Friday Five: Running Brands


Friday Five

I’ve never really been a gear-head, and I’m not the kind of person to be beholden to a brand. I like what I like, but I’m always willing to try new things and I’m pretty suggestible. However, since becoming a BibRave Pro in 2015, I’ve been rewarded with the opportunity to experiment with running-related gear that I might never had encountered otherwise. In addition, as I’ve increased my engagement (one of my Themes for 2016) with the running community both locally and on social media, I’ve been exposed to different ways of thinking and innovative products out in the market.

Without further ado, here are five running brands I’m loving right now!


When I first started running, it was a true struggle. One kilometre had me achy and winded. In those early days, it became clear that tracking my progress was motivating, so I outfitted myself with a Nike+ iPod. My commitment to running grew and technology – combined with social media interaction – became more of a priority. I switched from Nike to Garmin (mostly so I could use GPS without roaming fees!).

Running Brands - Strava

And then came Strava. While it’s not exactly ‘gear’, it is a social media platform and a community of athletes that has developed into a true inspiration. It syncs ‘automagically’ (one of my favourite words) with my Garmin, and I can follow my friends and running buddies all over the world. It has a great app! It’s free!

I welcome you to follow me – I’ll follow you back – right here.


One of my shortcomings when it comes to training is proper fuelling. My approach is somewhat ad hoc, I make things up as I go. But when I don’t hydrate properly – which nearly knocked me over during the 2014 Scotiabank Half – I suffer for it.

My very first encounter with nuun was at the expo of the Ottawa Half Marathon. These guys were awesome to talk to, and really stood behind their product. And now I do, too!

Running Brands - nuun

nuun comes in effervescent tablet form, and in a range of delectable flavours. Watermelon is my favourite, but lemon-lime is pretty tasty, too. Drop nuun into a glass or bottle of water, and you’re off to the races – or, perhaps, recovering from one! Drink up!


Running Brands - xx2i

I’m not going to reiterate too much what I already wrote in my recent review of xx2i Sunglasses. What I can tell you, though, is that I cannot wait until the rainy Vancouver winter turns into a sunny summer, because I will be wearing these things ALL THE TIME. I’m enamoured with xx2i. Enough said – but seriously, go read my review for the real scoop!


Oh, Buff – what can I say about you that hasn’t already been said? If there was one running item that gave me the most delight in 2015, it would be Buff. It’s a headband! It’s a neck warmer! It’s a cap! If you happen to have hair – unlike me – it’s a hairband! This multi-functional piece of material has become a staple of both training runs and races, especially since the weather turned a bit chillier.

Running Brands - BUFF
I’m actually wearing TWO Buffs!

Again, I’m not going to give you the full run-down here…so check out my more-thumbs-up-than-I-have review!

SAD FACE: I think I’ve lost my Buff from the Overlander Half Marathon in Yellowknife (pictured above).


Full confession – my fifth ‘brand I love’ is one that I’ve never tried. Let’s call it unrequited love.

Orange Mud

Running Brands - Orange Mud

On its reputation alone, Orange Mud is a product I want to get to know better. Generally speaking, on long runs I’m beholden to:  water stations during races; Coach Carey’s water stop during our Forerunners clinic; or water fountains around town. I cannot and will not wear a water belt – I’ve tried and it was sheer misery.

During a recent #bibchat (Tuesdays at 6pm Pacific!), I heard nothing but positive reviews of the Orange Mud Hydraquiver. It seemed to me that these folks should be hired on a salespeople by Orange Mud, so passionate were their professions of love enthusiasm for this product.

Running Brands - Orange Mud

Since I can’t speak from first-hand experience, I’m going to refer you to a review by fellow BibRave Pro, Chadd Balbi – read his post here.

I may have convinced myself to make Orange Mud my next running purchase!


What about you? What’s your favourite running brand?
And what’s on your wish list – that brand you really want to try out?


As you might have guessed, the theme of this week’s Friday Five is ‘Favourites’. I’m excited to once again link up with the awesome folks of the DC Trifecta:  Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, Mar at Mar on the Run, and Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!


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