Ultra Distance Trail Runners and Their Essential Kit

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Featured, Buyer's Guide, Gear Check, Run

With the RMB Ultra Trail Cape Town around the corner, we checked in with some local favourites on what they’ll never step onto the mountain without.

Success in ultra trail races such as the RMB Ultra Trail Cape Town often lies not just in the strength of a runner’s legs but in the gear they trust to carry them through unpredictable conditions. Read on to get an inside look into the kit choices of three renowned ultra runners— Ryan Sandes, Toni McCann and Admire Muzopambwa— for Ultra Trail Cape Town.

1. Ryan Sandes And His Ultra Trail Cape Town Gear

Ultra Trail Cape Town
Ryan Sandes (c) Craig Kolesky / Red Bull Content Pool

For Ryan Sandes, a key focus is maintaining comfort, especially around his feet. As a pivotal contributor to the development of the Salomon S Lab Genesis, his go-to shoe, he emphasizes the importance of tailored gear for varying terrains. In races like Ultrashore Cape Town, where the landscape shifts from technical sections to coastal beach running, having the right shoe is crucial. To avoid navigational mishaps during the mental fatigue of ultra distances, Sandes relies on his Garmin Fenix 7X. “It’s cool just to know that you can look at your watch quickly and you are on the route,” he says, highlighting the mental reassurance it provides. Additionally, he stresses the significance of anti-chafe products for a smoother, pain-free run on a long race such as Ultra Trail Cape Town. Learn more about shopping for a sports watch, here.

2. Toni McCann And Her Ultra Trail Cape Town Gear

Ultra Trail Cape Town

Toni McCann underscores the importance of often-overlooked elements like good socks. “Blisters/chafe/lamination are no fun, and the wrong sock choice can be a real causative factor,” she warns. In addition, McCann emphasizes a good pair of shoes, making a big case for familiarity and trust. For her, the adidas Agravic Speed Ultra offers the perfect balance of comfort, support, and responsiveness. Beyond physical gear, McCann emphasizes the value of a personal item or mantra, a source of motivation during challenging moments. “Something you can draw from when the going gets tough. A piece of jewellery, a note written somewhere visible, voice notes from loved ones, etc,” she says. “Find the thing that will allow you to keep going even when it feels too hard.”

3. Admire Muzopambwa And His Ultra Trail Cape Town Gear

Ultra Trail Cape Town

Admire Muzopambwa is known for his meticulous race preparation. The FUJITRAIL SS TOP, especially in the strategic colour green, is his “secret weapon of being invisible” when running on the bushy mountain trails. The FUJITRAIL WATERPROOF JACKET serves as a shield against unpredictable weather, a crucial asset in races like Cape Town UTCT. In addition, Muzopambwa values the support provided by the FUJITRAIL RUN CREW SOCK, “I love how they hold my calves together,” he says. The FUJITRAIL ANORAK is his choice as a layer of protection against windy mornings and unexpected weather shifts.

The kit of ultra-distance trail runners is not merely a collection of gear; it’s a strategic arsenal meticulously chosen to conquer the unpredictable challenges that each race presents. S

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