half marathon gear

Welcome to a new series on Another Mother Runner: Race Day Essentials.

Over the course of the next two weeks, we’ll showcase favorite gear from a range of athletes for the 5K/10K; half marathon; marathon; ultra (50K/50 mile); sprint triathlon; and relay.

Today, Adrienne Martini and talks us through her half marathon gear Despite the fact that she doesn’t display any tops or bottoms below, rest assured that she runs her races clothed. (At least as far as we know…)

For 13.1 miles, there are only two pieces of gear that I check and double-check (and triple-check (repeat infinity times)) to make sure I have in my suitcase: my shoes and my bra. I’m persnickety enough about those items that I wouldn’t want to scramble to replace them before the starting gun went off.

half marathon gearSHOES: Brooks Ghost ($130; sizes 5-12)

I didn’t start my running career as a Brooks Ghost devotee but I made the switch early on. They are up to model number 12 now and, so far, the subtle changes haven’t had a negative impact yet! For my flat, long feet, I won’t run more than a mile or two in anything else.


SPORTS BRA: Skirt Sports Carrie Bra ($68; 32C-40D)

My boobs require strict management and the Skirt Sports Carrie bra does the job while still leaving some room so that I can breathe. Plus, it doesn’t look like an old-school corset, like some of the bras for the big boob-ed do.

If my feet and breasts are covered, I can make a half-marathon happen. However, I do my absolute best to get a few prefer-to-have items in my bag.

CHECK IT: RIGHT HERE.]]half marathon gear

GADGETS: Garmin Forerunner 35 ($169.99) + Ultimate Direction Handy 20 (unavailable)

This is Herr Garmin III, who replaced Herr Garmin the Second of His Name and the OG Herr Garmin. I don’t need nor want a ton of data and the simplest Garmin 35s suit me well.

It took me too long to realize how important hydration is in a half-marathon. This Ultimate Direction Handy 20 has been in my sweaty palm through many a race, including the NYC marathon. If anything ever happened to it, I wouldn’t be OK because of the memories attached to this plastic godsend. Plus, UD has stopped making them.

NECESSARY EXTRAS: Throw-away Clothes + #BAMR Friends

For colder half marathons, I hit Goodwill prior to travel to grab some stylish PJ’s to keep me warm in the corral. (Even better? A good bathrobe!) And #motherrunners friends, like these ladies at the AMR Eau Claire Retreat this spring, are great for passing the time—and keeping the butterflies at bay.


half marathon gearHEADWEAR, PART I: Sweaty Band ($14.99)

Like my boobs, my hair also needs significant wrangling if it’s going to stay put. I have half-a-dozen Sweaty Bands that I rotate. This one is from the Cherry Blossom 10-mile in D.C. It is my favorite.

SOCKS: Balega Ultra Lights ($13; S-XL) 

I’ll admit that I got my first pair of Balega Ultra Lights because of my AMR connection. I really do love them and have purchased many a pair with my own money, which means they are all that.

half marathon gearHEADWEAR, PART II: AMR Hats ($25) + Pins

While I love the AMR hats they are attached to, these pins are my lucky charms. I wear them whenever I run with intention. The “F*ck Yes” ($15) one was a gift from my BRF and is what Shalane said when she won the NYC marathon. The “grind ’til I own it” ($11) pin came from a shop in Corning, NY. I pinned it on my hat at while waiting to start the Wineglass half last year. I ground out a PR at that race. That pin might be magic.

FUEL: Assorted Gels

I can’t get through a half without some mid-race fuel. If the weather is co-operative, I’m a big fan of GU (24 packets; $36–but you can save 40% here). But if it’s over 70 degrees, GU can do a number on my tummy because my digestive system is a delicate flower. UnTapped maple (5 packets; $10.95) doesn’t have the same effect, isn’t too sweet, and reminds me of pancakes. I usually carry a couple of each if I don’t know if Voldesun will make an appearance.


half marathon gear


These two goobers — Lucy is the small one; Lobo is the giant one — are always happy when I come back from a race.

What are your half marathon must-haves?