Packing your marathon kit bag can be both an exciting and daunting task. This is the moment when the reality of the challenge ahead really hits and you shift into the final gear of your marathon journey: game time.

When it comes to packing your bag, it’s important to be well equipped but not excessive; your post-marathon legs won’t thank you if you bring everything but the kitchen sink!

So, what should you pack in your event bag and how do you go about this process? Find out here…


The night before the event, lay out your clothes and do any prep work such as pinning your number (which contains your tracking chip) to your top. It will be an early start on Sunday so make sure you can find your clothes easily and keep to your morning routine.



Start with the items you plan to wear after the event; after 26.2 miles, you’re likely going to want some dry, comfortable clothes (especially socks) and possibly another pair of shoes such as recovery sandals.

Bear in mind that you may choose to wear some of these spare clothes while travelling to the event, in which case leave them next to your bag and pop them in before you go to Bag Drop. An old pair of tracksuit bottoms are always a favourite here.

TIP: Remember that you can wear an old jumper to the start line and donate it to charity just before setting off. All you need to do is wear your top until the end of the start chute where you will see signs showing where to donate near the start gantry.


It’s crucial that you are hydrated before starting the event, so it’s recommended that you take some water to sip on the morning of the event. You may also choose to bring a small snack depending on what you’ve practised in your training – for example, some participants eat breakfast 2 hours before and then 45 minutes before the start they will eat a banana.

Don’t forget to also pack your own fuelling sources if using (bring your hydration belt, bag or just use pockets).

TIP: There will be water and The GO Isotonic Energy Gels from Science in Sport available on the day: find out more and where they are located here. Please plan ahead and remember to bring additional hydration and nutrition based on your individual needs.


Don’t forget your keys and wallet in the excitement of packing your marathon bag! It’s also a good idea to bring a portable charger for your phone, especially if bringing it out on the course with you.

TIP: If you’re taking part with your phone, close down apps or turn on battery saving mode so that it doesn’t run out of charge during the event.

Bag Drop is located in the Event Village – please allow plenty of time if you’re planning to leave your bag.


If you have trained properly and with the correct footwear, it’s unlikely that you will get a blister. However, better to be safe than sorry, so stick a few plasters or Compeed in your bag, and consider any other medical items you may need. Inhalers? Hayfever tablets?


Contrary to popular belief, the sun does shine in Manchester, so consider bringing (and applying) a small bottle of sunscreen with you. Other cosmetics you may want to bring are anti-chafing balms (or Vaseline), spare contact lenses (just in case…), sanitary products, tissues and – ladies, listen up – HAIR TIES!

TIP: Separate groups of items such as personal care and nutrition (snacks) into clear, separate bags. This will make them easier to find and avoid holding up queues on the day.


On the other hand, should inclement weather occur, it’s important to stay warm and dry before and after the event. Pack a light raincoat with a hood and – if the forecast looks particularly adverse – bring an umbrella!

TIP: Where possible, roll up items such as a light waterproof jacket, in order to save space in your bag.

One small bag per person is permitted at the event.


  • Bag Drop is located within the Event Village, at Lancashire Cricket Club (M16 0PX) approximately a 10 minute walk from the start line.
  • If you are using bag drop please arrive an additional 30 minutes before your start access time. One small bag at bag drop is permitted – e.g. a small rucksack or small
  • sports bag, nothing bigger.
  • You will be given a numbered wristband in exchange for your bag, which you must use to collect after the event. The number on it has no relation to your bib number, and you can drop your bag at any section.
  • To help keep the process moving please ensure that all your belongings are in your bag before you reach the front of the queue. To avoid possible queues at the Bag Drop we recommend leaving your items with a supporter or at your accommodation.
  • You can also wear an old jumper you want to donate to charity to keep you warm – keep wearing this until the end of the start chute where you will see signs to show you where to donate it as you get close to the start gantry. Just remember to avoid dropping your top too early!

Thank you for reading and we hope you enjoying the packing process before the event!