The Casual Runner

What to Pack for a Runcation

Why am I writing this article?

Mike and I signed up to run the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge (a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday) last April.  Actually, Mike and our friend Helene made what they refer to as a “blood oath” in the middle of the 2016 WDW Marathon that, under no circumstance, were they running more than the marathon event at the 2017 WDW Marathon Weekend.  

I reluctantly agreed to this, but within a week I realized that the 2017 Donald Duck Half Marathon would be the 20th anniversary of the race and that I must run it!  I also decided long ago that I will run the Walt Disney World Marathon every year until I’m no longer running because I figure, once I stop doing marathons, I will never want to do one again.  

So, I decided that I was going to repeat Goofy again in 2017 and quickly everyone turned on Mike and decided they were doing Goofy as well for the Donald Duck anniversary medal.  Fast forward to April and Mike somehow ended up signing up for Goofy (I promise I did not try to break his blood oath).  Fast forward to November and here we were a few months from Goofy and I decide to look for a race the following weekend in Florida since we are going to be in Florida for almost two weeks and why not enjoy running in the nice weather (I’m sure Mike would have preferred we not find another race and just enjoy some training runs).  


Well, in my search for a race I found the St. Petersburg Classic Marathon Challenge and somehow managed to convince Mike that this is such a good deal we must do it!  What is the St. Petersburg Classic Marathon Challenge you ask?  Well on Saturday we run a 10K immediately followed by a 5K in the morning…then that evening you run a 3.8 mile Beach Run…then Sunday morning you run a half marathon (26.2 miles in total)!  So now Mike and myself are running 65.5 miles in 9 days.  Yes, you read that right… 65.5 miles.  

On top of that this is a two week vacation that will involve plenty of Casual Adventures as well from spending time at Walt Disney World (a possible park roulette challenge may occur), snorkeling with manatees, a wedding, a possible National Championship in Tampa for The Ohio State University, and multiple visits with family.  Mike may also have another Casual Adventure up his sleeve (so keep your eyes out for future articles).


So where am I going with this?

For all those Casual Runners/Casual Adventurers out there who like to take crazy runcations (running race vacations) like us, I decided to compose an article of what someone must pack for a two week vacation that includes galavanting around Walt Disney World, spending time on the Gulf Coast with family, Buckeye tailgating gear, a manatee snorkel, a wedding, and don’t forget 65.5 miles of running!  Also don’t forget I love dressing in costume for runDisney races, so this includes extra running gear!

Luckily Mike and I are flying Southwest so two checked bag are included with each of our flights and we can pack quite a bit (but we do have to save room for any souvenirs we bring back plus all of our SMOs and race shirts).  We also do have the luxury of staying with family for some of our trip so we will have access to a washer and dryer.  

So here it goes… I am going to try to help someone efficiently pack for such a crazy runcaction!

Running Gear

Alright let’s start with the essentials that will be needed for all six races; running watch, running watch charger, KT tape, ibuprofen, bandaids, and running belt.  

Although there are six races, two will be run one right after the other, so essentially I will only need five different race outfits.  With the help of being able to do laundry (which if you don’t have access to with two different race weekends I would highly suggest going to a laundry-mat just so you don’t have to carry around smelly running clothes for two weeks) there are a few things that I decided I do not need five of each, as some can perform double duty for me.

So I will pack three sports bras, three sweaty bands and three pairs of running socks.  I also plan on packing two pairs of running shoes just incase it rains one day and I need dry shoes. Gu and Powerade will be another must-have, but I will be able to get those once we are in Florida.


For the Donald Duck WDW Half Marathon, I have some specific costume pieces: yellow leggings, white tutu, green running tank, a ball cap

The same goes for my Mickey Mouse WDW Marathon costume: purple leggings, yellow tank top, purple visor, and a second sweaty band.  

Any guesses on who I am dressing as for these races?  Check back later in January to see if you’re correct!

For the St. Petersburg races, I will need a few specific items as well: three pairs of compression shorts and three running tanks (I will also re-wear these outfits in between races if I somehow find time to do some shake out runs, remember, we will have access to laundry facilities).  For the beach run I plan on going in costume as well, so I will also need to pack my grass skirt and wrist, head, neck, and ankle leis.  

Manatee Snorkel and Beach Gear (ya sure we will have time to go to the beach, lol)

This one is simple.  One bathing suit, one cover up, and one pair of flip-flops.  This all can be rewashed and worn multiple times on vacation.  I am very particular about my scuba mask, so  I will be bringing my own even though they are included with the Manatee Snorkel. Lastly, an underwater camera! We will be renting fins, snorkels, and wetsuits so we do not have to pack our own. 


Special Events

Fortunately we get to attend the wedding of two of our dear friends. Unfortunately a wedding requires very specific clothing that will be worn only for said event so thus a dress, tights, and heels will be packed in a very tiny corner of my suitcase.  

However, my National Championship outfit will get to be reworn again at another point in the week because I am very proud of my Buckeyes (yes Nick, I am OSU’s #1 fan, hehe).  So  I will need to make sure to pack an Ohio State Shirt, jeans,buckeye necklace, and OSU hoodie (it does get a bit chilly in Florida at night but I can re-wear this multiple nights on vacation).  

I also intend to pack one nice outfit (nice top/dress shorts) that can be worn to a dinner or two.

Theme Park Attire/Days Spent Visiting Family

We will be spending five days at Walt Disney World, which means five different Disney themed tops, five different pairs of yoga capris, five pairs of socks and undergarments that will be needed to wear around the parks and be comfortable.

Side note: I have made the mistake of wearing uncomfortable shorts/shoes around the park and chafe and blisters have become a problem one too many times that I now dress for comfort in the parks.  

I will also pack another pair of tennis shoes to wear around the parks (seperate from my running shoes).  With access to a washer/dryer I can rewash these outfits and wear them again when visiting family.  If you don’t have this luxury, no worries these garments tend to take up very little room in your luggage when rolled properly, thus it doesn’t hurt to pack multiple options.  I will also have pack a pair of leggings (in addition to the jeans I pack for the game) and a runDisney jacket (in addition to the hoodie) on the off chance of a cold day or two.  This is truly where my ultimate packer gene comes thru, I just packed for a five day trip to Florida with a similar itinerary to this in just a back pack!  Also for Mike’s maybe surprise Casual Adventure theme park casual attire will do.



The next lists of what is being packed are the things I use everyday that I cannot leave home without!  Keep in mind some of this stuff is available when you are staying in a hotel or have access to run to a store (I just prefer to have my own stuff) which can also help cut down on the packing.  Some of this stuff Mike and I share (as in, it will get put in his suitcase because he packs lighter than me, insert Mike’s eyeroll here, haha).  

Hair dryer, hairbrushes, and hair accessories.Toiletry bag, makeup bag, jewelry bag, Disney magic band(s) (always good to have a backup), Minnie ears, and trader pins (yes I have a very addictive hobby). All of your tech needs; cell phone charger, portable charger, laptop, and laptop charger.  Then of course PJs are a necessity and I will probably pack 3-4 pairs. Don’t forget extra undergarments are always nice to pack.

We also like to have a backpack to carry around theme parks where we pack a drink bottle or two for the both of us and snacks.  On trips in the past we pack our breakfast and snack foods to bring with us, but luckily we will have a car on this vacation and plan on grocery store shopping the first day.  We will definitely bring Ziploc bags to pack snacks for the park.  We will also back a couple of ponchos just in case, you never know at Disney.


All Ready to Go

And just like that, I have efficiently packed for a two week runcation in two suitcases.  Hopefully this helps anyone out there who is heading to Walt Disney World for Marathon weekend or any extended vacations where running and adventures are involved.  Or maybe you’re reading this last minute before heading on vacation and I have reminded you of a thing or two to pack. Best of luck on your next runcation!

And remember, Adventure is out there!

Check out other installments in our Casual Adventurer Series.


Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!