We obsess on running gear, shoes, technology, hydration, and supplements, and there are myriad reviews out there (and here) to quench the desires of the most ardent gear fetishist.
But because we MUT runners run longer and often more distant routes, much of our running routine consists of preparing for and recovering from runs.
None of this is stuff we need to run, but all of it sure makes it easier and more enjoyable.
Victory Sportdesign Gear Bag
These bags are designed with the endurance athlete in mind and are perfect for drop bags–half the bags at an aid station seem to all be VictoryBags at first glance.
However, I use mine primarily to organize my running gear and kid gear. I use the Bear II–it’s got pockets of all sizes, two zippered and insulated bottle holders, a movable divider for the main compartment, and is covered on the outside with velcroed windows to “personalize” it for easy identification. Rather than leaving the house with an armful of extra clothes, my belt for my run, gels that I’ll put in my pockets, my HydroFlask bottle, sandals, etc., I toss everything into my bag and have my gear organized and easy to take out of the car at the trailhead or when I get back home.
Needless to say, all the organizing options are also extremely appreciated at aid stations (one pocket for gels, one for blister kit, one for ibuprofen, one for bandaids, etc), whether it’s you digging through looking for something particular or your crew trying to decipher your demands.
They’re designed by MUT runner Victor Ballesteros, who I interviewed here (and who just finished 2nd at the Tahoe200.)
Starting at $40 for the Coyote I, (my Bear II was $85) available at Victorysportdesign.com. Various sizes.
It’s awfully nice to get back to my car after a long run and know that I have 32 ounces of ice cold water ready in my bag. Just yesterday I ran for 3 hours in 100 degree heat in Auburn, left the bottle on the roof of my car, and returned to it still full of ice water. Perfect!
I have no idea how or why it works (something about double vacuum insulation), but it works. I’ve kept ice water in the bottle for more than a day, and liquid stays piping hot for about half that.
Another nice aspect is that the bottle doesn’t weep or perspire, so whatever else is in your bag stays dry. Though they’re available in all different sizes and shapes (yep, even a beer growler!), I only have the 32oz version with the regular screw top, but I’ll be snagging a straw top the first chance I get.
Yeah, they cost more than a regular bottle, but it’s worth it every time I get near the finish of a run and know what’s waiting for me in my car. Want to make someone happy? It’d be a perfect gift–especially festooned with a URP sticker!
My 32oz cost $35, many other sizes and colors available here. And hey, they’re based in Bend, Oregon!
Moji 360 Foot Massager
I’m pretty sure I look like the lady in the shampoo commercial when I sit down and grind my tired feet all over the Moji massager.
It has a heavy plastic, non-skid base with 9 multi-sized metal balls that roll, massage, and comfort feet after a long day on the trails. I slide it under the couch (it’s about 4″x8″ and maybe 3″ tall) when not in use, and also have one under my desk that I’m using as I type this.
Barefoot is great, but I’ve found that using the Moji with socks is a different–and better–experience.
Apparently it helps with Plantar Fasciitis and other medical maladies, but I use mine solely because it feels good.
About $40 available here.
What did I miss?