- Something Pink (No-brainer)
For race/walk veterans this might seem like common sense but you’d be surprised how many newbies forget their ‘Something Pink.’ Be it just a ribbon or an accessory, pink is a necessity to show your spiritual support for breast cancer awareness. Many even opt for wearing pink from head to toe but the most common theme is black yoga pants coupled with a pink ensemble. The pink also helps race wardens identify who is in the race group and who is just a pedestrian caught up in the breast cancer awareness happiness.
- Multiple Layers of Clothing
Cancer walks and races start early…REALLY early! Earlier than most of us are accustomed to getting up on weekends. Even in the summer in warmer parts of the country, morning time can still be rather chilly. The layers of clothing have an added benefit of aiding your muscles warm-up time, which we all know can prevent injuries towards the end of the event. Jackets, hoodies and pullovers are a great choice since they can be taken off and tied around your waist if things heat up before the race is over.
- Awesome Team Name
While making your name selection, don’t forget that the best recruiting tool can often times be that clever team name. ‘Sally’s Shufflers’ isn’t going to draw them to participate as much as a name like ‘Team Boobylicious’ will. From ‘Walking Strides’ to ‘The Rack Pack’ coming up with a catchy team name can actually become a source of arguments when creative minds collide. It’s important to remember why you want to be involved in the race in the first place. If you are the one coordinating the team, it’s often prudent to have the name established before you start recruiting friends and family members to join your group. This can prevent disagreements as race day approaches.
- Comfortable Shoes
Many newbie racers get caught up in the ‘Pink’ and choose their footwear for the race/walk based more on appearance than actual functionality. You have to realize, no matter one’s fitness level, one to three days of walking or running can really put the stress on those most important parts of the human body, your feet. Lower back and leg pain can be attributed to walking or running in ill-equipped or ill-fitted shoes. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that all newbie racers seek out footwear that functions first over what shade of pink it is. With this in mind, if you are determined to have both comfortable shoes and be covered in pink from head to toe, it would be wise to purchase your shoes far ahead of the race as many in your hometown will have the exact same ‘total pink-out’ idea and the best shoes will be sold out if you wait too long. Another thing to avoid is purchasing your pink shoes online. Even though they might be the perfect shade of pink to match the rest of your ensemble, if you haven’t had a chance to try them on locally first, you could be in store for some truly painful feet. Best bet in this situation is to try on a non-pink pair at your local shoe store, then purchase a pink color of the exact same make, model and size shoe online. Usually online retailer like Amazon can get it to your door in less than three days, which is perfect for the procrastinating walk/race participants.
- Sun Protective Accessories and Creams (without retinyl palminate)
The #1 most forgotten thing on race/walk day is usually sunscreen. Racers will have their outfit looking perfect, their shoes just right and the coolest team name ever but after the race they all look like they got trapped in an oven and couldn’t get out! If you are not a fan of sunscreen, other accessories like hats and sunglasses are a must. The most often sunburned part of a runner’s body is the back of the neck, so consider a hat with a back extension or a pink scarf. Remember, it doesn’t have to be hot for the sun to leave you some nasty burns. A great way to ensure these protective accessories aren’t forgotten is to make up a race/walk day checklist for all participants. This way every team member has their own sun blocking accessories and after the race you can focus on the after-party rather than hunting down some aloe vera gel to soothe that nasty farmer’s tan.