What to Pack for a Destination Race

You’re getting excited. It’s finally time for you to get ready for that destination race you registered for ages ago. Now what to pack?

Shoes and Clothes

I’d say the most important items to pack are the clothes and shoes you’ll be wearing on race day. I make sure these items go in my carry on bag in the unlikely event they lose my luggage (I don’t want to take any chances!). For example when packing for my RunDisney Star Wars Rival Run Challenge, I made sure to put my shoes and race costumes in my BB8 carry on suitcase. I’m packing my Mizuno Wave Horizon 3’s for my races. I have put together some race costumes from running clothes, and one costume piece from Sparkle Skirts. I always pack extra socks and running clothes just in case something happens to my others. I am definitely a worry wart, and so I try and make sure to have a back up plan in case anything goes wrong.


In my opinion, the second most important items to bring are your supplements (gels, beans, nuun, waffles, etc.). I always plan out and pack all the items I’m going to need before, during, and after my race. For longer races like the half marathon I need gels during my race. I make sure to pack more than I will actually need so I can bring extra with me on race day just in case! My go to gels for my next half marathon are my Honey Stinger Strawberry Kiwi Energy Gels. The 32mg of caffeine really helps me when I’m bonking mid race. I’m also bringing my Nuun sport for hydration, Tailwind Endurance Fuel for my pre-race drink, and sports beans to snack on before my race. This time I’m also bringing a handful of supplements from Hammer Nutrition. Because I’ve got back to back races I wanted to bring some supplements to give me a little bit of extra help. A lot of people don’t need these items, but they really help me out so I like to come prepared.

Running Accessories

Another key item to remember to pack for your race are your running accessories. My key accessories are my Garmin Fenix 5s, race belt, sunglasses, headphones, and hat. Most races don’t allow camelbak type hydration packs or vests, so I always bring a belt to carry my phone and gels. For morning or afternoon races, I always have a hat and sunglasses so that I don’t have to squint and be miserable the whole race. I don’t want to waste any mental energy on being uncomfortable, so I want to come prepared. I highly recommend bringing these items to make your race experience better.

Post Race Recovery Tools

I have a tendency to hurt or end up injured after my races. In order to combat this, I like to bring tools to aid in my recovery. I’m participating in 3 back to back races on this trip, so I’m bringing a lot of recovery tools. I’m bringing my travel foam roller, ice packs, Hammer CBD pills, FitAid recovery drinks, oofos, and my R8 Roller. Most everyone has heard of the benefits of foam rollers, and they definitely help me deal with my tight calf muscles post run. I have a travel sized one specifically for packing and taking with me. I also really benefit from icing after hard runs. I have two regular ice packs, and one paincake that are super easy to pack and take with me. All of my long runs really take a lot out of me, and I’ve been really noticing a difference when I take CBD capsules and drink FitAid. Both have anti-inflammatory ingredients and help with swelling and pain. All of these items are small and easy to pack, but have a huge impact on my recovery.

Random Items You don’t Always Think of

There are always every day items I find myself wishing I had packed for my trips. One of these items is nail clippers. You never know when they will come in handy, and I am usually missing these on my trips. Another is chargers. I have so many for so many different devices, I usually forget one. Bringing chargers is critical so that your watch or headphones will be ready for race day.

I tend to over pack no matter what trip I go on, although I think I will actually use most of the things I’m bringing for this one. What do you pack for destination races?

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