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Sat 25th Jan 2020
Race day checklist
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Wednesday 17th January 2007

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It may seem hard to believe but it is a frequently denied truth: athletes forget stuff! One very experienced triathlete has been known to forget his race shoes (twice...), never a good idea to have to buy new ones for an event, while countless numbers forget helmets, goggles and all manner of other essentials.

So, what goes on the checklist?


  • Race licence, if you are a member of your national body and not racing on a day licence.
  • Some form of identification so that the organisers can make sure the right person is collecting the race numbers (or identify the items left in your bag should you have the misfortune of an accident and have to go to hospital)
  • Money because, unless you’re a member of the Royal family, you’ll have to pay for something!
  • Toilet paper...
  • Bin liner for wrapping kit in if it rains
  • Lightweight carrier bags for wetsuit trick, stowing wet shoes/kit or protecting dry ones from rain
  • Half dozen safety pins
  • Bottle of water/sports drink and a bar for post-race emergency fuel

Useful extras

  • First aid kit plus insect bite cream
  • Waterproof marker pen
  • Duct tape
  • Zip ties
  • Spray lube (GT85/WD40)
  • Track pump for proper inflation


  • Race kit for each part of the event including socks if you need them for both bike and run (if you get wet feet on the bike change to dry socks for the run, saves a lot of blisters).
  • Towel and wash gear for cleaning up afterwards (wet flannel in a bag if there are no showers will help you be 100% more presentable and less smelly when you stop for that meal on the way home!) Camping towels are great as they pack really small but dry very well and your transition towel will be minging!
  • Transition towel for changing on/under - brightly coloured for easy location!


  • Wetsuit, if an open water swim
  • Goggles, plus a spare pair that you know don’t leak
  • Swim cap, as not all events provide them or you may be allergic to latex
  • Wetsuit lubricant - definitely NOT petroleum jelly in any form as this destroys wetsuits
  • Small bottle of water for rinsing off your face and clearing your mouth after an open water/salt water swim


  • Sounds obvious but you do need a bike, with wheels... ...preferably in working order!
  • Bike shoes with cleats that are correctly fitted and undamaged plus socks if you use them
  • Helmet that meets the national requirements for safety certification - here it’s EN1078 which is the minimum standard. ANSI Z90 or Snell B-90 certified helmets have met tougher tests but are often not labelled as such here while a CE mark is meaningless without the EN1078 bit. See this website for much more detailed information on helmets: PLEASE NOTE: Overseas event requirements for helmet certification may well differ from domestic ones so do check if you are racing, say, an Ironman in the USA!!
  • Race belt with number attached, you did remember to put your emergency contact/medical details on the back... Using the waterproof pen...
  • Eye protection (aka Oakleys...)
  • Sun protection cream
  • Emergency spares: tube, tyre levers, self-adhesive patches, pump or gas inflator
  • Bottles and bike nutrition, always carry spare powder in your kit in case you drop, spill or lose a bottle - you can always get water but using the wrong nutrition may result in an upset stomach. PS beware of having small ZipLoc bags full of white powder in luggage when travelling overseas..., we are NOT joking... In Oz they'll check all your bags by hand on entry - tell them BEFORE they open it...


  • Again, sounds obvious but you do need running shoes... Mick...
  • Fresh socks
  • More sun protection cream
  • Run hat and/or eye protection
  • Nutrition belt for fluids/gels/etc on longer distances


You can download this as a checklist to put in your kitbag. If you think that we have forgotten anything please let us know!!


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