With the crazy variable winter we’ve had, runners across the Blue Ridge are aching for a sunshine-filled spring, when we can dust off our running shoes and hit the trails for good. Or better yet, now could be the perfect time to upgrade some of your gear with these favorites. Race entry is open for some of the favorite spring runs, and when it comes to the list of things you need to keep track of on race day, your gear shouldn’t give you a headache.Here we’ve compiled an outfit to take you through your run, from a 5K to multi-leg race journey, these trail-tested items will carry you through, all while looking stylishly swift.

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1 — Ambit2 (HR) by SUUNTO
Maintaining your pace during a distance race is critical. While the excitement of race day can get your adrenaline pumping, resist the urge to race out of the gate by keeping an accurate eye on your pace and heart rate. The Ambit2 with the integrated Heart Rate system by Suunto makes it easy with a large pace display, lap comparisons by each kilometer/mile and scrollable options to view distance, speed, elapsed time, elevation, heart rate and calories burned. While you’re not out crushing it in a town race, the GPS-based watch offers an impressive bevy of other functions for outdoor adventurists.

2 — Corsa Skort by ISIS
Slip into any piece by ISIS and you can instantly tell that it was designed by women, for women. Flattering cuts, styles, patterns and colors, backed by high performance materials, are what their pieces are known for. The Corsa Skort is no exception. The nylon and spandex short & skirt combination with stretch waistband is comfortable and chic, with a gusset crotch for movability. This will quickly become your go-to
piece, having you feeling feminine yet fearless as you fly down the trails.

3 — Unisex Ventilator Compression Support Calf Sleeves by CW-X
Compression garments are all the rage, and with good reason. Why wait to sooth your legs until after the race, when you can begin the recovery process before you even begin? The Unisex Ventilator Compression Support Calf Sleeves by CW-X are engineered to provide muscle and joint support. The increase in blood circulation results in better endurance, less fatigue and faster recovery. The sleeve design allows you to pair them with your favorite running sock.

4 — Women’s Running Ultra Light No Show by Point6
Many a toenail was lost before the discovery of Point6 wool socks. The moisture wicking properties of wool prevent dampness from developing, keeping your toes dry and happy. The Running Ultra Light No Show by Point 6 is crafted of tightly knit merino wool, an antimicrobial, natural fiber that helps regulate your body temperature. The soft and snug fit stays put, alleviating blisters or hotspots, while the low cut ankle allows it to pair perfectly with any running shoe. After your run, slip on a pair of the Point6 Compression Ultra Lite OTC socks to aid in recovery. The “Over the Calf ” high rise sock, created with merino wool infused with Celliant fibers, aids in fatigue, reduces soreness and increases blood flow.

5 – Women’s Coolest Cool Short Sleeve Top by Columbia
The intense midday sun in the Blue Ridge Mountains has become more bearable thanks to the Omni-Freeze Zero technology by Columbia. The sweat-activated cooling system in the Coolest Cool Short Sleeve top will keep you cooler than your competitors. While the Omni-Wick technology will keep you dry, pulling sweat away from your body, the Omni-Shade technology will keep you blocked from the Sun’s harmful rays. This triple action will keep you cool, dry and protected and you’ll coast stylishly down the trail while your fellow racers wondering what your secret is.

6 — Bondi Speed by Hoka One One 
While the minimalist movement quickly saturated the market, Hoka One One made a push in the opposite direction. The first to pioneer the maximalist concept, the shoes are designed for runners of all levels. The oversized shoes are light, bouncy and nimble. Within the first hundred steps of wearing the Bondi Speed, you’ll be a believer. The cushioned midsoles deliver an almost trampoline-like effect. The large outsole footprint offers stability on trail or pavement, while minimizing impact, perfect for those with knee issues. Rather than hitting the pavement, you’ll feel as though you’re effortlessly running on vibrantly colored clouds. The fast-entry lacing system will get you out the door and onto the trial quicker than ever.

7 — Jurek Endure by Ultimate Direction
Personally designed by Scott Jurek, the Jurek Collection by Ultimate Direction provides runners with four hydration system options. The Jurek Endure is the perfect hydration belt for a mid-distance run. The belt comes with two ten-ounce bottles, for even weight distribution, keeping the belt from bouncing around. The construction of the bottle holsters is stiff enough to easily slide the bottles in and out, while still resting comfortably against your back. The front pocket allows for easy access to goos or gels, and the expandable back pocket can stash arm warmers or gloves. The waist belt is adjustable and comes with race bib clips.