If one were to ask what the greatest innovations are after the ubiquitous but well-loved slice bread, for me they would be the TV remote control, the Personal Computer (PC), our smart phones and the Hydration Backpack vests!
Okay, the last one would be a stretch since many would not even know what a hydration backpack vest is and how it looks like. But not so with the avid trail runner or those who run ultra races on trails and mountains where many carry one on their backs for stashing essentials in the most easeful way to survive ultra marathons or training runs that would last for several hours to days on end.
As we continuously struggle to run and climb those treacherous mountain passes in scorching weather or heavy rains for endless hours hungry and thirsty, just keep in mind that we got a lot to be thankful for. Because this little innovation called the “hydration race vest”, that can carry stacks of energy food, water, medicines, headlights, cellphones, light jackets, etc. without hindering our runs is a life-saver, easy on the body and very mobile.
That’s right, thanks to Bryce Thatcher, considered as the Father of the modern hydration back packs and vests, founder of the Ultimate Direction Outdoor Gears and presently the head of his new and famous company, UltrAspire Hydration Products, ultra trail running has been more pleasant and easier on our bodies.
Last week Thatcher found time to lecture on his various hydration systems, his experiences as an elite mountain/trail runner and his very valuable insights on nutrition, hydration and training at the 100 Miles Cafe, in front of a sizable crowd of local trail and ultra runners.
As the man who also designed the latest hydration vests of the more famous Nathan Hydration Sports, Thatcher has set many speed or Fastest Known Time (FKT) records, most famous is the Grand Teton ascent-descent mountain climb which stood for 29 years. He is also an accomplished mountain biker.
He talked about the physical aspects of racing and training but it was the mental conditioning that implanted to us a better appreciation of what running and racing is all about.
In competition, he imparted to us to expect the unexpected, how to turn-around setbacks into positive energies in order to overcome these stumbling blocks. Among his tips have gave to this scenario are:
- Focus on all things positive
- Create alternative plans as necessary
- Refocus on what is positive and working
- Remain flexible and responsive to conditions
- Maintain your focus.
- Maintain and rely on preparation that is working
His hydration system innovations, the hit and miss experiments that got him started, his designs to almost all the top sports hydration gears in the market, made me thought of having a career in designing running gears rather than my present work as a manpower agent.
Thatcher is a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that runners can truly appreciate and despite all what he has accomplished so far, it feels that he is just getting started!
Hoping there’s a Part 2 of these lectures and share to us more his knowledge and experiences as a trail runner and gets to raffle off MORE of his UltrAspire products to us! 🙂
Kudos to Entrepreneur, ultra runner and writer Bobby Go for bringing Bryce Thatcher to us Pinoy trail runners!