Show up, step up, and clean up with these three low-cost, must-have items for your next Spartan Race.
There are heaps of articles floating around out there – good ones, in fact – with recommendations on how to train for your first Spartan Race or how to step up from a Spartan Sprint to complete your first Super, Beast, Ultra Beast or Hurricane Heat. There are also plenty of helpful posts and lists circulating on equipment recommendations for OCR races such as Spartan, Tough Mudder, and others. In future, I may also tackle those topics and share my take.
Today, we’re going to focus on 3 basics. These aren’t high dollar, sexy gear items that make the typical article. However, these things could very well be the key to a fun and enjoyable race day from prep through the finish line and recovery. Best of all, you can try them all without breaking the bank!
You’ll want to leave your post-race gear in bag check rather than having a friend or family lug it around and to avoid a long trip back to the car. Get there and you’ll see hundreds of bags and backpacks that all look alike – not a big deal until after the race when you’re wading through (more) mud to hunt for a needle in a haystack or waiting impatiently for the volunteer staff to do so.
I use and really like this MARCHWAY dry bag for three reasons – very affordable, bright color stands out from all the others, and it’s the perfect waterproof container for clothes and shoes that are slathered in mud, dirt, and water post-race. I went with the 20L for its size – big enough for shoes plus dirty clothes – and backpack style straps.
On The Trail
To me, you can’t beat the Salomon product line for trail running and day hiking. Their Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe is bomb-proof with huge, knobby grip for muddy trails and walls. Plus they hose and wash off like new every time.
The other great thing with the Salomon design is the integrated locking shoelace. However, if you’re still racing a shoe with traditional shoe laces, you really don’t want them getting caught up in a barbed wire obstacle or coming loose and popping off in a mud pit. A product called Lock Laces modifies your standard shoe laces to cinch up and lock down to secure the laces and then leaves only a short length of lace loose to be tucked under the criss-cross section.
In fact, I saw recently that Spartan pro athlete Robert Killian is now a brand ambassador for Lock Laces. He’s a great guy and incredible athlete, so we’re on the right team with this product! Here’s a link to the Robert Killian OCR Edition or in my case I was tired of seeing my son run around the soccer field with untied laces flopping everywhere. Multipack – problem solved!
Simplest of all and this one may sound silly, but trust me – Q-Tips! After the obligatory mud pit and dunk wall, you can hose off all you like after the race and take a few showers back at home or the hotel…you’re still going to have mud, dirt, and slurry appearing mysteriously. They’re also great along with some peroxide, alcohol, or iodine to touch up the likely numerous scrapes and cuts. Toss a handful of Q-Tips in a ziplock in your race bag or suitcase and by handful I mean a generous handful. Your body will thank you!
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Note to reader: This article contains product/service recommendations based on my own trial, error, and what I’ve found works well for me. Again, these are my own opinions from my personal experience. Your mileage will vary. For your convenience, I’ve provided links – mostly to Amazon because I’m a fan of the shopping and shipping ease. These are affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to make a purchase then I will earn a small commission – at no additional cost to you. Please spend your hard-earned dollars wisely and only consider those products that are right for you. If you choose to purchase any of these items, I’d be honored if you do so through the affiliate link as the commissions will help to further the mission here at Man of Mastery. For more about affiliate links please see this page on our website.