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AMR Gears Up: Half Marathon Essentials

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?

6 responses to “AMR Gears Up: Half Marathon Essentials

  1. Before I knew who you were, Adrienne, I saw you pre-race of the Wineglass Half sporting a bathrobe. Weird, and genius, I thought. Love the picture of your critters– either you’re holding a snack or they truly adore you!

  2. I have a SheFit bra, too! I like it — but the skirt Sports one fits me better. I’m tempted bu the Ons.

    And UnTapped is really good!

  3. I have become a salty gal and really like pringles as a mid-race fuel. I think they are sort of so processed that you can digest them easily. I also like Gu (coffee flavors or chocolate). And whatever I wear- POCKETS- because there is always something you need to put in them. I like my running hydration vest because it does not bounce and I like to have my hands empty.

  4. I use my son’s Amphipod…someday I’ll find something I love to carry and buy one of my own. Till then, I’ll borrow. Balega socks are a MUST!! and if there is sun then my Goodrs.

  5. SheFit bra! New find and being a size 38F it’s imperative that the girls and ties down. I got the Valor and it’s cute, adjustable and hold me in without giving me sweaty uniboob. I also swear by my On Cloudforms. I used to run in super comfy Adidas Boosts but kept having plantar fasciitis issues. When I got fitted again, they showed me the Ons which are more minimal. Took a bit to get used to them but they fit my high arch feet perfectly-plus SuperFeet. Also, Honeystinger Stroopwaffles. Tastier and easier on my belly than GUs.

  6. I’ve never heard of Untapped Maple…hmm. If I ever run longer again, maybe I’ll check that out. Thanks!
    My must haves are similar: shoes, bra, watch. The rest is whatever. I do have a handheld that has an insulated cover so my hand doesn’t freeze when I put ice water in it in the summer. It’s by Amphipod.

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