Running with Rob (Week 8) - What you need in your race day gear bag

Race day is almost here. It's time to lay out your gear, check the route map and put plans in place for travelling to the start line. The following bits and bobs should form part of your checklist and are essential items in any runner's bag.

Olbas Oil

Clears your sinuses and ensures the pathways are clear.

Anti-chafing product

You do not want to be running with chaffed nipples and thighs during a marathon. It's the most painful thing a human can possibly experience. Don’t be shy and make sure you use enough on your delicate parts and also across your forehead to stop sweat from running into your eyes.

Massage oil/rub

Some runners like to use various different products after the race but I feel they can be useful while you’re running also - if only for a placebo effect.

I like Chinese balm (sometimes called Tiger Balm) which is a rub that smells like Deep Heat. It’s available in numerous health shops and when applied gives a nice tingling feeling.

I rub it on my knees, thighs and calf muscles before setting off. It eases any pain and if you are not suffering, it’s still reassuring to feel and smell it on your joints.

Toenail clippers

Cut your toenails! If you don’t, there will be blood. Cut your little piggies’ nails down as much as you can before race day. Otherwise, your white socks will be a gory shade of red at the end.

Energy Gel packets

I regularly see people running with energy gel packets hanging out of their belts and I wonder if they actually use them all.

Do whatever works for you but as I’ve said before, gel supplements should be used correctly and at the right times.

I only use a couple during the race at the half-marathon point and 20 miles.

I tend to use a brand and flavour that I am familiar with to reduce the risk of feeling sick and always make sure to take them with water.

Clothes for before and after the race

Keeping warm is essential to starting the race well as there can often be lots of waiting around involved on race day.

The same goes for when you're finished as your immune system will be vulnerable.

Plastic bin bag

If you need to shed the gear and get a good place near the start line, cut arm and head holes in a plastic bag.

It really works and you can just shove it in one of the many bins in Cork city centre when you no longer need it.

Food for after the race

There will be bananas at the finish line and various different bits in your race goodie bag but in order to recover in the best way possible bring along something that you are used to eating at the end of a long run. It will help settle the stomach.

Safety pins

Make sure you have these to attach your race bib and don’t forget to fill out the form on the back regarding medical conditions and next of kin. You never know when you might need them.


It seems obvious but if you are going for a specific time then you’ll need to be timing your miles.  Some of you will be all high-tech with watches that would nearly run the race for you, but for years I have relied on my trusty €12 Casio watch and it has never let me down.


Might be handy to stick in the pocket if it’s a sunny day as squinting from the sun’s glare is a huge waste of energy.

Sun cream

Being a man who is follicly challenged, I am very aware of the importance of keeping the sun’s rays off my shiny bonce. You never know what kind of a day it’s going to be in Ireland so I would recommend applying sun cream before the race - even if it’s a dull morning.


Get normal sized and blister plasters and stick them in your bag in case of any discomfort or bleeding.


Don't forget these! They're kind of essential.

Enjoy the race as much as you can. Try to take everything in and savour your achievement. Stay safe out there.

Happy Running!

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