Thursday, August 23, 2012

Packing for a 24-Hour Race

It can be tough to figure out what to pack when you’re traveling to a foreign country for a 24-hour race.  Luggage space is at a premium, given all the baggage charges and general hassle with multiple suitcases.  Besides the obvious stuff like team uniform, shoes, gels, and protein/carb powders, I do have a few must haves that will be in my luggage for the 2012 World Race in Poland:
1. Drymax socks. The USATF has provided us with uniforms emblazoned with the Nike swish.  We were given written instructions on how to pin our bibs to our uniforms so as to NOT obstruct the Nike swish (no such instructions on covering up the US flag on the uniforms!)  We are not permitted to wear anything but Nike products with the exception of our shoes and socks.  This is a good thing because I am packing my Drymax maximum protection socks.  These socks have gotten me through many races and Drymax was kind enough to ship me a fresh supply for the race.  Thanks, Drymax!
2.  Watch. You never know what information you’ll get during the race and so I like to keep track of my lap splits as well as my lap numbers.  It’s hard to find a watch that can record 150 laps that I CAN SEE!  Garmins don’t work for me because their display is too small.  I just bought a HUGE men’s Timex watch and will try it out for the first time at the World race.
3. Ginger chews.   I prefer Ginger Ale but if we can’t find any, these will due for mild stomach issues.
4. Cranberry pills.  General kidney health.
5. Bandana.  I only want one in a race when I don’t have one.  Good if the weather is hot to wrap around your neck.
6. Sponges.  Same as No. 5
7. Sunscreen.   It seems rather obvious to bring, but not to me.  I rarely run when the sun is up.  I feel like a vampire.  I’m either running before sunrise or after sunset.  I usually forget to put any sunscreen on during these 24-hour races and pay for it later.  
8. Duct tape.  You never know what you might need it for.  I’ll be marking all my stuff with it (a nice hot pink color) as the crew will be trying to keep track of 12 runners at once in a very small area.  I’m sure before the race is over, someone will need the duct tape for something else!
9. US Flag.  Good to hang in our aid station so it’s easy to find.  This year, there will be 36 countries, which means 36 aid stations.  Since the aid stations are set up alphabetically, the US is usually last IF the host country is using the English spelling.  In any event, it’s always nice to have a reference point every lap.
10. Good luck charms.  These change with every race but I have a few packed.  I will post pictures of them after the race if they bring me luck!

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