Packing for an "away" race is always a bit tricky. For me, I always like to pack light, so adding an extra collection of running gear to what would otherwise be a small duffel bag is a necessary evil. I have, however, managed to make trips so short that I only pack running gear, such as my trip to DC for the Army Ten Miler.
The key to any packing process, though, is laying everything out, making sure it is there, and then packing it all at the same time. For trips, I typically start laying my packing list out a day or two before I actually need to leave. This lets me visualize everything I need, and see what I'm missing. Once things are all together, then you can pack them up; if you start putting things in a bag in bits and pieces, you might forget what you packed, leading to unnecessary doubles, or not pack something, thinking it's already in the bag.
For a race, the gear that I need to bring just for the race includes:
- running shoes
- underwear (sports bra and non-cotton underwears, as needed)
- running skirt/shorts
- running top
- socks x 2
- hair band and/or visor
- race belt
- weather permitting: arm warmers, gloves, sweatshirt for before/after
- flip flops for post-race bag
- ipod and earphones
- gels x 2
- Clif bar for breakfast
- water bottle
For the most part, I can pack all of the clothing into a packing cube by itself, and all the odds and ends (ipod, gels, sunglasses) into a drawstring bag that I can use either for a checked bag, or hand off to my husband to bring to the finish line. In my bag I usually also throw my phone and wallet, so I have my ID and some cash ready at the end. Photo ID and, usually, a signed waiver is required for packet pickup; this I usually pack in whatever I am carrying to the race expo.
I'm headed to the expo for RnR San Diego tomorrow morning! My friend isn't coming down until tonight, so we'll have to go do packet pickup when she gets in.