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Packing Tips for a runDisney Race

Are you gearing up for a Walt Disney World or Disneyland running event? Awesome, you’re going to have a blast. Not sure what to pack, though? No worries, mate. With thirteen runDisney race weekends under my running belt, this over-packer has come up with a standard list that can be modified according to weather or race length and well as a few packing tips. Enjoy!

Packing Tips for a runDisney Race

For a more complete, expanded list, print this PDF file.

Or to modify my list for your needs, here’s the Word file.

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Packing Tips

Packing Cubes are AMAZING!

Megan got me hooked on these and I don’t know how I’ve packed without them before! These pretty puppies are great for separating shorts from shirts from pants, with the smaller ones handy for underwear and socks. This is especially helpful if you’re sharing a room with others and will have to live out of your suitcase!

I also have a second set that I use for running gear only, making it easy to distinguish between personal and racing items.

Separate racing outfits/costumes with plastic baggies

For those doing challenges and multi races, this ensure that you have every needed for each individual races, (i.e. sport bra, socks, running underwear, etc.,) and will help you be less stressed the night before from having everything organized.

Bring along a Sweater or Shoe Hanger

Another must if you’re sharing a room with other runners! Jackey and I did this for 2016’s WDW Dopey Challenge, since we were there for an extended time and had outfits for four different races. Both her sweater hanger and my shoe hanger fit nicely in one of Bay Lake Tower’s closets, with room to hang jackets and coats.

(If you’re running any challenges during the WDW Marathon Weekend, be sure to check out my Goofy & Dopey Challenge Tips post!)

Packing Tips for a runDisney Race

Also, my new love is this handy tote organizer that I use to store ponchos, emergency blankets, an extension cord, Gu gels, Nuun, medicines, ear plugs, and so much more! This makes finding small things very easy to find and can be stored on a shelf.

A Toiletry Hanger is also awesome!

I absolutely love my Vera Bradley toiletry hanger. It really helps when staying with a group of ladies!

Packing Tips for a runDisney Race

Be Prepared for all types of weather!

One thing I have learned is to ALWAYS be prepared for any kind of weather, especially for races from November to February. For the 2015 WDW Goofy Challenge, the weather forecast predicted nothing but sunny, gorgeous days, but by the time we landed it shifted to chilly mornings that we hadn’t packed for.

Now I’m careful to plan my outfits so they can be modified for all temperatures. Remember those racing packing cubes I talked about? They will be full of extra cold gear leggings, long-sleeve shirts, a zip-up rain resistant jacket, knit caps, gloves, a visor, plus extra tank tops and shorts.

I also include on the list emergency blankets and disposable ponchos which can be purchased cheap from Wal-Mart or Target, a garbage bag that could either be used as a poncho or something to sit on, plus a waterproof case for your phone. (Plastic snack-size baggies also work well. If it’s seriously rainy like it was for 2014’s Wine & Dine, pack some extras in your race belt in case moisture gets in.)

If the weather is especially cold, bring some throwaway clothes or a blanket to wear pre-race and toss either before or during the race. runDisney volunteers will later gather all tossed items for charity – throwing them on the ground near a mile marker will make it easier for them.

Bring two pairs of running shoes…

…especially if you’re doing a multi-race challenge. This way, you can wear one while the other dries! And while you’re at it, slip a newspaper in your suitcase to help dry them out if they do get wet.

Equally important is a variety of recovery shoes such as flip-flops or light sneakers to wear after the race at the parks. (Here’s a post about flip flops for recovery if you need a pair!)

Don’t forget your chargers and a surge protector

Again, if you’re rooming with other runners, a multi-cord outlet is a MUST since everyone will be plugging in their phones, running watches, portable chargers, etc. I also bring an extension cord for when I want to charge my phone while checking out social media in bed.

Remember your fueling and recovery needs

As someone who doesn’t like to rely on runDisney for my fueling and recovery needs, (I learned this the hard way after they ran out of Cliff Shots for the 2015 Half Marathon,) I am always careful to pack exactly what I need for each race. For recovery, runDisney has been including mini Builder Bars in the goodie box, but I still pack my usual Pure Protein Bar just in case they switch things up.

Pack EARLY!!

You’re going to have some super early mornings for a runDisney event due to a 5:00 or 5:30am race start. Many runners also take very early flights on their departure day in order to make it to the expo at a good hour. So don’t go into your vacation already sleep-deprived by staying up late to pack. Try to have everything ready to go days before, so you can relax and not be stressed!

Pack your shoes and at least one outfit in your carry on!

Not that your luggage is going to be lost or anything. Nope, you’ll be totally fine, but just in case … it’s a good idea to put your running shoes, socks, and at least one race outfit or costume in your carry on, plus fueling needs.

Other things to bring:

  • A suction cup to hang your bath pouf in the shower
  • Body glide to keep away the ouchies.
  • Nipple guards for you dudes.
  • Vaseline for your toes and feet to keep away blisters.
  • Blister Band-Aids in case you miss a spot.
  • Nail clippers … which seems very obvious, but NONE of us had any during Wine & Dine!
  • Laundry detergent – sample sizes are great for this.
  • Scissors and a sewing kit in case you have a costume emergency!
  • A small foam roller or stick, although in a pinch, a soda can also works … bonus if it’s cold!
  • Ear plugs for noisy nights.
  • Ear buds or wireless headphones for musical inspiration. (Curious about my favorite songs to run to? Go here. I’m also a huge Broadway geek.)
  • Your signed race waiver, although there will be computers at the expo where you can print them.
  • A VISOR! Seriously, it will be your best friend if there’s rain.
  • Extra safety pins in case you lose the ones that come with your bib, although there is usually a stash of pins at gEAR bag stations. (They also have extra gEAR bags in case you lose or tear yours.)

Be sure to print out my Packing List PDF for more to bring!

There’s always the expo for forgotten items

Did you forget your body glide? Gu gels? Socks? No worries, there will be plenty of vendors at the Expo for such items. There’s also Fit 2 Run at Disney Springs if you can’t find what you need. You should have seen the store at the 2014 Wine & Dine Half Marathon when the unexpected rain took everyone by surprise! They were packed!

QOTD: Have I missed anything? Do you have any more packing tips? If so, please leave them in the comments below!

Also, if you’re registered for WDW’s Dopey Challenge, be sure to check out my Goofy and Dopey Tips Video. Also coming soon is a series of Princess Half Marathon videos, with tips for packing, costumes, getting great character photos, and overall tips!

Best of luck packing and I hope you have a blast at your runDisney event! Be sure to share your accomplishment by using the hashtag #JoyfulMilestones so we can give you a shout out. And JUMP SHOTS! We love jump shots, so use #joyfuljumpshots to share yours!

About the author: Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, mom of two college boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.

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