runDisney runDisney Tips Running & Fitness Tips

Packing Tips for a runDisney Race

Are you gearing up for a runDisney event or other racecation? Awesome, you’re going to have a blast. Not sure what to pack, though? No worries, mate, with seventeen runDisney race weekends under my running belt, this over-packer has come up with a printable list that can be modified according to weather and your needs as well as many packing tips. Hope they’re helpful!

Packing Tips for a runDisney Race

For my expanded list, print this PDF file. Or to modify my list for your needs, here’s the Word file. Here’s some of my other packing tips posts as well!

What to pack for a #runDisney event! #werunsocial #runchat @runDisney Click To Tweet

And now onto my packing tips! Please note that all Amazon links are affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you more but does give me a small commission.

Packing Cubes are AMAZING

Megan got me hooked on packing cubes 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 used both a hanging shoe hanger as well as a sweater hanger for the 2017 WDW Dopey Challenge, since we were there for an extended time and we had four costumes for four different races. Both hangers fit nicely in a closet, 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!)

I also absolutely LOVE this handy tote organizer! It’s perfect for storing ponchos, emergency blankets, Gu gels, Nuun, medicines, first aid products, ear plugs, and so much more! (You can see how much I cram in mine by watching my packing tips video.) This organizer makes finding small things very easy 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! These are pricey, but mine has held up so well … even after being soaked by hair oil and having to be washed at least twenty times. 😉 You can find less expensive options at Walmart and Target.

Want more organizing tips? 

Head on over to my Organizing your Hotel Room for a Racecation blog post or watch this video!

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 had shifted to chilly mornings we weren’t prepared 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 bring emergency mylar blankets and disposable ponchos that can be purchased cheap from Wal-Mart and Target or in bulk through Amazon. Plastic trash bags can be used as a poncho after cutting holes for your head and arms. You might look silly, but they won’t interfere with your timing chip like a mylar will and can be worn at the start of the race until you warm up. I always bring a waterproof case for my phone and well as extra plastic baggies in various sizes.

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. During the 2018 WDW Marathon Weekend, we also used hand warmers, feet warmers, and heating pads on our backs. Jackey also made these amazing fleece neck wamers that complimented our costumes!

Whatever it takes to be warm, right?

Bring two pairs of running shoes

This is especially important if you’re doing a multi-race challenge. This way, if it rains, you can wear one pair 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 such as Oofos 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 Power Strip

Again, if you’re rooming with other runners, a multi-outlet power strip 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. Especially since runDisney’s snack boxes no longer have good sources of protein! Here’s some of my favorites to bring:

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, do you want more runDisney tips? ‘Cause we have plenty!

Blog Posts


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 #JoyfulMiles so we can give you a shout out. And JUMP SHOTS! We love jump shots, so use #joyfuljumpshots to share yours!

Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, wife to an amazing guy for 26 years, mom of two wonderful boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that plus she can quote most lines from Talladega Nights. Shake and bake!

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