What's in my marathon race bag?

As Ottawa Marathon quickly approaches I thought I would give you a glimpse into what I pack in my bag on race morning.  These are the essentials I rely on to get me through the 42.2K.  Some things don’t change — I might pack them even for a 5K road race but others are more unique to the marathon distance.




Caffeine pills: I love my coffee and as a legal performance enhancer I take a couple of these about 1 hour before the race start.


Tylenol: I pop 500mg 30min before the start.  The reason?  Acetaminophen can help lessen exercise-induced pain.


Imodium: Not much explanation needed here but marathons require fuelling and sometimes tummies can become upset.  I take 2 of these 2.5 hours before the race start in hopes that I will have no porta-potty stops en route to the finish line.


Energy Gel: This season I have been using Huma gels.  I won’t have any during the race but I take one about 10 minutes before the race start to get a head start on my race nutrition plan.


Bottle: I always have water on hand for mouth swishing.  I don’t drink much an hour out from a race but a little sipping here and there is okay.  


Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix: This is what I am primarily relying on for fuelling during the race (pineapple my favourite flavour).  It’s in all of my bottles with increasing concentration toward the latter kilometres.


Skratch Labs Endurance Recovery Mix: I’ll have this ready for me to take at the finish.  Even though this marathon is the culmination of my spring training, I still want to recover well!


New Balance 1400v5:  I’ll be lacing these beauties up for the race.  It will be their race debut —they’ve felt great in practice and the 1400 has been my go-to for years!


Watch: I always race with a basic stop watch.  I’m a pretty strong believer in leaving your gps watch at home on race day.  This ensures I don’t run into any gps interference issues.  The course is certified, marked, and those posted kilometre signs (and your final finishing time) are all that matters!


So that’s it.  I hope this provided you with some insight to my marathon must-haves.  Stay tuned for my post-race report after this Sunday’s race.  Also, if you’re interested, you can use the athlete tracker to keep tabs on my progress during the race.