Ah, my least favorite part of any trip, let alone a running trip – packing. Although, I do have to say I get a little more excited knowing that I’m packing to go to Disney! I am keeping this post related strictly to how I pack my running essentials bag for a race – this is my carry-on bag for all my flights. I make sure it’s my carry-on that way I know all of my running gear makes it on my flights and with me to the resort!
I am one of those runners who obsessively over packs for all races. After having watched the weather reports from numerous sources for the weeks leading up to the events (I do this now because I made the mistake of freezing my tail off at the beginning of Dopey 2015 and I vowed to NEVER again have that happen!), I begin to lay out my outfit choices. This means laying out the clothing under my fabulous costumes that I choose to run in. Even if you choose to not run in a costume, I would pack my running essentials bag the same.
I pack at least 1 bottom running option for every race day and then throw in at least 1 longer option for 1 day. This means I typically pack 4 bottoms for a 3 race weekend, 3 pairs of shorts and 1 pair of capris. My mom loves to run only in capris, so in her case she typically packs 3 lighter pairs of capris and 1 heavier pair for warmth. Then I lay out my coordinating top for each set of bottoms. I also make sure to pack at least 1 sports bra for each day.
Then I make sure I have enough socks. I lay out at least 1 pair per race, and sometimes pack 2. I do this because sometimes your running friend forgets a pair for a race! Then I make sure I take my shoes. I always take AT LEAST 2 pairs of shoes I can run in. You won’t be sorry for packing extra shoes – if it rains on a race day you are guaranteed dry shoes the next day! Even after following the weather reports religiously, I don’t always trust them. I always pack my running rain coat for EVERY event and throw in some trash bags to have to keep warm. In some cases I substitute old heat shields given out at finish lines instead of trash bags. These can also be purchased for SUPER cheap online *find them under emergency blankets*.
I also like to bring lots of things to keep me warm. I typically always have at least 2 pairs of gloves, and if I know in advance that it’s going to be very cold, I even bring along a few pairs of Hot Hands.
Fuel is crucial. As this is what gives you energy through the race, you definitely need to make sure this makes the trip with you! In some cases, you may be able to purchase your fuel at the race expo, but not all fuels are sold there. Therefore, I always make sure that I pack a TON of fuel. Typically I pack enough fuel for both my mom and I for all of our races. I also bring along small plastic baggies to separate my fuel for the races for easy carrying. I also make sure to have my belt that I utilize during runs packed.
There are some other toiletry necessities that I make sure make it into my running bag. This includes my face wipes for after races, chapstick, anti-chafing balm, and diaper cream. If you have never experienced the burn of “swamp butt” you’ll be grateful you have this the first time you do! On the topic of packing things for comfort, I also always make sure to pack a foam roller. It’s great for recovery and loosening up all those tight muscles from walking in the parks during the day!
Lastly, you have to make sure you have all of your electronics: i.e. watch, iPod, headphones, chargers for each device, and lately I’ve taken a liking to packing the battery packs to charge your phone on the go!
Now, after reading all of this, I’m sure you’re quite amazed that this all fits in ONE BAG! But I assure you, it does! If you must choose certain items to not squeeze in to your essentials bag, choose anything you know you MIGHT be able to replace at the expo. This means the things that SHOULD ALWAYS be in your carry-on would include your shoes, under garments, fuel, and your race specific outfits. The likelihood you can replace anything else is high.
Hope this helps anyone currently gearing up for Dark Side, Tinkerbell, or any other destination race in the future!
Happy running! ~~ Catie
TMSM is very excited to publish the “Racing Disney” runDisney series by Addie Clark, Catie Neal and Tali McPike. Please keep an eye out for more of their amazing and informative articles! If you missed of the articles in this series make sure you check them athttps://www.themainstreetmouse.com/tag/racing-disney/
If you are planning on running in a runDisney event and have questions, or have participated and want to talk about your experiences make sure you visit our runDisney Forum at http://goo.gl/RLB5ka