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Official Adventure Racing Gear of TeamSOG

Article outlining the official gear for TeamSOG

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With the 2012 Adventure Racing season quickly approaching, the athletes on TeamSOG have been training hard to be ready for the grueling races that lie ahead. The fact that TeamSOG came in first place at the USARA Championship and was ranked #1 nationally by USARA during the 2011 season only adds to the already high expectations for them. At American Adventure sports we want our team members to work hard in the off season to be in shape and well prepared, but no amount of training can fully prepare the adventure racer to be a champion – they need some great gear. Adventure racers depend heavily on gear to make it through the hours on the trail or in the water. Having the right tools can make the difference between first and second place (or finishing at all), so we strive to create strong partnerships with our sponsors to get our athletes the best tools on which they can depend to get them through the race and maybe even give them an edge over the competition.

Knife – SOG Trident
Every racer needs a knife; it is an essential survival tool. When you’re out in the woods running around for hours, even days, you never know when you’ll need a knife. Our racers need knives for many reasons including cutting through rope and brush and getting them out of sticky situations if one should arise. All our athletes carry a SOG Trident during races. They are known for their strength and durability and sharpness. The athletes know that the Trident won’t fail them and can live up to the demands that an Adventure Race throws at them. SOG has been a longtime friend of American Adventure Sports and TeamSOG. Three years in a row they have been the official knife of TeamSOG and ECARS.

Head Lamp – Princeton Tec Apex Pro
Since adventure races have no set time limits, races can from hours to days. There is no “timeout” or “dark time.” Racers decide when they want to move and can be out at night biking and trekking. When out traveling in the dark, you want to be able to see as much as possible so you can safely stay on track, or find that Check Point. Our team needs a headlamp that will let them see what’s ahead and can stay lit for hours, so they use the Princeton Tec Apex Pro. Our team loves this lamp because it can pump out a super bright 200 lumens of light and last up to 35 hours. What is so impressive about it is that it comes in a surprisingly light weight, compact design. Whether on their helmets or on their bikes, this lamp lets them bike and trek with ease.

Shoes – Scott eRide grip shoes
Our racers are on their feet for hours running on miles of rough trail, so a great shoe with good traction is essential. There is no way any elite athlete can perform to their max if their feet are uncomfortable or in pain, that’s why our team uses Scott eRide Grip shoes. These shoes have superior technology which can survive the beating put on them by Adventure Racing. The shoes have the trademarked ion-mask which helps to repel water and dirt. Their feet stay drier and cleaner longer meaning more time for comfortable running. Also, Scott shoes are designed with the trademarked Ergologic Ride which makes a runner run more naturally. The unique design of the shoe allows for a healthier body position while running, more cushion and stability, minimizes heel-strike, and more efficient propulsion. All of Scott shoes are extremely lightweight without compromising cushioning, protection or traction. All of these characteristics mean our team can run in comfort for hours.

Socks – Darn tough hike/trek run/bike
With that being said, the comfort of the foot doesn’t just depend on the shoes; socks are also important if not even more so. TeamSOG only entrusts Darn Tough hike/trek or run/bike socks with the wellbeing of their feet during a race. These socks are truly awesome. They are made with merino wool which keeps the feet at the perfect temperature – cool when it’s hot out, warm when it’s cold out. The wool also keeps the foot extremely dry by wicking away moisture and keeping moisture out. They are also designed with sewn in support and extra cushioning where needed. These socks truly live up to their name since they are so darn tough – they are incredibly durable and will not wear out. Our racers get a competitive edge by wearing these socks which keep their feet comfortable, dry and pain free allowing them as much time as possible to bike and run.

Hammock – ENO DoubleNest Hammock
Even though we pride ourselves in having athletes be the strongest in the field, we understand that they aren’t super human. They have to take a break some time if the races are over 24 hours long. There isn’t much extra time to sleep, so it’s quality over quantity. To get the most out of their sleep, our athletes want to get up off the ground. ENO DoubleNest Hammocks offer maximum comfort in a small, lightweight package. The hammock offers 6’8” x 9’4” of space unfolded, but compacts down to 4” x 5” and weighs a measly 22 oz. It also only takes a few minutes to set up so there is no wasted time for assembly/ repacking. The quality of sleep that our racers get in such comfort could make a big difference in energy levels throughout the duration of a race.

Electrolyte add in – elete Electrolytes
Hydration is essential to Adventure racers. Spending hours biking, trekking and kayaking will definitely make you build up quite a sweat. With all that sweating comes a major loss of electrolytes. With loss of electrolytes comes fatigue and cramps. To maintain max performance, our team members must find a way to constantly replenish their electrolyte levels. They can’t carry around traditional sports drinks nor do they want to. Sports drinks are packed with sugars and artificial flavorings which can upset the stomach. Also, sports drinks don’t always do a good job replenishing all types of electrolytes that the body loses by sweating. That’s why they carry elete Electrolyte hydration add in. What our teams likes so much about elete Electrolytes is that it is completely flavorless, comes with even more health benefits than sports drinks, and is convenient to carry. Anytime they need to refuel, they can pop a few drops of elete add-in into their water bottle or hydration system and be good to go.

Water Bottle – Liberty 32 oz.
Since hydration is so important to TeamSOG members, they need something to store their water in. Liberty Bottleworks 32 oz bottles are extremely convenient and easy to use for our racers. The bottle has a quarter turn on/off lid meaning less turning to get the lid off for quicker rehydration. The bottle is also made to be durable and resist denting compared to other aluminum bottles. Our racers also feel good about using this brand because all Libery Bottles are BPA free, made from green products, and 100% recyclable.

Food – Honey Stinger
In Adventure Racing, the competitors must provide their own food no matter the length of the race. Consuming enough calories is extremely important to keep up energy levels. Our racers need to carry food with them that will be filling, provide a good amount of calories and nutrients all the while tasting good and being easy to carry What our team does is reach for any Honey Stinger products – energy gels, bars, or waffles. These products are delicious and definitely convenient. . The bars and gels pack a lot of good nutrition into just a few ounces of food. Our athletes can quickly and efficiently chow down, so they can get back to race. As an added bonus, all of their products are all-natural and don’t contain any artificial stimulants; honey does all the work.

Eyewear – Switch Magnetic Interchange System
Having complete awareness of the surrounding is of utmost importance while adventure racing. You always have to know what’s coming up ahead whether you’re bolting down the trail on a bike or kayaking in fast-moving white water. It is also necessary to protect your eyes from things like bugs and dirt. To do this, TeamSOG members use the Switch Magnetic Interchange Lens System. The conditions can be unpredictable and change quickly so adaptive eyewear is important. A team member can just take out the lens and change it to another type based on light or weather conditions. This can give them a bit of an advantage over the other competitors since they can better adapt to situations in a more timely fashion by clearly seeing what lies ahead, allowing them to avoid trouble or find a better route.

Eyewear Retainer – Cablz Zipz XL
Since our athletes are wearing glasses, they need something to keep them on their head while they’re racing around in the woods. Cablz Zipz XL allows them the confidence that no matter what they’re doing, their frames will stay on their heads where they belong. There is nothing more annoying than always having to fix your glasses sliding all over your face or having to fetch glasses that fell off your head while moving or The Zipz are fully adjustable, so they can fit any size or shape head. The team won’t have to waste time fumbling around with them or having to stop and pick up dropped glasses.

Bikes – Scott Spark 29 Elite
Adventure racers spend a good amount of time zooming along miles of technical trails during a race. Sometimes when the trail gets too tough or there is no trail racers must carry or push their bikes. For these reasons, the racers need a strong, durable bike that isn’t too heavy. The Scott Spark 29 Elite delivers on all of those requirements. This bike is a full suspension aluminum bike that performs like its carbon relatives. It’s designed to reduce the weight of the bike but remain just as durable and strong. Its design also gives it more stiffness allowing for more safety and control. Our racers will be able to handle this bike in confidence on any type of terrain at any hour of the day.

Clothing – Greenlayer Elite line
The members of TeamSOG are always out doing crazy things in crazy conditions. Layers are vital for them since they can go from hot, sunny weather one minute to cold, damp the next. The most important layer is a wicking base to help regulate body temperature. When they’re hot and sweaty, the Greenlayer Elite line wicks away the moisture and has added zoned mesh for extra breathability. The Elite clothes also are fast drying meaning that if and when the team gets wet, they won’t have to wait long to be warm and dry again. As an added bonus, these shirts are made from at least 50% recycled polyester, so our athletes can feel good about going green.

Headwear – Headsweats
Having proper headwear during a race is essential for our team. They are out in the sun a lot of the time or wearing helmets, so they need something to keep them comfortable. Other times they are out at night exposed to the elements. They need something that will come in handy in all conditions – that’s where Headsweats come in. These hats prevent them from burning up in the harsh rays of the sun and wick sweat away from under their helmets. Also, at night Headsweats give them a bit of warmth when they’re a feeling a bit chilly. Any time of day, any type of weather, TeamSOG is covered.

Watch – Soleus GPS 1.0
During the off season our athletes train hard to get in shape for the Adventure Racing season. They log countless miles on foot, bike, or kayak. In order to get the most out of their training sessions, a piece of technology can be very useful. The TeamSOG members all train with Soleus GPS 1.0 watches which track their distance, speed and pace over the miles they run wherever they are. This way, the athletes know how hard to push themselves or if they need to ease up a bit. They also know how many calories they burn which will help them in figuring out nutrition for the races. The watch also stores all of the data on the watch, so they can go back and review previous runs to see whether or not they’re improving or need to work harder next time. This little watch has become an essential training tool for our team members.