My Ultra Essentials: Summer Race Edition

Disclaimer: I received a stick of BodyGlide to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

As training for my TransAlpine Run, I completed three 50k runs over the past three weekends. The first was a fairly unsupported group fun run, the second was a destination mountain race, Broken Goat, which had 5 summits and some incredible alpine running, and the third was a local 50k race, Buckin’ Hell, that started by the ocean, went up a mountain, and then back down. Each one was a unique experience and challenging in different ways.

Baden Powell Fun Run
Photo by Brian McCurdy (
Buckin' Hell 50k 2016

I’m going to give a breakdown of the gear I used for the last and most supported race, the Buckin’ Hell 50k which is put on by the Coast Mountain Trail Series. My requirements for this race were fairly minimal as the aid stations were less than 10k apart, the weather was warm, there were a couple dropbag location options, and we were never far from civilization. It represents a typical race kit for me but always make sure to do your research and bring all the required gear!


It’s summer, it’s hot, it’s humid. Perfect conditions for chafing. It’s amazing how such a small problem can result in an incredible amount of pain and discomfort, especially over long distances. And then there’s always the post-run shower … ouch!!! For me, it’s usually my thighs rubbing that does it, but for others it’s pack friction, clothing seams, under arms, blistering feet, or … the dreaded ass chafing (I’ve overheard grown men screaming in the shower due to this – if you run with me I think you can guess who that was).

That’s why I always carry a stick of BodyGlide with me for runs and races of any distance. I recommend applying a pre-run layer to known problem areas and then reapplying when needed.

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra Set pack & soft flasks

My main gear problem is that I usually carry too much on me. There are so many “what ifs” but for supported races, I really don’t need that much. But what I do need is to be travelling light. This 3L super light pack by Salomon is ideal for this. It holds two soft flasks on the front, has two zippered side pockets perfect for snacks, and a couple pouches on the back big enough to fit a few other essentials such as a cellphone, BodyGlide and an ultra light jacket.


I fill one of my soft flasks with plain water and in the other I add a Nuun tabletfor elecrolytes. This is especially important when it is hot and you are sweating a lot. I top them up at each aid station and add more Nuun as requried.


Photo or it didn’t happen, right? I love my bringing my GoPro Hero4 Silver with me on runs. It’s great for group selfies and capturing beautiful landscapes. It’s fairly compact and light, and also has a waterproof (and sweatproof) case which is great for rainy Vancouver.

Black Diamond Carbon Z poles

Poles are a great tool if races allow them but they do take some time to get the hang of using. I brought them with me for Broken Goat and Buckin’ Hell to get some practice. These poles are collapsable, super lightweight, and sure do come in handy for tired legs and big climbs!


Ideally, I would bring homemade, healthy, whole food snacks with my on my runs … but that almost never happens. Honey Stinger gels and chews and Gorp bars are my go-to pre-packaged, store-bought fuel options that I love. I usually pick them up from MEC and if you buy 12 snack items, you get 10% off (this includes Nuun too).


  • Muff wipes
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Tylenol & Advil (just in case)


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