With my first race of the new year just a day away, I took the time to gather together and inventory some of my race gear and necessities. One of the best gifts that I received this Christmas was a duffle bag/weekend bag. I had been eyeing this one from Lululemon and was beyond elated when my brother-in-law gave it to me for Christmas. The main reason I needed a new bag was because I had outgrown my old one. I regularly store several items inside my running bag. I don’t call it my gym bag, because that bag requires a completely different set of items. This is my dedicated “Race” or “Run” Bag and I always keep it stocked with plenty of race goodies and necessities.
I’ve got that Type A personality that requires me to stock up on every imaginable tool and resource in case of an unforeseen situation. (You don’t even want to see what’s inside of the diaper bag.)
A carefully stocked race day bag is a must for runners these days. Everything from fuel to post race attire should be considered when constructing an appropriate ensemble. Every runner keeps a specific list of items that he or she takes with them to races, and each runner’s bag is different from the person next to you at the start line.
Here is a look at what’s inside my race day bag.
First of all, I love this bag because it features several pockets to store both small and large items. It has a sleeve designed perfectly for a yoga mat, four exterior zipper pockets, and two interior pockets – one is a wet/dry pocket that helps protect your sweaty clothes from dirtying everything else and the other is a padded pocket for a laptop. It’s made from a water resistant Polyester fabric that is easy to clean so it’s perfect to take on the go.
In the larger front pocket, I like to keep most of my pre and post race necessities for easy reach.
- I use Chapstick and Body Glide religiously, so they’re easily accessible in the front pocket.
- The Evian spray is a refreshing luxury product that I like to keep handy for those extra sweaty moments. A little spritz of H2O on the face is a great way to freshen up post race.
- Sunscreen should be a part of every runner’s daily regiment. I always keep an SPF 100 (not exaggerating) spray can in my bag, just in case I forget before leaving the house.
- Biofreeze is my go-to topical pain reliever. I don’t leave home without it.
A deeper look inside my race bag reveals a plethora of fuel and snack products. Everything from GU’s, Shot Blocks, Sharkies, and Cliff Bars. I don’t necessarily have favorite flavors of these items, I just tend to hang onto any leftovers from previous goody bags or from my runner box subscription.
You might also notice the change of clothes neatly folded inside. This was specifically done for picture purposes. Normally, it’s just shoved inside or wrapped inside a ziplock bag. I sweat a ton, and a clean shirt and shorts is a must after a sweaty finish.
Not seen is my compression socks.
What is visible is a cute little set of toddler feet and toes. (she couldn’t help being involved with the pictures)
Inside the main compartment of my race day bag, I like to keep a smaller bag with the tiny pieces of what I call my first aid kit.
These items are not necessarily my “must have” pieces, but they have definitely saved me (or a fellow runner) from thwarting off a race disaster.
- Cotton Rounds can be used as a makeshift wash cloth. Add a little water and you can clean up your face and body from any dirt, paint, temporary tattoos, permanent marker or whatever you might have on your body. I’ve learned this trick from all the Ragnar Relays, Color Runs, and Obstacle Races I’ve done.
- Antiseptic Spray is useful if you sustain any kind of accident or injury. I scraped my knee once at Tough Mudder and this was such a godsend when I was cleaning up afterwards. It’s all about preparedness.
- Dental Floss is just because. You never know when corn on the cob will be served. (I always have floss with me.)
- Safety Pins are a no brainer. They’re always a necessity for your race bibs.
- Pepto Chewables should be in every runners race bag IMO. You never know when your stomach is not going to cooperate with your race plans.
- The nail file and hair accessories are definitely just things I always like to carry around. Although, hangnails and fly-a-ways are annoying things to deal with during a race.
- The anti-inflammatory is another just-in-case item that I always like to have on hand.
All of these pieces are definitely not needed for every event, but it’s always comforting to me to know that I have them available if I should ever need them.
Now that you’ve seen all my dirty secrets, share with me what you keep inside your race day bag?