Survival Guide Before Race Day


Nov 29, 2012
Survival Guide Before Race Day

To all runners taking part in the upcoming marathon, you have put yourselves through high mileage and intensity workouts leading to race day. The final week and the 24 hours before will be just as crucial (or even more) as the START looms. You have been in the tapering phase, consumed loads of carbohydrates and plenty of fluids; you have even researched and ‘feel’ the route. What's next?

24 Hours Before Race Day

Race Gears Checklist
There are many items on checklists which could vary from one runner to another. Below are some of the likely items that you may consider:

  1. Cap
  2. Race tag
  3. Race chip
  4. Stopwatch
  5. Sunshades
  6. Racing vest
  7. Wrist pace band
  8. Tag pins or holders
  9. Anti-chafing cream
  10. Band aid/nipple guard
  11. Fuel belt (energy gels/bars)
  12. ‘Throw away’ shirt (for cold conditions)
  13. Money (for races located away from start line)

Survival Guide Before Race Day

Support Bag (to be deposited at baggage area)

  1. Towel
  2. Bottled water
  3. Travel card/money
  4. Socks/shoes/sandals
  5. Jacket (for cold conditions)
  6. A fresh change of clothing
  7. Shower gels and body spray
  8. Wet wipes (in the absence of shower points)

Survival Guide Before Race Day

Your Routine Preparation

  • Lay out your race gear, including the running vest, pants and socks as well as other items you are intending to wear on race day. This could include your stopwatch, fuel belt, sunshades or cap.
  • Place special foods such as energy gel packs and bars next to the above items.
  • Pin the race tag on the vest or fuel belt.
  • Attach the timing chip on the shoes according to specifications. Do note that some race tags are already fitted with a timing chip.
  • Set out other supplementary items such as petroleum jelly or body cream, sunscreen, band-aids or nipple guards.
  • Pack an extra set of clothing if you are intending to change after the race. There will usually be a baggage deposit area for participants. Do check with the organiser regarding the availability of such services prior to registration.
  • Organise your wake-up call options (e.g. watch or phone alarm, hotel front desk or your buddy).
  • Always leave early, at least 90 minutes before the gun-off. You will never know the traffic conditions or the extra distance that you may need to walk due to road closures.

Survival Guide Before Race Day

At the Race Area

  • If you intend to use the baggage deposit services, mark your bag prominently so that you will know if it is yours from afar.
  • Locate an area where you will be able to conduct your routine warm-up before getting into the start area or runners’ zone.
  • Look out for the starting area where adrenaline-charged runners will congregate and try to get in front.
  • Make your way to the start area from your warm-up spot and seek out your appropriate runners’ zone.
  • By now, you will be shoulder to shoulder with fellow runners. It would be great to start off with a smile and a few greetings of good luck to those around you.
  • Try not to get too excited if you happen to bump into someone familiar. It can take a lot out from your energy system.

David Shum is a qualified coach and volunteer trainer for SAFRA Running Club and Big Splash Running Club with certification from the National Coaching Accreditation Programme (NCAP) and the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). To date, he has helped groom athletes and corporate training groups spanning across diverse industry sectors that include hotels, lifestyle & leisure, charity & social institutions, as well as multinational corporations. An avid runner himself, David’s passion and drive for running can be identified through his zest and enthusiasm as a much sought-after speaker at public seminars and forums. He has also helped raise awareness and funds for charities that include the Children’s Cancer Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association of Singapore (MDAS) and Down Syndrome Association Singapore.

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