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    Upping your ultra running game - three experienced trail runners share their insights

    on May 26, 2023

    CurraNZ put three important questions to some of our UK ultra-running ambassadors to get an inside look at their thoughts on gear and advice for those getting into ultras.

    Here, Meryl Cooper, Rachel Langrish and Chris Kelly share their nuggets of advice.

    Q: For people wanting to get into trail and ultra - what do you wish someone had told you when you started ultra running?

    Meryl (pictured, left):

    You don't have to be the fastest person to run an ultra but you do need to be very good at looking after yourself during one. For example, eating and hydrating regularly, keeping warm/cool and adapting to the conditions at the time. 

    Rachel: That ultra running is more about a journey than a race.  Due to the length of an event; even races that go well have bad patches, but just because you have a bad patch, doesn't mean you still can't have a good race outcome. 

    Focus on elements you can control and plan how you will respond if events happen beyond your control. 

    Chris: It would've been great to know earlier just how amazing the ultra and trail community is, as I might have got into it sooner. I'm not sure there is anything else like it. The support you get from fellow runners, organisers, amazing volunteers and supporters is simply awesome. 

    Q: What are your favourite pair of shoes and why?  

    Meryl: Inov-8 TRAILFLY G 270. They are light, cushioned and you feel a good connection with the ground.

    Rachel (pictured, right): 

    All my road and trail trainers are Hoka, so it would have to be one of those models!  The cushioning is like running on clouds! 

    I like the Cliftons (road) or Challengers (multi terrain) as a daily mileage shoe.  For trail I like the Tecton X, Speedgoats and Mafate Speed 4.

    Chris: My favourite shoes for trail running are the Hoka Tecton X. They are light, fast, versatile, responsive and just a whole lot of fun to run in. The new version has just been released and I can't wait to get them on my feet. 

    Q: What is your favourite piece of running kit ? 

    Meryl: Arm sleeves because they are an easy way of moderating body temperature without the faff of taking off your pack and layers of clothing.

    Chris (pictured right): Even though I love running to feel, I am a bit of a data geek, so I'd have to say my Garmin watch. I use it to record all my runs and various other sessions and find the data interesting to look back on. 

    Rachel: I would have to say Shockabsorber Ultimate Run Bra, Runderwear underwear and Injinji socks.

    It is equally, if not more important to get the layers closest to your skin right before thinking about outer layers!

    Obviously outer layers are important and they become more important the longer/more extreme the event, but even for short runs you always need the under layers so it's good to get these right.