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How to Stay Warm at Marathon Start Line

Race-Day Tip: Strip Down at the Starting Line

When going into your first marathon, you may already know the basic tips for achieving race-day success, but there are certain tricks that only come from experience. No one tells you that you may be waiting at the starting line for a few hours before the race is even underway, often in early-morning temps 20 degrees colder than what you'll experience during the actual race. To keep muscles warm before embarking on a 26.2-mile journey, a few things will be your saving grace: a garbage bag and clothes you can't wait to give up.

Seasoned runners show up to the starting line in layers, but not their best Patagonia or North Face fleece. These are clothes they wouldn't think twice about losing or ruining — the sole function is to keep them warm until the race starts. Shortly before the start, extra layers are peeled off and thrown into a garbage bag, which is placed along the side of the road for charity organizations to pick up. Some races provide garbage bags, but it's always smart to bring your own. (And bigger races also provide a bag-check in case you can't bear to give up your race-day base layers.) You can also opt to throw away extra clothing during the race itself, just be careful how you do it — you don't want to create an obstacle for another runner. Always go to the side of the road and aim long!

What race-day tips have you picked up along the way?

Image Source: Thinkstock
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