Packed and Ready for My New York Marathon Journey

My travel bags.

Just finished packing and in a few hours I’ll be on 13 hour flight from Tokyo to New York.  Tried to pack as light as possible, basically one duffel bag and a half filled backpack.  Being a fairly seasoned traveler, here are my top five tips when flying.

1.  Never check a bag, especially if you have a connection.  If you have to check any bags, pack your marathon items on a carry-on.  Otherwise, you’ll risk not having your stuff on race day.  Also, not checking a bag will save you a ton of time.

2.  Sit as close to the front of the plane as possible and get an aisle seat.  If you are running a marathon, you’ll need to stay hydrated, which means more than your average number of trips to the bathroom.  You don’t want to continue to disturb and climb over your neighbor too often.  Also, sitting close to the front of the plane will save time when exiting.

3.  Check-in online.  This is a huge time saver, especially if you have no bags to check.  It is great to arrive at the airport, go past all those poor souls in long lines waiting to check-in, and head directly to your gate.

4.  Pack energy bars, fruits, and nuts.  Airline food is usually not very good for you, full of sodium and who knows what else.  Best to avoid it if you can and eat energy bars (I prefer Clif Bars), fruits, and nuts should fill the hunger pangs until you land at your destination.

5.  Don’t STRESS, get to the airport early and relax.  Traveling is extremely stressful and you need to go into it with a “zen” mindset.  There is only so much you can control when traveling, so expect some possible disruptions such as weather delays, mechanical problems, overbooked flights, talkative flight neighbor, security pat downs, etc.  Really need to try and go with the flow and deal with each situation as calmly and gracefully as possible.

Enjoy your travels!

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3 Responses to Packed and Ready for My New York Marathon Journey

  1. fiberliza says:

    I’ll be thinking of you winging across the country! Have a wonderful time and post a race report for sure! Great tips BTW, and I agree with every one of them.

  2. Ed Tam says:

    Good luck in the NYC marathon, it’s an amazing race! Randomly came across your blog but truly loving the posts. I’m pretty sure you’ll be busy all day Sun. but if you’re looking for a church service after the big race you should check out Redeemer (

    Hardest part of the race is after you leave the Bronx and come back into Manhattan the 5th ave climb to Central Park is a killer but it’s amazing once you hit the park.

    Again best of luck. I’ll be somewhere cheering for you on 1st ave. and looking for a strong performance.

    • Ed, thanks for the kind comments and course running tips! I heard the end of the race is the hardest, so hopefully I’ll have enough gas in the tank to run well. I heard the crowds help a lot, so hope that keeps me motivated.

      Was walking around the wonderful city today and it really is a unique place to be, no other place like it. Just so full of energy and diversity, it was almost too stimulating to the senses.

      Also, thanks for the recommendation on Redeemer, I may check it out if I’m still functioning after the race.

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