A common question I have received recently is whether the Chicago Marathon will be my first 26.2 mile race. The answer is no. It’s my second after the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon in Louisville in 2015. I signed up for the race in January 2015 when I lived in Phoenix, and the plan was to spend a week in Louisville to visit family. Two months later, Graham and I made the decision to move to Chicago for his new job. Luckily Louisville is only a 5-hour drive from Chicago, so the marathon trip was not too long and difficult. In addition to being my first marathon, the Kentucky Derby marathon was also the first race I traveled for. I am so glad I made a packing list before I left for my first marathon, because the whole trip was a whirlwind. For my fellow runners, I’m attaching a marathon packing list of items you might want or need on your trip! Leave me any feedback in the comments about what you would add. This is meant for weekend or day trips for a race.
What to pack for a marathon trip:
- Your running outfit with backup options. I would suggest both long- and short-sleeve shirts, shorts and long tights, short and long socks, compression socks, comfortable extra underwear, sports bras and anything else you like to wear to run. Be sure to test your clothing during training.
- Energy gels, chews or whatever else you like to use.
- Massage roller stick or foam roller.
- Armband, fanny pack, Flipbelt or other carrying pack. Plus your earbuds if you are wearing them!
- Water bottle or other hydration system.
- GPS watch.
- Inspiring shoe tags. You can find these on Etsy.
- First-aid kit.
- Duct tape, just in case.
- Extra safety pins.
- Rain poncho or trash bag, arm warmers, gloves and other cold-weather clothing.
- Hat and/or sunglasses.
- Extra hair ties and bobby pins.
- Comfortable shoes for before and after race.
- Snacks for before and after race, plus electrolyte drinks.
- Camera, charger and memory card.
- Cellphone and charger.
- Chapstick/lip balm.
- Wet wipes, towel and toilet paper.
- Toothbrush, floss and mouthwash.
- License/ID, registration information, maps and directions.
- Cash and credit cards.
- Hair products.
- Moisturizer and other toiletries.
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Have you traveled for a race? Tell me about it in the comments!