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As Gwyn has said in her articles about mental preparation, the easiest way to be calm during the race, is to be as prepared with the things you can control, like your gear as possible. The above picture is all the gear I am going to take with me to the start of the Tough Mudder. A few people have asked what I am bringing so I hope this answers some of the questions and also is a little bit of a sanity check.
Before I go on, I will say that as the organizer of the team, I feel the need to take a little more gear for the group. If I was to do an event like this on my own I would probably have a little less food; although, not much less. Also, I will say that while the Tough Mudder site recommends that you bring some sort of hydration system, there will plenty of people just running with no pack at all.
Starting at about 11 o’clock I have my CamelBak M.U.L.E. As you notice in the lower picture, I have a small pocket on the waist belt to have easy access to gels and chapstick. About 12 o’clock, I have warm clothes that I will probably wear to the start line (evening temps will be near 40, so I want to stay as warm as posible, as long as possible) and also use as post-race clothes. Below that, I have more stuff for post-race, sandals, a.k.a. chanklas, Hammer Recoverite, some pastic bags for dirty wet stuff, dry socks, a compression band and lacrosse ball.
To the left of the post-race gear is what I will wear on race day. Directly to the left of my chanklas are sunglasses, a light hat, wool socks and 4 Hammer gels, 2 Clif Shots with caffeine, 1 Clif Shot Bloks Margarita with 3 x sodium, and 2 Stinger Protein energy bars. Below I have a handkercheif and my lucky visor. At about 7 o’clock, I have my windbreaker, a light long underwear top, a “performance” shirt, shorts and light gloves (mostly for the morning but the TM site recommends gloves and a warm hat). You don’t have to have a fancy windbreaker, you can just get a disposable one at a thrift store. I would suggest that you don’t wear cotton. My shorts have built in underwear, but a lot of people wear some sort of spandex and maybe some sort of short over that if they are modest. Remember most of the race you will be wet so plan accordingly.
The only thing that I will probably add to the post-race bagis some athletic tape and a clean t-shirt and baseball hat. The only thing extra that I will probably bring with me is about 1 yd of duct tape (great for blisters) and some band-aids.
All of this stuff fits into a bag that is easy to carry to the start line, even if I have to walk. If you have any questions or suggestions for other racers, please leave them in the comments.
Good luck everyone!