The bears didn’t kill me but the chaffing almost did…
I recently returned from the Appalachian trail (AT) in America. Whilst over there I learned a valuable lesson. The purpose of this trip was to spend time on the trail training for my up and coming fastest known time (FKT) attempt. But not everything went to plan.
It’s just before 4am and I’m about to start a 55 mile trail run. Its dark and the fear of being eaten alive by a bear is real. Using the speaker of my iPhone I blast ACDC as loud as possible. My aim is to alert the flesh eating wild animals that my taste is music is good therefore I should be left alone.
Soon the sun rises which bring feelings of security, making me feel safe for now. So far I’ve covered just over 15 miles and climbed well over a 1000 meters. Until now all is good and I move forwards down the trail with relative ease. But as the temperature starts to rise reaching almost 30 degrees Celsius I start to encounter problems.
Im sweating as its super humid and start to feel the early signs of chaffing on the inside of my left leg. Carrying on I adjust my shorts now and then in an attempt to keep the dreaded chafe at bay. But as with any type of friction things go from worse to bad to pretty much impossible.
It’s the peak heat of the day, I can’t relax into my trail running because what started off as some mild chaffing has now turned into an angry red abrasion on the inside of my left leg. This is causing me great stress and pain.
I meet my crew at a road crossing. The crew is made up of my mother “Sharon” and Photographer “Brian Meltzer. Brian is here taking photos for Inov-8. The crew are aware of my problem and throughout the day at other meeting points have been trying to help me by supplying such things as plasters, anti chafe lube and so on but none of this is working. Brian offers some empathy with by saying “Chaffing can be worse than a sprained ankle” I completely agree.
Before I leave to continue for the final 17 miles I decide to change into a fresh pair of shorts. Whilst searching for shorts inside my kit bag I discover a pair of Runderwear which I had forgotten about. I put on the Runderwear. Setting off down the trail I say bye to my crew and tell them I will see them at mile 55.
I wait for the pain to begin as I run, 20 minutes pass by but the pain has not yet started, another 20 minutes pass still no pain. I run absolutely chafe free, just as if by magic the pain has completely gone. Any friction that was happening has been 100% stopped by the Runderwear.
Starting July 1st I will begin 2192 mile trail run. Heading North along the Appalachian trail I will cover 14 states and run up to 18hrs per day. Can anyone guess what underwear I will be wearing?