Wellps, it’s here! As Sean can attest from the tear-stained evidence leftover from my completely hysterical breakdown about it last night, I’m off to the Reach the Beach Relay tomorrow! I fly up to Boston tomorrow morning, and it is going to be a packed weekend, full of more than just the relay race itself. It’s unlikely that I’ll get a ton of blogging in over the next few days. There will, however, be lots of Tweeting and Facebook updating though! We’ll be tagging race-related tweets with #rtbrelay, #newbalance, and/or #offbalance, and we even have a new Team Off Balance Twitter handle: @RTBOffBalance. Wheee, social media storm!


So a big component of preparing for a 30 hour, 200 mile race is making sure you’re packing well. I want to make sure that I’ve got everything I need without OVER-packing (something that I have a rather strong tendency to do). So I’ve been casually gathering things over the past week to make sure that I’m not forgetting anything. Yesterday I packed up most of the things I’m going to need (though I’m sure there will be a few last minute swaps and additions, for sure!) and gave my duffel bag a trial run.


Since, as mentioned, our all-blogger team is being generously sponsored by New Balance, packing my fitness clothing isn’t much of a challenge. I’ve had a chance to test out all of the running gear that they sent us, and have my three running outfits all picked out. I have three sports bras, three pairs of socks, and three hair bands too. I’m even bringing the extra items that I won’t be running in — like these infamously short run shorts — because while I may not enjoy the chafing, they are super comfortable just to lounge around in.


New Balance also sent us an awesome secondary package just a day or so ago with some team-branded clothing! So we have a tank, long sleeve technical tee, and running windbreaker all with Off Balance branding! So exciting, and the tank is not only vented with a sweet logo, but it’s super flattering too. Win-win!


It was actually much more difficult for me to decide what to pack in terms of non-fitness clothing. Ultimately, I figured that things are going to be pretty casual (with the possibility of going to do something slightly nicer Saturday night if we’re not all dead), so I’m packing a couple of cute tees (including my Team Peeta shirt! RAWR!) and one sundress. I’m planning on wearing my jeans on the plane.


And yes, that is 7 pairs of underwear you’re seeing folded up in the background there. Underwear is the one thing that I believe can NEVER be over-packed! On the side you might also be able to make out a rolled up plastic-lookin’ thing. That’s three huge Ziplock bags for me to put my race outfits in. All of the relay race packing suggestions I’ve read say to pack your three race outfits in separate plastic bags — that way, it’s easy to pull them out when it’s time to change, and you also have a place to put them back when you’re done! I know it probably seems gross to put sweaty clothes in a plastic bag, but consider that I, the Sweatiest Exerciser Ever, am the first runner. That means that there are like 29.5 hours left in the race that my vanmates would have to put up with my stinky clothes if I didn’t seal ’em off, hahaha. What, TMI?


I do have just a FEW non-clothing things that I’m packing too. Since I’m flying and don’t want to have to check a bag, I’m trying to keep my extras limited. But I want to contribute to the team/my van, too! So I’m bringing baby wipes (for post-run wipe downs, since there won’t be any showers), a roll of TP (just in case!), the Dreamie travel blanket that Ben gave me for my birthday (if I decide to try to catch even a few minutes of shut-eye in the van, haha), and a jar of Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Wonderful (for eating by the spoonful).


Of course, I can’t forget the most important thing that I’ll need to be bringing — my sneakers! New Balance also sent me this awesome pair of flip flops in my latest package, which I was counting on relaxing in between running legs. Unfortunately one of the support straps broke! I’m really bummed, because they are SO comfortable (they remind me of Rainbows!), but I guess I’ll have to resort to my UnderArmour flippies instead. Le sigh.

So there you have it! Additional things I’ll be bringing that aren’t shown include my camera (duh!), iPhone (duh!), charger (duh! Are you sending a pattern?), a hand towel (suggested by our New Balance contact to wipe down post-run), PJs for Thursday and Saturday nights so that hotel roomie isn’t subjected to THAT (bahaha!), toiletries (including men’s deodorant – this is no time for my usual Dove Cucumber and Green Tea!), and some very minimal makeup.

Any last minute suggestions for what to bring, what to do, or how to survive? General words of encouragement are also welcome, since I’m still mildly freaking out about the running part of this whole shebang… though, as my loving and rational boyfriend reminded me, I’ll only be spending a fraction of the relay (like, what, 2 hours total?) actually running. But still. Think good thoughts for me! 🙂


  1. D’oh! I forgot jammies.

  2. You can do ittt! Run like you stole something 🙂

  3. I have no idea if this is helpful or not, but here is a list of what I’m taking in my fanny pack on my 39.3 miles in a few weeks. Not really the same thing, but maybe something is on here that you’d want:

    * Nuun (one tube)
    * Moleskin
    * Scissors
    * Body Glide
    * ID/Debit Card/Insurance Card
    * Cash
    * Chapstick
    * Cell Phone
    * Kleenex
    * Hand Sanitizer
    * Excedrin
    * Immodium
    * Advil
    * Tylenol
    * Poncho
    * Socks in Ziploc
    * Sunscreen
    * Hairties
    * Binder Clips (to clip the hood of a poncho to the bill of my hat when it rains)
    * Bandana
    * Business Cards

    Annnddd, I’m going to stick that all into a tiny fanny pack. I AM THE QUEEN OF OVERPACKERS.

    • Awesome list! You actually reminded me that I didn’t say it in the post but I am also bringing a bottle of Advil with me, and I’ll have my wallet and all that good stuff too. Whoosh, it’s a lot to keep track of!

  4. I’m running a relay in September, so I’m very excited to hear how this goes!

    We were encouraged to pack a second pair of running shoes in case of rain. You don’t want to run in shoes that are already wet!

    Hope you can either a) disregard that or b) make it work. I dont want to cause more stress!

    • Good tip! Luckily the weather is looking good for us as of right now, but if I’ll check the forecast right before I take off tomorrow AM and determine whether I want to risk it or not!

  5. I can’t wait to hear all about it once you’re done. You will do GREAT!!!!!!

  6. Have fun, Gretchen. You’re going to do great 🙂

  7. Anniesays:

    You might want to rethink the peanut butter. I’ve had tsa agents confiscate it before. Even though it’s not a liquid, it’s spreadable. I don’t want you a) crying in line because they make you throw it out or b) trying to eat an entire jar to avoid throwing it out!

  8. You may not use getting arrested by TSA over that jar of peanut butter as an excuse to get out of this. You’re going to kick serious butt and have a ton of fun in the process!! Just focus on how proud you’re going to be when it’s all over and you get to say you did it – while you’re lounging on a beach in St. Maarten of course : ) I cannot wait to hear all about it afterwards.

    • Bahahaha, can’t you just imagine me fighting through security for the sake of my precious White Chocolate Wonderful? 🙂

  9. Sunscreen, advil, sunglasses, and your Kindle for downtime.

    Just remember that you’re already awesome. I know you can run and kick ass at it.

  10. I am super excited to hear about your experience. A relay is something I’ve been toying around with in this crazy running brain of mine for next year, and I am really looking forward to hearing about your trip and the legs you are running from your perspective.

  11. Have a blast!

  12. OMG. This relay sounds like so much fun! Can’t wait to read about it!

  13. Elizabethsays:

    Glad you are bringing advil! DEFinitely warranted. One thing I found helpful when I did the American Odyssey relay was this cooling muscle wrap thingy I found at CVS. They have various kinds of packs that get cold with some sorta chemical activation, so you don’t have to take up space in your cooler (Taking away from precious snack space!…. one of your teammates is bringing a cooler, riiiight?). Definitely prop your legs up after each of your runs to keep from cramping up and if you invest in those cold packs, use ’em! I wish somebody had given me that tip about the ziplock bags for clothes back then….And if you have any kind of bandaid preference for blister treatment, pack that too! I will be keeping an eye on your fb/twitter feed, have fun!!!

  14. You’ll do great! I’m a huge believer that you can never overpack on underwear, too. I also like to wear my flip flops on planes just because they’re so much easier to take off for TSA. But then again, I live in flip flops as it is.

  15. You’re going to do great! Remember also to HAVE FUN 🙂

  16. Susansays:

    Go get’em!!!!
    Bodyglide or Aquaphor are your best friends ever! Baby power for those sensitive areas keep the prickly heat down. Don’t ask how I know this.
    Way proud of you for getting out there. It’s will be a great weekend. Can’t wait to hear all about it!

  17. Best of luck! I know you ladies will do well!

    Have fun!

  18. You are going to be amazing!!!! cant wait to hear a recap! GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are a rockstar!

  19. The best thing you can bring? A winning attitude!! Ha! 🙂
    Have FUN and ROCK IT OUT. I know you’ll have an amazing time, no matter what. Just enjoy it and live in the moment!
    (And I hope to see you shortly after you get back!!)

  20. Larissasays:

    i love those flip flops! do you know which model they are? thanks!

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