Thanks again to Kristy of for putting on such a great contest and to all our awesome and hilarious submissions.

Winner Winner!

Lane Jackson Every year I buy a new pair of funny or badass Sock Guy socks and wear them in every race and only during races. It all started with a dragon sock my freshmen year of high school and has recently been FUBAR for my senior year, and a “Bite Me” Sock with a hidden monster on the bottom of the sock that only I knew about. As I would start to die in my first college 8ks, I would think of the hidden monster and how that was symbolic for the monster racer hidden inside me and it inspired me to run faster. No matter how much the 8k sucked

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Mike Blackmore Habit? Overdressing for the warmup cuz I like to be really warm, and taking 2 pairs of racing shoes on case the first choice just doesn’t feel right. Ritual? Running that last 100m over and over in my mind, passing that last one last person for the win.

Meggie Smith stop it – more things for me to do. now that I’m done with my nuun app. superstitions? me? no! just the lucky rubber band, shorts, socks, etc…

Lisa Stout Booher Have to have the same hairstyle for every marathon. And I have to be on bathroom schedule. It’s the most important ritual!

Michael Skinner My pre-race habits are to take the safety pins giving to me to pin my number on my shorts and put them in my mouth. I keep them there until I pin my number on. If I don’t then my whole race is off, I know its gross and weird by I have to do it. Then I put them on clockwise, so starting with the upper left hand hole first then lower left hand and so on. Also during the national anthem I have to shake my legs out, doesn’t matter if I’m not racing until much later, I have to be moving.

Harry Light When I ran cross country in high school, right after the gun went off, I would scream at the top of my lungs. No words, just a raw battle cry that let out all of the pre-race tension. It wasn’t long before the rest of the team joined me and we all scared the crap out of our opponents.

Ali Benson Picky pre-race habits:

Replay “Go the Distance” from the Disney film, Hercules (character version)

Take a dump

Hannah Lau The night before, I always have to choose my race outfit and pin my bib on, wake up 2-3 hours early to poop, get ready, and get to the startline. Hahaha..

Myles Spatz espresso and a fat D

Fiona Moriarty spikes and number laid out the night before, really terrible hip hop and house music about an hour before and my lucky necklace into my singlet right before the race

Jackson Hettler Pump-up music the morning of, only i’m allowed to set up my transition, , also i love bad chinese food for a pre race meal, its horrible but it works. 🙂

Marejka Shaevitz When we trained for our first marathon, our coach hammered into us that we absolutely had to eat the exact same thing the night before long runs and the marathon to train our bodies on what they needed to do. Well, the night before one long run where she told us this we happened to go out and have cobbler a la mode, and for our next several marathons (training with the same coach!), our pre-race dinner HAD to include fruit cobbler a la mode. I think we finally were able to change this up when we changed coaches…

Sara Daum The night before a race, I drink Grand Marnier last thing before an early bedtime. Helps me sleep and helps keep away the jitters! No other alcohol, just that one…I took some in a flask to Chicago Marathon last year, and forgot to pack it for a triathlon in Florida this year so I had to buy minis at the liquor store.

Tom Osterbuhr I am punctilious on race day to say the least. I over pack for every race, Tights, long sleeve shirts, extra socks, extra shoes, too many sweat shirts. When in reality I wear the exact same running clothes for every race. Siver shorts, St. Jude Heroes burgundy singlet, blace ankle socks and my Mizuno Elixr’s. Perhaps arm warmers, or maybe a a long sleeve shirt under the singlet. I have raced in the same clothes for two and half years. Don’t worry though, I do laundry between races! I lay everything out the night before in exact order. I then read race instrucitons on more time. Then it is out to eat pasta and I indulget in an ice cream snack and off to sleep. I wake up every two hours and take inventory to make sure my running gear is still in order. The next morning it is up, shower, (is that crazy, shower before the run, but I want my hair just right for pictures). 🙂 Then I need to get to the race 1 hour early to give time to warm up and take the daily constitutional. Then it is to off to the starting line.

Kate Leugers Pre race: Usually eat salmon and mashed sweet potatoes. Yes, i’ve even gone so far as to get salmon from, say, the olive garden and bring it (lunch box and all) to pre-race banquet dinners. On top of that, I usually go for a shake out in a pool. The morning of, gotta eat the same thing that I always have–brown rice with banana or oatmeal & nanner, do some abs, and put my legs up on the wall for a little!

Dhs Running i carry a 1967 canadian nickel when i race. it has a jack rabbit on it.

Brenna Walsh Pre race routine is pretty standard, when I was in high school crossing the bridge to race at the only -11 sided concrete floored- indoor track in Nova Scotia I happened to have the first All American Rejects CD in my mum’s car. Listened to it and ran about a minute pb in the 3000, it was early days so big pbs were highly probable but I was still excited and still listen to it 9 years later. I think that was also the race that I got given the best guy on our teams old singlet because his ‘youth large’ didn’t fit him any more. Worked great for a 15 year old girl though and wore it at our club events through university. I had also been wearing the same sports bra in every race, cross country, track, road whateve since grade 11 in high school and but finally had to give it up at my last Valentine’s invitational in college. My dad had flown down for the meet and as my race was at 8pm first on the schedule was lunch, second was ‘dad we have to go get a new sports bra and it has to be realllly sweet because I forgot mine.’ He didn’t really get the ritual and wasn’t sure why I couldn’t use the one of my friends that I’d jogged in earlier, I tried to explain it to him by using a hockey sock reference, but apparently he’d been lame as a child and always let his mother wash his socks. We got the sports bra, which is now on its 3rd year of successful races and I believe I did run a 8 second pb in the 3 that day, so it was properly initiated.

Michael Patrick Rooney Habit/Ritual – In each of my 6 runnings NYC marathon, stopping to pee on the Verrazano Bridge, as it is the last chance of a spectator-free spot on the course. During my 5th NYCM p-stop, I looked over my shoulder to see 3 nuns doing the same thing! I was relieved (no pun actually intended) when I realized it was just 3 guys in costume. I’m going to try to NOT do it this year for lucky #7.

Phillie Nelson My Picky pre-race ritual is a warm-up jog with and a kiss from my pooch Pal!

Miguel A Rivera My ritual is I wear the same shirt and shorts as well as listen to The Who’s ~Eminence Front

Paul Nottoli My ritual is I have to lay out all my stuff that I am wearing for the race the night before. Put the bib on my jersey etc… I must eat exactly 2 hours before I race or else I have gut issues. Drink some form of caffeine, usually a Verve or green tea. Do bathroom business at least 3 times.

Megan L. Killian My picky habit is to have some peanut butter panda puffs the morning of a race. A few handfuls will do! Other than that, I pretty much go with the flow.

Virginia Ortiz Hernandez I usually get all my running gear together the night before, the morning of race day I make sure I don’t eat to much I have a thing with porta potties.

Rick Stucky This only works for track races, and it’s scientifically proven theory called The Rubber Band Principle, just ask me…when warming up I always ran clockwise to wind up. Like the rubber band airplane where you wind the propeller that connected to the rubber band. Once you’ve warmed up going clockwise you’re ready to unwind fast by racing counterclockwise.

The other scientifically proven theory I rely on, and I think Jesse will substantiate this, is The 2 Poop Principle. To have a good race requires a minimum of 2 poops prior to the start.

Don’t get me started on The Flowered Running Shorts Theory…

Kyle Jeffrey Kranz The most important pre-race ritual. We all do it…

Bill Thomas I just finished my first marathon!! I’m exhausted – but my best time ever!! Oh, the race started in January.

Helen Lutz Mitchell I also have the ritual of always putting everything out the night before, and pinning my bib onto my shirt. And I try on my shirt, to make sure that I don’t have the pins in an area that I would not be happy if the pin poked me! I always get a pedicure a day or 2 before the race — the foot massage feels great!

The morning of the race, I make sure that I have enough time to drink my herb tea and eat one or two Picky Bars (depending on the length of the race) with at least an hour before the start of race time.

Dennis Ryan Starting two days prior to a marathon, I start drinking dill pickle juice to fend off cramps. Sadly, it gets easier. Anyone have a pickle juice source in Boston?

Karen Bagley i usually wake up and have pizza (part of a small digiorno deep dish or a slice from our local shop-padrinos) a few hours before race time. unless i’ve had heartburn the night before. or sleep through my alarm and have 2.5 minutes to get up, dressed, and out the door… (maybe as a result of the heartburn…)

NaturaStride I wake up super early to start drinking coffee (ahem – digestion) and eat breakfast which is always Toast, PB, banana, and a yogurt bowl with fruit. Then I have to sit at my desk to eat it, and wait to digest. Over the past year of racing, about 1 hr pre-race I eat a Picky Bar (honest!!) Love it. Oh, and I have to wear my orange socks.

Posts on 

renata Apr 9, 2012 10:49 AM

My Grandma always said if my nose was itching someone is gossiping about me! 🙂 Thanks for a great superstitious giveaway!

Jocelyn Apr 9, 2012 12:49 PM

The last piece of my Picky Bar ALWAYS has to include a chocolate chip! So I eat the Picky Bar very weirdly.

Also, I can never have the TV volume on an odd number. Always has to be an even number or else I freak out!

Beal88Apr 9, 2012 04:32 PM

My superstition is all about the color black. Ever since I was a little leaguer. I had to have all black shoes, black socks, and black mitt. I would even use a sharpie to the white trim so everything would be black. As a pitcher we were allowed to choose our uniform color combinations for every game we pitched. I would always choose our all black uniforms. Even through all that black made for some hot games during the summer. This superstition has found its way into my running. I only wear fully blacked out shoes, black CEP socks, and black shirt. I typically wear black shorts too whenever I can. I always liked the all black color scheme and thought it was intimidating in baseball. Now, I primarily do it for good luck.

Anonymous Apr 9, 2012 05:03 PM

I always wear my underpants backwards on race day! joe

Kali Apr 9, 2012 06:11 PM

A few days before a big race, I always take the time to watch “Spirit of the Marathon” and “The Blindside.” I watched both for the first time right before my first half marathon and the tradition has stuck for every big race since.

Ray Apr 9, 2012 06:12 PM

Whenever I see the number 22 I know good fortune is coming my way as that’s my favorite number. Just about everytime I look at my watch it’s on 22 and it’s really my lucky day when I see 2:22pm 🙂

Julia Apr 10, 2012 02:38 AM

I have never had a Picky Bar before, and now I totally want to try one! As weird as I can be, I don’t have any weird pre-race rituals, so I’m not going to try : ). But I am going to buy a Picky Bar myself and give it a try!

G Apr 10, 2012 03:52 AM

I don’t really have any strange rituals but people do say I am a picky eater always wanted my food chopped and mixed together like a salad! I suppose it just makes it easier for me to chew! When I eat a PB & J sandwich or a grilled cheese I like to squeeze the bread flat as I can and make the gooeyness come out! I suppose that’s weird! LOL! Would love to try some Picky bars for a Picky eater! LOL! 🙂

Heather Apr 10, 2012 07:31 AM

I have to wear some sort of sparkle on race day. Whether it’s my headband, shirt, nail polish – I NEED something sparkly!!

Coy Martinez Apr 10, 2012 10:17 AM

Those look really good! Even if I don’t win I think I might have to get some!

My pre race picky?? I love to wear compression sleeves and socks for certain races! I’m funny about which ones and my mood 🙂

Tricia Apr 10, 2012 10:37 AM

pre-race I *have* to wash my hair that morning,not the night before.For some reason I need it super clean to get super sweaty 🙂

Jennifer Goodale Apr 10, 2012 01:40 PM

I LOVE Picky Bars. And my craziness is that I have to have an odd number on my race bib for it to be a good run. I hate even numbers. Once I got 2468 and almost pulled out of the run:)

mojamala2 Apr 10, 2012 01:48 PM

Umm sometimes (and by sometimes I mean most of the time) I have sweedish fish before I run. IT’s kinda like Gu but fish shaped and red and awesome. Sometimes on race day I eat a hand full of BBQ. Weird I know but I think it is something with the salt.

Amanda Benson Apr 10, 2012 01:51 PM

I have been wanting to try Picky Bars! Pre-race I have to have a deli flat bread with creamy peanut butter and play solitaire on my iPhone number I win. I feel if I can win at solitaire I will finish the race (I’m a slow runner so finishing is always my goal)

aer413 Apr 10, 2012 01:53 PM

My sports bra and underwear always have to be a matching shade of hot pink. ALWAYS. Once I made the mistake of wearing a lime green sports bra for some speedwork and the bathroom was closed when I arrived to the track. I really had to use the bathroom, and ended up leaking all over my shorts after several hard 400 meter sprints. After that I just forgot about the meaning of dignity and ambled over to the bushes. I have worn my beloved hot pink sports bra for 5k’s, cross-country meets, long distance runs, intense speedwork, and my first half-marathon.

Also, my hair has to be in a high ponytail for races- no braids, Grete Waitz pigtails (no matter how awesome she was), or buns.

helau Apr 10, 2012 02:42 PM

i always have to poop before ANY run. Or else i feel heavy and slow. hahahah!

Kjerstin Apr 11, 2012 03:11 AM

I am pretty sure that crossing my fingers is good luck. I take it to an extreme though and cross all my fingers, toes, and then will also cross my arms and legs for extra good luck. In jr. High I sat for three hours with everything crossed to help my friend in her audition for the American ballet theatre school. It worked!!!

Mollyberries Apr 11, 2012 06:57 AM

Anytime I get ready to leave for a run, I sit on the floor, crack off of my toes (like you crack your knuckles if you have no idea what I’m talking about), then put on my left sock, then my right sock. I then put on my right shoe, followed by my left shoe. I make sure both of my laces are double-knotted. It has gotten to the point where it may be a bit of an OCDish (is that even a word?) tendency.

Krissy @ Shiawase Life Apr 11, 2012 07:45 AM

I guess this isn’t TOO weird, but I have to set out everything and take a picture of it! That way, in the morning, I am all ready to dress easily without having to think too hard.

Other rituals:

1. Drink a glass of water

2. Have a coffee

3. Have a carb (last marathon I had a blueberry donut…that’s all I could get my hands on! Wish I had a Picky bar that morning!)

Katie Schommer Apr 11, 2012 08:03 AM

Night Before a race:

35 minute run. 8 strides.

1 6-inch tuna sub from subway

4 bottles of water.

Sleep in compression socks

Day of a Race:

Eat breakfast precisely 4 hours before. It consists of a tortilla with peanut butter and honey wrapped around a banana.

My lucky underwear (lime green for speediness!)

Lucky Sportsbra

Lucky Socks (most important part!)(lime green)

2 mile warm-up.

Gel 15 minutes before

Cristen Apr 11, 2012 08:35 AM

Night before race I resemble a “Goodie-Goodie Girl”- I do a really good stretch, read inspiring “race recap” stories from friends, read my favorite motivating Bible verses, eat oatmeal & bananas for dinner, and visualize the race while trying to fall asleep.

Day of race I turn into a “Billy Bad Ass” – Minimal talking to friends/family. Eat banana, peanut butter & honey wrapped in a tortilla. Drink coffee. Bathroom needs taken care of like clockwork. Wear socks that have word “Bitch” visible (rationale being that that is what people will say as I pass them!) Listen to favorite get-jacked-up music mix in route to race. Give myself a pep talk to “own the race course”! And I get ‘er done!

After race – Recovery drink, ice bath and compression socks. Nap!

Anonymous Apr 11, 2012 07:51 PM

Omen. I remember thinking that my 2nd black russian at 2 am was a bad omen for my 8 am 10k rack in memphis(i was single at the time). sure enough, I had a pw (personal worst) the next morning but did finish the race without losing my Picky Bar!

ggretchkoApr 12, 2012 08:11 PM

Some cool rituals on here. Nothing major for me. I just like to lay out all my gear and supplies a day or two before to look at. Oh–and lucky tatt sleeves for cold weather races!

Amanda – RunToTheFinishApr 13, 2012 05:53 AM

ohhh yum.

Let’s see pre-race i have gotten to where i’m afraid of most food, so the day before i eat a turkey sandwich for dinner..which is odd because I rarely eat meat but whatever it worked for marathon number 1, still works after 6!

the morning of I usually have to get up all ninja like because someone else is still asleep in the hotel, so after gearing up i leave the room turn on my ipod and usually do a little dance party…yes i’ve been caught in the hallway, but whatever those weirdos were up at the crack of dawn too!

I Pull 400 Watts Apr 13, 2012 12:56 PM

Gotta be the pre-race poop: