When I've ran in the past, on roads, I've always been very keen to avoid getting swept up in convincing myself that I need the latest or most expensive kit. I really didn't want to be seen as one of the 'all the gear and no idea' crew. I always ran in the legendary 'Silver Shadow' trainers - always amazed at how many people remember them - and an old T-Shirt, so I really did keep to the other end of the spectrum. Admittedly, running (especially shorter distances like I've done before) has less potential for money splurging than say, cycling or climbing, but there's plenty out there once you start looking.
In fact, once you get into ultra distances, there's a lot more kit. Apart from the obvious things like shorts, leggings, socks, tops and jackets, there are all manner of weird waistcoats, belts and backpacks to carry water and provisions with you. Some of the belts especially resemble Bat Man's utility belt with the multitude of pockets and pouches. I have a small rucksack now, which I've tried running with once and found it bounced around quite uncomfortably when I stored a water bottle in the holder on the strap, so I think I may be looking at some of these other options myself as my distances increase.
I've not even mentioned all the electronic gizmos, torches, heated jackets, muscle massagers and various creams and rubs. But it's shoes that are the real minefield. When I registered for the race, I went out to our local running shop (Pete Bland in Kendal) to get myself a new pair of proper trail shoes.
|The originals - Nice!|
Never mind, plenty of others to choose from. But I must have got lucky the first time as this time there was a lot to take into consideration. Do you pronate and which way? What sort of drop do you want? Is it a road to trail/trail to fell/fell running shoe you want? How much cushioning? What sort of grip? How aggressive a sole do you want? What depth of lug?
|Second pair - Garish!|