SALOMON AGILE 12
so when i was picking out my bag, i wanted to get something, that could fit everything i wanted to bring (bear in mind that included 4 mandarin oranges), yet not too big/bulky such that it would restrict my movement when running. it had to be compact, yet be able to perform its function to bring everything i needed for survival. so i picked out the salomon agile 12. set. it was compact enough, yet it allowed me to carry all i needed (remember, that included my rainjacket, my windbreaker, 1.5 litres of liquid, my nutrition, my medical kit, oh yes my mandarin oranges). this model definitely suited a longer trail run like the tmbt.
the pack comes with a 1.5 litre hydration bag, but i chose not to use it for my race. i wanted to have different liquids. so i chose to bring 3 500ml bottles, one gatorade, one of mineral water, and one filled with electrolyte. the 3 bottles fit snugly in my pack. with the right adjustments, the bag and me, felt like one. we moved as one. it felt like i was not carrying a pack. indeed designed for freedom.
one of the major problems i had with my previous hydration pack was that the shoulder straps kept rubbing against my neck, causing what is commonly known as chaffing, but around my neck area. with this salomon pack of mine, i did not have this problem. the fabric used, increases ventilation, reduces friction, and also saves my neck.
also, what i liked about it was the multiple compartments, which makes what you need easily accessible whilst running. doing the tmbt, i could hardly stop (though i would say more of because i was not allowed to stop). because if you stopped to rest for a minute, stopping 10 times, would already cost you 10 minutes of your time. time was scarce. so it is of utmost importance that you can readily get access to what you require. it saves you time.
minor plus point is that it comes with a whistle which is on the mandatory list. so buying this, i struck off two items on the mandatory list.
my pre-race essential breakfast. my pre-training food. i have grown pretty reliant on moolabar. it's pretty standard for me. 1 bar to fuel me for a 10km race. 2 bars and i'm good to go for a half marathon. i'm not going to talk about my experience with moolabar, but a friends. my friend, he was doing the 50km as well. he only brought snickers with him. right before the race, i gave him a moolabar and he had this to say. 'moolabar is damn good eh. i had snickers, it didn't work. i was so energy-less. but the moolabar, it was so good. it gave me the energy i needed. you should have gave me more.' so i guess it's pretty good race food.
i packed 8 bars with me for this race. other than my mandarin oranges and some pineapples and water station 3, i only ate moolabar throughout my 10 hour 24 minutes journey. i don't do power gels or anything like that. just moolabar. i prefer real food. it tastes good (surely better than overly sweet gels), at the same time provides you with the requisite energy.
SALOMON ELEVATE 2 PACK SOCKS
'99 bucks for just socks? seriously?' - my reaction on the price of salomon socks. okay, fine, it was 99 bucks for 2 pairs of socks, but still, i never expected socks to cost so much. my cousin, well she said the same thing. even worse was she picked up the salomon shorts, saw that it cost 89 bucks and went 'dude, the socks are more expensive than the shorts.' people don't spend much on socks. but honestly i would say, it's something people should spend a little more on. personally i felt the salomon elevate 2 pack socks was very breathable. the material was very comfortable for me. bearing in mind, i used these socks for the whole 50km, a total of 10 hours 24 minutes, and i had zero blister issues which i normally do, so spending a little more money on this, to avoid blister issues, is to me, worth it. you can avoid a world of pain.
SALOMON SLAB SENSE 3 ULTRA
these are my favourite shoes. lightweight and super comfortable, hence my favourite racing shoe. so for a journey of 50km, of course it was a no brainer for me to pick this pair.
this shoe is designed for rocky and technical, yet not too muddy conditions. they work flawlessly in these conditions. 75 percent of the trail was on road, gravel and dry/rocky ground. so for these section of the trail, the shoe performed. and having to thread through river and mud and great likelihood of rain, more likely than not your shoes will be drenched. i liked the ventilation the shoe provided. i didn't feel that the wet shoes nor socks affected my running. so kudos to the ventilation and drainage characteristics of this shoe.
if you are thinking twice whether to get this pair of shoes for trail running, this shoe also doubles up as my road running race shoe. one shoe, two functions. people always say jack of all trades, master of none. but this here, is a master of both functions.
no brainer as to what i'm going to be using, should i decide to do this race next year.