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RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015 Blogs

This is becoming a reality. Oh dear, what have I done?
09-Apr-2015 02:38:39 AM [(GMT+01:00) Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna]

Right, 108 days, 2592 hours, 155,520 minutes til kick-off - and I've just wasted 20 of them working out how to get into this thing and post blogs. 

Current positives: I have a bag (Raidlight 30), donated by a mate, some running kit, a Therm-o-Rest and some water bottles. I have done some decent shuffles with bags of rice in the pack and it's been OK in the cold.

Concerns: Not sure what sleeping bag to get, have NO idea how to keep my pack below 11kg and not sure which shoes to run in and whether gaiters (?) are needed for this race!

Looking forward with excitement and trepidation, in equal measure....

3 COMMENTS

Kristina Arthur

Posted: 04-May-2015 12:03:16 PM

Hi, I don't have the years of experience (only one previous race for me!) but I was a back-of-the-packer in Iceland and I was incredibly happy with my gear... I decided to invest my money in my sleeping bag last time and got a custom one from PhDesigns in the UK. I'm short (1.58m) and didn't want to lug around excess sleeping bag, hence the custom made one, but their normal length ones are light and warm and, when I did the research before the Iceland race, similar price to buying standard ones. If you are the right height for a standard sleeping bag then that gives you loads more options though! Personally I went with a sleeping bag that was temperature rated a bit lower than what was required, but I can't sleep cold. I think that turned out rather well considering the weather in Iceland, will probably be overkill for Ecuador, but that's what I've got. Shoes, I'm an inov-8 fan. Whatever you get though I'd suggest something light but comfortable and definitely a size or two up from what you would normally wear. I wore the inov-8 gaiters last time and while they weren't as good at keeping everything out they were good enough for Iceland and I'll probably use them again. I think what gear you invest in depends on where you think you'll be in the race. A friend of mine who was at the front in Iceland had a backpack about a kg lighter than mine I think. I knew I'd be slower and packed a bit more for comfort - my pack was 10kg. I'm trying to shave off a kg at least this time around. Incidentally, one thing I noticed when I was looking at blogs from past races for research is people often complained about the lack of real food by about stage 3, so I took a range of 'real' snacks with me... Make sure you like the food you're taking, whether it's technical or normal food, it'll make things mentally easier! Definitely test everything - including food, electrolytes, etc - beforehand.

Tony Brammer

Posted: 04-May-2015 08:58:20 AM

Hi Budgie, I share your excitement for this great race, but there again I only have to sit around and cheer. I would always suggest taking a pair of gaiters, if it's only to help keep the dust and crap ot of your shoes. Ah the shoes, 2 years ago you would have been lucky to see a pair of Hoka in a race, now I must see more than 30% of competitors wearing them, but like everything else for a race, don't bring anything you have trained in before. Be warned about Hokas, once you try a pair, you will never go back. Aim to get your total pack weight down below 10kg, remember you will be carrying around 2 kilos of water as well so that would bump the weight up to 12kg. If your middle to back of the race you will need treats to keep your spirits up, and Riitta is dead right a sleeping pad and poles are a must. One last tip, there are no daft questions, so keep asking.

Riitta H

Posted: 04-May-2015 06:36:09 AM

Hey Budgie, Good to see your blog up and well done for getting your first training runs completed with the backpack. The course is Ecuador has a minimal amount of soft sand so gaiters are not a must. There are dusty gravel roads thought so if you want to be sure to keep dust off your shoes, then you could consider minimal gaiters, like Rough Country Trail Running gaiters or Salomon S Lab Trail gaiters. The sleeping bag recommended in the equipment list has some good options but others may send you recommendations as well. By packing only the mandatory items and choosing good lightweight gear, you should be able to keep your back weight in 7-8 kgs. In addition I would recommend to consider a camping mattress and trekking poles. You can also post questions on Ecuador Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/events/396549363827897/ Hope this helps and look forward to seeing you in Ecuador - not long to go! Riitta (from the 4 Deserts team)

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BUDGIE WRIGHT
RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015

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London, United Kingdom

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Advisor on real estate acquisition, disposal and funding in London

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Got caught up in someone else's mid-life crisis!

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