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New Jerseys! Yeay!!!

We’ve finally received our running jerseys from Craft! Check ’em out! Sponsors on the left, club logo on the right with the name of the race on the back. According to race rules, we’re not allowed to cover the upper torso with any logos, since this space will be covered by our race numbers and the official race sponsors.

So, what else do we need during a week-long stroll in the Sahara? Well, as you can see below, it’s quite a bit of stuff we need to stuff into our backpacks. The list is more or less comprehensive and shows you what we will be bringing to Sahara. We won’t bother you with any specific weights, apart from where we’ve deemed it interesting. The items are divided up into Mandatory Equipment, a Marathon Kit that we will receive during the medical check-in on 5 April in Ourzazate and finally, our Individualised Gear.

Going through all of the gear, we would once again wish to send a big and heartfelt thank you to our two big sponsors: INOV8 and Chillout Travel Centre, who’ve supplied us with most of our crucial equipment.

HELICO BUFF

Mandatory equipment:

  • • Backpack. Here, we originally opted for INOV8’s Race Elite 25L, an ultralight bag weighing only around 300 g. Due to delivery problems of the 25L-pack, however, we finally decided to go with OMM Classic 25L, an often used and abused backpack that has earned it’s stripes during many an ultra.
  • • Sleeping Bag. Jakob has chosen Wester Mountaineering’s light Highlite bag (455 g), and I’ve settled for it’s warmer but somewhat heavier (525 g) sister, SummerLite.
  • • Head Torch, where we’ll use our trusty Petzl Tikka2 that lit our way in Gorge du Verdon in France last summer. Plus a set of extra batteries.
  • • 10 safety pins, for fastening the numbers on our chests.
  • • Compass, with 1° or 2° precision.
  • • Stormlighter, where Jakob has chosen the lighter Primus and I’ve gone with the slightly more classy Windmill.
  • • Whistle, for emergencies.
  • • Knife with metal blade.
  • • Tropical Disinfectant.
  • • Anti-venom pump, a la Aspivenin.
  • • Signalling Mirror, for emergencies.
  • • Aluminium Survival Sheet, to keep warm until help gets to where you are.
  • • 200 euros or equivalent in foreign currency.
These work in the desert as well.

These work in the desert as well.

 Marathon Kit:

  • • Road-book, detailing the route and particulars of the race.
  • • Distress Flare.
  • • Salt Tablets.
  • • Check-in card (for checkpoints and to receive water).
  • • Sachets for the toilets. Yes, people. It is a self-sufficiency race.

That is NOT a receding hairline, I tell you!

Indiviudalised Equipment:

  • • Trail Shoes, Roclite 295 sponsored by INOV8.
  • • Freeze dried food. Jakob has opted for Expedition Foods that have a high calorie/weight ratio, and I have a combination of Adventure Food for breakfast (around 700 kcal) and the Norwegian brand Turmat for dinners (580-680 kcal). The meals weigh around 150-160 g each, and we’ll be needing a total of 11 meals for the week.
  • • Water Bottles, 1 000 ml x 2.
  • • Slippers, sponsored by Hilton hotels. This is for resting your feet after the running and letting them breathe for a bit.
  • • Energy Gels, in my case Winforce Ultra Energy Complex, which are coconut-tasty 25 g gels á 124 kcal. I’ll be carrying around 45 gels, equaling 1,125 kg.
  • • Drink mix, where I’ve chosen Winforce Carbo Basic Plus, that carries 154 kcal per 40 g (the amount you mix into 500 ml of water). Total weight: 1,8 kg.
  • • Longpants, Montane Featherlite windproof pants for the chilly evenings, courtesy of Chillout.
  • • Earplugs.
  • • Mattress, ThermARest’s NeoAir XLite, weighing in at only 230 g. Sponsored by Chillout.
  • • Running Cap
  • • Sunblock: SPF 50+ and 30+ for face, neck and forearms
  • • Runnings jerseys from Craft.
  • • Babywipes, dried out to become lighter, for toilet visits.
  • • Gaiters, from INOV8, against sandy dunes.
  • • Fuel Stove from Esbit, 985 ml.
  • • Buff, to pull up around your face during sandstorms and to use as protection against the sun.
  • • Sunglasses.
  • • Long spoon, to avoid touching food with our hands and risk infecting ourselves due to bad hygeine.
  • • Alcohol fuel tablets for the stove.
  • Running socks from Icebreaker, 2 pairs. Courtesy of Chillout.
  • Merino Top from Icebreaker, 200 g/m2. To ward off the evening chill, once again sponsored by Chillout.
  • • Compact camera.
  • • Soap.
  • Kinesio Tape, for taping the feet when sprained.
  • Bodyglide, balm to avoid chafing of feet and neck.
  • • Toothbrush and -paste.
  • • First aid-kit, including syringes to pierce blisters, alcohol pads, bandaids to prevent blisters and regular bandaids, painkillers and pills against diarrhea.

That’s basically it. Hopefully, we’ll weigh in our backpacks at around 7,5-8 kg’s. To that, we need to add the water we’ll receive at each of our checkpoints, meaning we’ll probably carry another 2-3 kg (litres) worth of water at any given moment. YOU try running 30k with a backpack weighing 10-11 kg! It kinda makes you feel like Superman. Although he probably never ran like he was constipated…

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