You’ve just ran/jogged/walked/crawled across that finish line and received your medal, eaten your bananas, checked your time, and shared some laughs or obstacle stories with fellow racers. If you’ve truly immersed yourself into the course, even you elite heat runners, you’re probably and hopefully extremely dirty and muddy, but what do you do with your stuff now?!
If you do these races a lot, you either wear only your compression gear and nothing else, have that outfit you’ve designated for OCR’s, or you’ve mastered the cleaning process. Myself? I am still figuring it all out. I’ve been racing for just over a year now and haven’t had a terrible time cleaning most of my clothes, but I am still trying to master the process. Between mud or colored corn starch, it’s been a trial and error process.
Most races offer a shower area of some sort. Depending on the race, you can end up with a personal hose and shower at your own leisure, a running water shower after the finish line, or even stand amongst a crowd of racers while someone atop a water truck hosing down the crowd and you wait for water to be sprayed in your direction. So, the chances of your clothes being totally cleaned off are very limited, or your shoes even getting tied up and given to the donation pile.
Most recently my wife and I have stuck to the Resolve and Oxi Clean presoak method. At the race we of course, clean off our stuff as best as possible, leaving it even a bit wet to “soak” until we can get home. Once home though, we unload the garbage bags (and try avoid the wondeful smells that emanate) and start the Resolve spraying. Any spot still left gets a spritz, socks usually doused, then into the tub to soak with two scoops of Oxi Clean powder, anywhere from 1-3 hours.
After a long soak, we try to scrub the clothes and get any dirt that may have loosened up out. Another quick rinse and then into the laundry with detergent and another two scoops of Oxi Clean. It works on some clothes, but I still haven’t mastered how to pull most of the dirt from my compression sleeves, since the next time I wear them the dust just clouds out as I pull them on.
While the above is just one method/attempt to clean up my gear, I now open this up to all of you. Do you have specific clothing you recommend that’s easy to clean? A specific cleaning method that you can share for us all? A product that you swear by? Leave your answers and replies below!