Prepping For Hood To Coast Part 3 – What To Pack

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Hood to Coast is less than two weeks away, which makes this my last update! I am so excited to run this year. Training is finally going really well. I’m feeling stronger and ready to rock. Adding carbs back into my diet on running days has been key to keeping my energy level above zero.

I’ve compiled a list of the must-haves in my Hood to Coast bag. Most of the time one of your van mates will be have something extra they can let you borrow, but you don’t want to put yourself in that position.

I started packing my bag a few days ago – like a crazy obsessed animal. I will go back through it a few times over the next week and a half to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything.

So here it is – my relay bag necessities:

  • Headlamp
  • 2 pairs of running shoes
  • Extra shoelaces
  • Pre-run meals – I pack a small lunch bag with three peanut butter and honey sandwiches, jerky, etc. that I use to fuel before my run. There is usually a lot of other food floating around the van, but I want to make sure I have something substantial to eat. You never know when/where you will be able to stop for food. Be smart and pack your own meals.
  • Safety vest – I like to wear my own vest. I know how it fits and I feel comfortable in it. I purchased a simple one that is just a few straps with led lights on it. This way I don’t have to deal with clip-on flashers (they drive me bananas).
  • First aid items – KT tape, Advil, muscle rub, blister aid, band-aids, etc.
  • Phone charger
  • Running clothes – I put each leg’s clothes in its own plastic ziplock bag. That way it’s all together when I need it. When I’m done running I place the dirty clothes back in the bag and seal it up. No smell!
  • Ziplock bags
  • Sweatpants and a sweatshirt – Great for nighttime when you are sleeping, and the beach party is usually a little chilly.
  • Flashlight
  • Headphones – While you can’t use these on the course – they work great for when you need downtime in the van. Block out the extra noise and zone. I also like a bit of comfort noise when I’m trying to sleep somewhere strange.
  • Flipflops – let your feet air out between runs, and they make walking on the beach easy.
  • Baby wipes – The power of baby wipes. It turns out they aren’t just for babies. They work really great for cleaning off a sweaty runner body.
  • Deodorant – DO NOT forget this. You will need it! There is no guarantee of a shower. Be nice to your van mates and apply liberally and often.
  • Other toiletries – I bring face lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash hairbands, and a comb.
  • Running watch
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
  • Sleeping bag or blanket – for catching those snoozles outside in a field.
  • Running hat
  • Camelback – for long runs. I hate holding a water bottle.
  • Hydroflash or another water container – I love my Hydroflask. I prefer my water ice cold, and it does the job of keeping things frosty for a long time.
  • Running gloves – I only pack these if the weather is going to be chilly, otherwise, I leave them home and save the space in my bag.
  • Money, ID, and credit card – You never know if you will be able to stop for coffee, a meal, or somewhere else where you will need funds. And don’t forget your ID if you want to hang out in the beer garden at the finish line.

If you are running Hood to Coast too, I hope to see you on the course! I am running Leg 11 this year. Also, let me know if you have something amazing that you pack to make the relay a little more comfortable.

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Liz Ward

Liz Ward is a running fanatic, avid reader, and amateur farmer. She lives on the Oregon Coast with her husband, three kids, and a small herd of animals.

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