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Paris Marathon packing list

April 6, 2010

It’s less than a week until the Paris Marathon. Most of the running is done. I leave for France on Friday, and have scheduled just two more runs until the big day. So now I need to turn my mind to gathering all the important bits and bobs that will make for a stress-free trip. This is, as much as possible, a generic list of important things to remember to take with you.

  1. Passport. Naturally, it’s something that will be needed to get to France, but it’s also something that will be needed for collecting your race number and timing chip at the Marathon Expo.
  2. Signed medical certificate. I’ve submitted this – and had it accepted – in advance, but I’m still taking a spare copy with me in case. No certificate – no race. It’s another essential for picking up your number and chip.
  3. Entry confirmation form. This has to be printed from the Paris Marathon website (here) and handed over in exchange for your race number and chip. Seriously, there are quite a few hoops you have to jump through to get these!
  4. Energy gels, and other consumables. Although these will probably be on sale at the Marathon Expo, it’s better to be safe than sorry. These probably shouldn’t be taken on planes in hand luggage due to various bans in place on liquid on a plane. Granted, they will look pretty suspicious.
  5. Garmin, and charging cable for said gadget. If you’re using a GPS device to pace your race, make sure it’s fully charged when you get to the start line. Otherwise, remember to take your stopwatch to keep an eye on your time.
  6. Race trainers, and a spare set of trainers just in case. Really, you probably only need one pair, but paranoia dictates these things sometimes.
  7. Race kit, including any options for varying weather conditions. For me, I’m taking shorts and Stroke Assocation vest – which will almost certainly be what I’m wearing on the day – as well as gloves, a long-sleeve top and leggings.
  8. Disposable kit for the pre-race wait. It takes time to get 40,000 runners under starter’s orders, so you should expect to spend some time waiting around. Some runners use bin liners, others use old tshirts and jumpers, it’s just a good idea to have something you can lose at the optimum moment to keep you warm.
  9. Plasters and Vaseline. Let’s face it, running 26.2 miles is likely to chaffe – even more so if it’s raining. Everyone likes to remember the glory of a great race days after the event, but it’s better if that memory isn’t tinged with the burning sensation of still-sore nipples. (Sorry if that’s an unpleasant image.)
  10. Plan for your meals 24 hours in advance. This isn’t easy when in a different country, but the food you eat during this period will be what gets you round the race. Try to avoid food that is too rich, spicy, or something you’re not used to. Don’t stuff yourself, though, or you’ll regret it after a couple of miles…

Of course, there will be other things to pack – Euros, camera, non-running clothes, washkit, etc. – but those somehow seem secondary for this kind of trip. Pack well, plan better, and bonne chance!

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