My Race Wear Dilemma: Solved?

So, if you haven’t gathered this from reading my previous posts, getting running fashions, gear, and other accessories are one of my favorite parts of the sport.  I firmly believe that if you look great you feel great and I am constantly picking up the loudest workout attire I can find.

Just a few of my most vibrant recent looks

Just a few of my most vibrant recent looks

I have my training run system down.  I carry my phone and keys in an iFitness belt which can pretty much be thrown on with any capris or skirt.  Perfect.  Race day, however, poses quite a challenge…where in the world do I keep my fuel?

Trial and Error: The Evolution

Stage 1: So let’s take a little trip back in time to my very first half marathon.  As I prepared for the 2010 Princess Half Marathon, I read enough about half marathon racing to know that fueling during the race was going to be important.  I am a super picky eater so I knew a typical energy gel would probably not be the right choice for me.  I decided to give orange Clif Shot Bloks a try before the race and they seemed to be the great solution….but I had no clue how I was going to carry them with me.  I threw them in a little sandwich bag and for some reason thought that nestling it right in my sports bra would work.  I mean, I guess it literally served the purpose but created an odd lump in the middle of my chest and certainly upped the sweat factor.  Gross.

Stage 2: I started to get a bit more experienced and bought an iFitness belt.  I decided hat carrying my bloks zipped in the pouch might work a heck of a lot better.  I think I tried this for the first time at the 2011 Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  It was fine until I actually had to get to the bloks.  Nightmare.  It was awkward and annoying to unzip the pouch without slowing my pace.  It was even harder to put the extra bloks back in the pouch and as the pouch emptied, the belt got looser and started to ride up.  This was not going to be the solution I was looking for.

Stage 3:  I bought a Running Skirts brand skirt just before the 2012 Wine & Dine Half Marathon and realized that the large velcro-closure pockets on the sides of the skirt would be a much better way to carry my bloks and access them easily throughout the race.  This worked like a charm for the next few races but created another new challenge…I can’t afford to buy an enormous array of $60 running skirts (eek!) so I started to think about another solution for my half marathon clothing challenges.

The Next Evolution?

So I think I’ve FINALLY found what might just be the solution to my ongoing clothing conundrum.  As I started to brainstorm about what I could possibly do to open up more race wear possibilities, I remembered seeing a vendor at a couple of the recent runDisney expos that had a belt-less running pouch that attaches to your clothing with strong magnets to hold everything from energy gels to cell phones.  It took just a quick google search to find The RooSport since it seems to be a pretty unique product in the running gear market right now.

I got more excited about this possibility than a person probably should be but hey…I love my running gear!  First of all, how could you not love that cute little kangaroo logo?  Points won already.  As I started reading more about the product, I found more to like:

  • Great Reviews – a google search for reviews and unsolicited testimonials on the RooSport Facebook Page revealed lots of praise for the functionality of the product.  It seemed to work like a charm for people running even full marathons so I suspect it would be just dandy for my future half marathons.
  • Velcro or Zipper Closure – the RooSport actually has 2 pouches – a velcro pouch for easy access and a more secure zipper pouch for small items like your keys that you just can’t risk losing.  Lots of other users have used the product for holding gels and the like and it seems like it should be a removable equivalent to the velcro pockets in my running skirts.  Score!
  • The Magnets – while I find it just a little scary to trust magnets, this is a super creative and innovative way to keep the pouch in place without the hassle of a belt.  Users report the magnets holding strong and bounce free even with the weight of a cell phone so I guess I should take a leap of faith on this one?  BONUS: I think the magnets (which flip over the waistband of your shorts, capris, or skirt) will be a solution for keeping a skirt that doesn’t have built-in shorts in place and prevent ride-up during a race.
  • The Price – at just $19.99 a pouch, this definitely seems like a reasonable price point.  Plus, anything that allows me to buy cheaper cute race apparel is more than worth every penny.

The Verdict

I’m sure willing to give this one a try.  I am hoping to wear this adorable (but pocket-devoid) Team Sparkle Skirt at the Nike Women’s Half Marathon D.C. at the end of April:

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I think the RooSport might be the perfect way to carry my bloks during the race, keep them easy to access and keep my skirt solidly in place.  With 7 weeks till race day, I have more than enough time take the plunge and give it a shot!  I am quite curious to see if it stays true to its promise of bounce-free, chafe-free gel-carrying goodness.  Get ready for a great-big gear review once I get my hands on one of these babies and have a chance to test it out!

Have you tried the RooSport?  What are your can’t-live-without race day accessories?

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