BY NICKI CONROY, A 2016 ASHEVILLE MARATHON AMBASSADOR
You’ve put in the training but no one ever mentioned checking a bag. What is this thing called ‘bag check’? Should you use it?
What is Bag Check?
Bag checks vary by races. At the Boston Marathon, the bag checks are done by your bib number and are in school buses. At the Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate, there are not nearly the participant numbers there are at Boston. Bag check is near the start/finish area. Generally speaking, it is a tent so the bags are covered. There are also pallets so your bag isn’t sitting on wet ground because regardless of weather, spring ground is wet and March is spring.
This year’s beer sponsor Michelob Ultra is providing the race with bags which you will receive at the expo. Use this bag to put items in for your bag check. You will need to put a small portion of the bottom of your race bib – which has your number on it – on the bag. I suggest getting the tag portion attached to the strings of the bag in some manner. I usually tie mine right up with the bag ties. There will also be permanent markers available at the bag check location on race day to mark your bag with your number.
The bag check area will be staffed with volunteers. Do not leave your bag until there are volunteers there. They are basically the security for your bag. An unattended bag is a chance for you to lose what is in yours. The volunteers will also be organizing the bags in a manner that they will be easy to find by number at the end of the race.
Why check a bag?
Now that you know what a bag check is you’re probably still wondering if you want to check a bag. My statement is yes. If you are taking the shuttle to the race, you will not have a vehicle parked on the Estate. You will not have ready access to a change of clothing. If you do not have any spectators coming with you, you have no one to leave money, eye glasses, – I don’t generally run with my prescription glasses on and like them after a race, clothing with for after the race, etc. Utilize bag check. That is why a race recruits volunteers to work in this area.
What goes in the bag?
So what do you put in your bag? This will vary by time of year and what your plans are post race. Generally speaking, you want warm, dry clothing to put on. You may want a different pair of shoes. I, even though most races advise against this, always put my prescription glasses in my bag check. Asheville Marathon Ambassadors suggest the following things:
- a change of clothing so you can enjoy post-race in Antler Hill Village
- $20 just in case
- credit card
Do not sweat your bag to check or enjoy the post race party in Antler Hill Village because you didn’t check a bag. Use the bag check!