So here are few non-standard gift suggestions from the inexpensive to the outrageous that you can put under the tree (or menorah, or whatev) for that mud-loving runner in your life. Enjoy!
The Flip-It Running Belt ($29)
The SoloShot2 Tracking Camera Mount ($399)
Victory Sportdesign Drop Bags ($40-85)
The Victory Sportdesign Drop Bag is one of those "how did I ever live without one of these" kind of gifts for ultrarunners. They carry EVERYTHING is an easy-to-access design, and look awesome, particularly when you dress it up with custom panels that have your name and race number. I have the BEAR II, and it's been with me through dozens of races, not to mention is my go-to trunk bag in my car. An awesome gift for runners and volunteers alike.
GoPro Fetch ($60)
2016 Tribute To The Trails Calendar ($20-23)
Another "gold standard" trail runner gift, Glenn Tachiyama's visually stunning annual calendar can light up any drab cube or laundry room with glorious visions of west coast trails. Now in its 10th year, this stunning calendar also includes lottery race entries for over two dozen races. If that's not enough, it's all a fundraiser for the Washington Trail Association, so you know your dollars are going to a good cause. I buy 3-5 each year!
The RollingFWD Vibrating Roller ($199)
A fun new twist on the foam roller, the RollingFWD has a built in rechargeable battery that powers three different vibration settings from mild to deep therapy. Available in 18- and 30-inch versions.
Injinji Toe Socks ($10-23)
Squirrel Colugo 2 Wingsuit ($1,700+)
Do you have a thrill seeker friend who just won't shut up? Get them a wingsuit and a GoPro 4, and odds are you won't have to listen for much longer. Considered the A-grade wing suit for parachuting nuts, the Colugo 2 is only for the craziest. But the videos are outstanding. (honestly, watch this one for the most amazing descent of Chamonix I have ever seen) I feel a VK + Wingsuit duathlon in the works...
Jaybird X2 Sport Headphones ($180)
If your runner friend has a few proud finishes for the year, here's a way you can immortalize their race number for years to come. Stick it on four coasters! Take a picture of a friend's race number and send it to Mile Stones via Etsy.com for a fun coaster puzzle.
T-Shirt Quilt ($250-400)
Outside Shower ($800-$5,500)
Lily Drone ($800)
By 2018, we will all have drones battling each other for the perfect video angle on a mountain side trail. But for now, drones are only for the nerdiest of nerds, requiring hours of set up and some decent flying skills. One glimmer of hope is the Lily Drone, due in August 2016, which could very well be the simplest user experiences the drone industry has ever seen. Just throw it in the air, and let the video roll...
The Functional Hoodie ($80-150)
Digitsole Heated Insoles ($200)
For the runners/volunteers familiar with frozen feet, the Digitsole Warm Series offers a new solution with their digitally controlled heated insoles. You can even adjust the temperature in the iPhone app, and track your steps all day long.
InknBurn Capris ($85)
Add a little pizzazz to the wardrobe with one of the many outrageous and beautiful selections from INKnBURN. A capri is a great addition for Fall/Winter (like the Wildflower above), but check out all their shorts and skirts too. It always brings a smile to my face to see these in action!
The GoalZero Sherpa 100 Solar Charging Station ($600)
Gift In Your Name to iRunFar, UltraRunnerPodcast, etc. ($TBD)
If your trail runner obsesses about race coverage (like we all do), consider making a donation in their name to iRunFar.com, UltraRunnerPodcast.com, or one of the other many passion-driven media outlets we thrive on. Every dollar makes a difference for these guys, and the gesture will be well received. A perfect gift for the runner who has everything!
The RinseKit Portable Shower ($90)
RinseKit portable shower, which provides up to three gallons of pressurized water that can fit in your trunk. You can even fill it with hot water for a mini-shower!
A Coupon Book for a Catered Run (Free!)
Got a friend who is short on time, but long on a need for adventure? We all do! One of the simplest gifts is to give them a coupon book with all the things they need to make it happen - get someone to watch their kids, make an aid station and a map, create a finish line and snacks. and round up their friends to have a once in a lifetime experience. Extra points for a homemade trophy! Easy and super fun.
I've never met a trail runner who couldn't drop $100 in Zombie before their coffee gets cold. Definitely will prompt a smile. Also an easy gift to buy and send instantly, and their online store means it can be spent just as fast!
Happy Holidays! - SD
* Note - I am sponsored by inov-8, Injinji and others. so no surprise I am a big fan of their gear!