Running your first half marathon is an exciting prospect. Regardless of how large scale the event is that you’re taking part in, it’s good to be surrounded by runners of all abilities looking to complete the 13.1 miles ahead.


In addition to making sure you’ve trained correctly for a half marathon, you need to make sure you’ve got everything you need on the day. We’ve put together a Half Marathon kit list to help you get your race bag packed and reach that finish line. 


If you’ve been training with energy gels or energy bars, make sure you pack enough to get you through the race. Most energy gels are compact and easy to store in a race belt or hydration vest so you can take them with you.


If you haven’t trained with gels or energy bars, it’s best to avoid trying them out of race day. Take the gels you know you like and that don’t give you an upset stomach. 


Many water bottles now come with a purpose built running handle, which makes it easy to take the water you need with you on your training runs and on race day. Running bottles are particularly useful if you would rather not stop at a water station or if the race may be too busy for you to make all of the water stations you need.


Many runners will use isotonic drinks before, during and after a race so carrying one with you will help to keep your energy levels high throughout the race. As with the energy gels and bars, make sure you aren’t trying anything new on race day. 

Weather Proof Gear

Unfortunately, you can never guarantee the weather on race day. Make a judgement call on the morning of race day as to what to wear and whether you need to add any extra base layers for warmth. Taking a water-resistant running jacket with you will keep you prepared for any last-minute weather changes.


It’s also advised that you pack a warm layer to change into after the race. As your body temperature cools it’s likely that you will start to feel cold and may want to change into something clean and dry before the journey home.

Safety pins

Most races have safety pins available at the registration desks or bag drop points, but it’s always best to be prepared. Take a handful of small safety pins with you to pin your race number to your vest. 

Plasters/Anti Chaffe Balm

If you’ve come close to the full half marathon mileage, you’ll know whether you have any reoccurring chaffing or sores when you run, particularly for men. Take some anti-chaffe balm with you and apply this to the required areas before the start of the race. If you’re prone to blisters it’s worth applying blister plasters to the specific areas beforehand to prevent discomfort during the race. 

Good shoes

Just as crucial as a solid training plan is a good pair of shoes. We’d hope that by race day you’ve covered enough miles in your trainers to know they fit and are comfortable enough to get you through the 13.1 miles ahead.


Make sure you’ve got the right shoes by heading in-store and having a gait analysis before you up your mileage. Avoid running in a brand new pair of shoes as this is likely to end in a painful few miles and a lot of blisters. 

Flip Flops

If it wasn’t obvious already, the flip flops we’re recommending you pack are not what you should be running in. Changing into a pair of flip flops after your race will help to air your feet, prevent blistering and will be a welcome break from your trainers.  


Headphones are an optional extra for your kit bag, and are only applicable to runners that listen to music or podcasts whilst they run. It’s important to check that headphones and mobile devices are permitted on the course before you get started.


Having a good pair of headphones in your kit bag will prevent any mid-race technical issues and keep you running to your favourite playlist. 

Post-race recovery fuel

It’s likely that you’ll be craving food once you’ve finished your race. Not only is it good to feed your hunger, but eating after your race will help to aid your muscle recovery. Take a recovery drink and snack in your bag and eat it within 20-30 minutes of your race finish.


Browse the latest running shoes, gear and accessories to have you race ready at Runners Need today. 

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