I actually shared this post a few years ago, but a reader just recently asked me for my destination race packing advice (Hi Rachel- thanks for reading!) and since I’m heading to Phoenix for a marathon in three weeks (and then London six weeks after that), I figured it was a good time to breathe some new life into this post.
Packing for a destination race can be challenging; I am always worried that I’ll forget something vital. Making a list helps gives you peace of mind that you have everything you’ll need.
Here is my destination marathon packing list (though it could work for any distance race). This is my list for the Phoenix marathon, but if you were doing a colder race, you would need to pack much warmer clothes.
In your carry-on bag:
When I was a kid, my mom would always tell me to pack an extra outfit in my carry-on in case I lost my luggage. For a marathon, that extra outfit should be your race outfit! Pack all the running gear you think you will wear on race day in a bag that you are carrying with you. Remember the rule about nothing new on race day? You would hate to lose your luggage and have to buy everything new when you arrive at your destination.
_Travel itinerary with confirmations
_Compression socks (I might wear them on the plane)
_Empty water bottle (which I will fill up when I get through security to stay hydrated during travel)
The items that I will pack in my suitcase are ones that I’m not too concerned about if I had to buy them when I get there, as I’m sure they’ll be available at the expo.
Sidetone: This isn’t necessarily true if you are running an international marathon. The same products- GU’s, Gatorade, Nuun, etc. may not be available at the expo, so plan accordingly.
_Warm shirt to wear at the start line/throw-away clothes to wear for the first mile or two.
_Throw-away gloves if the start line forecast is chilly
_Flip flops/Sandals for post-race
_Second pair of sneakers (for walking around the expo, etc)
I put all my chargers in a big ziploc bag so they are together.
_Garmin charger (I’ll wear my Garmin during travel. Don’t want to lose that!)
_Laptop plus charger (I need to stay in touch with you guys!)
_Cell phone plus charger
_Camera plus charger
_Anti-chafing of some sort (I suggest GoodSport <– review and discount code coming soon!)
_GU’s or your fuel of choice
_All your standard toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, shaving cream, shampoo, facial cleanser, make-up, etc)
_Extra safety pins
_Extra ziplock bags for your gear check bag
_Reading material (currently reading Pretty Girls and 11/22/63)
_Electric Tape for putting my name on my shirt (and scissors)<– I bought this pink tape (pictured below) to coordinate with my planned outfit! The question is, can I get Dustin to wear his name on his shirt, since we’re running together? Maybe “Jessie’s Pacer?” “I’m pacing my wife?” What do you suggest?
As for the rest of my fashion for the trip, we plan to hike Camelback (post-race of course!) as we didn’t have an opportunity to do so when we were in Phoenix in December. The rest of my suitcase will be filled with mostly casual clothing for relaxing and touring with maybe 1-2 dressier options for celebratory dinners.
I hope you find this list helpful for your next destination race! Let me know if I missed anything important.