I have walked in the desert and across mountains around the world and gained good experience, while listening and learning from like-minded people. With Oslo Sportslager as a sponsor, I have access to the best range of equipment. Among other things, Oslo Sportslager has the largest selection of running shoes in Norway, so I feel pampered in this context.
Now I should run The Iranian Silk Road and I was carefully explained that the heat in the Dasht-e Lut desert and especially on Gandom-e Beryan would be something completely different from what I have tackled before of high temperatures like in the Sahara, Gobi and Atacama desert. Even at night, the temperature will rarely be lower than normal body temperature. The heat would therefore have a major influence on the choice of clothing.
On these races we live in simple tents in the wasteland and even have wet wipes to wash the body. But we are trying to use some of the drinking water to flush the body. The luxury of hygiene we have is that in the medical tents we can borrow a tub to wash sore feet with disinfectant water. Too many, this is one of today's highlights, where we talk and enjoy a little self-care. I often use the opportunity to wash a pair of socks before I drain the water.
Toilet is simple hole in the ground with tent walls around. Paper towels, disinfectant napkins and gel, we have to bring ourselves in the bag. To me, one of the procedures is to do my need before the leg of the day. I do not need unnecessary stops and in my mind I do not have to carry on the extra weight during the course.
With this degree of hygiene, you should be careful about the choice of clothes and equipment. The last thing you want is to be put out due to infection etc. during the competition.
I checked up the surface that characterized the race and found that stone, lava rock, gravel, salt flakes and other hard-packed surfaces would characterize much of the course. There would be three crossings of rivers and streams of salty clay and that last day would have a lot of loose sand and the need for gamas. The heat would also have an impact on parts of the substrate.
I have run the last two stages with the terrain shoe Hoka One One Challenger ATR. These have been the right shoes for me in several ways in long runs with picking up.
- The Challenger ATR has a wide sole in the forefoot, which for me with worn harnesses provides the extra stability required in rugged terrain.
- The Challenger ATR has a thick sole that removes some of the abrupt movements in the ankle as a rocky substrate often provides.
- The Challenger ATR has a heavy sole that provides an extra relief that comes with a bag of eight to ten kilos.
- The Challenger ATR has a little drop in the sole that is comfortable when I walk with normal times.
- The Challenger ATR has a good breathable upper body that gives airy legs and dries easily.
- The Challenger ATR has a good support around the ankle.
This year's new Challenger ATR model from Hoka One One is called Challenger ATR 2. This model weighed a little more and had a little more padding around the ankle. I tested a couple of Altra, Inov8 and, in addition, Hoka One One Speedgoat that I had heard very well about. Speedgoat was a fantastic shoe, but was narrower in the forefoot and sole. This made the shoe more unstable than the Challenger ATR and it was crying in my throat I put Speedgoat aside.
It became Challenger ATR 2 and I chose a pair that was two numbers bigger than normal and compensated with a set of extra soles. This because the heat, body bag, length of steps, etc. often lead to crooked legs.
After the race I am pleased with the choice of shoes and the extra soles I took out after the first day. The little things I can fault were that shoelaces took on a lot of salt and was therefore rigid. The upper part got a little beating of salt shavings, but did not break up. I also hugged a stone so I got a blue toe and the tip of the sole loosened a bit.
I have always used and been pleased with merino-stockings in the long run, so for me there is no need to change this. I pack two pairs of extra as I distribute them over the days. In some cases where the shoe may seem big at the start of a race, there are several who use two sets of stockings on each other.
Some also use "lady" nylon shorts as an extra layer to reduce blisters and friction against the skin.
The idea was to glue on a couple of gamas around the outer edge of the forest, but it was with the thought. In my luggage I had with a few short gamblers from Inov8, considering pebbles and gravel, but chose not to use gaiters on this race. This was because the need was mainly on the last long stage. With skates on the skirt, it's a bit warmer for the legs, an extra element to control and extra weight.
I usually use a couple of compression schemes from Falke instead of having more compression stockings. This in order to save weight and they are much easier to put on and off. The compression systems used me as protection against scrub and shrubs, but this time it was also to reduce the amount of sunscreen.
In this temperature, shorts are self-evident and pants are made out. But type, color and length can be important elements. I have previously run and been very pleased with short technical Shorts and had this included as an alternative. On the other hand, I chose a very easy 7 "long, by and black shorts.
This shorts had a thin, loose mesh knit with almost "no" seams. The nail throat seams around the thigh are an important factor as this area collects sweat. When the sweat dries, there is only salt content left in the seams, this rubs against the skin and sometimes does not touch any skin.
The length of the shorts I chose to reduce the amount of sunscreen. The highly loose shape and black will help capture the sun and the physics indicate that the warm air under the shorts increases circulation, retracts and cools air as a personal air conditioner. Well, it was good to run in even though there was not so much cool air that pulled up to the salty nuts.
I chose to run with the X-Run Ultra T-shirt from Gore Running ware and as I have used earlier and that I have been very pleased with. The only adjustment I chose to do was cut away the zipper to the pocket on my back. This in view of the possibility of unnecessary cheek ulcers due to the friction of my back when I run.
The t-shirt proved to be a very good choice, especially considering the friction of the bag and the cooling effect of water softening.
Of sweater I chose the lightest of all - Brynje Sprint suitable for high activity where good ventilation is important. It also dries quickly and has extremely low weight.
In addition, I had a rain / wind jacket as it was an item in the compulsory gear list.
On my head I have two favorites for use in the desert. My "cowboy" hats that I have many of and love to run with and that have airing all over the head. The other favorite is my good old salmon desert caps. The election was my desert caps from Salomon, with the electoral committee also a race director who inherited the "cowboy" hat.