Hard to believe that less than six weeks remain before my departure for the Gambia!
Now that the training is well in hand, fundraising events are organized and rolling out, and airline tickets are booked, I have started turning my attention to another important part of preparation – putting together a list of gear to bring along. Having the right gear will be important to the success of my running expedition. After all, winging it is not really an option when you plan to run over 30 kilometers a day for 14 days in some pretty extreme conditions!
By far my most important piece of gear will be my running shoes. Thanks to the generosity of Mizuno Canada, I have quite a few pairs of the Ronin 4 to bring along. I have run a few Comrades Ultra Marathons and a 100 km race in this shoe and know they will serve me well! By bringing a few pairs, I’ll be sure to always have a dry, fresh pair for the start of each stage.
Mizuno also provided me with apparel. The shorts and shirts I plan to wear are super light weight, breathable and oh so comfortable. There are pockets in all the right places to carry nutrition and all the clothing looks amazing to boot. A hat and buff will keep the sun off my head and the sweat out of my eyes and calf sleeves and recovery socks will round out my apparel to prevent swelling of the legs in the extreme heat and pooling of blood in the lower limbs. Since I have a history of blood clots, this is a really important piece of apparel for me!
Another detail crucial to success is nutrition and hydration. Thanks to Denis and Pepsi, I have a few cases of Gatorade powder that will keep me hydrated. While I have an amazing crew travelling in a vehicle beside me, ready to provide me with whatever I need, I’ll also carry my small and light weight hydration pack. This way I can take sips of fluid regularly while keeping my hands free to give kids I’ll meet along the road a high five.
As I’ll be burning a good number of calories running 30 km a day in the heat, I’ll also carry nutrition with me. So, I am stocking up on Honey Stinger waffles and gels to keep fuelled during the run – yummy!
To keep track of the distance covered each day, as well as of pace, heart rate, calories burned and other important info, I’ll be bringing along my Garmin GPS watch. Thanks to the generosity of Chad, Luke and Aerobics First in Halifax, I have the latest and greatest model: the Forerunner 910XT. This thing is loaded with features and will also beep at me at regular intervals to remind me to hydrate.
Other must have items are sunscreen and lip balm to protect my rather pale skin and Vaseline to prevent chafing. And anyone who has been following this blog knows that I am a little accident prone, so my list wouldn’t be complete without a well-stocked first aid kit! It will include tape for my feet, a needle to pop blisters, sterile wipes, nail clippers (just in the unlikely event that one of my toe nails stays attached), antibiotic ointment, bandages, Gastrolyte, malaria pills, bandages, band aids, and much more.
Since the power will be shut off for a few hours each night in the Gambia, I will also have to bring my headlamp and spare batteries.
And those are just the main items. There are many details to consider and careful planning is a must! I have put together an extensive list and will have it close at hand when the time comes to pack my suitcase.
In addition to the gear required for the run, I’ll also need to bring my camera and my iPad, so I can virtually share my experiences with you. Since completing the gear list, I’ve been wondering if my arms will be stronger than my legs after the trip given all I’ll be carrying!
But before packing my bags for the Gambia, I will get ready for another trip – I am off to Halifax next week to run the Blue Nose Marathon as part of Team Love4Gambia! It is not too late to support my fundraising campaign specific to the Blue Nose Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Just click here to donate!
As always, thanks for your support!