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13 Marathon Essentials That Every Runner Should Own

Soleus Chicked Running Watch

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Kara Goucher, two-time Olympian and the American favorite in this Sunday's New York City Marathon, prefers not to race with a GPS-enabled watch. She straps this simple one on her wrist instead; it boasts a 30-lap memory that's perfect for recording marathon splits. ($55;

RELATED: 7 Must-Have Fall Running Accessories

Photo: Soleus

Garmin Forerunner 220

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If you prefer a watch with GPS to follow the distance you've covered so far on the course, this one is a great option. It's lightweight, so it won't feel heavy on your wrist several miles in, and the band is perforated to let your skin breathe. Plus, it instantly sends your mileage to Garmin Connect Mobile—allowing friends and family to follow along and track where you are in the race. ($250;


Photo: Garmin

Headsweats Bright Coral Reflective Supervisor

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Keep the top of your head cool while wicking away sweat from your forehead. This visor's band is extra-wide to make it more absorbent, and it has reflective piping to keep you visible during early-morning start times. ($25;

Photo: Headsweats

Nike Aeroloft 800 Running Vest

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Perfect for early morning start times, this vest is filled with goose down for extra comfort and warmth—without extra weight. And when you heat up, zip it up into its own back pocket—it folds up into a tiny pack with a wristband for easy transport to the finish line. ($180;

Photo: Nike

Asics Abby Pocket Bra

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Lauren Kleppin, third-place finisher in this year's Los Angeles Marathon, runs in this sports bra for its convenient inner pouch. Slip an iPod or a few gels for energy inside and they're easily accessible in the middle of a race. ($38;

Photo: Asics

Under Armour HeatGear Alpha Middy

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With these stretchy shorts, there's no more worrying about chafing thighs during long runs. Plus, the lightweight fabric won't ride up, and their wide elastic waistband is snug but soft. ($30;

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Photo: Under Armour

Nike Dri-Fit Knit Long-Sleeve Running Shirt

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This top takes you from your warm-up jog to the final stretch thanks to its soft, high-stretch knit material that keeps you dry. With helpful details like thumbholes, reflective elements, and a cord loop, this long-sleeve tee will be your go-to for training runs and PR-breaking races alike. ($70;

Photo: Nike

Asics Thermopolis Arm Warmers

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Many fall and spring marathons begin with a chilly morning. A pair of arm warmers—like these favorites of Deena Kastor, who holds the American records in the marathon and half-marathon—are perfect for pulling off once you've heated up a bit a few miles in. ($24;

Photo: Asics

Nuun Active Hydration

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These tablets, which dissolve quickly in water, are Goucher's sports drink of choice. They provide electrolytes to keep you going during long-distance outings but are light and have zero sugar. ($24 for four packs;

Photo: Nuun

Feetures Plantar + Calf Sleeve

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For any long-distance runner plagued by pain in their arch or heel, these toeless knee socks are a welcome relief. A tight fit under the foot relieves plantar fasciitis aches, and compression fabric up the calf offers extra snug comfort. ($60;

Photo: Feetures

Asics GEL-Hyper Speed 6

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The material in these super-light sneakers is seamless, making them ideal for long-distance races; the smooth feel nixes blisters. Plus, they're Kastor's go-to shoes—and boast a limited-edition colorway for this 2014 NYC Marathon. ($85;

RELATED: 14 Shoes to Make You Fitter, Faster and Slimmer

Photo: Asics

Brooks Glycerin 12

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These cushiony sneaks are a favorite of Desi Linden, who placed second in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and second in the 2011 Boston Marathon. She loves that the plush insoles keep her feet comfortable and blister-free, no many how many miles she's covering. ($150;

Photo: Brooks

Nike Run X2 Sunglasses

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Keep the glare out of your eyes with these​ light-as-air shades. The lenses never fog up, and with clever holes adding ventilation to the nose grips, they won't slide off—no matter how sweaty you get over 26.2 miles. ($156;

Photo: Nike


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