You’re probably reading this because you’re hosting a marathon. It could be a charity run or a full-blown event with sponsors, vendors… the whole enchilada!

The runners are clocking over 26 miles, so with that in mind, you should hook them up with branded items that not only serve as souvenirs, but also work double duty as being useful gear they can have after they cross the finish line.  

Here are items that should be part of any marathon’s registration bag:

  • Drawstring bag
  • Water bottle
  • Pedometer
  • Lip balm
  • T-shirt
  • Jacket
  • Cell phone wallet
  • Beanie hat
  • Sunglasses

#1: Drawstring Bags

Drawstring bags are lightweight and comfortable, which is perfect for runners. All the essentials can fit inside without any back pain! As an added bonus, you can use these bags at the start to store their race number and all the other stuff you plan on handing out.

A bag with a zipper on the front and a built-in headphone port is best for the run.

Use it Again After the Run

A drawstring bag is an easy way to bring a change of clothes and a towel to the gym. Your runners can stay on track with their fitness goals, and hopefully, sign up for your marathon again next year. 

#2: Water Bottles

As a runner, you don’t want to stop for a drink once you get into the groove. Water bottles are easy to sip from on the go! Plus, drinking more water has been proven to help you burn more calories.

Flip top lids are a great choice for runners. They’re easy to open and less likely to spill.

Use it Again After the Run

Water bottles are insanely useful. Even after the run, the participants can bring them to work, on weekend errands, and everywhere in between.

#3: Pedometers

You’re definitely getting in those steps during a marathon! See just how many with a pedometer and then brag about it on social media after you cross the finish line!

Choose a step counter that can be worn on the wrist. You can check this device without slowing down your pace.

Use it Again After the Run

After the marathon, the runners are going to go back to their everyday work/commute routine and may not have training in mind anymore. Pedometers are an easy way for them to make sure they’re getting off their butts and moving!

#4: Lip Balm

The wind blows in your face as you run mile after mile. This can easily cause your lips to look like prunes. Throw lip balm in every participant’s swag bag.

Sun protection is more important than a yummy flavor. Look for a lip balm with at least SPF-15.

Use it Again After the Run

Lip balm is going to be part of your life, no matter what the season. The runners will reach for your marathon’s tube every time they’re feeling chapped.

#5: T-Shirt

The runners will be all sweaty in their workout gear and want to change immediately after the marathon. Make sure to include a t-shirt in your swag bag.

Moisture wicking t-shirts keep sweat at bay, especially on a sunny day.

Use it Again After the Run

A free t-shirt is always a welcome sight. If you want it to be worn for more than just pajamas and painting days, make sure the one you include is super stylish.

#6: Jacket

A serious runner will hit the road, rain or shine. Or if you live in Chicago – rain, shine, or snow. A lightweight jacket makes it easier to get in a run no matter what the weather.

The jacket should be lightweight, windproof, and ideally have thumb holes on the sleeve and zippered pockets.

Use it Again After the Run

Who doesn’t love a jacket? They’re great to throw on for a variety of occasions, whether it’s chilling by a bonfire on a summer night or watching a movie in a cold movie theater.

#7: Cell Phone Wallet

The moment you cross the finish line, you might want to check out a nearby bar or restaurant. The only trouble is you’re not going to carry all your cash and cards on the run. That’s the beauty of a nice, slim cell phone wallet!

Softer materials like silicone are best since they’re flexible enough for cash and cards.

Use it Again After the Run

A cell phone wallet is one of those things that you don’t realize you’ll love until you have one. They’re also great for concerts and shows since you can bring less with you and avoid bag check.

#8: Beanie Hat

Your hair can get all kinds of messed up on a run. A beanie hides flyaways, while also keeping your ears warm if the weather is brisk. This is an especially great giveaway if your marathon is during a chillier season.

The thinner the fabric, the better. It can get way too hot running with a thick hat on your head.

Use it Again After the Run

When it’s cold outside, or you don’t feel like brushing your hair, you’ll have that marathon run beanie to grab. People will ask you questions about the event and might just be interested in trying it themselves next year.

#9: Sunglasses

Nothing is more annoying than the sun in your face as you’re going up a hill or around a corner. Sunglasses protect your eyes so you can avoid squinting and getting a serious headache.

Athletic sunglasses are the way to go! They fit firmly on your face and won’t bounce around when you’re on the move.

Use it Again After the Run

Everybody should keep a pair of sunglasses in their cars. The free pair you got from the marathon is the perfect choice! 

People love free things, but they’re going to be even more grateful if the items they get are both stylish and useful. The giveaways featured above are must-haves for any runner.

Put as many as you can fit in your marathon’s swag bags. They could make all the difference between stopping to walk and actually going the distance!

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over three years of experience in the industry. Her passion for writing has led to a BA in English & Communications from Aurora University and work published for the Advertising Specialty Institute and The Bolingbrook Sun Times.