Modesto Marathon Here I Come!

Five Race Weekend Tips Every Runner Must Remember.

By Stephanie Laska, 2018 Pacer for the Modesto Marathon. 2018 Nuun Ambassador. 2018 Bay to Breakers Ambassador. 2017 PowerBar CleanStart Team New York City Marathon. 2017-2015 San Francisco Marathon Ambassador.


  1. Attend the expo!

    My kids treat expos like trick-or-treating. They love the snacks and gimmicks!

    Yes, technically, you can have a friend pick up your bib, but then you will miss out on all the hoopla and energy from fellow runners and exhibitors. Walking into the ballroom and seeing an entire room full of dedicated runners is sure to put a smile on your face. You are not alone in this venture and seeing the crowd of other runners might help calm your nerves.

  2. Drive the course.

    Nothing is more motivating than your family cheering you on!

    Even the most experienced Olympians spend time visualizing their run. While I don’t intend on breaking any world records here, I do like knowing “AM I THERE YET?” and “WHERE IS THE FOOD?” Some favorite spots to note while driving are the turnaround point (since the course is an out and back) and also where the fuel stations are located. You might also identify a spot where family or friends plant themselves along the course to cheer you on with an inspiring homemade sign or a trusted snack.

  3. Race day outfit.

    I ran 4 marathons in Skechers! The last six wearing ASICs. Wear what works for you. Spending more money doesn’t make you run faster. Sad!

    Please do not wear anything new on race day. From head to toe, every bit of your attire should be “road tested” from your longest run. You don’t want any chafing surprises out there! Also, there is a lot of standing around before the race actually starts, and even with the time change on Sunday, you might get cold. Wear a “throw down” layer of clothing that can be tossed to the curb once the race begins to avoid overheating when the sun comes up.

  4. Meet up Spot.

    Some people run to eat (me!), and others run for the finish line beer.

    After your race ends, things can get hectic. Phones run out of batteries and it may become crowded. Avoid the stress of walking in circles to find your ride home and pre-plan a meet up location. If all else fails, you might be able to make new friends at the beer tent providing you don’t smell too badly.

  5. Celebrate!

    Running partner who inspires me to never stop (literally, not even at stop lights)

    Whether this is your first 5K or tenth marathon, hold your head high. You have already done the hard work of registering and training for this event, and now comes the fun part. Smile (or grimace) as you run as the professional photos and memories are free. Enjoy every minute. You deserve it!


This was Stephanie’s 11th. Full marathon. Her first marathon was the Modesto Marathon 2015 where she won first place for the Athena Division. Follow her sarcastic and sometimes helpful running and weight loss journey at or on social media or