alsoran runners (what's in my)
Goody Bag

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Why use a running goody bag?  Well you are going to be spending 10 hours plus out on the road on Comrades day and remember what I said about needed to be self sufficient (the every man for himself page!)  The running goody bag is the perfect solution! 

I bought my running goody bag at the Comrades expo quite a few years ago.  It’s a real simple one with only one zipped pouch of about 20x10cm attached to a belt strap which clips together in the front.  This works fine for me and I’m not going to change something that works!  There are however, many running goody bag variations out there.  A popular one is the “Inchanga” belt which has 3 small zipped pouches attached to a strap.

OK, so what exactly do I carry in my running goody bag?  Here is a list:
  • Loo paper
  • Squeezies
  • Money
  • Pacing chart
  • ENOs (fruit salts)
  • “Medical” goodies
  • and most importantly, my "reality check" (thanks Serena!)
Let me elaborate. 

The loo paper: 
I believe the loo paper is self explanatory!  I always keep about 5 tissues in a bank bag (which will keep it dry) should it be raining and your running goody bag gets wet.  You can usually get loo paper from the spectators but don’t count on it! 

The squeezies:
Aka energy supplements. I work on one squeezie every 8km so that equates to 11 squeezies at least.  This does add bulk to the running goody bag.

The money:
Otherwise know as “donkey money” or “taxi fare”!  No really, you never know what the day will bring and you just may need to have some cash on you.  My husband, Andy calls it “beer money” for the finish!

The pacing chart:
I keep my pacing chart in my running goody bag.  Many runners just pin it to their vest or shorts but I have seen many pacing charts lying on the road having become detatched, so I prefer to keep mine safe.

The ENOs:
The best kept SECRET!!!!  I usually carry about 5 sachets of ENOs.  This works great for nausea and light headedness.  The answer to salt loss through sweating!  Take with a little water in a cup at a water table.  This works very quickly.

The medical goodies:
Aka “drugs”!  I know, I know!  We’re not supposed to take any drugs out on the road but I would rather have them on my person than be without them!  They are also useful for taking at the finish.  “Drugs” I keep in my running goody bag include Imodium (for bad guts), Grand Pa headache powders (I sometimes get a headache!), Myprodol (for pain), Norflex or similar (muscle relaxant), Citro-soda (for ‘bladder’ pain – ie. the urge to ‘wee’ frequently) and usually some lip ice (which can double as ‘vaseline’ in an emergency - ask my friend Serena about this one!)

My "reality check":
For the 'wobbly' when it happens.  It is at this point that I need something 'real' to hold on to. Something I can use to gauge the truth between what I am feeling at that very moment and something that I know is real.  When I first ran Comrades I carried both my daughters little "birth bands" (the 'braclets the hospital put around their wrists when they were born).  I had a wobbly just after the handicapped children at the bottom of Inchanga (up run).  I sobbed along feeling like I was losing it and totally out of control, until I reached into my running goody bag and held onto the birth bands of my girls.  This was my reality check telling me I was still in touch and that what I was experiencing was real and it was ok.  Hey it worked for me and I wiped my eyes, blew my nose and carried on running, feeling like I had things under control again.  Can you believe it, a few years later my backpack with running goody bag inside was stolen at the end of a race and with it went my girls birth bands!  That's another story I will tell!  I now keep a little bank bag with little notes or pictures my girls have given me in my running goody bag.

If you have never run with a running goody bag it is a good idea to start using one on your long training runs.  It can take some getting used to!

Key words: goody bag, Comrades Marathon, self sufficient
Internal links: Comrades, Comrades Expo, pacing chart, long training runs, wobbly, up run, squeezies
External links: Official Comrades Marathon website


Copyright Nikki Campbell 2008