With only three days to go until the Lakeland 50, my bag is packed ready for the kit inspection on Friday night and waiting in the back of my van. It’s taken hundreds of miles of fine tuning to get down to what I will be running with on Saturday, and it’s still in many ways a work in progress.
The race rules make it easy to decide what to take as they provide a short list of mandatory kit, without which you are not allowed to compete. The list isn’t by any means exclusive, and should be supplemented to each runners personal preferences.
Required equipment (all of this equipment must be presented at registration):
- Full WATERPROOF body cover, top and bottom *please note that windproof is not sufficient.
- First aid kit to include: blister plasters / sterile pad dressing / bandage or tape to secure dressing as a minimum requirement.
- Spare base layer *top and bottom.
- Head torch / spare batteries if required
- Mobile phone *fully charged
- Hat and gloves
- Emergency foil blanket or bivi bag
- Emergency food & drink (additional to your general nutrition i.e. not to be eaten during event)
- Map (supplied, waterproof and pre-marked) 1:40,000
- Road book (supplied on waterproof paper)
So, with this list in mind I will be running with the following kit, which will be packed in to my Mammut MTR 201 10 Litre Backpack. I’ve had this lightweight running backpack now for a couple of months during which I’ve used it for both day and multi day running in the Alps. With a spacious capacity, it carries the load well, whilst still allowing good access to all your essentials. There is a hydration pocket in the back, where I use a Platy-Pus Big-Zip2 and then a TORQ Water bottle in the side pocket, which I use for filling from streams and in aid stations.
My jacket of choice is currently the Mammut Bogong. A nice fit, which isn’t too snug, so allows a little movement. Whilst it’s a little heavier than some running jackets, I’ve tested it in some biblical rain and know it will keep me dry through anything the Lakes will throw at it.
On my legs, I will be using the Montane Minimus Pants. These are super light pertex and fully taped. Waterproof and massivelly breathable. For me the weather needs to be pritty grim before I put on waterproof trousers, so I want them to pack small and weigh nothing, I hope they spend most of their time in the bottom of my pack.
I carry an SOL emergency bivvy bag, this is almost as small and light as the emergency foil blankets you get given at races, but being a bag you can actually get in it and it will keep you or someone else warm until help arrives.
Next up is a mini first-aid kit, but one with all the essentials. Easily recognisable by most kit checkers, you can’t argue with the perfect Adventure Medical Kits. Packed in a utralight and watertight packet, they are perfect.
Given that the weather is likely to be hot, a small pot of Sun Cream seems kind off sensible. A compass and whistle, I hope don’t need to explaining…
I’m hoping to be finished before its dark, but just in case my current head torch is the excellent LED Lenser SEO5, which I will be reviewing in full after the UTMB TDS were I know I will be using it… However in short, this little lamp packs away easily, but manages to kick out tons of controllable light and keeps me running fast in the dark.
Spare socks by Teko, I’ve run hundreds of miles over the past 12 months in Teko Marino Wool socks and have only had one blister (because I didn’t dig a stone out of my shoe in time). I can’t recommend them enough. Gloves are E-Tips from North Face, warm, light and if needed will work with my phone. My spare layer is a MTR 141 Zip T-Shirt from Mammut. Quick drying, light, comfy, doesn’t rub, simple, perfect. Hat is a versatile Buff, this one from the nice guys at Feetus.
I will be carrying poles, Black Diamond Z-Poles to be precise. I know in the Lakes poles divide the pack like Marmite, however I tried them whilst in the Alps with the Trail Running Team, and plan to use them during the UTMB – TDS in August, so I’m giving them a go. I will review the poles when I’m back from the Alps, but so far thoughts are generally good…
Not in my pack, but on my legs I will be wearing Compressport Calf Guards. I find with these on, I can run all day, and wake up the next day and my calfs feel pre-run fresh, which after fifty miles is always an amazing feeling. On my head I will be using a Mammut Visor (a bit Euro, but keeps the sun out of my eyes, allows me to stay cool on top) If it’s very hot, I loose all style points by tucking the Buff underneath to keep the sun from burning my bald patch. Eyewear is by Tifosi, light and keeps the sun at bay, with great optics so you don’t miss steps.