It is getting to that time when I have to make some decisions about what kit I will wear on the West Highland Way Race. After much trial and error, I am just about settled on my kit list. So barring exceptional weather I shall be wearing some combination of the following:
OMM Kamleika Smock I love my OMM jacket. It keeps me dry in all sorts of weather, pulls down over my hands and has a good hood. Nice and light so can be carried “just in case”. Hope I don’t need it.
OMM Kamleika trousers Hopefully I wont need to wear these but they are a fantastic over trouser. Easy to slip on and off, keep the wind and rain out, and are articulated so you can actually run comfortably in them.
Swiss Alpine Marathon Race Jacket – this is a lightweight rip-stop nylon zip jacket, keeps the wind off and weighs nothing at all so really handy for keeping the chill off on a dry day. This was a freebie at the 25th Anniversary race.
Buff Everyone needs a buff. Multipurpose, keeps you warm, keeps the sun off, stops the sweat dripping into your eyes.
OMM Vector Tee Long sleeved shirt, this is a really great base layer which really keeps you warm, but at the same time works well in the warm. Expecting this to be my night time wear and potentially my all day wear too if the weather is iffy.
Ronhill Trail zipped shirt A good compromise for a warm day. I really like the long zip which is a great way to cool down. This shirt comes with a zip pocket on the back as well as two elasticated hip pockets. To be honest I have never used these as I don’t like things bouncing around on my back, and if I have stuff to carry then I prefer my belt or rucksack.
X Bionic boxer shorts I did think Helen was being a wee bit cheeky when I received these as a gift but they actually are very good. They stay dry and provide a wee bit of support. They also help avoid nasty chaffing in the upper thigh/groin
Hoko 3/4 compression tights Discovered these in Spain at the Barcelona marathon. Heavy duty compression, but comfortable with it. Expecting to pull these on at some point after Rannoch moor to try to keep my legs moving in something approaching the right direction.
2XU compression shorts I don’t really like wearing these but they do help. Expecting to wear them over the first half
Ronhill Cargo Trail shorts these are comfortable very lightweight shorts with a huge array of pockets and gel holders. None of which I use except for the secure zipped pocket on the waist. These will get an outing if it is a warm day if I decide that I don’t want to wear my 2XU compression shorts.
CEP Calf Sleeves I am a recent convert to Calf Sleeves. Having suffered some calf troubles earlier in the year I now wear these regularly when racing. These give great support, and help keep you warm. Funky colours as well.
Injinji Trail socks The latest fad. I have to admit I was very sceptical about these as socks with toes are just downright unnatural, verging on pervy. However I am a convert. Since wearing these I have had very few blisters and they are extremely comfortable. They are however a pig to get on and off especially if like me you have funny shaped toes. Fortunately on race day I fully expect someone else to do any foot care which is required (thanks support crew) as my chance of having either the flexibility to reach my feet or the coordination to remove socks successfully is slim to none.
Drymax Trail socks Again another item which is becoming increasingly popular with the ultra community. I have yet to learn to love these, but think I will wear them as a second pair on top of my injinjis just to give additional cushioning.
Inov-8 Gaiters handy for keeping the debris out of your shoes and socks
Brooks Pure Grit shoes Love my Grits, they give great flexibility and contact with the ground. Hoping to wear them through the first half of the race. Unfortunately as luck (or bad planning) would have it, I wore them today and came to the conclusion that my current pair really have reached the end of their life. Eek! only 10 days to find and break in another pair. Fortunately they don’t need any breaking in, they are comfortable straight from the box.
Brooks Cascadia shoes these are a new addition to my shoe cupboard, but I expect to wear these over the second half of the race which is much more stoney under foot and where the stability and support will be more use to me than my speedy Grits.
Salomon XA 20 backpack does the job nicely. maybe a little large but it carries all my stuff and is comfortable with handy pockets on the waist belt.
Inov-8 Race Elite belt expect to alternate this with my backpack, just to give me a change of posture. Will use this on the shorter sections. Has great roomy pockets without being too big.
Petzl Tikkina Headtorch. Probably frowned on by those who have big expensive head torches, but I have run plenty miles with this one in the winter so expect that it will be adequate. However bought a second bigger torch just in case. Will probably wear this one on my wrist to help give additional light where I need it.
Jazooli Q5 160 Lumens Cree headtorch Cheap and cheerful. Only cost £12 and has a massive beam. If it only does me the WHW Race then it will be worth the money.
On top of all of these I have various items as options for extreme weather, including woolly hats, goretex gloves, goretex shell, etc, etc etc
Having organised all of these variations and options you just know that I am going to wear the same few things from start to finish! And they say that running is a simple sport because all you need are some shoes…….. 🙂