your destination marathon checklist



What's in our bag?

Not pictured: your finish line smile and endorphin rush

If you're mixing athleticism with travel and doing a destination race, we've thought of everything you need. We raced around the office and polled the marathoners on site. Here's your checklist for the road ahead.

for the journey

A duffel bag or backpack Pack light in something with functional pockets for all your gear.

Passport and plane tickets A must! Don't forget. We repeat - don't forget.

Breakfast Only if you have a routine to stick to.

Reading material We love magazine apps! (Did you know the Runner's World app is free?)

A comfortable, breathable travel outfit Wear layers to keep your cool when the temperatures change.

for the race

Shoes Not new ones - your old faithfuls. Use the ones you've been training in.

Athletic socks Again, pack what you've been training in.

Two or three race outfits The weather could misbehave so be prepared. Whatever you do, remember this: Now is not the time to break in that great new gear.

Hydration How you choose to hydrate is your call. Pack a belt or a hand-held bottle or simply rely on those friendly water station volunteers.

Fuel You won't make that goal time if your energy tank runs too low. All our running bottoms have pockets for gels so you can carry fuel hands free.

Disposable layers Keep muscles warm before the starting line and wear layers you don't mind parting with. Typically once the race begins, volunteers collect them and donate them to charity.

Race belt Spare your running gear and pin your bib to a race belt.

Lubrication Say no to chafing! Put it anywhere there's a risk of getting seriously uncomfortable. (May I personally suggest you put some between your thighs? If you're shaped like me, you'll thank me.)

Tunes, comfortable headphones & a charger Music will be your lifeline. Make sure your player is charged and ready to rock. (Don't forget an adapter if you're travelling far, far away.)

Enough tunes to keep you motivated You don't want to hit that last leg of the race and realize all you've got left is your bedtime playlist. We suggest the following...

Extra hair elastics Before you pack some, see if you've got an extra one on a zipper pull. Our designers may already have you covered.

Deodorant If there was ever a time to need it, it will be when you're sweating buckets at the finish line.

Sunscreen Make sure it's sweatproof.

A credit or debit card If nothing else, you'll deserve a cab ride to your hotel room.

A running hat Our accessories designer suggests a colorful one so your cheering squad can pick you out in the pack.

Sunglasses You don't want to be squinting the whole way.

A heart rate monitor Our Community Relations Manager Tracy suggests the Garmin 110.

A big smile for your finish line photo shoot.

Jen's prized NYC Marathon bib

The ultimate souvenir: an imported marathon bib (Thanks for the photo, Jen!)

after the race

Your "I-love-my-body" kit Think stretch cords, foam rollers, tennis balls, pain relievers, band-aids and epsom salts. They will love you back.

A yoga mat We dare you to do more than savasana after the marathon.

A cozy post-race outfit Whatever you choose, make sure it includes slippers. Fuzzy ones.

A celebratory outfit Commemorate in style but keep in mind your feet may not be up for stilettos.

Compression socks to keep your muscles comfortable for the plane ride home.

before you get packing

We suggest making packing part of the event. Print this list, pour a nice glass of wine and rest assured knowing you've got it all together in advance. (Ok, maybe not a realistic pursuit but as long as you can get it done with half an hour to spare, you're golden.)

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14 Comments »


Disposable layers are so important!! I don’t wanna throw away clothes I love, but you simply can’t always run in what you start off in.

Comment by The Get In Shape Girl — January 31, 2011 @ 6:26 pm


Consider taking your shoes and race outfit in a carry on. You really don’t want to replace these the night/day before a race if you get there but your luggage doesn’t! Like Elissa said, not the time to be breaking in new gear…

Comment by jennyb — January 31, 2011 @ 6:38 pm


what jacket is in the photo?

Comment by Kayleigh — January 31, 2011 @ 7:13 pm


May I suggest a few tissues? There may be a couple of reasons why you might need them.

Comment by Stephanie — January 31, 2011 @ 7:50 pm


I love love love this post! I made a new years resolution to run my first race this year (and my second, third, fourth…), and it’s coming up in March, so the timing is perfect! I’ve been so busy training, getting nervous and training some more that I hadn’t even stopped to consider what to bring- and I have to admit that lots of the items on this list were not on my first-timer list (body glyde on the thighs? Genius! my “athletic” thighs would have definitely suffered chafing)!! Thanks for posting, this is gold!!

Comment by Jenn — January 31, 2011 @ 8:57 pm


A hair elastic on my zipper pull…hmm I’ve never noticed that before! But I’ll definately remember the next time I leave my elastic at home when I go to sweat it out! Thanks for the awesome tip!!

Comment by Heather — February 1, 2011 @ 10:16 am


Hi Kayleigh! The jacket in the photo looks like the Scuba Hoodie: http://bit.ly/dIE6ZJ
~ Laura, GEC Online Community

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — February 1, 2011 @ 1:36 pm


Laura’s right. Elim and I picked that hoodie to put in our bag. Scuba hoodies are perfect for cuddling up in. I haven’t run a marathon before but I’m pretty sure the hoodie is exactly what my tired body would crave. (That and a seriously amazing meal, of course.)

Comment by Elissa Joy — February 1, 2011 @ 2:51 pm


Great post! Races are a fantastic excuse to travel.

Don’t forget your camera (for sightseeing, and for the race if you have a disposable one).

Comment by Run Fast Travel Slow — February 8, 2011 @ 2:51 pm


Great post! Don’t forget those comfortable running shoes.

Comment by Airport Lounges — March 9, 2011 @ 11:35 pm


The list can’t easily get better than this Elissa. You deserve a big thanks from me. Lubricant’s really crucial and I want to thank you for that in advance. Will you suggest some good lubricants to apply? What about the other fungal itching problems that sometimes occurs? What product or remedies will you suggest?

Comment by Ameer the trail running shoes lover — March 27, 2011 @ 6:36 am


Hi Ameer,
As far as lubricants go, every running store seems to carry a different brand, but I have used sports slick and it works very well. Any lube bought at a running store will be fine. It’s just important to put it EVERYWHERE you may chafe.

Most commonly, runner’s foot fungus is Athlete’s Foot. It’s usually easiest to spot by looking at it (it can result in itchy red skin combined with peeling and flaking) and can be treated with any number of over the counter medications. Once it’s under control, prevention is the best treatment. Fungus grows in warm, moist areas so keeping the feet as dry as possible is the best way to go about preventing a relapse. Make sure that you are using moisture wicking socks (hey, I think I know a company that makes those…. http://bit.ly/aZCpwL) and that you have the proper shoe fit.

~ Michael & Tess

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — April 2, 2011 @ 10:07 am


Thanks for siahrng. Always good to find a real expert.

Comment by Kellsie — May 12, 2011 @ 8:57 am


Very good tips…

I would empathize, especially for beginners, not to try new shoes or cloth you never used before.

What I would ad to the list here, especially for us men, are nipple protectors. Don’t forget them, that could be very hurtful.

Comment by Chris from Jogging For Beginners — October 6, 2011 @ 1:23 am


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