race nutrition.
  11. GPS watch. Though races can be run without one, many runners consider this a necessity rather than optional.
  12. Hat/visor. Keep the sweat from dripping into your eyes and the sun off your face.
  13. Sunglasses. A friend to #12, keep the sun out of your eyeballs.
  14. Sunblock/sunscreen. Might not be necessary for a 5K, but you’ll be standing around outside for awhile so pack it anyway.
  15. Music. A polarizing item that some runners swear by and others are annoyed by.

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

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