Prep for Race Day!

Kelly Goforth /

Are you ready to Get It Dunn?!? It’s about time to start prepping and make sure you’ve taken care of some details so that you finish the race and feel strong at the end.

Lay out your clothes, socks, gear, belt, number, shoes the night before. You don’t want to be scrambling around looking for your favorite hat and then either be late or end up not having it.

Have you been using gu or other fuel during your runs? Don’t be tempted to use what’s on the course, especially for your first run. Stick to exactly what you’ve been drinking and eating before and during your runs. (e.g. don’t drink only gatorade during the race if you usually don’t – your stomach may rebel.) You want to replicate what’s worked for you in training – not surprise your body with something new on race day.

The same goes for clothing and gear – don’t decide to break in your brand new shoes or a new shirt for the race. Can you say “surprise blisters and chafing”? It’s not worth it – go with the tried and true.

Remember to check out the forecast and dress like it’s 10 degrees warmer than it really is so you don’t get hot during your run. If you think you’ll be cold before the race, wear something to toss at the start or wear a garbage bag. (I have done it and it works pretty well.)

Know when packet pickup is and make sure you pick yours up ahead of time. It’s Friday afternoon from 3-8pm and Saturday morning from 6:30-8am both at Mainstreet Health + Fitness. If you can make it to the expo on Friday afternoon, it’ll take the stress off of race morning and you’ll get to check out some vendors.

If you are listening to music, always have a backup plan and assume that your signal won’t work. This has happened to me before and it was not what I wanted to see (or not hear) a minute before the race, because I really like to listen to music when I’m running. Plan on downloading music wearing something that doesn’t require a signal. I like to use my old Shuffle for race music, that also means it saves my phone battery as a backup.

Look at where the race starts and ends. Make sure you know where you’re parking and leave enough time before the race.

Some folks like to scout out the race ahead of time – take a look at the race course so you know what to expect (if you are a planner). It’s also nice to know where the water stops, bathrooms, and fueling stations are. This will help you put together your race plan and know what you need to carry with you vs. what will be waiting for you just around the bend.

Especially if you live in Menomonie or have friends/family in town, INVITE THEM! Ask them to make you a sign, bring a bell to ring, tell them where the race course is, and have them come cheer for you! Seeing your friends and family on the race course is a huge mental boost for you to keep going and for them. Many of my BRF’s (best running friends) caught the running bug by watching others race and being motivated themselves.

Make sure to enjoy the race and HAVE FUN!

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