Course profile

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What lies in wait on 2nd July - The 110k course profile

Saturday, 28 November 2015

New kit please!

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!
 I've been very happy with them as well, but the other day when returning with wet feet I thought it may be nice to have some spares. Saves having to rush out in a panic if the first ones fall to bits as well. I headed back to Pete Bland where I found they don't stock this model any more. They weren't popular apparently.

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!
My first pair are pretty minimalist and I eventually settled on a fairly similar second pair as I don't like lots of cushioning on the sole. The girl in the shop even made me feel a bit better about the wilful extravagance of buying another pair by telling me she has seven pairs at home. I don't anticipate having that many, but can see there may be other purchases on the horizon. If it's more shoes I have one last question based on the display in the shop and the ones I've ended up with - can't they tone the colours down? Maybe that's why my first pair wasn't popular ......

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