What to do the night before your Great Run

Brooks Shoe Finder

The countdown has begun – your moment of glory is fast-approaching. In just a few hours, you’ll be lining up with thousands of others ready to cross that start line and give it your all.

Feeling a little bit nervous? Never fear – give those pre-race nerves the heave-ho with our trusty Great Run checklist.

Bedtime reading

You should have received the guide for your specific event via pre-event emails a month before your run, so check your inbox. This is your event bible, so make sure you’ve read it from cover to cover. You will also find it on the event page.

Food and water

Stick with familiar foods in the days leading up to your run and, if you think your event is going to take you more than 90 minutes, you might need to increase your carbs a little. For breakfast, porridge is a great option – and we have a delicious recipe here – but again, familiar is best.

It’s also important to increase your water intake ahead of the big day, especially if it looks like the weather is going to be warm. To keep our carbon footprint down, we don’t provide water at the start line of AJ Bell Great Run events. Instead, we ask you to turn up hydrated with your own water bottle which you can drink, drain and drop for recycling. Also make sure to check where the water stations are on route – it’s all in your event guide.

Above all, look after yourself. If you’ve been unwell recently or are experiencing any worrying symptoms – chest palpitations or pain, shortness of breath, dizziness etc – don’t run.

Travel plans

Make sure you’ve checked how you’re getting there. On race day, road closures may affect your journey whether you’re travelling by car or by public transport, so get ahead of any issues by planning ahead. Apps like Waze or what.three.words can help – your event guide may suggest using one or both.

Run number

Run numbers at the ready! Avoid damaging your chip by not bending it and make sure you’ve filled out the emergency contact details on the back. You’ll also need some safety pins to secure it in place, and be careful not to obscure it with a running belt or bumbag.

Haven’t received yours? Don’t worry – you can pick one up from the event information point (check your event guide for the location).

Bag it up

Bringing a bag? Pack it the night before with items you don’t need until after you’ve crossed the finish line. Fill out and attach the label and check where the drop-off points are to ensure a smooth process, and remember – no valuables.

We suggest you bring an old long-sleeve top or jacket with you to wear on the start line and then discard if the weather is cool. If you do, leave it behind with a clear conscience: all clothing at Great Run events is recycled.

Flatlay fun

Get everything you’re planning to wear and take with you on your person – so running top, shorts or leggings and trainers obviously, but also your running belt, energy bars or gels, sunscreen, hat, water bottle etc – and lay it out on the floor. Not only will it make it easier to grab everything in the morning, it also makes for a great picture to post on your socials.

Share your fundraising page

And speaking of social media, don’t forget to post your fundraising page if you’re raising money for charity. A running flatlay or a selfie is guaranteed to get more eyes on your post – and more money towards your worthy cause.

Get ‘appy

If you’ve entered a 10k or half marathon event, download the Great Run event day tracking app. Family and friends can track your progress along the way and you’ll be rewarded with instant results. Win, win!

Meet up

And finally, if you’re running with friends or family, make sure you decide where to meet up afterwards in advance. There’s a dedicated meeting point at all big Great Run events – again, the location is in your event guide – but wherever you choose to meet up, make sure you’re all aware!

And that’s it – all that’s left is for you to enjoy an incredible event (in case you’re looking for another, check out our events here). Ready, set, go!

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