The season of adventure is here… and what better way to kick it off than with Mission Mt Somers. With four events of varying difficulty, there’s something for everyone – from seasoned marathon competitors, through to aspiring runners.
Set around an ancient rhyolite dome volcano on the western edge of the Canterbury Plains, Mission Mt Somers presents not only an opportunity to compete, but also the chance to be immersed among stunning South Island scenery – from steep, jagged cliffs to beech forest and tussock.
Apart from adequate training, the most important part of your preparation should be making sure you’ve got the right gear. Appropriate clothing and equipment can quickly make or break your race – there’s nothing worse than being wet, cold, sweaty, dehydrated or uncomfortable when you’re halfway into a race with a long way to go until the finish line.
So we’ve teamed up with the Mission Mt Somers team to put together this list of essential items to make your race experience the best – no matter what the weather, or the trail throws at you.
A good hydration pack is absolutely necessary – you don’t want to be carrying a separate daypack and drink bottle. Keeping your gear to a minimum weight will make a huge difference to your overall comfort. We recommend the Amp 12 Hour – the ultimate runner’s companion. Constructed with durable Titan Grid™ technology, this hydration pack minimizes weight and maximizes durability. Despite its light weight of just 0.48kg, it has plenty of room inside for a 2L bladder. Balanced with a wide hip belt – this pack provides the stability needed for high intensity adventures like Mission Mt Somers.
Never underestimate the importance of good quality thermals – they make such a difference to your overall comfort, especially when you’re moving. These pack down small and are super lightweight, so you should always carry a spare set in your pack just in case. We recommend either Macpac Geothermals or Prothermals.
Macpac Prothermals are designed in partnership with elite mountaineers from the world-renowned New Zealand Alpine Team, and have set a new benchmark in thermal technology.These technical base layers feature a sophisticated Polartec® Power Grid™construction that enhances wicking efficiency, delivering high breathability, minimal weight and incredible warmth in cool conditions. Prothermals are available in a range of styles, and are perfect for a range of high intensity activities – from alpine climbing to adventure racing.
Macpac Geothermals seamlessly fit into your layering system, and are made from quick-drying 100% polyester. They’re lightweight, exceptionally durable and easy to look after. Plus, they’re available in a range of sizes, colours and styles.
When people think of wool, they often think of heavy winter jumpers and bulky ear-warming beanies. However, merino wool is actually incredibly versatile, and a favourite of many adventurers. Merino has so many natural benefits that make it perfect for events like Mission Mt Somers Although you certainly wouldn’t want to layer up with multiple merino layers, key garments can make a real difference. A lightweight Macpac Merino 150 beanie, for example, will not only keep your ears warm if it’s cold, but it will actually regulate your temperature, keeping you cool in the heat due to its highly breathable properties. It’s also anti-odour, super soft on skin and itch-free.
A good rain jacket will make or break your race – if you don’t have one and it rains, you’ll very quickly become wet and cold. But quality is also important – if you select a jacket that’s not breathable and you’re using it for high intensity applications such as a Mission Mt Somers event, you’ll end up wet anyway as your sweat condenses on the inside and soaks your clothing underneath. Remember, even a plastic bag will keep the rain out, but without a good level of breathability, you may as well not be wearing one. We recommend either the Macpac Hightail Anorak or the Traverse Jacket.
Macpac Hightail Anorak (mens and womens) – another Alpine Series innovation, this rain jacket is incredibly lightweight – weighing in at just 180g (mens size M). It also has a tiny packed size, fitting into its own internal mesh pocket and taking up virtually no room or weight in your pack. It’s optimized for freedom of movement, and has an excellent breathability rating. A highly effective rainwear piece, the Hightail is fully taped and constructed with 100% Nylon Double Ripstop fabric with a thin Pertex Shield® membrane to create an almost weightless addition to your pack.
Macpac Traverse Jacket (mens and womens) – Engineered for active performance in Australasia’s changeable weather, the Traverse Jacket combines a lightweight construction with high breathability. It has a comfortable regular fit, with plenty of room underneath to layer according to your own comfort levels. The Traverse features a breathable Pertex Shield® AP membrane, allowing your body heat to pass through so you’ll be comfortable, despite the rain, as you continue to run
High Energy Food
Apart from a good water supply, you’ll need high energy snacks, particularly if you’re competing in the longer 42km marathon. When you’re training, you should make sure that the food that you have works for you – you don’t want to be trying something new on race day.
First Aid Kit
Don’t get caught out! Accidents can happen to anyone – whether you’re running 5km or 42km, there’s always the possibility of falling over and grazing your knees, or mistakenly veering off track and becoming lost. Your safety is paramount, so a First Aid Kit is part of your compulsory gear kit. The Aide System Comp SC kit has everything you need – you’ll just need to add a triangular bandage and map of the area as per Mission Mt Somers race rules.
Never race without a survival blanket – although the chances of needing it are low, it could save your life should you become lost and cold.