There’s a list picture that often does the rounds on social media, with the things runners have to take to parkrun (their barcode) vs the things the core team have to take (lots and lots of stuff). The idea being that given the long list of things required to make a parkrun happen, asking a runner to take a barcode along is pretty reasonable.
While technically true, and a good point to make, it is slightly amusing given how long it always takes us to get stuff ready to go out to parkrun. And how often we forget to take something vital. So with that in mind, here is the list of stuff we (should) pack when we go parkrun touring.
Pretty essential. Just one if Lani is definitely going to run. Two if she definitely isn’t or isn’t sure. As the item that the car is packed around, we’ve always remembered this one.
Buggy rain covers
Fairly critical if it’s raining, windy, or even just plain cold. These have been left behind on too many occasions. Special mention to the time we took the wrong rain cover for the buggy we had.
Used for so many things. Double checking the post code and directions. Playing music in the car to keep the kids happy. Using Google Maps when we don’t trust the car sat nav. Answering any questions about the course that pop up on the way. Taking photos. Always remembered, but we have occasionally had to charge in the car.
Kind of obvious here. We’re fairly good at remembering these, but have forgotten on occasion.
So a responsible asthmatic should carry their reliever inhaler at all times. Particularly when exercising. Sadly I don’t seem to be that responsible, so I need to work on that.
Correct type of running shoes
Ideally taking a spare just in case of last minute change of plan. We’ve definitely had a few misses on this one lately.
Nappy changing bag
Kind of self-explanatory when you have a toddler. Probably the single most forgotten item on this list, which has lead to a fair few leaking nappies by the time we arrive back home.
Nappies and wipes
Yeah, we took an empty changing bag one time…
Between travelling and running there’s a lot of need for water. We rarely take enough for everyone, which leads to a lot of groggy Saturday afternoons.
Depending on timing this could be for before the run as well as after. As with water, we should take more.
For car parking, cafe, and post-parkrun adventures. We usually remember some form of money, but don’t always remember to check we have change.
Between the four of us, someone almost always has at least a bit of a cold. Bizarrely, even though this is something we could keep in the car (or the elusive changing bag) all the time, we rarely have them.
Running wearing glasses is just not as comfortable, and is a pain when it rains. Usually put them in before leaving the house, but sometimes take them with us for longer drives. Or sometimes just forget.
When it’s cold, buggy running without gloves is pretty painful. I should know, I’ve done it when I’ve forgotten to pack them. Now I’ve (finally) worked out to store my gloves in the buggy pockets.
Suitable layers for the kids
Again, particularly when it’s cold. Remembering that a kid sat in a buggy is not going to warm up when running is pretty important. We find puddle suits good for blocking both wind and rain. That said, we’ve had a fair few times when we could have done with taking more layers.
Essential if you’re taking kids out in the rain, or anywhere with decent exploring potential. Also pretty useful if you’re buggy running through muddy puddles on Christmas Day and you don’t want your son’s shoes to get covered. Or they would have been, anyway.
Bib and kids cutlery
To make post-parkrun breakfast that little bit easier. I think we’ve remembered these once.
Change of clothes
If we’re going somewhere after and don’t want to be in our running kit. We’re fairly good at remembering this when required, but typically miss at least one item.
Oh, and of course…
The only thing we actually double check before getting in the car (looking at this list, maybe we should check other stuff too). Even if Lani is intending to go in the buggy we still take hers. We haven’t yet forgotten to take our barcodes with us on tour, which I’m extremely grateful for.
I did once commit the parental cardinal sin of not taking Lani’s barcode to junior parkrun. Having spent the whole event dreading the attitude I would get all day, she cheerfully met me at my marshal point at the end and announced that the people had written her name down. The parkrun purist in me was mortified, but the rest of me was so so so thankful.
Special mention to hoodies, which we usually wear before and after running. Not something that we have to remember to pack, as we wear them when we head out the door. They are something we have to remember to bring home though. Which we sort of failed to do the first time we went to Minehead.
So there we have it, our list of things to take. Or probably our list. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m pretty forgetful, and so there’s probably something else I’ve forgotten to mention…