How To Create a Gift for Runners for Under $30

As race day approaches for the runner in your life, you might want to think about creating a care package to wish them luck on their adventure. There are several essentials that runners can’t do without on race day, and surprisingly, they don’t cost a lot of money. In fact, if you follow the steps below you can create a great care package for the runner in your life for under $30.00.

Step 1

Get some GU. GU is an energy gel that helps runners fuel up before and during a race. Runners like to store these small packets of energy in their shorts or on a race belt for use during those tough miles. The GU packet fits easily into the runner’s hand and the runner simply tears the top off the packet and squeezes the GU into their mouth. GU comes in many flavors, is sold at almost every sports store (and many grocery stores) and usually costs about $2

Step 2

Add some mittens. Runners usually start their long runs on cold mornings. A pair of inexpensive mittens will keep the runner’s hands warm until the sun joins him or her on the run. It’s also convenient to have a pair of mittens because inside them a runner can store his or her GU energy packet! Don’t spend more than $5.00 when buying mittens for runners. During a race, you will see mittens littering the ground, as runners don’t mind ditching inexpensive ones once it heats up. (Don’t worry though, race officials and volunteers will pick up these mittens when the course closes.)

Step 3

Get some lube. All runners need a tube of Vaseline. It might seem like an odd gift but it’s one that takes into account the pains of the long distance runner. With all those body parts moving at once, a few of them are bound to rub together. Runners like to lather Vaseline onto the body parts that seem to find each other like magnets. (A few examples include the thighs and the underarms.) Vaseline isn’t going to cost you more than $3.00 for a 2.5-ounce tube.

Step 4

Add some lather. Have you ever noticed that some runners have legs that look ten years younger than their true age, but faces that look ten years older? All of those hours spent logging miles under the sun begin to take their toll on a runner’s face. The result can be some unwanted wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. Throw a tube of sunscreen (about $10) into their gift package and they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness. Purchase a small tube so it doesn’t take up too much room in their gear bag and make sure it’s SPF 45 or higher.

Step 5

Visit the Goodwill store. Here’s the challenge. Walk into a Goodwill store with $5 in hand and find a long sleeved “throw away” for your runner. When your runner starts a race, he or she often needs a few miles to warm up. But once he or she has broken a sweat, they need to lose a layer. Most runners can’t afford to toss clothes by the wayside in every race, so runners have begun purchasing “throw aways” at second hand stores. Purchasing this gift will show the runner that you truly understand the running culture. And don’t worry, once again, the race officials and volunteers won’t let these clothes remain out on the course.

Step 6

Bag it up. Because runners typically appreciate the beauty and serenity of nature and the environment, purchase a reusable bag in which to tote the goods you’ve purchased for them. You can find reusable bags almost anywhere nowadays and they are as inexpensive as $2.00. If you want to find a really decorative one, you’ll spend a bit more, but with the chance that sunscreen and Vaseline could leak all over it, why spend more?!

This article was written by Shelly Seigler.  She writes for where you can find unique gift ideas, Thanksgiving gifts and Christmas gifts.

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