HELP!!! Rainy marathon this week!


Ok, so looking at the latest forecast for Saturday, I am getting really nervous.  The forecast calls for a 90% chance of rain during the marathon.  Oh, no!  Believe it or not, I have run over 50 races, including 9 marathons, and have never had to run a race in the rain.  I know this is something I should feel very grateful for, and I do.

Even during training, I do everything possible to not run while it’s raining.  This is much easier to do, since we can pick and choose our training times, and I just choose dry weather.  Ultimately, during a race, you have no choice.

So, I am asking for help.  It seems pretty certain that my marathon on Saturday will be filled with rain.  I need some tips.  Please let me know what you do, and how you cope with the rain on a distance run.  Do you wear a hat?  How about shoes?  Any change in those?  Any extra areas that need chafing protection other than the usuals?  I need to pack tonight for the trip down tomorrow, so any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for the help!  I’m going to try not to get depressed about this, because not all days are sunny and perfect for races.


18 thoughts on “HELP!!! Rainy marathon this week!

  1. Scary thoughts, been there. It was fairly cold in my rainy marathon in Houston last year, and it stopped around the half , thank goodness. Thankfully, I was well prepared. I had two layers of clothes, a shedable shell waterproof jacket with tear-away arms that I got at the expo for $10, plus a poncho that kept me dry while standing around waiting for the start and then first mile until I heated up. I had biker type shorts on so the rain wouldn’t soak regular running shorts and slosh around or chafe. I remember crouching down when it was pouring so my shoes didn’t get wet, which probably saved me lots of time for shoe changing and blisters. I ran with a runners hat with a bill to keep the drops out of my eyes, plus light sunglasses for other drops because I just didn’t know. My husband was at the 14 mile mark with dry shoes in case I needed them, but I avoided puddles like the plague and they weren’t soaked, so I didn’t change shoes (plus my hands were too cold to tie shoe laces since I ditched my gloves too early). It was nice to have the option though.
    Don’t let it get into your head though…. I was in a PANIC and what I thought would end up being my worst marathon turned out to be my fastest yet. It’s still running, it’s still a marathon, and you’ll be ok. Best of luck to you and I’m sure we’re all with you when we hope the forecast is wrong!!!

  2. I actually put duct tape on my running shoes. I have instructions on how to do that in the blog I wrote last October. ( The duct tape will not stay on for an entire marathon, but it should hang in there for half of it. For me, that’s all I can ask for.

    I also wear a hat with the longest brim possible. I HATE getting water in my face, even in the shower…I know, I’m weird…so the hat really helps keep me sane. I’ve also used garbage bags as a poncho in a pinch, but it’s not as nice as the ponchos that you can buy for a buck at the dollar store with a hood.

    Good luck! 😀

  3. hat or visor is a must! anything to keep rain out of your face. i personally can’t wear a hat for more than a few miles. i hate having my head covered but a visor works wonders. also, be sure not to over dress. people automatically think they need layers to keep off the rain but being hot is worse! and of course, extra body glide! any and everywhere you think you might chafe. might not be a bad idea to carry an extra pair of socks as well. just in case. but really the most important advice is to just have fun! find your inner kid that used to love playing in the rain. i’d avoid jumping int he puddles until after you cross the finish line but just enjoy it!

  4. Living in Scotland, I get my fair share of rainy runs! Personally, I don’t bother with trying to keep my feet dry, but good technical socks are a MUST to protect your feet when they are wet. The biggest issue I find when running in the rain is temperature regulation. If it’s light rain and not too cold, I’d even suggest going without a rainjacket – you’ll get wet and warm anyways. There’s nothing worse than sweating up and getting hot under a raincoat. If it’s heavy rain, I’d wear a light rain jacket, but one you can take off as well if the need arises. I’m happy running with a normal fleece earband thinggy, even in the rain, but you might be more comfortable if you can keep the water out of your eyes with a hat or visor. Personally, I’ve never had any problems with increased chaffing in wet weather or so – just the usual. Finally, and I hate to say it, depending on the weather conditions, you might have to be a bit flexible about your finishing time and pace goals for the day. Hopefully it’ll only be light rain and overall good conditions, and then it won’t make a difference. However, if it’s really heavy rain and as well as windy, you might find it hard to run the pace you trained for, especially given that you haven’t trained in those conditions… Enjoy the race – it might sound crazy to you, but some of us actually quite enjoy running in the rain at times. 😉 Best of luck, I look foward to hearing about how you get on!

  5. been there – sorry for the bad luck! I usually try and avoid puddles – especially early in the race and if they’re a little deeper. I prefer to run a little more as opposed to having soaked feet the whole way – good luck to you!

  6. I’m impressed that you’ve managed to never race in the rain…and kind of jealous. I have run quite a few races in the rain, my first being the Blue Ridge 1/2 3 yrs ago. It was pouring so hard, I was soaked to the skin and frozen before we even started (and yet somehow I have been back every year since…) It also rained intermittently during the Richmond Marathon this year, that was miserable, but at least it didn’t rain the whole time.

    For training runs in the rain, I do wear a hat, but not for long races, because I figure by the end it will be so wet it will be more uncomfortable than not having one. Clothing-wise in the rain, I go for things that won’t be too heavy once they get wet, and clothes that are almost skin-tight when dry, because they are more comfortable wet than loose-fitting clothing is. I also sometimes put tape on the back of my heels where the top of my shoe could potentially cause blisters once it gets wet.

    I avoid puddles to keep my feet dry as long as possible, but if it’s pouring, they are going to get sloshing wet eventually.

    On a brighter note, I find that I race faster when it rains…probably because I want to get out of the rain and take a hot shower as soon as possible.

    Good luck, and I hope it ends up not-too-rainy!

  7. I used a plain old Glad black garbage, poked holes for my arms and head and I was perfectly fine. Also under it, I wore a wind breaker. Granted I was wet, but it definitely protected me from the worst of the elements. I just sucked it up in terms of being semi-cold and miserable though.

    Also keep in mind once you finish running you will get cold very quickly. Try to have warm / dry clothes near by.

  8. If you gonna get wet you gonna get wet:) There’s not much else you can do . Run the way you’d normally run a race. Don’t overload yourself with too much gear. A nice light rain coat that can be easily put on and taken off. I remember running an ultra with a bin bag or disposable coat. Enjoy your run and think of running in the rain as a challenge. Have fun!!

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