What to bring when traveling to a race out of the area

When traveling out of the area to a race, I ask myself, what all should I bring?  I have traveled throughout California as well as out of state for some races.  I will be traveling from Northern California to Southern California for the Santa Clarita Marathon.

For me, depending on the type of race I am running as well as factoring weather, elevation, and altitude, determines what items I will bring with me and what items that I may get when I arrive at my race destination.

Whether you are running a road race or a trail race, you will require hydration.  Depending on the race, how you trained, the weather, you may get enough fluids along the course and may not need to carry hydration on you.  However, I would recommend having it with you just in case, as you never know what to expect race day.  You could use a handheld bottle, a hydration belt, or hydration pack.  Also, don’t forget your electrolytes.

For trail races, I always have my hydration pack with me so that I can get enough hydration while out on the course and because there are lots of pockets on my pack to bring any snacks that I may need along the way on the course prior to getting to an aid station.  However, for a road race, it all depends on that particular race and the weather whether or not I will bring any hydration with me on the course.  If it’s hot out and it’s a shorter race, I will bring a handheld bottle with me, but if it’s a longer race and hot out, I will carry my hydration pack.  If it is cooler out and there are lots of aid stations, I tend not to bring any hydration with me on the course as I am able to get enough while out on the course, but I do bring snacks such as sports beans, paydays with me while out on the course if a longer course and S-Caps as well.

If you were to ask any of my friends, I tend to over prepare for a race, meaning that I am ready for whatever weather comes about and sometimes have extras of things, which is good sometimes as I have had friends forget to bring things sometimes that they are needing or wanting and I have extra that they can borrow or have for the race, which they are grateful for.

Things I normally have with me when going to a race:

  • Race confirmation
  • Course map & race details
  • Directions to race & packet pick-up
  • Hotel confirmation
  • Bathroom toiletries
  • Plane tickets and/or rental car information (If flying to
  • Headphones (if flying to a race, I bring them, but other than that I don’t)
  • ID & money
  • Trucker Hat (This type of hat is my preference while running as it doesn’t make my head hot and allows air flow. It also helps keep the sun out of my eyes.  I don’t like running with sunglasses on and this is the next best thing for me.)
  • Anti-chafing lotion (i.e. Brave Soldier Friction Zone, Body Glide, Vaseline, etc.) – I highly recommend one of these products. If I don’t use one of these, I tend to chafe, which isn’t fun at all.
  • Sunscreen/sunblock (I have fair skin and tend to burn so this is definitely a must for me.)
  • Lip balm (recommend with sunscreen to help protect and hydrate your lips and prevent your lips from chapping)
  • KT Tape (I always have this with me, but I don’t always use it. I only use it if something is bothering me to help with pain relieve and allow me to keep going.)
  • Extra safety pins (Just in case you misplace the ones you got at packet pick-up or if the ones given aren’t that great and sometimes I have a friend that needs them.)
  • Blister Band-Aids and Regular Band-Aids (Depending on the type of race and shoes I’m wearing, I tend to get some blisters and to help prevent them; I use this on the spots I normally get them to help prevent getting them while running.)
  • My Garmin or Fitbit GPS Watch to help track my workout/race. This also allows me to see my pace and help me pace myself out so that I’m not over doing it and start to die during the race from going out to fast.
  • Running shoes & socks (may include compression socks and/or sleeves) – Yes, I know, why list it? Who would forget their running shoes?  You can be surprised.  I have forgotten it to one run ever, but it wasn’t a race, but I have had friends forget them.  So, I always make sure that I have at least two pairs of running shoes on me depending on the race I am going to.
  • Extra pair of shoes & socks
  • Recovery shoes or flip flops or sandals (After it a race, it feels good to get those running shoes off so that your feet can start to recover.)
  • Running clothes (i.e. tank, shirt, shorts, capris, pants, sports bra, underwear, socks, etc.)
  • Clothes for before & after the race
  • Hydration (Bottle or Pack) – As mentioned above, this is highly recommended and I always have it with me at a race just in case I am going to use it.
  • Ibuprofen
  • Biofreeze (To help with my sore muscles.)
  • Plastic bags (for ice, dirty clothes, etc.)
  • Snacks, Sports Beans, Paydays, Buddy Fruits (I prefer these over GU.), water, and Gatorade
  • Drop bag for gear check (most road marathons and other races will give you a clear bag to use for race day for your extra gear that you had on before the race or may want right after the race to put into that you will need to place your bib #)
  • Poncho or water resistant or water proof jacket or windbreaker jacket (you never know what weather you may get on race day)
  • Towel (To dry off with due to the rain or to help clean up with from a trail race; however, if I am flying to a race, I don’t normally bring this item with me to allow more room in the luggage.)
  • Baby wipes and/or ShowerPill: The Athletic Body Wipe (To help clean up with, especially if you aren’t able to shower right away before travelling home after a race.)
  • Toilet paper (I only bring this if it’s for a trail race, but not for a road race.)

Please note that if you are flying to a race, it is recommended to have your race gear in a carry on as they will most likely want to look through it when you are going through security to make sure that you aren’t carrying anything onto the plane you shouldn’t be and that everyone is safe.  Sometimes, your hydration pack or your GU’s may pull up with liquid when going through the scanner and they just need to make sure that everything checks out to help protect everyone.

I hope that this information is helpful to everyone and that everyone has safe travels to your upcoming races.


Things to Keep in Mind When Dating/Married to/Friend of/Parent to an Ultra & Trail Runner

Love this! This is so true.


  1. When we say we “need” to go for a run, we mean it. Whether it’s for sanity’s or training’s sake, we literally need to go run. After we get that run in, we’ll stop talking about it . . . until the next day. In that same vein, we may sometimes complain about HAVING to go for a run. Yes, we know we could technically “not go” . . . wait, actually no, we have to go. If we don’t, it’ll pick at us all day, everything will remind us of the fact we didn’t go, and we’ll be cranky and miserable because of it.
  2. However long we say we’ll be gone on a run, it’s safe to add AT LEAST an hour or two. Sometimes, we fail to take into consideration travel time, bonk time, refueling time, or “we felt good so we just kept going” time.
  3. Grocery bills will…

View original post 361 more words

Fair Oaks Sun Run “The Chicken Run”



Taken before the race with some of my friends at the event: Hassan Aboukhadijeh, Cindy Aboukhadijeh, Lisa Coronado, Gabel Gloria, Cory Buchanan, Youa Buchanan, myself, Kristen Donadee, and Kimberli Mitchell

On Sunday, May 3, 2015, I ran in the Fair Oaks Sun Run also known as “The Chicken Run” in Fair Oaks, CA, with my amigos (Hassan Aboukhadijeh & Youa Buchanan), some other friends, and other participants.  Since I wasn’t feeling well and have a sinus infection, I thought it was wise to not push myself on this race and run it slower than my normal racing pace.  I finished with a time of 0:47:01, which was slower than I normally run and better than I thought I would do concerning that I was under the weather.


Myself & Jon-Paul Ollenberger right before the start of the race.


Cindy Aboukhadijeh, Nicole Simone, myself, and Lupita Cox at the starting line.


Me as I was crossing the finish line.

The weather was nice out for this fun race event.  It wasn’t too hot or too cold.  This 5-miler course started and finished at the Village Park in Old Fair Oaks and went through the residential neighborhood with a keyhole loop to Sailor Bar.  This course was half paved roads and the remainder of the course was on dirt trail and rocky trail.  There were four hills that we had to tackle on this course, which were the Grand Daddy Hill, Hernia Hill, The Beast, and the Last Gasp.  This was a fun event and I would definitely run it again.

For more information about this event, go to http://www.fairoakssunrun.com/.

Big Sur International Marathon



Taken with friends before the start of the race.

On Sunday, April 26, 2015, I ran in the Big Sur International Marathon with my amigos (Hassan Aboukhadijeh & Youa Buchanan) and some other friends, other participants, and our friend Jeremy Avilla.  This particular race I wasn’t running for time or for a PR, I was helping out at friend.  Our friend Steve Avilla passed away a couple months ago, whom we all really miss.  He was a wonderful man and he was registered to run this event, which he was so excited when he got into this race.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t physically here with us to run this event, but we know that he was there with us in spirit.


At the start line getting ready to get into our race corrals.


Steve Avilla (Run in Peace)

The Big Sur International Marathon was so kind to allow his son, Jeremy Avilla, to run this race on behalf of his father.  Jeremy had approximately 6 weeks to train for this event and before running this race, the longest distance he ran was 18 miles.  This was Jeremy’s first marathon and I told him that I would be there to help him through it.  I was happy to help support him and to bring him into the finish.  He finished his first marathon undertrained and on a challenging course in 5:35:27, which is awesome.


Jeremy Avilla reached the 18 mile marker, which is the longest run he has done to date. Now he is going to keep going.


Jeremy Avilla reached the 23 mile marker and shortly after that were the most delicious strawberries.


We all finished the race. (Sheng Vang, Youa Buchanan, Jeremy Avilla, myself, Hassan Aboukhadijeh)

For anyone that hasn’t run this race before, it is a really beautiful, but challenging marathon course entirely on Hwy 1.  Other than most of the course being windy that day and us all having to run through the wind, it wasn’t too hot or cold out.  There are hills throughout this race, which the longest one being before the half way point of the marathon, where we had to run approximately 2 miles to the top of Hurricane Point.  We had incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and Mountains along the way.  Oh, and when we reached around mile 23 on the course, there were strawberries to die for.  Those were the best strawberries that I have ever tasted.  They were so delicious.  This is definitely a “must do” race that you should put on your bucket list to run some day.  I will definitely be running it again in the future.


The three amigos (Myself, Youa Buchanan, Hassan Aboukhadijeh) & Jeremy Avilla.


In Steve Avilla’s memory we ran this race in his name. (Sheng Vang, Youa Buchanan, Jeremy Avilla, myself, Hassan Aboukhadijeh)

For more information about this event, go to http://www.bsim.org/site3.aspx.

Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run

Main-Header7On Sunday, April 12, 2015, I ran in the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run in Sacramento, CA with my amigos (Hassan Aboukhadijeh & Youa Buchanan) and some other friends, other participants, and my 14-year-old daughter Cordelia Kool.  This particular race I promised my daughter that I would run the whole race with her at her pace and use it as a training run for myself.


The amigos: Carina Kool, Hassan Aboukhadijeh, and Youa Buchanan


Taken prior to the 5-Mile and Ten-Mile Run of us all.

We had great running weather at the race this year as it wasn’t too hot or too cold.  This year they did change the course route, which many runners didn’t like because when the course was changed, they also made the cut-off time shorter.  If you ran slower than a 1:45 finish time (10:30/mile pace), race management couldn’t guarantee that the finish times of these finishers would be published.  Luckily, they were still there at a finish time of 1:53 for my daughter’s 1st ten-mile race, which she placed 3rd in her age group.


My daughter, Cordelia Kool, and I running into the finish line with our new friend Iwan Poedyasmara. Cordelia is looking determined to finish.

11125447_10205978374312984_2075540696_n (cropped)

My daughter, Cordelia Kool, and I crossing the finish line at 1:53:43 with a couple other runners.

In regards to the course, I’m not a big fan of loops, but the Ten-Mile course was nice; however, I do prefer the old course.  On the new course, we ran two 5-mile loops starting at Capitol Mall (south side) & 8th and finishing at Capital Mall (north side) & 9th.  We got to run across the Tower Bridge 4 times (2 times on each side) and by Raley Field twice.  It was pretty much a flat course, it was fast, and it was fun.  I would definitely run this race again in the future.  I’m looking forward to actually racing it next year.

For more information about this event, go to http://sactown10.org/.