The West Highland Way Race – My kit list.

A few people have asked if there was in thing in particular that I relied on during my race or if there was anything that I would change. The answer to that is I think I got everything pretty much spot on; beginners luck I guess! Everything worked for me on the day and apart from some beautiful blisters on my little toes and some glowing midge bites on my arms, I’m actually totally fine! No chaffing except a few marks on my upper back from where my bag had been rubbing the top clip of my sports bra and that’s really only 2 small marks!

So, what works so well for me?

Shoes – I started off in my Brooks Cascadia trail shoes. I love these shoes, and when they recently had my favourite version on sale in TK Maxx, I bought 2 pairs to keep me going a while. At £29.99 reduced from around £100, I couldn’t say no!

I changed to my Brooks Ghost 7’s road shoes when I got to Auchtertyre as it was just so dry I really didn’t feel the need for trail shoes and was really looking forward to having a bit more cushioning as I went over Rannoch Moor.

BoO2

Socks – I’ve recently been converted to Injinji toe socks. I’ve never had major issues with my feet, but did feel my toes were starting to rub a little bit more in normal socks the longer I was out on the trails, so started wearing them a few months back and have had no major issues since.

Calf Sleeves – I got a pair of Compressport R2 sleeves about 3 years ago and they have seen me through most of my ultras. I got a pair of new ones just before the Fling but managed to put my thumb through them when trying to get them off after the race!

Skort – I love my skort and find them so comfortable to run in. I wore my Salomon Agile for the whole race. It doesn’t ride up or rub at all and the shorts are just that little bit longer.

Underwear – As much as I wince when I think about spending £15 on a pair of pants, it was totally worth it. Runderwear is the comfiest underwear I have ever run in and doesn’t move at all. 95 miles in uncomfortable pants isn’t something I could even have contemplated!

Bra – The Shock Absorber ‘Run’ Bra is my definite first choice. As I mentioned before the only thing that rubbed was the top clip, but I think after that distance that little rubbing is the sign of a good product. It’s tight, it’s flattering and it comes in nice colours. Bonus!

Top – I changed my top 3 times during the race. I started in my long sleeved nike top and my more miles vest top which I changed for a Nike vest top at Auctertyre. I then changed into my trusty Glen Ogle race tshirt when I got to Glencoe and took my Gore long sleeved top in my bag with me, which I would later wear just after Lundavra.

Glencoe2

Arm Sleeves – I discovered arm sleeves just before the Devil O’The Highalnds Ultra last year and now I rarely run without them. They’re brillaint if it’s slightly cooler but you don’t want to wear a long sleeved top that you’ll later have to stop to take off, and also for adding an extra layer for warmth if it’s a bit colder. I love my Nike arm sleeves as they’re just that little bit different and liven up my kit a bit!

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Race Vest – For the past year I have been wearing a Salomon S-LAB adv SKIN3 12 and I just can’t fault it. It doesn’t move at all when I’m running, it has space for the 2x 500ml soft bottles at the front and also a bladder if required and plenty of room for snacks and extra kit. I can even reach round into the pockets to get stuff out when on the move!

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Jacket – Luckily the race gods were smiling on us this weekend and we didn’t need to wear our waterproofs, but I had 2 jackets packed just in case. My heavier Gore Active jacket and also my lighter Ron-Hill tempest jacket which is what I carried with me for most of the race. Just in case!

Photo from Chen Chee Kong.
Photo from Chen Chee Kong.

I also always, always carry a Buff or 3 on me. One usually gets used as a hanky, but it’s always handy to have a spare to use as a makeshift bandage, in case it rains or in my case, to cover my face in to keep the midges out my mouth!

My watch of choice is the Suunto Ambit 2. My battery started to fade about 50 miles in but luckily you can charge the watch on the go, so I managed to clock the whole run!

And finally, my trusty Bloc sunglasses and Saucony Speed Run visor. That race would have been a whole lot more difficult if I had forgotten those!

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Running kit is a very personal choice, so what works for me won’t work for many people but I always like to know what people use and what they think about, so I thought I’d add my thoughts!

Is there anything you can’t run without? Or anything you have tried that definitely didn’t work?

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