Congratulations! You just crossed the finish line of a long distance race. Maybe it's a 10K, half or full marathon or even an ultra marathon. You receive your medal and a water bottle from race volunteers as you try to remain in an upright position. Before you enjoy the post-race festivities, you'll want to collect your gear-check bag. Inside, there are a few items you will thank yourself for packing.
1. Extra layers for warmth and comfort!
If you only take one thing away from this list, it should be this one. After racing at least five miles, you will be rushing to throw on a comfortable long sleeve, zip-up jacket or pair of athletic pants as soon as you cross the finish line. Replacing your sweaty, damp clothes with dry, warm attire will make you feel, almost, brand new.
2. Socks for relief and recovery.
Along the same lines, having a fresh pair of socks after a race can make an enormous difference in how you feel post-race. Your toes will thank you as they enjoy the cushion and dryness of a different pair of socks. If you really want to treat your feet, pack compression socks in your gear-check bag. These will help you get a jump-start on recovery and make your legs and feet feel fresh in the days following the race.
3. Supportive sandals or shoes for fresh feet.
Post-long distance race is one of the few times when rocking sandals and socks is perfectly acceptable. If you are racing during the warmer months, pack a pair of supportive sandals such as Olukais or Superfeet Sandals to give your feet the comfort and arch support they need at the same time. For chillier months, try packing a spare pair of comfortable running shoes so you can take off your potentially muddy and damp shoes from the race.
4. Towels and/or wipes for a quick refresh.
Pack a small towel to help dry yourself off if needed. Body wipes aren’t the same as a shower but they will make you feel slightly more civilized. Using an Orange Mud body wrap towel will also aid you in the process of changing your clothes post-race and keeping your car clean when you make your way home.
5. Spare hairties and/or headband for emergency situations.
Gals, and guys with long hair, make sure to pack extra hair elastics for race day for when you want to release your hair from whatever ponytail/braids/bun you decided to rock during the run. Consider also packing a headband for when you want to look as presentable as possible post-race with as little effort as possible.
6. Snacks/Hydration for post-race fuel.
You will be more than ready to dig into your favorite snack once your stomach has settled from the race. Bonus points for packing a healthy, whole-food snack such as an apple and peanut butter to aid your recover! To replenish electrolytes that you lost from sweating, supplement with a your drink of choice such as nuun or motive pure.
Always be sure to check what the bag check details are for the race you are running. Certain races have restrictions or particular bags that must be used. Doing your research will pay off and minimize stress as you prepare for your race.
What is your favorite thing to pack in your gear-check bag to aid in post-race recovery and rejuvenation? Share with us in the comments below!
About the Author: Lizzy Peper
Lizzy is the Marketing Coordinator for Charm City Run. Previously she worked as a part time Sales Associate for two years in the Timonium store. Lizzy ran competitively as a member of the cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams at Towson High School and Marist College. She co-captained the Division I Marist women's cross country team in 2015 and graduated in 2016 with a degree in Communication and a concentration in Public Relations. Check out her personal blog here: pepinurstep.com.