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Runclips on test

by Paul Hayward
Tuesday 17th March 2015
Tags  Runclips   |   Paul Hayward   |   OCR
 
 

Product review: Obstacle racing columnist Paul Hayward tests out an alternative to the safety pin

Runclip

After covering Obstacle Course Racing (“OCR”) for two years I have seen an emergence of two types of people; those that do not like using safety pins on their new race shirts (for fear of injury or they do not like making holes) and those that treasure their race numbers. I think, sadly, I am one of the latter and I now do not like to lose my number half way round a course due to the “Meat Grinder” or on occasion a simple cargo crawl.

This is surely a modern day dilemma for the Obstacle Course Racer? So how do we address this problem? Sean Keelan of “Runclips” has come up with an innovative idea; a set of four clips that are fastened together with the ideal of keeping the number safe from those obstacles and on you at all times.

Just before reviewing these, Sean told me that the feedback from Tough Guy had been excellent with all competitors keeping their race numbers, despite the perils of the Killing Fields.

With this in mind I set about testing a set of four Runclips, emblazoned with the Run247 logo. 

Product feel

On opening the Runclips I was instantly impressed; the Runclip feels lightweight and does not come across as restrictive or importantly, cumbersome. With a hole, conveniently located on the bottom, you can unclip the Runclip and get them ready to secure your number.

I will warn you, the clip takes some trying to start, but once you have done it once, it is fine thereafter. By placing your shirt/vest/garment and number between the clips you can then fasten them together, or clip, securing it firmly to your chest.

Aesthetically they look great and once positioned on the shirt; do not appear out of character with it. If you are a member of a running club or OCR community then you can even promote your club by having your logos on it or the Runclips in your colour; which is a great touch and adds a lot to the product.

Survival

So Runclips look the part, but can they hack the pace of an OCR? In short: Yes!

I challenged them to an 8k jaunt at the Devil Mud Run with a variety of crawls, from cargo nets to tyre grinders and I flew plast race numbers scattered all over the floor. The Runclips held firm and I came home with all four clips and my race number.

I decided to try them again at Chase the Yeti and this time they fared pretty well. The Yeti proved hard work with a series of walls made out of tyres, logs and traditional slats. The Runclips held on across all of these challenges save for the tyre walls.

On climbing to the top one unclipped and fell down. Despite being a strange obstacle to fail on, due to any real lack of contact with the obstacle, it came undone. Fortunately I saw it and retrieved it.

The actual challenge was to try and clip it all back in half way through a race with frozen hands. Sadly it was too much for me and I resorted to running with just three of the clips in place. I think that this may have been user error more than the clip failing. In testament to the sturdiness of the remaining three however, I scaled further walls and negated a huge muddy crawl without fear and my Runclips and my number remained in place.

The Runclips had come through and lived up to their billing, my race number was safe and my shirt was hole free.

The challenge of mud

After two outings in a variety of Leicestershire and Gloucestershire mud, the Runclips had held my numbers firm, but had been truly battered by the mud. They now resembled large brown plastic coins.

I decided to try and clean them a little and get the logos shining through again. Sadly as I washed them gently with a luke warm water; the sticker containing my Run247 logo came away and left a bright, shiny Runclip. Whilst the clip came up brilliantly; the loss of my logo saddened me and took the gloss of a somewhat great product.

Although the sticker is not integral to the Runclip, it was one of its unique selling points and allowed you to have anything you wanted on your shirt. It was a negative in a product that had promised, and delivered, so much.

Overall

Runclips are a fantastic idea that achieve one of the biggest problems facing a runner, namely making holes in your new shirt. They allow you to keep your numbers secure all the way round the race without fail.

They were battered by walls; crawls; muddy bogs and cargo nets and held firm despite the abundance of race numbers around me on the floor as I ran the races. However unless the logo can be protected and made waterproof / “mudproof” then these will only achieve fame in running circles as the complete answer to this modern day dilemma.

I decided to put my review to Sean for his comments on the durability of his Runclips: "Runclips were born through my own experiences with safety pins at events. After testing we decided to target the Obstacle Course Race market in the first instance. We knew that these types of events would test Runclips in all areas.

"Through our testing and our feedback we learnt that our artwork was not robust enough to withstand water and cleaning. In response to this we have upgraded our stickers to fully waterproof, rip proof vinyl that will meet the challenges of OCR. We are pleased with the results and believe that Runclips are the best and most cost effective replacement for safety pins and will endure the challenges that OCR throw at them."

With the improvements to the durability of the stickers, Runclips may well offer an answer to this modern dilemma.

Runclip

More information and purchases can be made at www.Runclips.co.uk

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

About The Author

Paul Hayward

I am 33 years old and spend the majority of my life within an office environment. Whilst I played football, I never really took an interest in sport let alone athletics. In 2011 I joined a gym as I was slightly concerned about my weight. However I was, like an awful lot of my colleagues, coasting and I considered spinning three times a week a workout.
 
This changed when I took up a circuits class and found myself entering Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest London in November 2011. I was assured by my friends that this was a good idea and would be a “challenge”.
 
I had never entered any form of competitive event before and training for this run changed me. I listened to my personal trainer, who assured me that if I quit drink I could be dangerous, and sorted out my diet, stopped drinking so much and focussed my training. I completed the race in just over an hour and I was instantly bitten by the racing bug, I loved the challenge the event offered. 
 
Nearly two years on I have completed a half marathon in 1hour 49 minutes, came 6th in the Rat Race Horseplay 5k event and usually come within the top 30% at Obstacle Course races. I am also a part time triathlete and I am lucky to find myself in a running club where we have a great coach and the focus is on members. If I am honest - I came to running through these events and I am not alone.
 
My aim through Run 247 is to promote, discuss and publicise Obstacle Course racing. It is becoming huge and over the coming months we will cover all of the major races and the new competitors entering the scene. 
 
 
 
 
 

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