Use a pre marathon check list so you don't forget anything on race day. If you are flying, by all means NEVER put your racing shoes with check-in baggage. Always stow them in your carry-on, along with anything else you consider essential for running your best marathon.
Weather: Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. Will you need plastic garbage bags or extra layers of throw away clothes to protect you from the elements before the start? What about sunscreen?
Nourishment on the course: If you don't know, call the race organizers to find out what they plan to offer at aid stations. Then you'll know what to bring.
Travel arrangements: How are you getting to the start? How are you getting back? Where is the start? Where is the finish? Work this out in advance.
Snacks-Bring plenty to eat. Sometimes you get hungry waiting for the start.
Water- Bring your own water to the race start.
Race gear- Shoes, Socks, Singlet or Top, Shorts, Timing Chip, Sunglasses. Prepare everything the night before. Pin your number on your shirt and lay everything out so you don't waste any time the morning of your race.
Race number belt- If you have a race number belt, it's easier to remove clothing during the race. An alternative is to pin your number on your shorts instead of your shirt or top. More often than not temperatures are warming the longer you run so you may wish to discard something.
Watch or GPS: Don't forget to charge it!
Hat and visor: A hat or visor is nice to have rain or shine. My rule is cap if it's cool, visor if it's warm so I always pack both.
Money- Cab fare, food, or beer after. You never know.
Dry clothes and shoes for after. I like to have warm dry clothes ready to put on after the race. And something very comfortable for my feet.
Camera: Record some before and after memories!
(c) Dave Elger 2008 All rights considered