Fall Marathon Travel Prep Guide

Doing marathons + traveling is so much fun, but it can also be stressful. My #1 rule for traveling for a race is that everything has to fit in a carry on. This can be difficult, but it saves so much anxiety over a potentially lost bag (meaning lost shoes, Garmin, race outfit!) that it's worth it. I've traveled over 15 times for marathons and half marathons and put together this helpful list of how to pack your gear and what you absolutely need for your next fall race.

In Your Carry On Luggage

You need the best bag ever if you're going to lug around all of your gear in one bag. Here's my recommendations for what to pack all of your running gear in:

  1. Osprey Porter 65 Travel Duffel Bag. I love this Osprey backpack. It's the perfect size to fit any standard carry on requirement size, and it's got lots of little compartments to throw the small stuff.

  2. Eagle Creek Pack It Bags. These save so much space and allow you stay organized with the space you have. Specifically post race, these bags come in handy when trying to separate your dirty and clean clothes. I also love their shoe sack for my running shoes.

Now that you've got your bags and a spot for your running shoes, next comes deciding what to pack and what to leave. Here are my essentials for a fall race:

  1. Extra pair of running shoes or walking shoes (you should not wear your race day shoes to walk anywhere before the race)

  2. Shake out run outfit

  3. Undies (for after the run!)

  4. Socks (extra socks - fall races are cold, so make sure you're prepared for all the days you're there)

  5. A good coat/jacket

  6. A few good t-shirts + 1 pair of jeans (post race, I'm not fancy. I wear tees and jeans and my good jacket)

In Your Personal Bag

Each airline lets you take one personal bag to fit under your chair. I love taking my Vooray Roadie Gym Duffel. The bag holds a lot and has some extra tiny compartments for headphones and snacks.

Vooray Roadie Duffel

I always recommend putting your race day essentials in this bag. It's large enough to hold your race day outfit (excluding any throw away or gear checked items), your running shoes, and your Garmin. I do this because if, for whatever reason, they force you to check your carry on luggage, you will have everything that is necessary for race day in your personal bag. Here's what goes inside for me:

  1. Running Shoes (obviously)

  2. Garmin or GPS watch

  3. Race day outfit (all items are assuming it will be over 45° on race day)

    1. Shorts

    2. Sports bra

    3. Tank/tee

    4. Visor/Hat

    5. Sunnies

  4. Fuel (gels, gummies, etc), including snacks and pre-race breakfast if portable (my go-to is an oatmeal cup from Trader Joe’s).

Now you're ready to travel to your next big race! I'm heading to NYC on November 4th and I'll be using this checklist - what races are you travelling to this fall? Any other travel tips to share?