Expanding boundaries: Online Chisinau Marathon reached India

On Sunday, September 27, the most unusual and international edition of the Chisinau Marathon, the Online Chisinau International Marathon 2020, ended. On this day, runners in T-shirts decorated with competition symbols could be seen not only in Chisinau, but also in Ungheni, Balti, Soroca, in several cities in Transnistria, in the USA, Italy, Romania, Greece and even in India.

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The Nistru banks were united by Maratonul de Craciun

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How to Pack Your Ironman Bags: A Complete Checklist

One Ironman. Three Sports. Five Bags. We break it down.

For many first-time Ironman competitors, the logistics of the day can be confusing and even overwhelming – in order to cover 140.6 miles, a lot of gear is needed. But unlike shorter races, which usually allow you to stash your stuff on a towel under your bike rack, Ironman races don’t typically allow athletes to store their gear in transition. Instead, they distribute Ironman bags: five in total, each of which are marked with your race number. These Ironman bags are distributed at specific times and locations during the race, making for an orderly and safe transition area.

But packing these bags is anything but orderly. It’s enough to make an athlete’s head spin: Should this go in the bike bag or the run bag? What the heck do I put in my special needs bag? Will I really need this item? But fear not – the key to successful Ironman bag packing is to use a checklist, which will ensure you’ve got everything you need, exactly when you need it.

Ironman Bag 1: Dry Clothes

This Ironman bag will carry all items you need for the morning of the race; at many Ironman races, it’s the only bag not required to be dropped off the day before the race at bike check-in. In it, place any items you will need to prepare your bike on race morning, as well as anything you will wear or use during the swim portion of the race.

To wear:

Tri kit (if wearing for swim portion of race) or swimsuit
Warm race-morning clothes
Sandals or shoes for pre-race (not the shoes you will wear on the run)
Timing chip

Swim gear:

Wetsuit or swimskin (if needed)
Swim cap provided by race
2 pairs of goggles (Main pair and backup pair)
Earplugs, nose clip (if needed)

For body:

Anti-chafe stick or cream
Chamois cream (if applying before race)

For bike:

GPS watch, fully charged
Bike computer, fully charged
Bottles and/or bento-box fuel, if not left on bike overnight

DON’T pack:

A bike pump – in addition to those provided by the race mechanics, many athletes bring bike pumps with them, and are happy to loan them out to their neighbors in the transition area.

Pro tip:

After removing your warm clothes to put on your wetsuit, place them in the dry clothes bag. When you hand the bag off to your cheering squad on your way to the swim start, tell them to bring the bag to the finish line – you’ll be glad for warm, dry clothes.

Ironman Bag 2: Swim to Bike

Congratulations! You made it through the swim! Now’s the time to head out for a ride to dry off. Your swim-to-bike Ironman bag will be waiting for you in a designated area between the swim exit and changing tent.

To wear:

Tri kit (if not wearing under wetsuit)
Socks (optional)
Bike shoes

For body:

Chamois cream

Jersey pocket stash:

Fuel (gels, chews, bars)
Salt tablets and/or extra electrolyte powder/tablets for refilling bottles
Spare tube, tire lever & CO2

Pro tip:

Most Ironman swims take an hour or more, meaning it will be time to eat and drink immediately after finishing the swim. Consider putting an extra gel, bag of chews, or bar in your swim-to-bike bag, and take in some quick calories on your way to the bike.

DON’T pack in this Ironman bag:

Your water bottles. These should already be on your bike, either placed there at bike check-in the day before or the morning of the race.

Ironman Bag 3: Bike Special Needs

The #1 rule of packing a special needs Ironman bag is “Hope you never need to use your special needs bag.” You should aim to be self-sufficient during the race, carrying everything you’ll need on your bike or your person. However, things can (and do) go wrong during an Ironman, so these emergency stash bags, usually available around the halfway point of the race, do come in handy.

For body:

Single-use sunscreen packet
Single-use chamois cream packet
Single-dose pain reliever or anti-diarrheal medication
Small bottle contact lens solution (if needed)

For bike:

Extra (disposable/recyclable) bottles, pre-mixed with electrolyte powder/tab
Extra gels, chews, bars
Spare tube & CO2 cartridge

Pro tip:

Nothing new on race day! Don’t put anything from the race expo or your swag bag any of your bags, even if you think it seems harmless. The halfway point of an Ironman triathlon is not the time you want to find out that you’re allergic to an ingredient in that trial-size sunscreen, or that those complimentary nutrition bars make you want to vomit.

DON’T pack in this Ironman bag:

Anything you want returned to you. Unlike transition bags, special needs bags don’t always make it back to their owners – so don’t put any costly items, like electronic devices or full-size sunscreen or chamois creams, in your bags.

Ironman Bag 4: Bike to Run

You’re on the home stretch! As soon as you hit the bike dismount line, volunteers will direct you to the final staging area on the way to the changing tent, where you’ll grab your bike-to-run transition bag.

To wear:

Run shoes
Change of clothes (optional)
Race belt with number
Hydration belt or hand flask (if carrying own fluids)

For body:

Anti-chafe stick or cream

Pocket stash:

Gels, chews, or bars
Salt tablets

Ironman Bag 5: Run Special Needs

Again, the aim is to be self-sufficient on the run. If all goes well, you’ll blow past the special needs bags on your way to a blazing-fast run split. But if things go wrong, here’s what you might want to have on hand:

For body:

Single-use sunscreen packet
Single-use chamois cream packet
Single-dose pain reliever or anti-diarrheal medication
Small bottle contact lens solution (if needed)

DON’T pack in this Ironman bag:

Extra food, unless you have a strict fueling plan. The aid stations on the run course of Ironman triathlons are legendary, with everything from flat cola to chicken broth to cookies and potato chips. (Of course, they have the traditional gels and bars, too.)

Pro tip:

Consider stashing a small “reward” in each of your bags, like a note from a loved one or a small sweet treat. If things get tough, getting to that reward can be a strong motivator to just get to transition, as well as a powerful pick-me-up when you get there.


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