What To Do If Race Day Calls For Rain

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

A little water never hurt anyone, but it can make your situation uncomfortable. The dreaded word, rain. Nobody enjoys running a race in the rain. Your feet are soaked, weigh 5-10 pounds more than normal and chafing/blisters are predicted to be in your future. If you are like me, I dread the rats nest that will be created in my hair and it is not pretty.  So what are you supposed to do if race day calls for rain?  First? Get over it. There is nothing you can do but prepare. Make sure you are stocked and prepared for the day with all of the goodies you will need depending the type of race you are running. I have been lucky to only run two races in the rain, one-half marathon and one triathlon. However, this weekend I may be crossing the third off my list at Challenge AC 70.3. The weather forecast is rain and winds of 13 MPH. I have never run a 5-6 hour race in the rain so this will be different for me and a “Challenge” (haha get it).  Because of my experience running in the rain here are some of my tips for running marathons and triathlons.  Marathons:

  1. Make sure you have a hat to protect your from downpours

  2. Sunglasses in case the rain is coming at an angle into your face

  3. Anti-chafing products such as Body Glide

  4. Tight fitting pants/shorts to prevent rubbing and movement on your legs

  5. Moisture-wicking, lightweight shirt for warm weather and tight shirts for colder weather

  6. Socks that don’t soak up water and prevent blisters such as Feetures. 

  7. A plastic bag to protect your technology.

  8. If it’s not too warm out, wear a rain jacket made for running, to run in. 


  1. Bring three towels with you, one for your feet, one to cover your shoes, and one in case you want to dry anything else off

  2. Bring anti-chafing products to protect you from uncomfortable rubbing. 

  3. Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect from rain in the face if it is really coming down.

  4. If you choose to wear socks, make sure they prevent against blisters. If you don’t, you may want to grease your feet.

  5. If you are doing a long triathlon, where you can have a special needs bag, pack an extra pair of shoes and socks. It will feel like heaven changing out the wet ones.  

  6. Trashbags- bring them to cover your bike as it sits overnight and to place under your towel so its not completely soaked when you get to it.

  7. Be careful on the bike. There is more of a chance of hydroplaning and developing flats in the event of debris on the road. It’s ok to go slow! 

Preparation is the key to running in the rain. You will eventually have to do it, but if you have a plan in place, it won’t be as uncomfortable, just expect to be wet and possibly have a horrible hairdo when you are done!

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