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What to pack for a 50K trail race

Race days are like parties. Trail runners celebrate their training with decorated flagged trails and aid station buffets. Whether it’s your first day racing on trails, or you were a main character in Born to Run, here are some reminders of what to take with you to the start line:  

  1. A hydration pack with a bladder, flasks, or a handheld water bottle. Many trail races are cupless, so ensure you have something to fill up with water and electrolytes.
  2. Gels and/or the fuel you have trained with. Some runners recommend carrying all of your fuel with you in the race, and relying on aid stations to supplement. Don’t experiment with new fuel ideas on race day (save the Big Mac idea for later).
  3. Running clothes you have run in for multiple hours. Specific clothing and gear depends on the course terrain and weather, but the key is not wearing anything new on race day. Want to wear the new running top and matching shorts with the tag still on? Save it for a recovery jog.
  4. Shoes that are broken in and are appropriate for the course terrain.
  5. Socks that have been tested with item #4. (This may seem obvious, but forgetting socks sucks.)
  6. A buff or a trucker hat so everyone knows you are a trail runner.
  7. Anti chafing product or Vaseline. Think that your favourite technical shirt never chafes you? It just might. After five hours. In the rain.
  8. The essentials. For remote or longer 50K events, be prepared and stay safe by bringing the essentials with you in a pack.
  9. A good attitude, excited to see new places and make happy memories even when it’s painful.
  10. A personal cheerleader to take a photo of you covered in dirt at the finish line. (#trailrace)