Friday, December 6, 2013

Gift Guide: 11 Perfect Gifts for Ragnar Runners

Earlier this week, I wrote a gift guide for Paleo and Whole30 folks, so to close out the week, I figured I'd make another gift guide for Ragnar Runners. If someone in your gift giving circle has taken the plunge and signed up for Ragnar, this list encompasses at least part of what they want and need for race weekend.

  1. Wee Flasher (LED Light) ($10)- When we were at the Adirondacks race, a Scotsman was a volunteer and called our LED lights a wee flasher. The name stuck. I stayed with the Nathan brand gear here because this is the one I use (though mine is pink). So far, I've not been disappointed with them.
  2. Hand Held Water ($19.35) - Again, another Nathan item. I think they must have bought all of the space on the running stores around me, since that's where I've picked up most of this gear. I really like this specific hand held. It stores my keys easily. If you want something that also holds a phone, I recommend another one of their hand held series which has a pocket for that.
  3. Cards Against Humanity ($25) - If you've played Apples to Apples, just imagine that game with horrific cards. Definitely Rated-R and definitely a must have for those down times with your team (even better for playing around a 6 pack after the race is over).
  4. Oozeki Isostrength Lite (29.95) - I LOVE this. I cannot remember where I bought it - some expo, I know that much. This is a great tool because it is very compact, but allows for active and isolated stretching, which I really need for my ankle and IT band. Your runner will LOVE this and so will their team.
  5. Sleeping Bag ($51.22) - Do NOT grab that old sleeping bag taking up space in the closet. That will not help anyone in the van. Bulky items are to be disposed of. Instead, invest in a compact sleeping bag like the one pictured here. I've enjoyed my Lafuma and it packs down to about the size of a loaf of bread.
  6. Headlamp ($29.95) - Though Ragnar only requires 2 headlamps per van, I always encourage my teammates to have their own. It doubles wonderfully at night as a porta-potty light and is generally helpful after dark. After testing a couple, I prefer the Petzl brand lamps.
  7. Nuun ($29.95 for a pack of 4 tubes) - Nuun is critical on our team. I don't like to drink sports drinks with sugar in them - they make me phlegmy (yum!). Nuun does not add sugar (they use stevia) and it's been the best hydration resource I've found.
  8. Foam Roller ($38.95) - Most runners already have a foam roller, but if when you add travel, it's time to grab a smaller option. One of my teammates has this model and we all love it. Since it's hollow, you can stuff it with whatever clothes you bring with you to save space.
  9. BioFreeze ($14.53 for two) - Move over Icy Hot. I much prefer BioFreeze and use this as a topical pain killer right before my third leg (insert Ragnar appropriate joke here).
  10. Scott James Jewelry ($35) - Scott James created a line of jewelry for Ragnar that I absolutely love. I have the Ragnar mountain charm and the ring pictured above. For the Ragnar fanatic in your life, this gift will have a lot of meaning. The jewelry is quality, even for the low cost. You can also put together a necklace with charms for each of the locations they have run.
  11. Reflective Vest ($27)- Each runner is required to wear a vest after dark - whether you are actually running or not. Since you spend a lot of time in this (and it's pretty important), I recommend getting a comfortable one. Again, after a lot of trial and error, I've found that my go-to is a Nathan series vest.
  12. Metal Hanger ($55) - I finally caved and bought this for myself. I'm really pleased with the decision. I've raced 11 Ragnars and many of those have earned me a double metal (or two or three). It's sturdy construction and comes in silver, black, and orange.

Ragnar runners....what did I miss?

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