Tips On Preparing For A Race And Travelling To A New Place!
At the minute I’m packing for my trip to the Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday and I’ve thought of 10 things that will help make your journey to a new race that much easier, particularly if you’re flying to a city you’ve never been to before.
- Pack some safety pins – I’ve ruined my race weekend too many times by failing to pack safety pins and assuming that they’d be easily available in town. Big mistake. The safety pins always seem to disappear very quickly when you need them most.
- Pack some baby wipes for washing yourself after the race – If you’re in a new town and have hours to waste after a race, you’ll have a bad time if you stay in your sweaty old running gear. If you pack some baby wipes then you can abuse the trust of bar owners and give yourself a whore’s bath in the comfort of their bathroom cubicle. Just don’t make the mistake I made….I washed myself with bleach wipes after the Birmingham Half Marathon and scorched my skin that bad that I couldn’t run for a week due to the burns.
- Book a hotel that’s either near the start line or near to your airport – That way it’s much easier to get to the race and to get back from it. When/if you hit the wall, the last thing you need to think about is the fact your airport is 65 miles away and that you’ve gotta commute there all sweaty.
- Think about where you are going to leave your bag during the race – Not all events have baggage handling services. Before you book your hotel, check to see if they offer a luggage storage service.
- Check the race start time and memorise it – I don’t know if this is just me or not but I assume that all races start at the same time and that everything will be OK. It’s never the case though. You don’t need the added stress of realising the start time is an hour earlier on race morning.
- Plan out the start of your race day the night before – If you’re staying far away from the starting line this is extremely important. You don’t wanna be rushing to the start line and beginning the race in a bad mood.
- Find the starting line the day before – Following on from the last point, if you visit the starting line the day before then you make everything a lot less stressful for yourself.
- Buy a good armband or backpack – You don’t want to be worrying about whether your armband will support your phone, money and credit cards during the race. I bought the Tune Band and although it only cost £15, it’s a sturdy bit of kit. It’s alright to pay a bit more for peace of mind.
- Always bring some cash with you for spending after the run. You cannot underestimate the discomfort of having to hobble to an ATM after running 13.1 miles. Save yourself the pain and withdraw money before the going gets tough.
- Pack your number away safely especially if the race chip is on behind it. I keep mine in the original race pack it arrived in. In other races I shoved the race number into my backpack without caring and ended up with a number that was a barely legible to the stewards.