VICTORY BAGS

Inspired by the experience of running the Western States 100 mile endurance race and designed by runner Victor Ballesteros, VICTORY BAGS are the evolution of a durable, compact and ultra-organized sports utility bag.

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THANK YOU…

... for checking out Victory Sportdesign and the Victory Bags. The word is out and it goes a little something like this...

"Very helpful keeping items organized during a timed event. Your bag = efficiency and nice looking to boot."
-ANN TRASON (need we say more?)

"Ready for a weekend up on the mountain!" With all the essentials @thenorthface @injinji @Naturahealth and @Victorysportdesign”
-TIMMY OLSON, 2x Western States 100 Champion

“Don’t know what bag to use? Victory Sportdesign makes a popular drop bag with clear pockets that make it easy to identify your food and gear.”
-OUTSIDE ONLINE: The Top 10 Ultramarathon Training Tips

My Victory Bag was key in getting me in-and-out of checkpoints at my FASTEST ever Angeles Crest 100 miler by 1-hr, 13-min! I earned my 2nd SILVER buckle there in 4-attempts. Thanks, Victor!!!"
-JIMMY DEAN FREEMAN, head coach & founder: Coyote Running

“I’ve been a huge fan of Victory Bags since they launched back in 2012. Both my crew and I love the simplicity and ease of use and I can’t tell you how much time I’ve saved at aid stations while racing.
I’m looking forward to working with Victor and the rest of the team to represent the brand.”
-SALLY McRAE, 7th place female finisher Western States 100, 2015

This bag is the coolest run-related thing to come around in a really long time. Its design is inspired and it really does cut down on how long it takes to find the things you want when in an aid station.
-LISA HENSON, former editor UltraRunning Magazine

“I would not have run the Pinhoti 100 without my bags. They were most essential to my 25hour and 21 minute finish! Without question, your bags are one of the top five running gear (products) every runner should have. I will not run another Ultra without them. Thank you for a great running bag.”
-THOMAS E. BOOKER, Runner

“Spotted a Victory Sportdesign bag today at Run Woodstock in Hell, MI...I also used mine and loved it! Everything was so accessible and organized! Added some motivational pieces to the front of my Bear II as I start my training next week for my first 100 miler...Thanks Victory Sportdesign for keeping me organized & can't wait to see the Grizzly and all its possibilities!”
-JESSICA HEBBEN ERICSON, Runner

“The Victory Bag is handy everywhere, even in the Himalayas! Fueled me to 4th place!”
-BURT KEELY, runner/musician/entrepreneur

In addition to training bag and drop bag duties, my Bear II also performs well as commuter bag, carrying my work clothes to the office. A great product, one of my most valuable running accessories!
-CHRIS BASSETT, Runner

...And the list goes on. That's a lot of good mojo from folks who have been diggin' their VICTORY BAGS! Check them out yourself, and see why we've become "the greatest gear bag ever!"

Also, check out our Blog: TO THE VICTOR... and see what's what about what in our experience of the trail, road, and ultrarunning world. Thanks again!

- May you run long and well. -v

Ken "All Day" Michal Photo: Michael Li

Drop Bags- A how-to guide by guest blogger and Victory Athlete: Ken ‘All Day’ Michal

Ken "All Day" Michal Photo: Michael Li

Ken “All Day” Michal Photo: Michael Li

Over the years, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to run many long ultras including multiple 100 and 200 milers (Western States 100, HURT 100, Pigtails Challenge 200 and Tahoe 200 among others)!  Drop bags can be a life saver in long events and the right drop bag strategy can help shave a lot of important time out on the course!  This article will give suggestions and examples of how you can maximize your drop bags, keep organized and move faster on race day!

 

Advance planning is critical for success in ultras!  You spend so many long days out on the trails, training hard to go faster on race day!  Why sacrifice that time and hard work with poor

Preparation is key to Victory

Preparation is key to Victory

execution?  Think of your race prep and drop bag planning/packing as an essential part of the game and not an afterthought!  It’s best to start your race plan up to two months in advance!  Make detailed lists of everything you might need, when and where you’ll need it!  After that, you will have plenty of time to fine tune your list and streamline as much as possible!  Look at your list often and ask yourself if you really need everything on it!  Make sure to limit your choices!  You don’t want to waste time in an aid station, weighing the merits of the blue jacket over the green one!  Instead, choose the green because it’s the only choice you’ve left yourself!  You’ll be surprised at how little you need for a long race once you’ve done a couple without bringing the kitchen sink!  It’s a great idea to volunteer at a race or two and see how runners organize their drops!  Most of the time, it’s really easy to tell the experienced racers from the new folks from their drop bags alone!  Watch successful runners, learn how they organize themselves for race day success and do the same for your event!Sea of bags

 

It’s best to treat drop bags as a luxury instead of a necessity!  Drop bags can be misplaced, delivered to the wrong aid station or worse (I’ve had all of this happen at more than one event)!  Once again, you’ve spent months preparing for a key event!  Do you really want to trust all of that hard work to chance?  If something is crucial to your race, make sure to either have control over it yourself or have someone (crew) that you can trust 100% to have what you need when and where you need it!  Don’t get caught in the dark because the light you needed was in a drop bag that was lost on the way to the aid station!  Take responsibility for your gear needs instead of trusting it to some well intentioned volunteer who may have never even run an ultra!  Along with this, don’t leave anything valuable in your drop bags!  Anything can happen!  If you only leave backup items in your drop bag, you’ll be ready to quickly adapt if any issues arise!

 

COYOTE I, COUGAR I, & BEAR II

 

Victory Sportdesign Sport Utility bags are the best choice to help Get In, Get Out and Get Moving!  Besides being awesome drop bags, I find them very useful in day to day life and love them for traveling to races!

The BEARThe BEAR II fits perfectly under airplane seats!  VSD bags keep things dry, organized and the insulated bottle coolers can help send a nice cool treat to the middle of nowhere on a 100 degree day!  A frozen candy bar may be a perfect pick me up on a tough day!  If you freeze it beforehand, chances are that it will still be edible by the time you need it instead of a melted, gooey mess!  I also like to freeze water bottles for extra ice!  You can also send warm hot chocolate to a night time aid station!  Of course, they work really well as finish line bags too!  Having a nice cold beer at the finish is great!!  The customizable panels are one of my favorite parts of Victory Sportdesign bags!!  This is a great opportunity to have something that inspires you out on the course!  My Ozzy Osbourne drop bag is Essentialspretty well known in the local circuit!  Pictures of friends and loved ones may be a great pick me up!  Inspirational quotes or a picture of the buckle from the event would work well to motivate too!  Make sure to label your bag with your name and bib number and aid station so it can be found quickly (and delivered to the correct location)!  I tape this in 3 locations on my bag, with both duct tapeCOUGAR I and sports tape (along with a card under the clear top flap window) just in case!

 

Different events will have specific challenges and drop bag needs!  For instance, in the Marin Headlands, races aren’t allowed to hand out gels in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area!  If you want them, it would be best to drop your own!  Will your run go into the night?  Maybe pack backup batteries and even backup lights!  Here are examples from my drop bags from the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler and the Born to Run 96 hour races to compare:

 

TNFEC 50:
Backups (salt tabs, hard candy, Vespa) extra hat/gloves/Moebens arm sleeves, 10 gels, premixed biker bottle of UCAN, backup light in Tennessee Valley bag!
What was used on race day:
Gels, UCAN

 

Born to Run 96 hour:
-Backups (Gels, Vespa, batteries, salt tabs, hard candy, snacks), VSD Mountain Headwrap, raincoat (and/or garbage bag), sweatshirt, gloves, hat, tape, lube, eyedrops, mouthwash
What was used on race day:
A few gels, batteries, sweatshirt

I really hope these ideas help you succeed and execute well at your next event!  Please feel free to find me on Facebook or contact me at Coachken@runningstupid.net with any questions or thoughts on how to use your Victory Sportdesign bag!  I love talking about ultras, sharing ideas and helping folks achieve their dreams!  You can also find cool interviews, race reports and more on the Running Stupid Podcast!  It’s free in the iTunes store and can also be found at:
http://runningstupid.libsyn.com/

All Day!
~Ken

 

 

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3 comments on “Drop Bags- A how-to guide by guest blogger and Victory Athlete: Ken ‘All Day’ Michal

  1. Alicia

    Love these drop bags

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