How To Pack For A Multi-Race Weekend In ONE Carry-On Bag

Never ever ever going to check my running gear when flying to a race. I couldn't imagine the panic I would go into having to try and replace those necessary items while out of my comfort zone.

That is why I make sure to pack - if not all of my clothing - at least my running gear in my carry-on.

Now when I went to Disney for one week for the Dopey Challenge, which included four races with different costumes for each, I successfully packed everything in two carry-ons. #WINNING

So how did I turn this...


... yes that is everything I packed for this weekend's trip to Runner's World Half & Festival in Pennsylvania. I am doing the Hat trick which means I am running the 5k and 10k on Saturday and the Half on Sunday.

Anywho. I turned that mess into...



That's right folks. I am a packing genius.


Too far?

Fine fine. I got my packing groove on and got a little excited.


Packing for a weekend or week with multiple races can be overwhelming so I break it down to make it easier.

1) Clean off a big space to work with - couch, bed, table. When dealing with multiple races the best thing to do is lay out everything in front of you so you are less apt to forget something major.

2) Begin with the race outfits themselves. Make sure you have the necessary clothing pieces for each race. I usually start from my head and make my way down to my feet.

Sparkly Soul headband, Zensah sports bra, Shirt, Moving Comfort Shorts, Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Fun knee-high socks and sneakers

Once I complete one race ensemble, I put everything in one pile and move on to the second race. I keep the same pattern for each race.

My tad sense of OCD really helps with this. ;)

3) I set up a "shake-out run" or back-up race outfit... just in case! It is also a way for me to bring back-up carpis in case my shorts randomly break down. :P

4) Recovery tools. I pack my Zensah compression shorts as well as two pairs of compression socks/sleeves.

It is tough to know whether a certain airline will let you through with your foam roller or the large Stick so I opt to leave those at home. Plus who wants to snuggle with their foam roller for a flight. I will opt to bring the traveling Stick or Trigger.


5) Electronics. It is time to make sure that Garmin watch is IN the bag and not left on the charger. IF it is on the charger, be sure to leave a post-it note in its place so you do not forget it when packing up.

While I do not run with music, others will need to include their iPod or other music players at this time.

Additional electronics are: laptop, phone charger, activity tracker charger, etc.

6) FUEL!! How can anyone forget about the fuel? It is a great time to take inventory of what you are missing and will need to pick up at the store or Expo. I am keeping it simple for Runner's World Hat trick with ENERGYBits and KIND Snacks Bar.

** Once the race gear is set, we can focus on the rest of the weekend. ;)

7) Non-race clothing. I tend to bunch these by types: pants, shirts, underwear, socks, PJs, etc. Thankfully I am only gone for a four-day trip so I don't require too many extras.

8) Toiletries. Let us NOT forget the deodorant, razors, toothbrush, etc. It is really to benefit everyone around us. ;) Luckily the toiletries are the easiest to buy on-site if necessary.


Once the necessary items are laid out ... and checked about seven times to make sure I didn't forget anything, it is time to start packing.

This is where the proper carry-on bag comes in handy!

For this trip, I am leaning on my Apera Performance Duffel bag.


This bag is the perfect size for a carry-on.

To make packing easier I simply pick up my piles, roll up clothing when applicable and place them directly into the bag. I know ground-breaking idea right there. :P

To save space, I will put my socks, underwear, razors, etc inside my sneakers. Every spare inch counts when packing.

Now the best part of the Apera bag would be the side pockets where I can put my sneakers. Each side of the bag can hold a pair of sneakers, which frees up a ton of space within the bag.


Some runners will wear their sneakers to the airport, but I don't go that route. I like to keep them in my bag and wear slip-on shoes or flip flops to the airport for an easier interaction with security.


There are also a ton of pockets, which can hold my Sparkly Soul headbands toiletries and chargers.

And voila my bag is packed for four days of travel including three races and extras!


I can also sleep easy knowing I can avoid the potential for lost luggage and race-day headaches.

I will carry an additional carry-on for my wallet, reading materials and a place to put any swag I will inevitably pick up at the Expo.

So go on your way my merry friends and pack smart!


What process do you have to handle the joy of packing for a racecation?