Get your running shoes ready because London Marathon week is here! In just a few days, the streets of London will be alive with excitement as thousands of eager participants gear up for the iconic 26.2-mile journey through this magnificent city.

The countdown is on, anticipation is building, and the enormity of the challenge ahead is setting in!

When you collect your race pack, you’ll receive a clear plastic drop bag. This bag will come with your race number sticker, affix this securely. Remember, you must use the drop bag provided to you; personal bags won’t be accepted.

Now, let’s talk essentials. Packing for a race is a bit like packing for a holiday. You need items for before, during, and after your run. But remember, don’t overpack – remember you will have to carry this around after crossing the finish line.

So, what should you include in your bag, here are a few suggestions:

Pre-race Essentials:

  • Race number/timing chip/baggage label: Kit aside, this is the most important thing you’ll need on the day.
  • Vaseline: For last-minute application to try and keep that chafing at bay.
  • Hand Sanitiser: Safety first!
  • Safety Pins: For your number – and in case friends/anyone else needs them.
  • Spare hair ties, Tissues, and Sun cream (depending on the time of year).

Post-race Essentials:

  • A small amount of cash: Just in case.
  • Warm, dry clothes: Usually, I stick an oversized hoodie in my bag to pop on. You’ll want warm, dry, comfy clothes (especially socks) and perhaps another pair of shoes, like recovery flip-flops or sliders.
  • Personal Care: Face wipes – for that quick post-race freshen-up. Sudocrem, sanitary products, tissues, and hair ties. 
  • Water and Snacks: Refresh and recover.
  • Be prepared for rain by packing a light raincoat or poncho. Roll up items like raincoats to save space.

With that in mind, I wouldn’t check anything into baggage that you’re not prepared to lose. Keep valuables and any medications with you, or give them to supporting friends and family rather than check them into baggage.

Post-race bag collection:

After crossing the finish line on The Mall, head straight ahead to collect your medal, finisher t-shirt, water, and foil blankets if needed. Your bag will be available for collection in this area; look for the van with your bib number on it and collect your bag!

And finally, one last thing – good luck!