7 Tips for Packing for a Race Weekend

by Lauren Youngerman on November 15, 2014

Post Tough Mudder - Central FL

Post Tough Mudder – Central FL

I’m a newly self-proclaimed OCR Athlete (OCR = Obstacle Course Race).  I’ve only done a handful of races so far, but I have high goals in the future to do a lot more — even goals to compete at the national level.

After having to travel a little to my most recent race, I’ve come up with some tips to pack for your race trip (not for the actual race).

Here are 7 tips for packing for your upcoming race weekend:

1. Plan what you’re wearing for the race early.

If you do any of these races or any similar race, you know it’s a terrible idea to test out gear on race day.  Avoid this by planning what you’re packing early, and make sure you’ve trained in the gear before your event.  Now, you might have a couple of different options based on the weather, but make sure you’re comfortable in whatever you bring.

2. Pack the things you can’t run without first.

Can't forget the shoes!

Can’t forget the shoes!

If you’re going to be doing a race, make sure you pack the absolute essentials first.  For example, running shoes.  There’s nothing worse than realizing when you show up the morning of the race and your shoes are miles away back home.  I always pack at least two days early, and I double check my bag before I head out the door.

3. Pack snacks.

My pre-race snack shelf

My pre-race snack shelf

If you’re like me, you never want to spend a lot of money post race on food because you already probably spent a good amount of money on the race.  I always make sure to pack snacks.  These snacks range from my racing snacks (Shot Blocks, GU”;) to snacks to munch on while in transit (Nutri-grain bars, Beef Jerky, and similar snacks). I always over-pack extra snacks, but I’d rather have things left over than be hungry.

4.  Don’t forget the water.

If you’re doing any sort of racing, you should have been hydrating probably the entire week prior.  However, it’s probably a good idea to continue hydrating during your travels, and even after the race is over.  While you can buy water bottles anywhere, it’s cheaper and better for the environment if you bring your own, and simply refill it!  I usually travel with my large water bottle or even my camelback in my car, to minimize the times I have to stop.

5. Don’t forget plastic bags.

Especially if the race is an OCR, you want to have something to put all your nasty dirty clothes in.  Grocery bags work perfectly so you don’t have to worry about packing your nasty clothes back in your bag.  My travel bag even has an outside pocket that folds in that helps separate my dirty clothes.

6. Bring things to clean yourself post-race.

Especially if it’s an OCR.  Q-tips, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer — just to name a few — are total necessities post race.  Most people don’t want to go home with an extra three pounds of mud on them.

I usually skip these items, but I always regret it when I try showering later.  The longer the mud’s been on you, the harder it seems to be to get off.

7. Pack anything you need for post race recovery.

I never travel without my foam roller

I never travel without my foam roller

For this means I never leave for a weekend race without my foam roller.  Actually, I never go on any weekend trip without a foam roller.  I’m pretty sure I spend enough time with my foam roller to call it my boyfriend.

Don’t forget to pack anything you need to help recover from a race.  If you need a band to stretch with, a foam roller, an obnoxious amount of ibuprofen or whatever, make sure you pack it.

Now I know I focused on a more specialized niche (OCR racers), but what about other athletic events?  What do you make sure you never forget? Scroll down and leave your answer in the comments below!

Lauren Youngerman

This post was written by Lauren Youngerman, a student at the University of South Florida studying international business with a focus on Spanish and Info Systems.

She is a member of her school’s sailing team, and also works as a sailing coach at a nearby club.

Lauren is an adventure seeker who has had the opportunity to live abroad in both Brazil and Nicaragua, as well as to being a part of the U.S. Army.

Currently completing a social media internship for VentureTime Travel, Lauren seeks a career in marketing after graduation. Learn more about Lauren’s work experience via her LinkedIn profile. 

You can also follow Lauren on her OCR adventures by checking out her instagram @Laureny.ocr.

Want to learn more about Off Course Racing? Check out this new book:

Off Course – Erin Beresini




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