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Nutrition Matters

by Jennie Orr

About The Author

Nutrition Matters: Helping you meet your nutrition goals in the kitchen, in the gym, and on the run.
Jennie Orr p.dt NSDA# 1362

What to Pack for the Boston Marathon?

Ladies and gentlemen, we have made it. We are less than one week out from the most anticipated race of the year, the Boston Marathon. Race day nerves have arrived and in the hustle and bustle of your last week of work, massage appointments, and training, don't forget to pack some of these essential things to help you chase down your unicorn.

Jennie's Boston Marathon Essentials Packing List

Food: One thing I have learned over the past few times at Boston is there will be a lot of eating out. Packing a few foods (my go-tos are peanut butter, bread, canned tuna and trail mix) that you are familiar with can really help keep the upset tummy at bay during the days and the hours leading up to the race. Think non-perishables, and think ahead. Remember, if driving, border security can and will steal all the fresh fruit you packed. Make sure you have eaten all that before you get to the border. Food also comes in handy if you’re hungry and need a snack and, let’s face it, aren't runners always hungry?

Flip flops: If you haven't already heard, Boston has a lot of downhill running, which unfortunately can lead to the loss of one or more toenails. By bringing flip flops, you do not have to squeeze your probably swollen and sore feet into shoes, and all rubbing is eliminated.

Sunscreen: I realize we have been running in -20 for what felt like all winter, but somewhere in a land far, far away, a.k.a. Boston, the weather is actually nice. We do not normally anticipate higher temperatures but Boston can be as high as 25-30 degrees C. My advice is don't be caught without your sunscreen and wind up with a wicked lobster tan like me, or, worse, sunstroke.

Dryer Sheets: This one seems kind of odd, but, trust me, you will thank me when your luggage doesn’t permanently smell like your sweaty race day shoes. I normally put two dryer sheets in my race day shoes and then wrap them in a bag before I place them in my luggage.

Clothing for all weather: It is spring time in North America, which means one minute it could be snowing, and the next it could be 20 degrees a.k.a. bathing suit weather. My best advice is to come prepared. It may seem like over packing, but if the temperature happens to dip below the comfortable 10 degrees, you are going to be wishing you had those mittens and hat available.

American money: If you are anything like me, I get to the Boston Expo and I forget all the saving I have done all year when I see all the shiny beautiful Boston Marathon apparel. It is tempting to buy everything and anything that has the little white unicorn on it. Trust me when I say, your bank account and your credit card will thank you when you get home if you decide on a certain amount of cash and just bring that with you.

Identification: So there may have been this one time when I actually needed my medical health insurance after finishing the marathon. No one likes to talk about this; however, sometimes things don't go as planned. Be prepared. Keep a copy of your medical health insurance, and driver’s licence with you while running the race. A great idea, if you don't want to carry a little baggy with the documentation stuffed inside your short pockets, is instead to invest in a road ID bracelet.

Gels: I have learned the hard way to pack your own gels. Yes, there will be gels on the course, but they may not be the ones you like or the flavours you want. Occasionally, I have gotten to an aid station and thought, Wait, seriously no chocolate gels left? I only like chocolate… Word of advice, just bring your own, especially if you are really picky like me.

These are just a few of my tips and tricks to help eliminate some of the stress of pre/post race day. What are yours?