Thursday 13 August 2015

Gear Review: Event Clips

Every so often, someone contacts me out of the blue to review a product.  I like the randomness of it, and enjoy trying new stuff.  Rarely, though, has something come through the post with such perfect timing for a properly hard trial.  When Mike from EventClips sent me a set through, it was just before my return to the North Devon/Somerset coast for the Seaview 17.  Ordinarily, I'd have attached my number to my race belt, but with some fancy new clips to try, I clipped the number to my shorts and set out to see how well they would hold up to some tough race conditions.

Shorts and number (and runner) windswept and crumpled after the race.
The race started on Countisbury Hill in fierce winds, blowing the runners towards the sea at an alarming rate.  Luckily, we turned into the lee of the hills before things got wet.  The race route is primarily on the South West Coastal Path, but occasionally, we had some detours back up onto the moors, which put the clips to the test.  Aside from gales and gusts, which were unpleasant enough, there is a long climb off the sheltered path up to County Gate, where a friendly checkpoint (and more wind) waited.  This isn't a frequently travelled route, so the number was getting tugged about by all sorts of undergrowth.  Since we were only about 4 miles into the race, I regularly checked to make sure all 4 clips remained attached (they did!).  Twenty-one miles and 3:27 of brush, wind, and running after I clipped the number on, it was still firmly attached - job done.

What I Liked

In spite of my occasional accidental attempts to rip the number off, it stayed firmly attached to my shorts.  I didn't have any long-term markings in the fabric, and the clips didn't bother me at all (make sure you don't put them against any sensitive skin, though!).  In essence, they did the job nicely.

Things I Think Could Be Better

They're a little bit fiddly.  With pins, I don't have to make a hole in the number first.  I used a pen to stab some holes in, which worked just fine.  I also found putting the clips onto my shorts a little difficult, as I was wearing them at the time - it would be a piece of cake to do before putting them on.

Otherwise, the only other difficulty I found was what to do with them afterwards.  I don't want to bin them, and they don't have a logical "put away" place in my kit storage.  It's a little thing, and one worth solving.  At the moment, they're in one of those drawers where things hide for years at a time.


For a short race, where I wouldn't be wearing a belt, these are a great alternative to safety pins.  I like that they're reusable, and won't leave holes or rust marks on my clothes.  I'm also impressed with how well they hold up in harsh conditions.  For a longer race, where I've got a belt with built-on clips, I'll stick to the belt - that way I have less fiddling with clips when I change clothes mid-race.

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