Christmas, that strange time of year when need and want seem to blend into one mesh of consumerist desire. We spend hours trying to find that one particular item, that thing that was mentioned in a conversation back in March, either because we hope they haven’t found it yet, and will be so impressed with our attentive listening, or, we just hope the joke was good enough to carry through until today, and that the conversation wasn’t with another person.
It was because of this ridiculous need to outdo people, both in the awesomeness of our gifts, but also for the thoughtfulness of them, that I dragged our Director and two other marshals, who thought they were only out for a civilised Sunday tearoom session. This is now a thing for us I must add, and if you’re ever in Calne try the new tearoom it’s absolutely amazing and you’ll probably see us in there getting ready for our next challenge.
But, I am going off course, I roped the guys into a quest to find a specific type of chutney for my parents, that’s right, you’re now reading about the toughest group of men ever to walk the earth, as we finished our earl grey, green tea, latte for Joseph… we’ll convert him. We went into our first Waitrose to look for Figgy Diggy, we were unsuccessful, we then decided to visit yet another Waitrose, and I’m not sure many people have been in two Waitrose’s in one day, we felt decidedly Rothschild like, although, despite the abundance of Persimmons, Physalis and Quail related products, there was no Figgy Diggy, adventure over and time to rebuild in Butterfly World.
“Toby?” I hear you ask, “What on earth does this have to do with sport?” The short answer is nothing, and the long answer is the same, however the message is clear, shopping these days has become just as much about the quest to find the product as it is still about the reason behind buying it in the first place. So, this week, because evidently some of us are still yet to complete our Christmas shopping, I have decided to share some gems from around the net, the strange, the weird and the wonderful, must have items for the Triathlete in your life.
1. I’m going to dive into the biggest cliché and say get them socks. No I haven’t lost my mind, and I’m not forgetting to put effort into this list socks are so important to a Triathlete in training, and how often do we really change our socks? And, unless they’re a gift, how many people really think about what socks they are buying? Or we do opt for the cheapest? Well stop right there, what’s the point in spending £100+ on shoes if the material between your feet and the shoe has had no thought gone into it. Show that special multisporter you care and get them some socks. My recommendation is Balega, manufactured by hand to give a seamless finish, and with no cotton in them they not only dry so quickly, great for the winter and for Triathletes, but, they are so comfy! Starting at £9 on Amazon through a variety of vendors, you can’t go wrong, top stocking filler.
2. Whilst I’m on a roll, I’m going for that other classic Christmas present, if you’re feeling extra loving, you can knit one, although for the less creative amongst us, Triathlon jumpers have been increasing in variety, and the Christmas meets Triathlon style ones are amazing, let your friends know that whatever the season you are a Triathlete, be the envy of your colleagues at the staff party, and get all those nods of approval at the bar. A Triathlon Christmas Jumper is no ordinary jumper, it’s a statement piece that will never go out of style.
This beauty is the choice of one of our friendly neighbourhood Marshalls and can be snapped up on Ebay for £15.99 buy it now, bargain!
3. Stocking fillers are a great way to get a few laughs and in all honesty, makes it look like you’ve tried hard, take a visit to some local generic health food shop & Barrett, and start off a little Christmas sweet selection for the perpetually training individual. Get some Bounce Energy balls, currently buy one get on half price so £2.99 for 2, deal! Then go and get a nice variety of gels and bars, High 5, SIS, Gu etc. all tend to be found in larger supermarkets these days as well as online, making them quite competitively priced. With this done, put them in a little goody bag, and for £10 you’ve made a ‘selection box’ that Alistair Brownlee would leave Jonny behind for.
4. Next, something I came across quite by accident, a company called ‘Smithers of Stamford’ based in Cambridgeshire have some fantastic furniture made from recycled bicycles, including some great looking stools and desk lamps. It’s something different and yes slightly more expensive than other options on this list, I just felt it needed to be seen as their products look amazing. Prices starting at £169.
5. Something funny always goes down a treat as well, and if you want to treat your friend who you see far more often in lycra and neoprene than in other far more forgiving fabrics, then Sport Luub anti chafe wetsuit balm or Bodyglide anti chafe balm, both come in under £10 and are available at all, although we both know which one you’ll get…
6. A seatroll tool bag is also a great little buy, if you’re like me, you probably rely on your friends having some tools, so a handy little roll can definitely help your tri buddy survive everything the tarmac wilderness throws at them. These tend to start from £25 upwards depending on how much you want in the roll, and how much you like the person, sorry it has to be said, Mike you’re getting an Allen key in a napkin.
7. A massage roller, ah a perfect partner to your training plan, your post-race friend, and even something amazing to roll on in the morning before work. If you want to go above and beyond, get a voucher for a sports massage, they’ll love you for it, give them a few Lucozade’s and you’ve got a triathlon spa day right there.
8. Or, if you want to get really cool, then take a look at how many Triathlon related products there are on Etsy, almost 900 items ranging from keyrings to medal holders, t-shirts to mugs, this is definitely a cornucopia of coolness that needs to be checked for anything from your main gift, down to items for under £2.
9. How about that race which was the focus of a years worth of training, want to remember that first sprint, that special Olympic distance or that Ironman you shed blood and tears to complete. Well, those clever so and so’s at NotontheHighstreet.com have got a product in by ‘phome.’ Those geniuses have, for £65 a framed route map of any, yes any Triathlon, which includes the date you competed and your time. Pretty cool right? And a great way to ensure you never forget that event.
10. And finally, buy them a race entry! I know right, what a perfect gift idea, just go to Our Events section, and enter that special someone into a race next season, from our half marathon to a super sprint event, there’s something for everyone, I look forward to seeing you at the start line!
So hopefully you can gain some inspiration from this list, if you know of another awesome gift idea let me know! Stay tuned next week as I share some amazing cocktails that won’t damage your calorie intake, and also as I take part in a bit of LPS Events Boxing Day fun!
All that remains to be said is Merry Christmas Friends and see you next week!
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