Ready for Race Day: The Complete Marathon Checklist

WRITTEN BY: Sports Medicine
Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Marathon race day checklist



The DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is quickly approaching — do you have all of the gear you need? Here’s a handy marathon checklist for runners to make sure you’re ready.

For the Race:

  • Tank top, short sleeve shirt, or long sleeve shirt, as dictated by race-day weather, made from moisture-wicking fabrics, such as polyester or poly-blends (remember to dress for the temperature at the finish, not the temperature at the start)
  • Shorts or cropped pants, also made of moisture-wicking material
  • Sports bra
  • Socks made from a wicking material (no cotton!)
  • Tried and tested running shoes (if your shoes have too many miles on them, now is the time to go to a local running store and get fitted for a new pair)
  • Hat or visor
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Petroleum jelly, body glide, or other anti-chafing lotion
  • Lip balm with sunscreen
  • GPS watch if you use one (make sure to charge it the night before)
  • Gels or sports drink if you have been training with them (these will be provided on the course, but make sure you try the ones being offered on the course before race day to avoid any stomach issues)
  • Throw-away shirt/pants to stay warm at the start (these are collected by race officials and donated to charity)
  • Adhesive bandages/nip guards
  • Safety pins
  • Race bib with emergency contact information filled out

In Your Gear-Check Bag:

  • Sandals or flip-flops so you can take your running shoes off when you’re done
  • Your preferred post-race sports drink or snack
  • Wet wipes to get the gritty salt feeling off of your face
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel, if rain is in the forecast

Other Packing Tips for Race Day:

  • Lay out your race day clothes ahead of time — this will help you to not forget anything in the morning, especially if you are feeling nervous about the race.
  • Try not to spend too much time on your feet walking around the marathon expo.
  • Eat dinner earlier than usual the night before the race and try to go to bed early.
  • Set your alarm for the morning to give yourself enough time to eat breakfast and only eat something that you have already tested and has worked well for you in the past — nothing new on race day.
  • Arrive early to the race start so that you can use the bathroom, get in your corral, and find your pacer.
  • Don’t forget to breathe and have fun. Relish in your accomplishment!

Sports Medicine

UPMC Sports Medicine is the region’s largest and most experienced center dedicated to caring for athletes of all levels. For more than 25 years of world-class care, we’re proud to offer more services, have more physicians, and treat more student athletes than any other sports medicine provider in the region. Read More