Run Like Monkey

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The Anti-Gear Junkie

Posted by scott on September 8, 2010

I had to first admit that I’m a gear junkie.  I’m always interested in hearing about new gear, and have tested pre-release products for several companies and blogged about it.  And I love all of that.  But in the end, I tend to stick with just a few items and try to eschew the insatiable consumerism that surrounds running as a hobby.
TATTOOED POST RUNNER  --  Delivering the mail in Old Japan (2) 入れ墨
Photo credit: Okinawa Soba on flickr

Do you really need so much brand name, expensive gear to run?  Too many runners really get their heads wrapped up in their gear, and think they can’t perform well, or sometimes even at all, unless they have certain pieces of equipment.  I definitely have a few pieces of what I call expensive gear, that I rely on in certain situations:

  • My Nathan HPL #020 Race Vest is my favorite hydration pack for runs of any length.
  • My Moeben arm sleeves are my favorite piece of clothing for hot or cool weather.
  • I always wear a Garmin, but not sure if my brand new 405 was really worth it over my used 205.
  • My Vibram Five Fingers KSO are my favorite running shoes.  They are the most expensive priced shoes I have bought, and the cheapest by far per-mile.
  • My Petzl MYO XP headlamp is heavy but totally worth the carry for night runs.

Many of these items last for a long time, so were durable purchases.  I buy clearance running gear almost exclusively, and still question the need.  At any rate, I also remind myself that I enjoy those items, but I don’t really need them.

I love seeing Anton Krupicka run through an aid station at the Leadville 100 wearing a button up shirt.

I love reading about Joel’s new Dickensian wool running pants for winter, $3 from Goodwill.

I love hearing that John through-hiked the Appalachian Trail in Chaco sandals.

I had a blast running 18 miles once with just a wallet, shorts, and sandals.

I think you can do a lot more than you think with a lot less.

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5 Responses to “The Anti-Gear Junkie”

  1. Londell said

    I agree about the 405. I tend to use my 305 more often… Love my nathan as well.

  2. SteveQ said

    I always get looks from my friends when I show up to a race seemingly under-equipped. At the 2008 Voyageur 50, I saw all these people with so much stuff, that I shed my shirt, my hat and my water bottle.

    Should’ve kept the bottle. 50 miles in the heat without it was just stupid.

  3. Diego said

    How are the kso’s the cheapest per mile? Can you put more then the usual 4 or 5 hundred miles?

  4. [...] The Anti-Gear Junkie – from Run Like Monkey by scott [...]

  5. scott said

    @Diego – I currently have 600 miles on my VFF, and they are good for at least a few hundred more. I’m just going off of the calculations that runningahead.com provides for me, they are my “cheapest” “shoes”.

    @Steve – stupid is as stupid does, oh well. you are a perfect example of someone who has a running resume that speaks volumes. others have gear that speaks volumes but maybe not much else. i also love reading about your Brickyard runs where your “gear” is a few gallon jugs of water at the top of the hill… that you gladly let the hobos steal!

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