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9 items every marathoner needs on race day

What Sasha Gollish keeps in her race day bag

Lanni Marchant

Race day is all about preparation and a big part of being prepared is having the necessary supplies to succeed. Sasha Gollish will represent Canada at the upcoming World Championships in the marathon and she took us through her list of race day essentials. She didn’t include her number and race day kit, please ensure you also have those, but Gollish lists a couple items that are less obvious but just as necessary.


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Especially if your first-ever marathon is coming up, here’s a list you should consult before you head to the start line. After all, it’s better to be over prepared than under prepared. While this list will look different for every person, it’s a good guideline of must-haves before the gun goes.

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Extra socks

You might step in a puddle, you might just get really sweaty feet while warming up. Throw an extra pair in your bag for an emergency.

A snack

Gollish says, “With the extra adrenaline running I sometimes find that I get hungry when I do not think that I will or should. I’ve learned to keep a tummy friendly snack in my bag for these moments. Pack this along with your post-race recovery snack–this is more fuel to recharge the depleted batteries.”

Runners stand on the line

Extra shorts

Better safe than sorry.

Water bottle

You never want to be caught feeling dehydrated on a start line. Sipping some water through your warm up is advised.

A towel

Gollish says that the towel operates in two ways: it can dry you and it’s your changing room when there’s no changing room.  “It’s your changing room to get into different clothes. On really humid days I will even change my kit just before racing to try and stay cooler in something dry.”

Boston Marathon cheating

Kleenex or toilet paper

Porta potties are often out of toilet paper and the lines are at times too long to wait. Keeping your own supply of Kleenex or toilet paper will save you in either of these scenarios.

Post-race change of clothes

After a race, you’ll want to change. Gollish reminds the ladies out there to remember the extra sports bra. “Ladies, that extra sports bra is your best friend to not getting cold. Removing those wet shorts and shirt is a must.”

Extra shoes

Always have a pair of shoes to thrown on after the race. Your feet will thank you.

A garbage bag

If it’s raining on race day, you certainly want a garbage bag with you. This will keep you and your gear dry while you warm up.


Do you have asthma or a severe allergy? Make sure you’ve got everything you could need in the event of a reaction of attack. Marathons are hectic, so make sure that you have everything you could need when you’re heading to the course.