UTMB kit with Jez Bragg

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The TNF UTMB is just around the corner and in a previous episode of Talk Ultra I discussed with The North Face athlete, Jez Bragg what he uses for this 160km mountain race. It seemed topical that we should give you all an opportunity to listen to this once again and refresh your minds.

Get your check list and out and go through it step-by-step with Jez.

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LISTEN HERE

http://traffic.libsyn.com/talkultra/Jez_Bragg_-_UTMB_Kit.mp3

Equipment list as required by TNF UTMB race organisation:

In order to participate in these events, a set of obligatory equipment is required. However it is important to note it is the minimum necessary and that each trail-runner must adapt it according to their needs. It is important, in particular, not to choose clothing that is the lightest possible weight in order to gain a few grams, but to choose items which will give real protection against the cold, windy or snowy mountain weather, therefore giving a good level of security and performance.

Obligatory material :

  • mobile phone with option enabling its use in the three countries
    (put in one’s repertoire the security numbers of the organisation, keep it switched on, do not hide one’s number and do not forget to set off with recharged batteries)
  • personal cup or tumbler 15cl minimum (water bottle not acceptable)
  • stock of water minimum 1 litre,
  • two torches in good working condition with replacement batteries,
  • survival blanket 1.40m x 2m minimum
  • whistle,
  • adhesive elastic band enable making a bandage or a strapping (mini 100cm x 6 cm),
  • food reserve,
  • jacket with hood and made with a waterproof (recommendation: minimum 10,000 Schmerber) and breathable (recommendation: RET lower than 13) membrane (Gore-Tex or similar) which will withstand the bad weather in the mountains.
  • long running trousers or leggings or a combination of leggings and long socks which cover the legs completely,
  • Additional warm midlayer top: One single midlayer long sleeve top for warmth (cotton excluded) with a minimum weight of 180g (Men, size M)
    OR a two piece clothing combination of a long sleeve baselayer/midlayer for warmth (cotton excluded) with a minimum weight of 110g (Men, size M) and a windproof jacket* with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) protection
  • cap or bandana
  • warm hat
  • warm and waterproof gloves
  • waterproof over-trousers

* The windproof jacket does not replace the mandatory waterproof jacket with hood

Required by the frontier police forces :

  • identity papers

Very strongly recommended :

  • Knife or scissors with which to cut the self-adhesive elasticised bandage
  • walking poles for security on slippery ground in case of rain or snow
  • a change of warm clothes indispensable in the case of cold weather, rain or injury
  • the sum of 20 € minimum (in order to cover the unexpected….)

Advised (list not definitive) :

Telescopic sticks, change of clothing, compass, knife, string, sun cream, Vaseline or anti-chaffing cream, needle and thread,…

All clothing must be the runner’s size and without alteration since leaving the factory.
You will carry this material in a pack which must be tagged at the race-bib distribution and is not exchangeable during the race.

If you decide to use poles, you must keep them throughout the whole of the race… It is forbidden to start without sticks and recover them up along the way.
No poles will be allowed in the spare’s bags.

 

A full list of UTMB specific equipment is available via The North Face by going HERE

Jez Bragg website HERE

The North Face AK Stormy Trail Jacket

A5YKJK33

As the main sponsor of the TNFUTMBThe North Face fully understands the needs of every runner when embarking on the epic alpine journey. Irrespective of distance, the mountains can be a cruel and hard place.

Copyright Ian Corless

Copyright Ian Corless

Look at the history of the race. For several years the TNF UTMB has been hampered by bad weather. Just last year, 2012, the race was shortened at the last minute and ‘mandatory’ kit was increased to 4 layers to ensure the safety of every runner.

Two pieces of mandatory kit are a fully waterproof jacket with hood and taped seams but also over trousers. Now many runners, particularly the elite runners think… “I will never wear over trousers”. The 2012 edition of the TNF UTMB confirmed to many that mandatory kit, (although sometimes one may think it is over the top) is absolutely necessary.

To this end, The North Face have created two new items that tick all the boxes for 2013. The AKSTORMY TRAIL JACKET and AK STORMY TRAIL PANTS. Available in Black & Yellow

A5YKJK3

Key Features

It’s simple really…. a tailored fit to reduces excess material and flapping. A reduction in ‘extras’ as these only add opportunities for onward problems or areas were leaks may appear. Lightweight and small pack size.

Box TICKED

The AK STORMY range do all the above and then some. Of course that doesn’t come cheap. But you get what you pay for and I certainly wouldn’t want to compromise when I am several thousand feet up in the rain and snow. Expect to pay £160 for the jacket.

SPECS

The North Face Men’s AK Stormy Trail Jacket is a waterproof, breathable, hooded running jacket for maximum protection in the foulest weather. It features FlashDry technology which has microporous particles to improve and accelerate the removal of excess moisture from the skin. This means a drier and more comfortable performance for longer, in a range of weather conditions.

The jacket has a reflective brimmed, stay-put hood with an adjustable hood cinch at the rear. It has a reflective drop-tail hem for increased coverage and weatherproofing. It has minimal ‘additional’ features to ensure that 100% weather protection is guaranteed. It has a small pack size and low weight and can be rolled up so that you can store the jacket in its own hood.

A5YKJK32

IN USE

Copyright Ian Corless

Copyright Ian Corless

The jacket is a snug fit. I am a 38″/40″ chest and I have a small. It is perfect. The important thing is to try this jacket with the anticipated under clothes. I wore a TNF long sleeve run top as this would probably be my normal under garment when wearing a jacket like this. I also then added a TNF thermal layer jacket. The AK Stormy allowed room for both underneath without restrictions. Under the arms have been tailored to allow for movement. A big plus. It is a no frills jacket, so, don’t expect pockets! It has a small chest pocket which has been glued in place. Gluing means no seams. No seams, no leaks. The zippers are fully waterproof and the neck goes high but not too high. The hood has a brim and an adjustable toggle on the rear to get a good fit.

I personally found the hood was most comfortable when wearing a peaked cap underneath. This is a personal thing. The addition of a peak stops the hood working forward and offers additional protection.

I have been out in the wind, rain and snow and the AK Stormy has been spot on. Full comfort and 100% protection. It is most definitely designed for rough weather but not at the compromise of additional weight. A difficult balance to get right. As such, this jacket will always be in my pack when heading out for longer days or most definitely when heading to the mountains. It has no ventilation but I was extremely surprised that I never found the jacket too hot.

If you are racing in the UK when our weather is extremely unpredictable, I couldn’t recommend this jacket enough. Certainly, it would be the perfect kit for the Lakeland 50 or 100.

It goes without saying that The North Face have designed this jacket (and additional over trousers) with the UTMB in mind and without doubt it would be my ‘top of the list’ when full weather protection and light weight is required.

Very small pack size and weighs 220g
Very small pack size and weighs 220g
Adjustable hood
Adjustable hood
Glued chest pocket and waterproof zippers
Glued chest pocket and waterproof zippers
Reflective piping
Reflective piping
Brimmed hood
Brimmed hood
  • Reflective brimmed hood with stay
  • Adjustable hood cinch
  • Glued chest pocket
  • Reflective drop-tail hem
  • Stowable

available S,M,L,XL

Links

The North Face HERE