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Perfecting The Special Needs Bag

Posted by: on September, 29 2015

Found on Ironman.com

What will you never forget again? Take a page out of these first-timers’ books.

The “special needs bag,” like wetsuit strippers and bike catchers, have come to be known as an “IRONMAN specials”—something that characterizes the M-dot experience. These bags are placed by the athletes themselves before the race, and are available midway through both the bike and run legs. Last month, we asked our Facebook community what they packed in their bags for their first IRONMAN races, and what they’ll never forget again. Here is a collection of the top 10 types of items mentioned—”special needs classics,” if you will. As one athlete wrote, “it’s better to have one and not need it than to need it and not have it.”special needs bag

Well said. So, as you’re planning your first IRONMAN or fifth, take a page out of these athletes’ rookie books.

Special Needs Classics

10 – The impossibles

“A life line.” – Katherine Kudlacz

“Energy.” – Mike P. Fridley

“I wish I had packed a fresh set of legs!” – Andy Moser

9 – Toolbox

“CO2 cartridge. I forgot it on my first one and almost didn’t finish.” – Chris Swere

“Forgot my s-caps…picked up my extra tube and CO2 cartridge and was on my way!” – Doug Thorsteinson

8 – Salt

“Extra salt pills!” – Michael G Levtchenko

“Secret weapon…2 bags of baked, ready salted, crisps. Carbs and salt…a treat.” -Malcolm Bunting

7 – Inspiration

“I had my wife and daughter both write notes, topics of their choosing, and I placed one in each bag with out reading them. I looked forward to reading each. My daughter (8), chose to write about our pugs. Very inspirational.” – Glenn Childress

“Bible verses in the run bag (by that time eating didn’t help any more!)” – Jeanie de Villiers

6 – Clothing

“Need new socks!!!!!! I will never forget that again!” – Cole Stratton

“Toe warmers. Came out of the water and it was only 7 celsius. Feet were completely frozen and numb on the bike.” – Robert Lendvai

5 – Candy bars/chocolate

“Chocolate covered coffee beans.” – Gary Lancaster

“Birthday cake Oreos.” – Tomás Wheaton

“Snickers for me. I also licked the wrapper.” – Mark Bertram

4 – Sports nutrition

“Frozen Gatorade wrapped in aluminium foil, felt like it was handed to me from god himself!” – Marcelo Petroni

“Frozen bottles of Perpetuem.” – Jeff Price

“Extra Bonk Breakers.” – Justin Keeton

3 – Good ol’ soda pop

“A bottle of Sprite. Ginger Ale would’ve been preferable, but I couldn’t find a bottle in time. A friend had Tums in her bag, and that’s something I’ll be sure to have next time.” – Brian Carty

“Frozen flat bottle of Coke with a Snickers bar taped to it wrapped in a towel for bike special needs. By the time I got there, it was 35 degrees out, my snickers bar wasn’t melted, and my coke was chilled. Best treat ever!” – Danica Lucy Lee

2 – Medicine cabinet

“The last minute decision to add Advil saved me after feeling some serious knee pain coming off the bike!” – Kevin Sulcer

“Pepto bismol tablets.” – Tony Forinash

“Ensure, coconut water, sunscreen, salt tabs, GU, medicine bag (advil, imodium, gas-x, pepto, pepcid)…blister bandaids.” – Julia Tran

“Extra chamois cream!” – Tracey Green

“I forgot Body glide/Vaseline in the bike special needs bag…ouch!” Gineth Mendez-Yibirin

1 – And the number one Special Needs bag item category is… real food

“More Poptarts.” – Danny Farage

“Chicken soup for one. Rocket fuel.” – Scott Tal

“A hamburger in the run special needs.” – Navarra Lee Good

“Gummy bears—best fuel for long distance.” – Susanne Gutjahr

“I had two sandwiches with butter, marmite/vegemite and potato crisps with crusts cut off. They were damn good at that point of the race. Chippie sandwiches!” – Michael Burrell

“Spicy V8 Juice…gotta love the sodium!” – Lembit Kulbin

“Bike special needs was replacement frozen nutrition bottle, it was just right for the 2nd 56 miler. For the run special needs I was given the advice to pack a special treat to look forward to getting to. For me it was homemade baked coffee biscotti. I looked forward to it on the entire run and gave me the little caffeine kick I needed in the end.” – Jennifer Snead Delaney

“Bike addition was a super delicious homemade chocolate dipped granola bar, It was tasty and enjoyable to eat. Plus, my frozen water bottle kept it from melting so it was in great condition. Run addition was a box of coconut water, I LOVE coconut water and was quite thrilled to have it half way through the run. It also made me feel like a little kid running around drinking out of the mini straw that I had to drink it with and people cheered and smiled as I did so, very good and healthy addition!” – Megan Ann