Spring is birthday season at our house… I have been thinking about several great gifts for runners that most any runner would love to receive. Running websites often publish these kinds of lists around the holidays. The problem is that running gear selection, from hydration systems to hats, can be intensely personal. Then there are also problems with sizes, fit and style.
With these issues in mind, here are a few gift ideas that should work for even the most particular of runners.
There are thousands of books about running. Here are a few to teach and inspire:
Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall: Chances are good that your runner has already read this “new classic.” If not, then it’s about time!
ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running, by Danny Dreyer: Who doesn’t want to keep running for another 40 birthdays?!? Introduce your friends to the practice of ChiRunning, and they may be so lucky.
Tahoe Rim Trail: The Official Guide for Hikers, Mountain Bikers and Equestrians, by Tim Hauserman: Inspire your runner to hit the trail with a guide book for the Tahoe Rim Trail or trails in your area.
Light the Way.
A headlight or flashlight is an excellent gift for the avid runner. While I rarely run in the dark, I do carry a flashlight whenever I hit the trail. My favorites are the small-but-spectacularly-bright LED flashlights by FOURSEVENS.
I usually carry the Quark Tactical QT2L-X, but just ordered an even smaller unit (Quark Pro QPL) that will double as a headlamp. At 300 lumens, it can temporarily blind an attacker at close range. Be sure to read the specifications carefully before you order, as the brighter lights require specialty batteries.
The serious ultrarunner in your life will appreciate the Black Diamond Icon Headlamp. This bulkier unit will light up the trail with 200 lumens using four AA batteries. For a less expensive option that is very light and still quite useful, consider the Petzl Zipka Plus 2 Headlamp. We also use these as nightlights when we travel with the kids.
Give them Swag.
Have some fun creating a personalized swag bag. Find a small reusable bag (perhaps a small paper handle bag) and fill it with fun runner goodies. Ideas include:
- Runner’s fuel ~ fun gel flavors, jelly beans and post-run treats
- Gift cards ~ just enough for a pre-run latte or a post-run smoothie
- Safety items ~ a whistle or an emergency blanket
- Get creative!
Keep them Clean.
Trail shoe gaiters will keep the dirt and rocks from slipping into your trail runner’s shoes. Dirty Girl Gaiters are not just for girls! You will need to know your runner’s approximate shoe size. You will also want to pick a print that he or she will like – there are lots of crazy (and just a few tame) prints to choose from. Click here to see the Dirt Girl Gaiters products.
Let them Brag.
Know somebody with a drawer full of medals and wrinkled ribbons? Get those accomplishments out of the closet with a stainless steel medal display! Allied Medal Displays makes a variety of stock and custom medal hangers.
I like this runner’s gift guide at Active.com. Good suggestions there include: a gift certificate for a Road ID, running jewelry, and a spa or massage gift certificate.
Kim Williams says
Great gift ideas
Christine Hueber (@ChristineHueber) says
Loved “Born to Run”…very inspiring!