What to pack for a destination race

Today I want to tell you all about what to pack when you run a destination race. A destination race to me is any race where you sleep in a hotel, Airbnb, … (so not in your own bed) the night before the race.

I’m running the Rotterdam Marathon on Sunday and will be staying at a hotel the night before. I do have some experience with running a destination race (Disney Princess in Florida, Disney in Paris, New York marathon, London marathon, …) and I know how stressful the packing part can be. You want to make sure you have everything with you so that the night before you don’t realize that you forgot to pack a race day essential. That’s why I always lay out my race gear the night before, I know everything is there and don’t need to waste time finding things in the morning.

To me there’s also a big difference if you’re flying to the race or driving. Because if you fly there and decide to check a bag, you need to make sure that all the essentials are in your carry-on bag. Luggage can get lost or can get delayed. You don’t want to risk having to buy new shoes the night before the race.
You’ve worked hard to get to race day and don’t want to have lost luggage spoil the fun.

Race day outfit

The first things I always pack is the things I’ll be wearing while running. In my case my outfit consist of:
– Running socks
– Compression leg sleeves
– Running pants
– Sports bra
– Running shirt
– Sweater, gloves and headband (if the weather will be cold)
– Running shoes

Also don’t forget about your throwaway clothes. These are clothes that you can toss at the start of after a couple miles of running. To me this is usually a sweater, a buff (for ears or neck) and a trash bag (against the wind or to sit on).

Race day essentials

These are all the accessories that I actually carry with me for running. For me these essentials are:
– Running belt
– GU salted caramel gels
– Bluetooth headphones
– TomTom Runner 3 watch


Other stuff I pack 

– Bodyglide to prevent chafing
– Race confirmation email
– Sunscreen
– Extra safety pins to pin on my bib
– Extra sweater (you will get cold after you finish)
– Wet baby wipes (in case you can’t shower before heading home)
– Dry clothes (again in case you can’t shower before heading home)
– Flip flops (you will want to take of your running shoes once you’re done running)
– Your favorite snacks (to eat before and after the race)
– Breakfast
– A plastic water bottle that I bring with me while I wait at the start
– Magazine to read at the start in case I get bored
– Chargers for all your electronics

I think that’s about it for me… Anything I forgot about?


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