Sunday, 12 January 2014

Goretex Transapline race kit review

I've had quite a few fellow runners asking me about my kit for this race so here goes , obviously for a 8 day race u need to make sure you have enough kit to cover all eventualities as you never know how quickly the weather can change in the Alps at altitude.

So this is the kit which I used and can highly recommend.


As most of my friends know I'm very lucky to be sponsored by Buff and this is the Buff kit I ran in .

The great thing about all Buff's kit is that it's so lightweight, quick drying & ultra breathable and this is a brilliant asset to have especially as you are very limited how to dry your kit after each day's race.

Buffs used.
Some people would say that I'm obsessed with Buff's but I'm not I just love them and without a doubt they are the best piece of kit u can spend your money on , especially in this race as everyday I would start with a original uv Buff  around my neck and a Buff cap.

Original Buff

Neckwarmer pro was a god send as not only was it useful to run in but I wore mine to sleep in on my head at night as it got really cold in some of the accommodation we were camping in and it was also good to use over your eyes as a eye shield this soon catched on around camp & it was a funny site to see .

Neckwarmer pro Buff

The Buff cap was perfect to run in on some of the warmer days as along the route there was fresh water streams available and many a time this would get dunked into the water to cool me down & I don't think there was a time I didn't wear mine . ( I am a massive fan of the cap as it's uv properties are great too)

Leki micro poles

I was very lucky to be sent a pair of Leki micro vario poles to test out on this race & my god how good were these.
I had never used any poles at all before this race and was a bit apprehensive on if I would need them but they were amazing and with the terrain of the alps they were brilliant and took so much shock off my back on the mountain sections, In hindsight I should of practised before with them but with limited time only finding out about the race 6 weeks before & only receiving the poles a couple of weeks before hand I had no choice but to just get on with it and learn as I went along.
As the race got harder tougher steeper and scarier I would say without a doubt that the poles became like a comfort blanket to me & when I was scared to death on the edge of the mountains I don't think I would of stayed upright without these and they are truly a amazing piece of kit to have and I'm most definitely converted and would recommend these poles, they are really lightweight and very easy to quickly snap into place .
These poles also come into there own on the steep down hill sections & the time u can save when u use them probably is amazing.
If any of my friends are thinking about doing any race in the mountains these are the Leki poles to get 10/10 .

I ran the whole 8 days in my trusty Salomon goretex speedcross 3 trainers, quite simply brilliant, excellent traction up & down the mountains & my feet didn't get wet once & unbelievably I didn't get a single blister the whole event.
It was a very sad day when I got home as I had to throw them away due to the wear on them not due to this race they had lasted me 10 months .

I ran in a selection of socks over the 8 days but they were all Feetures socks ,

Either the Elite

The Elite Merino wool ones these are some of the best socks money can buy in my opinion and as I said earlier I didn't get one blister the whole 8 days and I find that hard to believe especially after how my feet got trashed in the ocean floor race desert ( or my feet prefer mountains to sand )

Back pack
U had to have a back pack as there was some kit which was compulsory , but it didn't need to be too large the innov8 one I had for the desert was too large & to be honest I really didn't want to spend a fortune on another one so I decided to use my Quechua one from Decathlon I had used this on the race to the stones 100k and had no problems with it at all and it only cost £24.95 from decathlon
It's a superb little back big enough to store a waterproof coat , emergency supply, maps, first aid kit & 2ltr bladder & room for my poles on the outside too.

A great little bag which is very popular in Europe & at this race just goes to show u don't need to spend £100 + on a race bag .
It did a great job & was very comfortable & didn't rub me at all.

X-bionic arm warmer.
Thanks to Simon at x-bionic I was sent a pair of these to wear and test out & Im never disappointed with x-bionic the arm warmers did a great job of obviously keeping my arms warm but these also keep your arms cool in the heat & with the constant change of temperature in the alps they were perfect.
10/10 I highly recommend these.

Compression calf guards
Last year one of my lovely American running friends sent me a brilliant pair of compression guards from a USA company called ink & burn & these were really popular with fellow runners & everyone kept asking me where I got them from .

As washing was a problem I purchased a pair of Salomon calf guards & was mighty impressed I had no calf or cramp issues at all & I would recommend these with out a doubt.

I love sunglasses and always run in a pair , even when the suns not out I will have my clear lenses in them & I have a great selection of Bloc sunglasses which I had been sent for the ocean floor race & I was asked to test them out and they are brilliant , u can't even tell you are wearing them , they are very lightweight comfortable and I never have issues with them steaming up which I have in the past with other makes , you will not see me racing in any other sunglasses these days.

Food was supplied in the package with camping and was a bit hit & miss & that was mainly due to me been vegi.

On the course it was brill there was cake , cheese, tomatoes, nuts, bananas, energy gel , soup ,

I took with me 9bars and always had one of these in my emergency rations and to be fair most days I would put a extra one in to keep me going , I swear by 9 bars as they have just the right balance for me and I can digest them quite well in ultra races and they fill u up and keep u going.

I also carried the little bags of mixed fruit & nuts which worked brilliantly on the really long tough stages.

Recovery food
After each stage I would mix up a for goodness shakes drink and this became a ritual which I had to do and worked perfectly as I never had a issue with running out of fuel the whole time we were there and it was amazing to see how well my legs coped after each stage and I honestly think the for goodness shakes helped enormously .

After race / chilling out gear
Obviously you need to be comfy after the race and the perfect gear for this is SueMe sportswear
You would always see me wondering around our camp in the Ladies shorties & a sueme tshirt.
I personally don't think you will find a more comfortable pair of shorties/pants.

SueMe Ladies Shorties

Before the race In my SueMe Buff & Sueme t shirt .

A massive thank you to & buff spain for all your help with this race & it was a pleasure to represent you in the alps, Also thank you to all Sueme,Feetures socks, Bloc sunglasses, Leki uk , X-bionic & For goodness shakes for all the kit & support it is much appreciated.