Top Twenty Must Packs for runDisney's Dopey Challenge
runDisney runDisney Tips

Top 20 runDisney Must Pack Items!

Hard to believe there’s only 18 DAYS until runDisney’s 2018 WDW Marathon Weekend, yikes! With my injury challenges this past year, I’m not as trained as I’d like to be, although cycling, strength training, and PiYo has greatly improved my conditioning. And if there’s one area I’m always prepared … by jolly, it’s packing!

So today, I’m following up my Packing Tips for a runDisney Race and Organizing your Resort Room posts with a list of my absolute must-packs for the Dopey Challenge. Yes, this list is long, but when you’re doing a four day, 49.6 mile challenge, you need lots of stuff! Also, be on the lookout for my next post with Six Quick Packing Tips. Enjoy!

Top Twenty Must Packs for runDisney's Dopey Challenge!

For this list of 20 Must Packs, I’m leaving off items such as running costumes, underwear, park clothes, etc., since they fall in the no-brainer category. Instead, let’s focus on those things that can take your experience from just getting by to I am a Boy Scout … prepared for anything!

So in no particular order of importance, here we go!

1.) Multi-Outlet Power Strip

A solo runner has enough gadgets to charge at night between their running watch, wireless ear buds, chargers, Fitbits, what have you. So if you’re sharing a room with other runners like I am, a power strip is a definite must!

I also bring an extension cord so I can charge my phone while relaxing and checking out social media in bed. It’s also a great idea to make sure you have all needed charging cords and USB ports by doing a test charging run at home!

2.) Extra Running Shoes

You’ll want to bring at least two pairs of running shoes, maybe even three. This way, you can rotate pairs between races and have a back-up in case it rains and one gets wet.

My Top Twenty @runDisney Must Packs for the #DopeyChallenge 🙂 #WDWmarathon #joyfulmiles #werunsocial Share on X

3.) Recovery Shoes or Sandals

Speaking of shoes, those really cute strappy sandals that would be just daring wearing around the parks? Yeah. Leave them at home. Instead, bring comfortable ones that offer better recovery such as Oofos flip flops or retired running shoes.

4.) Cold-Weather Running Gear

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Florida’s weather in January can be quite persnickety. Even if the forecast on the Monday before you leave calls for sunny skies and terrific temps, things can change in a few days. A lot. Jackey and I learned this lesson the hard way back during 2015’s Marathon Weekend.

So now we go prepared with running gear for all different types of weather scenarios that we keep separated in gallon-sized plastic bags or packing cubes. My pile of cold-weather options will include:

  •  Cold-gear running pants
  • Running pant liners
  • Long-sleeve cold-gear shirts and liners
  • Knit hats
  • Ear warmers
  • Knit gloves … buy plenty!
  • A puffy winter coat that I’ll wear to the airport

5.) Throwaways

Considering how runDisney has changed the corral system this year, going from A – P to A – H with waves in between, it’s now even more important to get to your corral early if being farther up is a priority. So if it’s cold, this means more time shivering in the corrals.

A good way to stay warm until race start is to bring throwaways such as sweatshirts, jackets, fleece blankets, robes, etc. Already went crazy with a closet purge during spring cleaning? No worries, visit your local thrift store or Goodwill. You might also find fleece blankets on sale closer to Christmas.

Some other good options to bring are:

  • Mylar emergency blankets … look for them in the camping section of Walmart or Target
  • Hot hand warmers
  • A plastic garbage bag for sitting on in the corral

Just be sure to not cross the starting line wearing your Mylar blanket because it might interfere with your timing chip!

6.) Rain Gear

Also equally important is to bring rain gear in case we have a wet race. On my list to pack is:

  • A visor or other hat
  • Disposable ponchos
  • A waterproof phone case
  • Rain jacket
  • Newspaper for drying my shoes out later on

Check out my runDisney in the Rain post for more suggestions!

7.) Fuel and Snacks

One of my biggest mistakes that I made during 2015’s Goofy Challenge is not eating enough while at Disney and before the races. This led to a rather nasty encounter with The Wall at Mile 25 during the full.

So be prepared by packing your favorite go-to snacks as well as plenty of fuel for each race day. You’ll also want to bring along your favorite recovery drinks or snacks since the boxes runDisney gives out after each race doesn’t offer much (if any) protein.

My list includes:

  • Gu gels
  • Sports Beans
  • Nature Valley Granola Bars
  • Mini-Lara Bars
  • Granola
  • Packs of almonds and raisins
  • Peanut Butter in individual packets
  • Salt tabs

For other staples such as a case of water, Smart Water, Gatorade, bagels, chips, etc., you can place an order with a delivery service such as Amazon Prime or Garden Grocer.

8.) Body Glide and Vaseline

Yeah. You’ll need these for sure. The Body Glide or other anti-chafe products for any places where your clothing rubs and the Vaseline for your feet to keep blisters away.

Be sure to toss in some nail clippers as well! You’d think that’d be another no-brainer, but guess who forgot to clip her toenails before the Avengers Half? This gal. Duh.

9.) Ear Plugs

Another must-have item if you’re sharing a room with a snorer or your resort has thin walls!

10.) Foam Roller, Message Stick, or Other Muscle Massager

You’ll definitely want to use any of these before and between races! I’m bringing my stick but I also know I’ll be borrowing Jackey’s BFF Body Buffer quite a few times since the cheap car polisher I use isn’t quite as elegant.

11.) Sunblock

Just because it’s January doesn’t mean you still can’t get a wicked sunburn! Even with overcast skies, you need to protect your skin. I’ll apply sunblock before leaving our resort and for the full marathon, I’ll fill some in a snack-sized plastic baggie to apply later.

12.) Running Sunglasses

Besides ones you plan on wearing in the park, you’ll also need a good pair of running sunglasses! (Actually, bring two if you have them in case one gets lost.) At around mile 8 during the full, that sun might be hitting hard!

13.) Running Belts

Even if I plan out which belt I’m wearing … for now, I’m sticking with mostly my Flipbelt … I still bring some other favorites in case I change my mind.

14.) Sewing Kit 

If you’ve made costumes, you’ll definitely want to bring a sewing kit with thread, needle, scissors, and other supplies you’d need for emergency repairs! My kit also will include a glue gun, extra safety pins, a Sharpees.

(Oh, and it’s also a good idea to attach a couple of safety pins to your shoelaces for on course emergencies! This has saved me a time or two.)

15.) Ear Buds or Headphone

Gotta admit that I’m not a big fan of wearing ear buds during runDisney races. In fact, out of the 38 races I’ve done, I’ve worn them twice and both times, I listened to only a few minutes. But if you need some tunes to get you through, make sure to pack this!

16.) Laundry Detergent

Thank goodness I still have several sample packs of Tide from my couponing days. There have often been times where I washed out shorts that I wanted to wear again because they’re the most comfortable!

17. Hand Sanitizer and Deodorizing Wipes

Okay, fine. Call me a germaphobe, but when you’re paying nearly $600 in race fees, a little germ protection is a smart thing. In the weeks leading up to Marathon Weekend, be sure to wash your hands often and avoid sick folks to the best of your ability. Once I’m on the plane, I clean my tray, seat belt latches, arm rest, etc., with deodorizing wipes plus I’ll clean doorknobs, light switches, the TV remove and more once I’m in my room.

Overly cautious? Perhaps. Smart? Oh yes.

18. Garmin, Fitbit or other GPS Device

This might also fall in the “duh” category because of course you already know to bring this. But humor me just for kicks by putting it on your list because this surely is a must-pack.

19.) Magic Band

So is your Magic Band if you’re staying on Disney property!

20.) Mickey Ears!

Okay, so maybe this isn’t exactly a must-have for most … but I wouldn’t dare think to pack for a Disney World trip without several pairs of ears!

So there you go, my Top Twenty Must-Packs for runDisney’s Dopey Challenge. Many thanks to Southwest Airlines for allowing two free bags and many thanks to you for reading this!

Need more tips or would you like a printable packing list? Awesome, head on over to my Packing Tips for a runDisney race post or watch this video:

I’ve also shared many ways for you to stay organized in your resort or hotel room, a total must when you have four races going on!

We also have quite the collection of  tip blog posts, videos, and podcast episodes on topics ranging from costumes to characters to cheering.

Click here for more runDisney Tips! 

Also, we’re going to be having a joint meet-up with Heather from Running With Grace and Gerald from Rez Runs on Friday at 4:00 at the Boardwalk! Be sure to follow us on social media for more details.

I hope you have an AMAZING time at the 2018 WDW Marathon Weekend and happy packing!

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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