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Short races can be a great way test a new brand of socks, shorts, or any other gear that you might use in a marathon to see how it works in a race situation. Avoid wearing or using anything brand-new in any race; try to test something on a training run first. But it can be reassuring to see how certain plans work in a race situation, such as whether you can easily carry two packs of gel in your new shorts (even if you are not eating any of them during a 10K race) and whether you can throw away an extra shirt at a water stop on a chilly day without getting tangled up in it.