Hi.

I'm Bethan a runner from London with a passion for sisterhood in sport. This blog is all about the power of movement, community and elevating women in sport.

Travel Essentials for a Marathon Abroad

I've realised that while I've written a lot about Paris, I've not actually written that much about the practicalities of running a marathon abroad...you know the basics like don't pack everything you own and then try to haul it up and down all the stairs in Paris the day after running 26.2 mile, and if you take your on PB and bagels your Dad will laugh at you. Basic stuff I probably should have know but did anyway. 

Normally I'm a strictly hand baggage only type of girl. I see it as a personal challenge to whittle my baggage down to the bare minimum and hunt down beauty products akin to aesthetic swiss army knives. I am not above washing my knickers in the sink and wearing the same jumper for days on end. With all that in mind I don't know what came over me when it came to packing for my marathon, I mean I suddenly had a humungous bag full of 'stuff' that weighed a tonne and was a right pain to haul around. I think I must have packed for every eventually going, and you know what I didn't use half of it! 

I'm pretty sure my mistake is one a lot of people make, so to save you backache I thought I'd share the stuff I actually used...my travel essentials for a marathon abroad!

race day kit


So this is a pretty obvious essential! I know a few people who take a range of different options when it comes to race day kit, but this was probably the one area where I restricted myself and I took just one outfit I'd put a lot of thought in to in advance.

race vest - I love my Nathan Intensity race vest! It's a really comfortable fit and means I can dodge water stations (I hate water stations). It's also got really handy pockets on the straps for essentials like my phone and gels.

Wiggle Energy Gels - energy gels can be expensive, like really expensive. I stumbled on these great gels when looking for a cheaper alternative and I think they're great. In fact I'd choose them over some of the more expensive brands. I took one around every 5 miles.

Nike t-shirt - I've had this forever, it's super soft and comfy and never rides up under my pack. An easy race day choice.

Lululemon shorts - these were a bit of a risk because I didn't get a chance to try them out before race day, but (as with all Lulu gear) they more than performed. I love the comfy waist band, the slightly longer length and plentiful pockets.

Nike Zoom Structure shoe - This is my second pair of these shoes and they work brilliantly for me, there's just the right amount of structure and they look great.

P20 sunblock - I'm ginger and if I don't want to look like a lobster I need something that keeps going, and going, and going. This does the job (although it is a little greasy).

Body Glide - no one likes chafing.

not seen - Panache sports bra (the best bra, nothing moves, seriously), arm warmers (because it's difficult to take off layers when you're wearing a race vest).

post race


2xu compression tights - I have so much love for these tights, I wore them before and after the marathon and they really helped my recovery. Plus they look pretty good on.

H&M yoga brabecause you shouldn't wear real bras when everything hurts! I really like this cheap and cheerful option, for £12 the quality is great.

instant ice packs - I didn't know if I'd be able to get ice in my hotel with ease so I invested in a few of these cheap instance ice packs from Decathlon. I didn't end up using them, but I was glad I had them in case of injury.

Neil's Yard Arnica Balm - I'm a big believer in arnica and this stuff is amazing! I actually used it before and after the race and it really relaxed my muscles. Think of it as a better smelling Deep Heat.


Sweaty Betty Hoodie - I've had this hoodie for ages and it's one of my favourite pieces of kit. It's so comfy and cosy, as well as pretty good looking!

Molton Brown bath products - I love luxury bath products, and it was only right I got clean post marathon using something lovely! 

not seen - Nike Free shoe (my favourite every day shoe, super comfy and flexible so perfect for sore feet). 

What are your race essentials? 

*you know what would have made a difference when I was lugging my stuff through Paris? A RelayRides airport rental! I linked up with RelayRides to share this post, but as always all opinions are my own.*


on being content

Virgin Money London Marathon 2015 - guest post