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What to Pack for the Athens Marathon

The most unique way to explore Athens? Running through the streets with a bunch of strangers. But before you hit the ground running, there’s one crucial thing you need to lock in: packing. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a first-time racer, prepping for the Athens Marathon involves more than just throwing a few sweatbands into your bag. We spoke to three EF employees who have actually been on the trip and know exactly what you should bring.

Kiana Cook
February 16, 2024

So, you’ve decided to tackle the Athens Marathon? Good choice. Athens makes for the perfect scenic background to any brisk walk, light jog, or swift run. Here, you can step back in time and experience the history firsthand as you run along the same course as Pheidippides in the OG marathon. Now, before you lace up those sneakers and jet off to Greece, let’s talk packing. We spoke to Jen, Lea, and Thandiwe — all of whom went on the Run Athens trip and not only survived but thrived — to create the ultimate We’ve got a list of everything you need to know before you go, from what to pack to how to train like a Greek god. Let’s get into it.

The essentials

Race day clothing

Moisture-wicking fabrics will be your bestie, keeping you cool and dry during the race. And don't forget your lucky race socks—or underwear. Hey, everyone has their superstitions. Don’t worry, we won’t tell.


Protect your eyes from the harsh sun rays with a good pair of UV-blocking sunglasses. Bonus points if they’re stylish enough for post-race, tomato-face selfies.


Shield your face from the sun—and look cool doing it. Plus, it's a great way to hide any post-race sweat! Choose a lightweight, breathable style that offers lots of sun protection.

Armband/waist bag

Fanny packs are in, so take advantage of it while you can. Use an armband or waist bag to carry your phone, snacks, or earbuds during the race.


We know you wanna get your tan on, but these UV’s are no joke. Look for a sweat-resistant sunscreen with a high SPF for max protection. Slap it on generously and reapply throughout the day.

Race snacks

Two words. Carb. Load. Fuel up with your favorite high calorie energy bars and snacks to keep you going before, during, and after your run. You don’t need anything special just PLEASE stick to foods you’re familiar with to avoid any unnecessary bathroom trips on race day.


A little bit of Megan Thee Stallion or Jack Harlow, anyone? A hype playlist to pump you up during a long run is a MUST. Don’t forget a pair of earbuds that are comfortable and secure. Bonus points if they’re wireless.


Track your pace, distance, and heart rate along the way with a trusty smartwatch. Plus, you can show off on Strava and brag to your friends about how hardcore you are. Just don’t forget to pack the charger.

Portable charger

Keep your phone charged and ready for action with a portable charger. You'll want to capture every sight, every mile, and every sweaty selfie you can along the way. Consider bringing a power bank with multiple charging ports for extra convenience.

Post-race outfit

Pack a comfy outfit for post-race relaxation. Think loose-fitting clothes and warm layers to soothe tired muscles on the cool down. It could be a while before your group heads back to the hotel for showers, so comfort is your best friend.

A nice outfit

This tour is not just about the race; it is also about spending time exploring rooftops and restaurants in Athens’s city center. Make sure to pack at least one nice, night-on-the town fit.


Recovery Tools

If you can fit a small massager in your bag, cool. If not, a baseball also does the trick. It’s perfect for rolling out sore legs and glutes to avoid muscle lockup.

Helpful tips and reminders

You’ve got the essentials all prepped and packed, here are a few additional tips to ensure a successful race-cation:

Training schedule

We recommend training a few weeks/months leading up to the race. Stick to a training schedule that works for you, including both uphill and downhill training. Try to familiarize yourself with the race route and pacing strategies so you have an idea of what to expect out of your body.

Race day prep

Lay out your race day outfit the night before, double-checking that you have everything you need. Arrive at the starting line well-rested and hydrated. Don’t forget to pack any necessary race bibs, timing chips, or identification.

Why trust Ultimate Break

Kiana is a San Diego-born creative working at EF Ultimate Break. After graduating from Temple University with a degree in advertising, Kiana lived in Japan for 2 years where she explored her passion for traveling, writing, and learning her culture. While there, she studied the language, interviewed local artisans, traveled to neighboring islands, and even summitted Mt. Fuji three times. To this day, she still forgets which side of the street to drive on.

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