Obsessive Runner Tips for a Rainy Race Day

Tips for a Rainy Race Day


It’s marathon day tomorrow and I’ve been checking, checking, checking. Checking the forecast that is. My smartphone weather app keeps saying that it’s going to rain, so I close the app, give my phone a shake and open the app again in the hopes of a refreshed forecast. But alas it confirms what I wish to deny that indeed there will be rain.

If when you get lemons you get lemonade, when it rains on race day, you get… well… wet. So in order to make the most of it, here are the best tips I’ve found to make the most of a rainy race day.

  • Up the anti-chafe protection
    When you’re wet, you’re more likely to chafe. So even if you don’t normally chafe, a rainy race day may dictate otherwise. Apply vaseline or anti-chafe cream to your sensitive areas and men should consider covering up their nipples (did I just use that word in my writing?) – band-aids or breathe-right strips are good options.
  • Pack a disposable poncho (aka “garbage bag”)
    Heading into your start corral you want to stay as warm and dry as possible. The most affordable poncho you can get is a garbage bag (preferably unused) and cut out a hole for your head to poke through. I consider the holes for the arms optional as I like to keep my arms in to keep warmer. You get bonus points if you use a clear garbage bag because you can still show off your race day shirt and your bib is easy to see in order to enter the corrals.
  • A cap with a brim is your new best friend
    Make sure you wear a cap made of technical wicking material to help keep your head nice and dry. A brim is an absolute must to keep the rain off of your face and eyewear. I like to wear a brightly coloured cap so that my adoring fans can find me much more easily amongst the throngs of runners.
  • Plan your run 10-15 feet ahead of yourself
    Watch the ground ahead of yourself so that you can plan your racing route to avoid splashing through puddles. It really is not fun running in wet drenched socks and shoes (ugh… blisters). Looking a bit ahead of your immediate path allows you to more gradually course correct rather than trying to dodge around wet patches last minute and risk getting injured. You should also watch out for the painted parts of the road as these tend to be more slippery than bare ashphalt.
  • Don’t confuse wetness with hydration
    A funny thing can happen as we run in the rain – when we’re wet, we can forget that we need to drink. A run in the rain is not much different from a run in dry weather when it comes to our hydration needs.
  • Pack a post-race fashion statement
    At the end of the race, after you’ve stretched and gotten replenished, you’ll want to change into a dry set of clothes as soon as possible. A small gym towel would be really handy and it’s good to find out where you can change at or near the post-run area. Changing into a new set of clothes and shoes will help to reanimate your tired body into feeling human again and give you a fresh look to take post-run pictures in – don’t forget to keep your medal out on display!

So when it rains, it can pour, but despite a rainy weather forecast, I know that the tips above can help to keep away any dampened spirits and that us runners won’t let a few drops get in our way!

Anti-chafingly yours,



Related blog articles:

  • How I really want you to cheer for me on race day
  • Race day shirt selection syndrome
  • The diagnosis: obsessive running disorder

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