So you need to buy a gift for someone doing a Tough Mudder, Spartan, or other obstacle race this year?
And now you’re left scouring blogs trying to figure out which compression pants will work for what race (or shorts maybe?) and if you should buy said person gloves or if doing so will result in them unfriending you on Facebook and never talking to you again.
With just over ten days to go before Christmas, I thought I’d help you out a bit with some advice on last minute gifts…
1. A sandbag. Depending on the size and strength of the person you are buying for, 20-60 lbs will do it. The plus is that they are generally easy to find at any hardware store this time of year. To keep the sand from seeping out, youwant to wrap it up but good with a few rolls of duct tape. This is where you can get crafty – even hardware stores these days sell fun colours and prints. Or check Michaels out if really want to go custom. And there you go, wrapped and everything!
2. A tire on a cord. You can find free used tires at most tire repair shops and they are usually happy to get rid of them. Drill a hold and thread some sturdy rope with a piece of rubber tubing to protect their hands through the hole and loop it. Make sure that it is long enough that it doesn’t hit their heels when they drag it. Also, make sure to clean the tire well and know that it will still be dirty business.
3. A kettlebell, TRX or chin-up bar. If you aren’t a do-it-yourselfer there are plenty of functional training tools available at fitness stores. Just steer clear of the machines.
4. A race entry. If you know the person well, you could sign them up for a race they have been eyeing and maybe even a hotel in the area with a hot tub.
5. Think of what they already have. Are they almost always decked out in a certain brand of performance apparel? It’s probably going to get ruined sooner rather than later, as are their shoes. Buy them some new, tried and tested gear. Or you could just buy them a gift certificate to a shop that you know sells their brands.
6. If they completed a race that they are really proud of or did the Spartan Trifecta, you could frame their medal(s). I often do this with a tee-shirt, bib and photo from the race.
7. If they are doing their first race in 2015, you could assemble a post-race bag for them. I would put in a dark and snuggly track suit, a couple smaller dark towels, a dry bag for yucky post-run clothes, a bottle of soap and a loofah (the only way I have ever gotten mud off), and yummy nutrition bar and water bottle. You could even store it all in a snazzy triathlon bag (or gym bag) which should have a compartment for the extra shoes they will hopefully bring.
8. If they have kids, you can volunteer not only to babysit, but bring the kids out to watch the race and cheer for them. Give them some of your time. On that note, you could also offer to watch the kids while they go out and train. Maybe make up some “free pass” type cards?
Hopefully that gives you some ideas on what you could do for your OCR obsessed love one if you are running short on time but want to get them something really thoughtful. Sometimes the best gift is just knowing that you have support doing what you love.