The Marathon – What Should I Bring on Race-day?

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Earlier this month we took a look at some tips for first time marathon runners. Today, we look at a couple key items that you may want to take with you on race day. It can be the most deflating thing, when you are getting in the zone for the race and you suddenly realize that you have forgotten your lucky water bottle! What do I do?! Boom! Your focus is wavering, your mind is wandering and panic starts to set in. Being fully prepared gives you a sense of ease knowing that you can focus on the race ahead. Always remember the 5 P’s: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance and it couldn’t be truer in running a marathon. Read on to see a couple of items that you may not of had on your race day list.


Warm, Throwaway Clothes

You will want to keep warm right until the start of the race. Don’t worry about bringing your best fitness gear that you can check in before you run, by the time you have done that and arrived at the start line you may have already started shivering! Bring an old tracksuit that you don’t care about and leave it on till right before the race. There will be donation boxes to throw unwanted clothes in.

Warm Blanket

Leading on from the point above, it is imperative that you bring gear to keep you warm in case of unpredictable weather (especially if you live in the UK!). A blanket can provide that extra bit of warmth if a cold wind starts to pick up pre race.

Extra Snacks

You will have already eaten your breakfast before the race but the last thing that you want to hear before you set off is your tummy rumbling. 26.2 miles is an awfully long way to go with your stomach telling you it needs food. Bringing something suitable also detracts you from quickly popping into a shop and grabbing something that is going to affect your performance.

Plastic and Zip Lock Bags

Everything so far seems to be weather related right? Plastic bags are no different, keep them close in case it gets wet. You can use them to put gear in that you want to keep dry or to sit on so you don’t get your bum wet! Zip lock bags will protect your phone and other belongings in the build up and during the race. If your phone breaks mid race from water damage, I would anticipate a mega freak-out.

A Marker Pen

To sign the hoards of spectators autographs right? Nearly, but not quite. If your race badge doesn’t have your name on it, write it on nice and big before you start. By the time you get to mile 20 it can be a real boost hearing the crowds shout your name and cheering you on.

Spare Safety Pins

This one is a little more obvious. In case your racing bib falls off, be ready make a quick repair!


I know what your thinking, take a little cash to pay off a race attendant to shave a few minutes off your time. Shame on you for thinking that (or me for writing it!). But seriously, it’s always best to have a small amount of cash for anything post race. Your friends and family may be far away and you may have to jump on a tube to get to them or you may have a craving for a post race snack, its always best to be prepared.

Anti–Chaffing Cream

This one is going to benefit you post race. Chaffing and blistering from running a marathon can be truly horrific. I know people that have lifelong scars because their gear was too tight and rubbed the whole way. This is especially true for women wearing tight sports bras. In your build up training, find a cream or powder that works for you and paste it on. Your body is going to get beaten enough, don’t develop skin sores on top of muscle pain!

Have we forgotten anything in this blog? Leave a comment below and let us know your must have item that others may not think of. Good luck out there!

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