Travel Race Checklist

Think you have all the gear you need for a race? Think again!

Experienced ultra runner Marie from San Diego once forgot to pack her contact lenses and had to run a 100K wearing her emergency pair of glasses–not her running sun glasses–that proved to be a major annoyance.

Many of us have our own ways to make sure we take all the necessary gear when we travel to races. But overlooking a seemingly insignificant item can become a big problem. Planning ahead is important, so start a list several weeks before you travel and add to it as you think of things to take.

Travel race checklistYour list will depend on the time of the year, time of day and location of your race. It’s a good idea to do a historical check of the weather at your location and pack specifically for the typical weather. Then add clothing to be prepared for unusual conditions. This is particularly important if you are running at elevation–think June snow storm at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, east of San Diego.

It’s best to have several thin layers you can add or shed as the weather dictates. The old standby, a garbage bag cut to fit over head and arms, is always a good idea. Avoid fabrics that absorb water when they get wet or ones that tend to chafe.

Matt from Columbus, OH goes to thrift stores to get his layers so he can drop them along the course without worrying about trying to recover them later. Many races give clothes along the course to charities, so everyone wins.

One other consideration. When flying to your destination, if you choose to check some of your luggage, make sure you carry on your essentials for race day. A one-day delay in locating your checked bag could be a disaster on race day.

How do you make sure you’ve packed all the gear you need? Let us know. We’d like to hear from you.

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