10 Post-Race Essentials

2 11 2011


Photo by Matt Dickenson

By Fara Rosenzweig

Whether it’s a 5K or marathon, you have to prepare for race-day. Preparation includes registration,training and gathering all the essentials you need before the start line (watch, iPod, bib number, fuel and gels). There’s a ton to remember prior to the start line that often times post race essentials slip your mind.

As you prep for your next race, try to think past the finish line. What will you need to recover and survive the post-race festivities? Here are some key items you should keep in your bag to help you recover (plus, these usually are not passed out at the finish line). Have a small cosmetic bag in your bathroom with these items, so the next time you prep for an event you can just throw this into your bag.

Post Finish Line Essentials


Come on, you just ran your heart out and are completely sweaty. Give those around you a break and reapply. Go buy one of the travel deodorants to keep in your little bag, this way it’s there and doesn’t take up too much room. Plus, you are giving everyone a break from your lovely odors.

Moist Towelettes

Again, give those around you a break and wipe off your sweat. If you plan on sticking around for the post-race festivities you might as well clean off a bit. Wipes are inexpensive, light and easy to throw in your bag.


After running a significant amount of miles my stomach starts to feel unsettled. After numerous marathons (and asking the first aid tent for antacids) I’ve realized, I should just keep a bottle in my bag. Avoid any stomach situationby being well prepared. This will at least settle your stomach for a bit, so you can celebrate with friends at the post-race festivities with no surprises.

Adhesive Bandage

The medical tent should have adhesive bandages, but who wants to wait in a line? Just grab a box of multiple sizes for any unexpected blisters or scrapes you may encounter.

Massage Stick

Keep a massage stick or tennis ball in your bag to massage your muscles after the race. A post-race massage will help circulation and restore you tired muscles. Bonus; you will feel less stiff the next day and recover quickly.

Pain Reliever

Again, if you want to avoid the medic’s tent throw in some pain reliever. If you happen to hurt yourself, pull something or just in slight pain, you’ll be well-prepared.

New Shoes

This is especially important for marathon runners. After running 26.2 miles, your feet will be tired and slightly swollen. Finish your cool down, take off your shoes and give your feet some love. Give them a little massage with your tennis ball or massage stick and let them air out in flip flops or your favorite comfy shoes.

New Shirt

If you’re going to stick around for the festivities, change your sweaty shirt please. I usually bring the shirt that was given to me through the event. If you don’t receive one, just bring an old one from home. Plus, it just feels nice to get out of sweaty clothes. After all, if you are cleaning up (wiping off with wet wipes, using deodorant, changing shoes) you might as well feel like a new person by swapping shirts.


You should put some sunscreen on prior to the race, but due to sweating your skin is not protected. After you clean yourself off, slather on some SPF to protect your skin when you’re enjoying the post-race festivities.

ID and Money

Bring your ID and a little money for any food or souvenirs that you may want. A little cash might be a good idea just in case you need to take public transportation or a cab to your destination. Just make sure you keep your ID and money tucked away in your bag so it doesn’t get lost.




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