Race Day Checklist

Time to get prepared before the night before. If you need anything it is probably for sale at the marathon expo. Go down the checklist and see what you need.

  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Running Shorts
  • Beach Runner Shirt or your favorite running shirt, SoCalRunning.com shirts coming soon
  • Race Chip
  • Race Number
  • Watch
  • Body Glide or anti-chafing and blister protection
  • Sunscreen already applied
  • Fuel – Gels, Bars and/or other food
  • Any other running gear – knee wraps, patella straps etc…
  • Throw Away Pre-Race Clothes
  • Money at least $40
  • Metronome (optional)
  • Sunglasses (optional)
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Visor or Hat (optional)
  • Hydration System (optional)
  • Race Number Belt (optional)
  • Rain Poncho (optional) It can keep you warm too
  • Mini Medical Kit: Band-Aids, Advil, Salt Tablets or Enuralytes (optional)
  • Camera (optional)

After you have gone through all you stuff and checked it off the list and made a list of what you want to get, you are set.

In the early hours of the morning before a race starts it is typically cold. Another good idea is to wear some “Throw Away” clothes. Jim, aka Uncle Sam, goes to a thrift shop and picks up some sweats for a couple bucks then tosses them off out on the course when he has warmed up. Stay warm before the race.

Here’s my race day gear story. A learning experience from my first marathon, yes, it is a memorable day yet carrying a bunch of stuff around for 26.2 miles can suck. My first marathon I had a hiking waist belt. I called it my Batman Utility Belt. In it I had Power Bars, camera, cell phone, bandages, gels, money and in a separate section it had a water bottle holder, to hold one the size that fits on a bike. All that added up to one heavy belt. On top of that it was not a tight fitting belt like a Fuel Belt (that I use now).

By mile 16 my hips were raw from that belt bouncing around. Thank God for my friend Jason, who met me at mile 16 to run with me. He asked if I needed anything and I said, “Please just take this belt.” He said yes and within moments I felt 100 pounds lighter. It was as if a cross was lifted off my back. I am still thankful for his help that day.

The moral of the story is less is more. The LA Marathon has well-placed water stations so I will probably only carry two water bottles. I load the pack pocket with $40 and food. I will also put some more food in the other two water bottle spaces. I’ll have a camera so I can take some picture of all you. Since I am not running the entire marathon, I’ll pack some emergency items in case I run into you can you need some help. It is a good thing I grew up in the Boy Scouts because it reminds me of their motto, “Be Prepared” and go lite if possible.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel, USA Cycling Coach


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