Running 198 miles through the wilderness at high elevation, in unpredictable weather, through the darkness, surviving on little to no sleep ... shockingly sounds rather appealing to some adventurists. For those seeking a new way to achieve the “runner’s high,” these races are just the ticket. Multi-leg relay races are another subset of the running craze. These races push your comfort zone and challenge you both physically and mentally.
So when it comes to the list of things you need to keep track of on race day, apparel should be the least of your worries. We’ve compiled three complete outfits to take you through your multi-leg race journey. These trail tested and approved items will carry you through sun, rain, cold and darkness, all while looking stylishly swift.
Stage 2: Dusk and dawn
For dusk or dawn runs, you need options that allow you to adapt to the changes in temperature or weather. Our second outfit will carry you through a low-light leg in prepared style.
1. Active Extreme Concept Piece LS Women’s by Craft — When it comes to mobility, Craft pieces are hard to beat. The Active Extreme Concept Piece Long Sleeve is not only flattering and stylish but allows for unconstricted arm swing, thanks to their Moving Wing technology. The body-mapped design created with elastic fabrics is snug in all the right places and moves with your body. The thin, jersey fabric keeps you feeling dry and fresh and will quickly become one of your favorite pieces. Soft, lightweight and vibrantly hued, this piece will whisk you to the finish line. (http://shop.craftsports.us)
2. Women’s Apex Lite Jacket by The North Face — With vastly varied weather conditions, racers in the Rocky Mountains need to be prepared for an unexpected afternoon thunderstorm or temperature drop. The Apex Lite jacket by The North Face is an ideal piece to stash in your pack. Wind and water resistant, this light layer provides just enough protection from the elements without hindering your stride. The new FlashDry fabric offers superior breathability and shortened drying time. The fit is flattering and feminine, and the reflective detailing keeps you visible as the sun begins to set. (www.thenorthface.com)
3. Women’s TT Sock by Zoot Sports — Before you can race to the finish line, racing to get your gear on just got a little easier, thanks to the unique double tab construction of the Women’s TT Sock by Zoot Sports. The easy-to-grab design allows for quick changes between race legs, while also providing Achilles protection. The breathable, thin, moisture-wicking construction keeps feet blister free, and the built in arch support helps to reduce fatigue by promoting blood flow out of the foot. (http://zootsports.com)
4. AIR 2.0 Lady Tight 3/4 by Gore Running Apparel — When you look good, you feel good. Gore Running Apparel fully understands and embraces this philosophy. With a full rainbow of color options available for the AIR 2.0 Lady Tight, you’ll have a hard time choosing just one. But the colors aren’t the most sumptuous aspect — the stretchability, wearability, fit and feel of the fabric is soft and subtle. Engineered specifically for running, the cooling and venting design crafted from microfiber fabric aids in temperature regulation and breathability. The flat-lock seam detailing works with your figure to contour and flatter your backside, finished with subtle reflective touches on the hem. (www.goreapparel.com)
5. Wink Hydration Pack by Ultimate Direction — Staying hydrated during any race is important. Staying hydrated in a multi-leg or multi-day race is crucial. The Wink Hydration Pack by Ultimate Direction offers an impressive 70-ounce (2 liter) reservoir, conveniently accessed by the HyperFlow bite valve. The visually appealing, women-specific pack was designed for the smaller torso of a female. Petite in size, not in features, the 100 percent BPA-free pack has easily accessible shoulder strap pockets and plenty of room for your energy bars, phone and rain jacket in the main storage pocket. The ventilation provided by the 3D AirMesh back panel and shoulder straps keeps you cool and comfortable during your entire run. (www.ultimatedirection.com)
6. XR Mission W by Salomon — These stunners will have you sprinting toward the finish line in style and comfort. The Ortholite dual density foot bed creates a cushioned landing and heel support. Conquer various terrain on these light yet stable trail runners. The XR Mission W precisely contours to various foot shapes thanks to Salomon’s Asymmetrical Sensiflex technology. The one-pull lacing system will have you reaching for these breathable beauties on race day and every day. (www.salomon.com)
Stage 3: Through the darkness
Running through darkness is a wild and invigorating experience. Having your outfit dialed in will allow you to freely frolic with confidence and courage.
1. LiteBelt 100 by GoMotion — Evening runs can be exciting and a bit scary. Actually being able to see the route will allow you to charge the trail with confidence. Illuminate the path with the LiteBelt100 by GoMotion. The bright light beams from your midsection, rather than your head, keeping the light more stable and less jarring. The 100-lumen light is powered by three AA batteries, with an adjustable beam angle and flood to spotlight beam option, while two flashing tail lights keep you visible and safe from the rear. The breathable padded belt offers two storage pockets, with reflective touches to keep you safe and comfortable during the nighttime leg of your race. (http://gomotiongear.com)
2. QuickDraw Plus by Nathan — For a short leg in your race, a handheld water bottle can allow you to carry just the right amount of water without weighing you down. This QuickDraw Plus by Nahan can carry 22 ounces of liquid in the easy-to-squeeze TruFlex bottle. The hand strap is fully adjustable and allows for grip-free running, while the storage pocket expands to allow room for your phone, gels and blocks. With six colors to choose from, you can be as bright or demure as you desire. (www.nathansports.com)
3. Lillehammer Leggings by Tasc Performance — Slipping into these leggings, you may momentarily think that you accidentally put your pajamas back on. The soft and luxurious bamboo fabric feels incredibly smooth and silky against your skin. It’s hard to believe that such a supple and comfortable piece could deliver such high performance. The Lillehammer Leggings by Tasc are crafted of the company’s performance jersey fabric, a moisture wicking, anti-odor, breathable creation composed of bamboo fabric that receives a BamCo finishing process. The thick waistband is figure flattering and stays put during your entire run, although you’ll probably end up wearing these as often as you can justify. (www.tascperformance.com)
4. Impact Thermal 1/2 Zip by New Balance — The Impact Thermal 1/2 Zip by New Balance combines two of our favorite things: coffee and thumbholes. The NB Heat technology uses eco-friendly coffee grinds to deliver a fabric that increases the surface temperature of the skin by approximately two degrees. This thermal warmth paired with built-in thumb holes will keep you cozy and comfortable on and off the trail. This crisp, bright and flattering piece is perfect as a second layer, the long zipper allowing for easy temperature regulation. (www.newbalance.com)
5. Lesko Shimmel Tank by Oiselle — While the Lesko Shimmel tank by Oiselle isn’t guaranteed to make you run faster, it sure will make you look cuter. The stylish, fashion-forward piece could easily be mistaken for a lifestyle piece, but the top is ready and willing to get sweaty. The micropoly material keeps you feeling fresh and odor-free. The built-in shelf bra has high compression that offers full support, yet remains breathable and cool. Speaking of cool, for those whose passion for running is shared by their significant other, Oiselle offers custom-designed bridal running gowns, so you can run your way down the aisle. (www.oiselle.com)
6. Women’s PHD Run Light Micro by Smartwool — Wool that’s smartly and responsibly crafted into quality garments is what SmartWool has been creating for 17 years. The Women’s PDH Run Light Micro sock is a perfect example. The sock is lightly cushioned for a comfortable ride, with Realiwool technology employed in the high-density impact zones. The sock stays in place, thanks to the 4-Degree Elite Fit System, ensuring a blister-free race. The moisture-managing properties of the merino wool, along with the mapped ventilation system, keep your feet dry and happy. (www.smartwool.com)
7. Women’s PureCadence 2 by Brooks — Forgetting that you’re even wearing shoes might be the best compliment one could give to a running shoe. The PureCadence2 by Brooks achieves just that. The lean and light construction hugs your foot and offers unparalleled flexibility. The responsive midsole molds to each runner’s size and stride. The lower offset encourages proper form for those with back issues, while the split toe box allows the big toe to function independently, aiding in balance. The Nav Band that wraps over the instep provides a snug fit, not to mention looking darn snappy. These appealing and attractive road shoes might quickly become your everyday, all-day shoes. (www.brooksrunning.com)