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Five Peaks Ultra-marathon & SA Trail Running Festival

February 25, 2019 6 min read


At ioMerino we’ve always said our world-class Merino outdoor clothing is perfect for the trails, so we’re happy as Larry to get on board with Trail Running SA as a sponsor. Even though there may not be a mandatory gear list, the lead-up training season, and race day, can dish up all kinds of weather - from warm during the day to cool mornings and evenings, so make sure you choose ioMerino to get through it all comfortably. (Well, running those distances may not be 'comfortable' exactly, but at least your clothes will be!)


Whether you’re running Five Peaks 58kms, or any of the other distance, or just doing your own thing over the next few months approaching the cooler weather, here are a few pointers on some fully trail tested and ultra comfortable lightweight thermal gear you might find useful on your way.


We May Be Smaller. But We’re World Class.

Let’s get something out there up front. We know we’re not the biggest Merino brand in the world. But with six generations of wool know-how, we’re no rookies when it comes to making some of the best Merino gear on the planet.

We also know how to walk the walk, and run the run. David Michell, the man behind ioMerino, has run a bunch of trail races including the UTA and Yurrebilla. So when he and his team give advice about what to take with you, what to wear, and how it’s going to work, they know what they’re talking about. 


The Basics: Socks

If you want Merino socks, we’ve got ‘em. These are super soft, feel ridiculously good straight out of the pack, and have 80% Merino wool content which makes them some of the Merino-iest socks on the planet. 


The Basics: Underwear

We know plenty of you will be wearing running shorts, but if you need undies (men's and women's), these are the go. Soft, lightweight, with all the benefits of a Merino layer. To keep your ‘valuables’ safe and warm and comfortable.

Don’t Hit The Trails Without These.

Now, let’s talk essentials. In cold weather, our range of  UTA approved mandatory thermal leggings and long sleeve tops are awesome. Chances are, the weather will be mild enough to not be overly concerned with blizzards on Five Peaks race day, but if mother nature dishes up a cold one early, or you just want to get set for winter, these layers for you.  Sure you could buy cheaper, stinky synthetics. But these are way better. Breathable. Odour-resistant. Moisture-wicking. Temperature regulating. Soft. Lightweight. Natural. What more can we say? You can find out more about the benefits of Merino right here. And these are as soft and comfortable as they come. Pack them in your kit and you’ll be ready for anything - including any future races that require mandatory thermals.



Long Sleeve Thermal 

The Altitude tops come in crew, zip neck or hooded, the choice is yours. They all feature flatlock seams and a tag-free design to make them ultra comfortable and chafe-free.

The crew is your standard, ‘contact fit’ cut (ie. body tight) and the 4% Elastane gives it a nice, easy, 4-way stretch for complete flexibility and freedom of movement.

The Zip allows even more temperature regulation: sleeves up, zip down when it’s warmer; zip up, sleeves down, thumb loops on when the temperature drops. This allows you to wear it early when it's cool and keep it on when it warms up. Or wear it when it's mild, and then stay comfortable into the evening when if it starts to cool down and be comfortable well into the night, rather than having to add an extra layer.


While the Altitude Tops are contact-fit to maximise the thermal properties, the and UltraRange offer more of a casual, relaxed fit.

The ultra range is ultra-natural, ultra-breathable, ultra-comfortable and, of course, ultra warm for such a lightweight garment. Designed specifically with trail runners in mind, these tops and tees are packed with high-performance features and are perfect for running in cool and cold weather. Wear it on its own if it’s just a bit chilly, or layer up when the temperature really drops.



T-shirts for milder conditions

For milder weather, we also offer an awesome range of Merino Tees! They're incredibly lightweight and packed with the same performance as the long sleeves such as breathability, temperature regulation, odour-resistance and more. If you're after a contact fit, go Altitude and if you're after more of a regular fit go Universal. And if Tanks are more your kind of thing, check out our tanks here.



Leggings for the trails 

The Altitude Leggings are the same thickness as the Altitude top, and are also fully UTA compliant, delivering a good level of warmth even if you slow down to a shuffle going up those hills or stop for a drink. But when you’re on the go, they’ll keep you warm without overheating or getting stinky and sweaty like synthetics will.

If you’re expecting to be out on the trails for a while and really feel the cold, you might even consider upgrading to our new revolutionary Merino-Compression Leggings. After extensive research and development, we’ve created a world first and totally unique fabric that combines all the benefits you expect from our high-performance merino fabrics, with the high performance of compression garments. Now you don’t have to choose between the breathability, thermo-regulation, moisture wicking and the odour resistant qualities of Merino or the fit, feel and performance of a compression garment - you can have both.
They’re also more opaque so more suitable for wearing without the need for a pair of ‘courtesy shorts’ over the top.

Remember, almost all compression garments are simply compression garments and not thermals, so they're not actually designed to keep you warm and do not pass the UTA mandatory gear requirements for that very reason. In fact, some leggings may actually look the business, but can actually make you colder! (Click here for more on that!) Save those for your post-race recovery because they won’t keep you warm when the temperature drops anyway. Our leggings also happen to be super lightweight so will fit in your pack nicely and not weigh you down if you don’t end up needing them, but keep you nice and warm if you do.


Top it off with accessories

Skull cap

There are all sorts of beanies out there. But if it gets cold, Merino’s the go. And ours are as good, if not better, than any going around.  Our Merino Skull Cap is the perfect running partner if you're looking for additional head warmth. Super soft and warmth but still completely breathable and temperature regulating. And thanks to the streamlined design, there's no uncomfortable bulk!


Running Gloves

For many runners, cold hands can be a real problem when running in cold weather. Your arms and legs usually warm up nicely enough, but your hands don’t have the same level of circulation and can stay cold, so a good pair of gloves is essential. Ours are lightweight, natural, breathable, soft, warm and comfortable. And you can even use your touchscreen devices without taking them off, thanks to the touchscreen-friendly pads on the thumb and forefinger. 



Arm Warmers

Finally, our Arm Warmers are ideal for changing weather conditions and trans-seasonal weather. The arm warmers maximise heat retention and offer additional coverage in low temperatures, but are easily removed or rolled down if it warms up or if you're wearing a pack. Unlike regular arm warmers or sleeve, these feature a high merino content so are fully breathable, lightweight, and deliver both UV protection from the sun and warmth without bulk, and help stop you overheating. 



Something to train in?

And, of course, we have the Limited Edition ioMerino x TRSATees. They're fully trail tested, ultra comfortable, and can be worn with pride and full bragging rights. This lightweight t-shirt has a super soft next to skin feel and while it’s designed to provide the perfect level of warmth when it’s cold, the natural breathability and thermo-regulation will also help keep you cool when you hit the trails in the warmer weather. 



The most important thing

Having your thermal layers under control is great, but it’s crazy how many people put a lot of thought and effort into choosing high-performance layers and then forgetting the simple things. It is important to look after yourself. Remember to hydrate and get plenty of sleep the night before. You spend hours, days and even weeks preparing for this event, the last thing you want to do is ruin your training and hard work by overlooking the simplest of things. So remember to stay warm and comfortable, pack wisely, layer up and enjoy yourself.


Any Questions?

As always, our ioMerino Team are pretty helpful when it comes to answering questions, so if you have any that aren’t too difficult, send us an email any timeand we’ll get straight back to you. (Unless we’re out hitting the trails ourselves in which case you may need to be a teeny bit more patient!)