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by Military Diva

When packing for a Disney vacation it is easy to figure out what you should pack in your carry-on and what should be left in your checked luggage (If you’re flying of course.) A change of clothing, medication, essential toiletries, park tickets and resort information should always travel with you. But packing for a runDisney vacation brings another set of essentials.

As a novice runner, training for my first race EVER, I almost made one of the worst decisions ever.  I initially packed my tried and true running shoes into our checked luggage.  We were arriving on Thursday morning.  I wouldn’t even need my shoes until Saturday morning, right?  Well, sort of!!

Technically I would not need my shoes for the beginning of our trip.  But do you know how often checked luggage is delayed, misplaced or even lost altogether?  It happens enough to cause panic when that one missing bag contains the items you absolutely need!

And what do you need when running a 5k, half marathon or marathon?  Your regular running shoes!! No one wants to break in a pair of newly purchased, stiff running shoes on race day. And, no one wants to see a year of training, nutrition and planning ruined by huge blisters and sore feet.

So in the name of prevention, here is my list of RunDisney Carry-On Must Haves:

Don't pack these items in your checked luggage PLEASE!

Don’t pack these items in your checked luggage PLEASE!

Running Shoes  No brainer here! I spent numerous hours being fitted until finding just the right pair.  These shoes and I have spent almost as much time together as my children and I have.  No way am I going to leave these comfort makers behind!

Running Outfit Whether you are running in a pair of leggings and tee-shirt or a custom costume, pack it in your carry on!  (Try out your race day attire at least once before race day.  You don’t want to realize at mile 7 that your tutu chafes or your knee socks slide uncomfortably to your ankles.)

Throw Away Sweatshirt/Jacket Mornings can be a little chilly in the winter months for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Starting your race with a chill is tough; losing your $80 Nike warm up on the course is a bummer.  So, head to a local thrift store/lower end merchandiser in advance and pick up a low-cost cover up.  On race day wear it to the start and dump it into the nearest trash can once you warm up.

Socks  Again, these go along with the shoes.  Be sure to have your normal, comfortable running socks.  The Mickey Mouse or Cinderella socks at your resort might be cute, but should not act as a replacement for your traditional socks on race day.

Fuel Pack a couple of bags or bars of your traditional fuel. RunDisney typically provides packs of Gu during the race.  Great if it is a product you are used to, not so great if you have never tried it before.  Trust me, I ended up ill at mile 10 from my first attempt!  If you snack on granola during your training, put it in your carry-on.  Protein bar person, pack it!

Waiver  Two to four weeks prior to your runDisney event, personalized race waivers will be available for download online.  This waiver and your id are necessary for bib and packet pick-up at the expo. (You can print this out at the expos, but the lines are extremely long.  Save yourself the time, print at home and pack in your carry-on.)

Train hard, pack well and finish strong!

Train hard, pack well and finish strong!

So to all my fellow runDisney participants…continue on your training-stay strong-stay healthy!  Remember the items I have listed above and feel free to add any items I have missed.  Most importantly ENJOY!  There is nothing like a runDisney event!

For more runDisney tips check out this post from Run Diva-Ask a Disney Diva/Devo: RunDisney questions


*Airlines do their best to deliver your luggage as intended, but accidents happen.  I have personally had luggage delayed and received wonderful service from the airline to correct the error. Be patient and be kind.

*Gu is an amazing product that I regularly use now.  However you don’t want to introduce a new product on race day.