The unofficial kickoff to trail running season is only a few days away in the Deep South. Birmingham has the Oak Mountain 50k, and Alabama’s first 100 of the year (and 50 and 27-mile “fun run”) will be at Lake Martin. So, basically, this weekend we will have ALL THE ULTRAS!
With a new racing season come new ultra runners who are probably trying to soak up every ounce of advice they can. Or at least that’s how I was.
After a few years of trial-and-error and “Oh shit, I forgot X” and “Ugh, why did I bring Y,” I feel like I have my ultra packing list pretty much set in stone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about what to bring to your ultra (and I didn’t piss you off with my post on how to ultra), here’s a peek at what I pack inside my drop bag:
Diaper cream—Slather your feet in this butt salve to ward off blisters
Batteries—A dim headlamp is dangerous, and a dead phone battery is demoralizing (for me, at least)
Needle—Pop those nasty-ass blisters if they become too troublesome
Vaseline—For when your special bits start to chafe
Wet wipes—Way more gentle on your aforementioned chafed bottom than leaves or grass
Extra socks—Trust me—take those extra few moments and change your socks
Scissors—For any wardrobe malfunctions or extraneous limbs that get in the way
Favorite snack—Nothing lifts your spirits like a morsel of your favorite food in the middle of the race
Caffeine—Espresso beans, Red Bull, caffeinated Gu are worth their weight in gold at 2 a.m.
Ziplock bags—Toss some aid station food into these suckers to create your own custom trail mix and keep moving during the race
Ginger chews—Settle an upset stomach before it derails your race
Sodium—S Caps, Tailwind, McDonald’s salt packets, ocean water—stay salty, my friends!
Whiskey—I have found that sipping on the good stuff both during and after races is quite enjoyable
Seasoned racers—what do you think? Anything I’m missing?