An expensive adventure!
Eric and I are not elite runners, but we don’t do so bad for a couple of 50 (or almost 50) year olds with day jobs! The essential thing is that we love experiencing these long runs together and sharing that solidarity with other runners, the volunteers who make the experience possible and the spectators who come out in the middle of nowhere at all hours of the day and night and in all kinds of weather to cheer us on.
Confident in our abilities, but less savvy about the gear needed for such a long haul, I did a lot of research online. While we wanted the best gear to protect us from all the weather that the Tor could throw at us, the prices for top of the line material was intimidating, to say the least.
There are several sites online that tested all kinds of gear and provided really helpful comparisons online. Like this one from Outdoor Gear Lab on jackets (http://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/clothing-mens/best-insulated-jacket)
and this one on the best headlamps by fellrnr.com (http://fellrnr.com/wiki/Best_Running_Lights#GoMotion_Orion ).
I found very competitive prices on the US site backcountry.com, and after my first purchases (Mountain Hardware waterproof gloves, I think), I received an email from the company, a “Gear Head” (a very friendly and competent guy named Chasen Fairfield). It was great to feel supported, and I let Chasen know that I was looking for more gear, bigger ticket items like Norrona waterproof jackets and Patagonia Nano puff jackets, but I couldn’t afford them at their retail prices. He took on the challenge and got back to me within a day with amazing sales prices on these items! We bought them on Backcountry.com.
Fortunately, we had friends coming to visit from the US, who could carry all that stuff with them! Thanks Mary, Joni, Brynnn and Philippa!! The best Sherpas ever!
So now that we are almost entirely equipped by Backcountry, I looked a little more into the company’s mission and found that we have the same goals of sharing our passion, ownership and vision about what can be accomplished through sport and adventure together in the outdoors. So happy to have them on our team…even if they don’t know it yet!