A lifelong runner and age group athlete, Lance Sanson stepped up his athletic pursuits in 2007 when he decided to take on his first marathon. Once he conquered the marathon, road racing evolved into trail racing.
When he learned he could race while battling mud and obstacles, trail racing quickly evolved into mud running. The challenges presented by mud runs, combined with the opportunity to have fun with his friends, got him hooked on the sport. “I think there’s a natural tendency for grown-ups to want to be a kid again and go play in the mud,” he says.
Since 2012, Sanson has competed in 14 mud or adventure races, including Spartan races, Tough Mudders, the Superhero Scramble, and two Death Races (which are 48-hour long races that organizers claim up to 90 percent of racers don’t complete). As a top finisher in either his age group or heat, Sanson’s strategy is to “go out fast, run everyone into the ground to clear a path, and then just keep going.”
Part Terminator and part Energizer Bunny, Sanson has a go-big-or-go-bigger philosophy. “I’m looking for more obstacles, more mud. If you’re going to get dirty, you should get monumentally dirty.”
So here’s what Sanson packs in his bag to help him outlast his competitors:
- Inov-8 Trailroc running shoes: “Trailrocs have great cushioning, plus these big knobs on the bottom that help grip the trail.”
- Swiftwick and Darn Tough socks: “For longer races, like the Death Race, I wear thicker socks by Darn Tough. For mud runs, like the Spartan Races or a Tough Mudder, I wear Swiftwick socks because they are lightweight and durable.”
- 2XU apparel: “I always wear 2XU compression gear. The compression helps with circulation, plus the fact that it is tight means I don’t worry about it getting caught on obstacles or bogged down with mud.”
- Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 50: “Sunscreen is important, not just for the obvious reasons, but also because if you get burned during a long race you are going to be much colder at night when the sun goes down. I like Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen because it stays put and doesn’t run into my eyes.”
- SuperStarch by Generation UCAN: “For shorter mud runs, I don’t refuel and mostly hit the water stops to get the mud out of my teeth. For longer mud runs, like 24-hour World’s Toughest Mudder, I’ll mainly refuel with water and protein power mixed with complex carbohydrate replacement SuperStarch by UCAN Generation.
- Motorola Motoactv sports watch: “In training, I think it’s important to learn to pace yourself, and I like how this watch tells me both my current pace and my average pace” (while this one is no longer on the market, keep an eye out for our upcoming piece on great sports watches to look for).
- Beer: “The thought of a pint of Guinness after the race helps keep me motivated. Plus, Alberto Salazar once told me that a beer or two after a hard race is a good recovery tool, and I figured if it worked for him…”