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Grab those pre-orders

We have several items of team gear up for pre-order right now – and you don’t want to miss out!

Drill Shirts – our generation II drill shirts fit more casually, and are our first design change in 4 years – *and* they come in kids sizes!

and as always, a cheaper, casual tech version is available.

All of these close at the end of the October.

Open until the end of the calendar year, our tri-blend, super comfortable long sleeved hooded T’s are always a team favorite!

and newest items open, full zipped, fleece jackets for men and women!

Grab them, while you can.

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Review: dGearOG fingerless OCR gloves

I love finding local companies in our space. These guys are based in Vermont.

dGearOG make gloves for OCR. They’re a spin off of Damascus Protective Gear, and have been making protective equipment for military, police and corrective use since the 50s – think gloves, knee/elbow pads, riot suits – during last years Baltimore riots, they were shipping gear in for the officers. They also make archery gloves too. These guys know what they’re doing!

For OCR gloves can be controversial, of course.

Should you wear them? Do you need them? Do they hinder, or help?

dGearOG Gloves
dGearOG Gloves

I’ve never really bothered, to be honest, unless it’s purely for warmth in a winter event – so when I heard about dGearOG and their OCR specific glove, I was interested in learning more.

I stumbled across them in a weird way. They were posting photos on Twitter of the small team they sent to the VT Beast in 2015 – and lots of photos of gloves in different patterns being used on obstacles. I messaged them through Facebook and they offered to ship me a couple of pairs of gloves to check out. They weren’t quite ready for production yet, and didn’t have them for sale in stores or through their website – so I jumped on the chance to check out a pre-production set.

They shipped me an XL and M in their fingerless style – both with slightly different patterns, but the same features – fingerless gloves with super grippy palms, pull loops, velcro closures.

The first race I tried them at was Shale Hill – and if you know Shale Hill, you know grip and grip strength are key to many of their obstacles. I wore the XL and offered the M up to Chris “Flux” Hoey, who also isn’t typically a glove guy – we wore for the whole course, and tried them out on everything from traverse pipes, walls, ropes and more.

What we found:

The grippy palm was excellent – in dry conditions it was glued to pipes and ropes. In wet conditions, it was less useful, but the quick pull tabs meant you could get it off quickly, and it would stay right side out, so its easy to pull back on again after a wet rope obstacle.

“They definitely help protect your hands from extensive wear and tear on a long course. The grip surface is great until it gets wet. It would be no extra benefit in a rope water climb though.” – Flux

The velcro held tight, and is of a type that won’t get gunged up mid-race – contructed of a plastic, more than a fabric, this isn’t going to be a point of failure.

We both found that the gloves moved around on our hands more than we’d like – it has so much grip, that when hanging from the Zig Zag of Awesomeness at Shale Hill, the glove held tight and our hands slid inside – a testament to proper fitting (remember, neither of us picked our sizes!). In fact, dGearOG have said they reduced the overall sizing of the gloves as a result of that feedback, so they should be fitting snugger from the vendor than before – which will be perfect.

“You never know what race day conditions bring, these gloves are a must have in your Arsenal to be ready for whatever may be thrown at you. Built to perform and last there are no seams in the grips to get caught on and provides protection for race torn hands!” – Flux

Those quick pull tabs are WAY more useful and functional than I initially gave them credit for. How often have you dug through your bag after a race and found socks or gloves or sleeves inside out and gunky – and had the unpleasant experience of turning them back around? The pull tabs keep the gloves right way out, and mid-race? Perfect.

Ultimately, gloves will always be a personal preference. Maybe you want to protect your hands, maybe you have rough and tough skin already and don’t want to lose “feel” mid-race – but if you DO want to protect your hands, these are a fantastic way to go, not too expensive, and the brand is local, and focused on OCR. The have new styles coming, including a full finger, and a pink option for the ladies – so keep your eye on them!

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Have you tried dGearOG Gloves? What do you think? Leave your feedback in the comments below!

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Killington gear

There’s a lot of chatter on the group about gear and nutrition at the Beast – what worked and what didn’t work.


I thought I’d post what *I* used, and let people expand on it in the comments with their own variations.

Firstly – I ran the Beast race on Sunday. I’m not an elite runner, and didn’t podium. I also didn’t cramp, or get DNF’d due to hyperthermia. Take that for what you will.



I was wearing, from feet up:

  • Icebug Spwider OLX shoes. AMAZING GRIP. I was rock steady and moving in portions of the course people were falling on their asses, and hard. I only slipped during really sloppy muddy descents when we had extra weight on our backs (carries).
  • Darn Tough socks – kept me warm, didn’t blister, which was something I was SUPER worried about, as I did in NJ with Smart Wool socks.
  • 2xu Compression calf sleeves – don’t leave home without them!
  • 2xu Compression Shorts – my new favorites. Topped with some generic Nike running shorts with no pockets – mostly out of modesty and somewhere to pin the bib.
  • Team drill shirt (short sleeved) – kept me warm, looked great.
  • Team sleeves – protected my arms. My one problem was with the silicon liner on a cut/graze I gave myself the day before – the motion was iritating, so in many photos I have them rolled down.
  • GoRuck Tac Hat – kept the water, rain and sweat out of my eyes. The bill did block my vision on the bucket/bag carries, and I reversed it during the rope climbs, otherwise it was awesome.




  • I took an Olympus Tough TG-610 camera in a spibelt – but dumped it with Beth at the memorization obstacle
  • Loaded in a Camelbak Lobo, in various dry bags:
  • Sports Beans – lots and lots, but ultimately I only ate four or five packs
  • Salt Stick tabs – I was popping these every chance I had. Every hour or more. I was also popping them intermittently the night before and morning of. Made a HUGE difference, with zero cramping.
  • Clif Bars – I brought two, ate them both in the first half of the race when I was STARVING. Picked a third up at the 1/2 way point, but didn’t need it until the Tyrolean, then I was good to the finish.
  • iPod Nano and headphones – wore these during the really long climbs and for the entire end of the race (Tyrolean to the finish line) – kept me entertained and focussed on what I was doing – finished the race listening to Eminem 🙂 Definitely would do this again for a long race.
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OCR Newbie – What to pack?

Yesterday we covered what to wear. Today, we’ll cover what you need to pack in your bag to make your first Spartan Race at Amesbury a fun event.

It’s not as easy as it sounds – some people under-pack, and find themselves without something they really needed – and others will totally overpack and have to carry everything with them.

Keep in mind, that most people will be riding a school bus from the parking lot to the venue. This trip is only a 10min ride, but if you’re “that girl” who shows up with a suitcase, carry on pack and your purse – you will start your first race experience off on a bad foot.

Also, Spartan Race do offer a bag check – which costs $5 – and as biggest team, we will have our own team tent that bags can be left at.

IMPORTANT: All bags left unattended at your own risk. We will have people spectating or hanging out for the day, but the venue will be very busy, with large crowds. If you do not feel comfortable leaving your bag unattended, put it in the bag check, or leave it in your car.


What goes in:

  • Trash bag. This is where everything you wore during the race will go. It will be disgusting.
  • Full change of clothes. This includes everything from a clean T to socks and underwear.
  • Towel. This will dry you off after the wonderful communal cold showers, and possibly be the only privacy you’ll have when you strip down and get dressed. Bring a big one!
  • Comfortable shoes. After a race, your feet will swell, and you will be dirty and wet. The nicest thing in the world is to slip those aching feet into some Crocs or sandals, and not try to cram them in a new pair of sneakers.
  • Cash. The venue has an ATM, but food, beer and water is sold on a ticket system. Buy tickets with cash, then trade tickets for food and water. There will also be a merchandise tent if your finishers shirt isn’t enough.
  • Sun screen. Bug spray. No brainer, really.

Some “nice to have’s” you can throw in:

  • A camera to take some team and selfies.
  • Wet wash clothes in a baggie – these will save you from the fun communal showers.
  • Full set of spare race clothes – it’s not uncommon for people to say “woah, what a blast! I wanna go again!” and now, you can.
  • Your own food. For whatever reason, food vendors at these things tend towards the unhealthy. Be warned, you will not be able to bring your own coolers or liquids (water OR alcohol) into the venue.

Packing light is key. Leaving valuables (and jewelery) behind is going to be a good idea. The less *stuff* you have to deal with, the happier and easier your day will be!

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OCR Newbie – What to wear?

So, it’s your first Spartan Race. Maybe it’s your first obstacle race. It may even be your first *race*.

You won’t be the only one.

Lets get into the details of what you should expect at the race. Specifically, for this post, what you should wear. We’ll dig into other topics in future blog entries.

Note: This article is making the assumption that you won’t be wearing a costume. There are many races that a costume is entirely appropriate, and you can dress as a princess or superhero or mutant ninja turtle or french maid at those. You will absolutely see costumes at Spartan Race, but much fewer than you’d see at, say, a Warrior Dash or your local fund raising 5k. If you want to run your first Spartan Race in a tutu, on your head be it!


The Spartan Race in Amesbury is going to be a Sprint distance event. It will be somewhere between 3 to 5 miles, and you should expect a bunch of trail running, steep hills, mud and some water traps. You won’t be swimming, as the venue doesn’t have open bodies of water. The obstacles will range from crawling in mud and rocks under barbed wire, to climbing 8′ walls, to climbing over cargo nets, and going up ropes.

If you’re new – you may be wondering – what the *heck* do you wear for something like this?

Team Gear: You’ll notice many of the Spahtens will be wearing a tight fitting, custom “Drill shirt”. Or team sleeves. Or a tri-blend casual shirt. Or a tank top. All of this is available in the store at different points in time, and anyone who is active in the community is welcome to pick some gear up!

Shoes: If you are a new runner, chances are you don’t own a pair of trail running shoes. Your oldest sneakers will do the job. Don’t wear anything new, don’t wear anything you haven’t “broken in”. You’ll see people wrapping tape around them “to hold the laces down” – don’t bother, you’ll lose grip. When you finish the race, take those old sneakers and throw them in the pile with all the other old sneakers that will be donated to people in need.


If you have a budget, then a pair of trail shoes would be in order. Inov-8 is a British company who makes some of the best out there. Expect to pay a little over $100 for a good pair, and anything in the “TrailRoc” range will work. Use Zappo’s so you can buy a few pairs, try them on, then return the others, as they can be hard to find locally.

Socks: You will be getting wet, you will be getting muddy. White socks aren’t the brightest idea in the world. This is also the first place you’ll learn a rule … no cotton. Under no circumstances should you wear anything cotton – it soaks up water, gets heavy and chafes. SmartWool is a great option for socks, and if you are prone to blisters, try Injini’s, the socks with little pockets for your toes. Personally, I wear higher top SmartWool socks – black.

Pants: Guys, just wear running shorts, and compression underpants. Or a kilt. Ladies, capri’s are fine too (as is a skort / bootyshorts). Just remember, no cotton. Wear technical fabrics. Wear whicking fabrics. Up for debate – pockets are tough too. They’ll fill with water, rocks, dirt and weigh your pants down.

Compression (calf) sleeves: if you’re wearing shorts, you may consider picking up some compression sleeve to go on your calves. They have mixed reactions among runners – some swear by them, others can’t stand them. Regardless of the advertised benefits, they do provide an extra level of scratch and cut prevention when you’re running trails and crawling on rocks.

 Underoo’s: Yep, we’re going there too. Remember no cotton? Yeah, this is especially important here. If you think cotton socks are likely to chafe, imagine how your tighty whiteys will chafe. It will happen. It *has* happened. Don’t be “that guy/gal”.

 Tops: Lets just stick with “no cotton” here too, shall we? It’ll weigh you down, keep you cold and cause misery. Technical fabrics – and as close fitting as you can to help with the snagging on the wire crawls. Ladies, wear a sports bra. I’ll let you figure out what kind. Tanks, vests, T’s, just a bra, no top at all – you’ll see everything.

Arm Sleeves: If your top is long sleeved, or you chose to wear a pair of compression or protective “sun sleeves” is entirely personal – like calf sleeves, they protect against the environment, which is my main reason to wear them. Ps- the team sleeves look awesome.


Gloves: Believe it or not, this is subject to much concern and debate – especially among new runners. Gloves, typically, get in your way and reduce the amount of grip you will have on monkey bars or other obstacles. *However*, there are always people who advocate for wearing gloves. You may find they help with protection against the elements. You may find you prefer the “feel” you have with them. General consensus is that if you do go with gloves, go with light weight, cheap, disposable gloves, rather than expensive sports gloves. If you don’t like them on the course, you can trash them quickly. Home Depot sells $5 gloves that are perfect.

Headgear: Many people chose to wear bandanas, bondi-bands and other head gear – they help keep the sun off, they help keep the sweat out of your eyes. I’d recommend against a hat or a cap, they’ll get in the way. Don’t wear anything you want to keep forever, it’s not uncommon for them to be lost in water traps! Same goes for glasses and sunglasses – if you can get by with contacts, do so. Otherwise, invest in some kind of sports band to be sure they stay on your face.976625_483518325069852_992205156_o

Misc: You’ll be amazed at the other stuff people think to bring with them. In general, if you are asking questions about it, you don’t need it. The less you bring, the better you’ll be able to move through the course. Packs, belts, comedy hats and fake moustaches – leave them to the advanced and experienced idiot 🙂

If the weather is cooler, wear long sleeves. If it’s cold, layer in multiple layers. Just remember the rule of NO COTTON, and don’t forget that when you’re moving, and doing physical things, your body temperature will climb much higher than you expect and even if it’s super cold, you won’t need as many layers as you expect. We have run races in 3f weather, and a good base layer, a couple of technical layers and just. keep. moving.

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New Schwag

Schwag update!

Akuma shirts are with Jess, and while many of us had the chance to pick them up on Friday at GoRuck – the remaining shirts will see the inside of the Post Office today. As usual, they look awesome. As usual, Jess is owed her beverage of choice at the next race for co-ordinating, processing and handling this rather large order for the team!

Yes, there will be another shirt order. No, we don’t know when. There will be a casual shirt order before that happens, so keep your eyes peeled on the community page!

However, there are other options to show your Spahten pride with a 1″ silicon wrist band – or a magnet for your car / fridge / steel plated skull. go check the “Team Gear” menu. We’ve also integrated PayPal buttons for check out – you can pay with credit directly now, and no PayPal requirements!

1" Silicon bands
1″ Silicon bands

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Reebok OCR shoes – recap

Update – due to a very polite request from the manufacturer, we’ve removed the images from this article. The shoes pictures were pre-production models, and while the photos were found in the public domain, they aren’t representative of the final product.



A few days ago, an Instagram photo from chief Weeple Dave showed us our first glimpse of the now infamous “Hobie Shoe”. It was a very aggressive looking racing flat shoe, with a medium tread and what looked like a little support in the arch, with some rope grips.

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It looked great – but clearly designed for the fast, elite racer in mind – there’s little support, little padding – it’s just a bare bones shoe, and if you look at the lacing, it was clearly unfinished (or *really* minimal!)

Three more models are starting to pop up.

Firstly – also on instagram from Mr Huckle – we have a neon and black sneak that looks like a fairly normal sneaker, with a good level of grip, also “Duraride” branding on the arch (which also looks perfectly suited to the ropes), and duragrip branding on the toe protection. Overall though, his has a much bulkier look to it, and I would expect this shoe to be targetted more to the mass market of trail running, or new racer. This is certainly not a minimalist or “fast” shoe. It does look like it has a similar, medium level of grip.

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Two more shoes popped up from another Spartan racer on one of the facebook groups dedicated to Spartan, and look to be two entirely different shoes again.

Firstly, we have a blue and yellow and red shoe that appears to sit somewhere in the middle of the others – this has a neat looking speedlacing system, the same rope grips, but was reported as having a fairly firm feel to the foot. The toe box looks protected, and has an interesting skid plate to it, and another good level of grip … it’s hard to say if the upper is mesh, and will drain well – it looks like it’s close to the other two shoes.

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Lastly, we have what looks to be the casual, non race version of all of the above.

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This shoe looks to be the least like a “race” shoe, and more like a traditional off roader. A much more substantial upper, that looks padded and apart from a space above the toes, it doesn’t look like it will drain as well, and the mid sole and sole look a lot less suited to running through mud, and more like it’s only ever going to see grass, and maybe a little bit of gravel … no rope grips, and doesn’t look like much flexibility.


So there you have it – four new offerings from Reebok showing up in the Obstacle Course Racing world – indicating these are the future of the Reebok range in the Spartan World. Love these particular shoes or not – you can’t deny that Reebok are doing it right – we’ve got minimalist, super light shoes with aggressive tread, through to heavy duty “weekend warrior” shoes in distinctive designs and styles. I for one am happy to see the rope grips appear, as this is somewhere Inov-8 has lacked, and is likely straight from the world of Crossfit, where rope climbing is fairly standard.