Packing for a race can be anxiety-causing if you go about it carelessly. Forgotten items may be hard to secure even at a race-fair. Plus, it can upset your equilibrium for the event.
Prior to your next overseas Ironman or 70.3 race, here are some packing considerations:
1) Get a ‘what-to-bring’ list drawn up first. Source it from seasoned competitors if this is your maiden race.
2) Place your race-kit aside (racing attire, helmet, race-belt, shoes, flip-flops, heart-rate monitor, speedometer, Bento-box, sunshades, wetsuit, Ziploc bags, body-lubricant, spare water-bottle, and plastic carrier bags for gaining entry into your wetsuit). Note: Lay out your race-kit and nutritional aids according to the three bags (S, B & R) so as not to leave anything important out.
3) Check the condition of your race-kit for potential wardrobe malfunction, or mechanical malfunction (stuck zippers, tears in the fabric).
4) Bring extra socks, running-shoes, energy gels, energy-bars, goggles (one dark/one clear), and salt-tablets.
5) Pack your bike into the bike-case at least two days in advance (dismantle/loosen cockpit, saddle/seat-post, and pedals) in case you face mechanical difficulties like stuck pedals. Ensure that you have adequate bubble-wrap that you can purchase from your local bike-shop. Better still get your bike-mechanic to pack it properly into your bike-case.
6) Nutritional package for your ‘Special Needs’ bag (Bring Your Own stuff that you trained with; fresh solid/comfort food can be purchased from the nearby supermarket near your race accommodation). There is one bag each for the Ride and Run.
7) Prepare both wet-weather/cold-day attire (arm-warmers) and additional nutritional support (your raised metabolism from shivering, will require more calories).
8) Pack your tools in the bike-case (Allan-keys, spare-tubes/tyres, duct-tape/masking tape, foldable scissors, and old water-bottles to discard at aid-stations). If you use tubular tyres, then pack used and flexible ones as race-spares (easier to dress on your rims during a flat).
9) Re-check your list (see if you left out anything).
10) Buy your CO2 canisters at the race-fair (anything else like duct-tape, international socket, bring from home). Bring enough money for the pre-race and post-race merchandise shopping. If you are an iPod person, bring your digital music along on race morning.