Had the best of intentions to test my own wetsuit for race suitability this weekend….did plan on heading to a local beach for water running drills to try and mimic photos etc that I’d seen in last year’s race (check the GALLERY to take a look). However, after pulling my wetsuit out of it’s bag it was obvious that it was not going to cut it. While the material is a reinforced cordura with kevlar on knees and elbows (courtesy of kit purchased for SOG Water Operations), the movement was way too stiff and not even worth considering as a race option.
So instead I threw myself into product research and eventually found what I believe is my best possible option. I had not heard of the brand Xcel before, but they have won numerous awards for wetsuit design and their latest release is a perfect match for this event. Take a look at the video below and let me know what you think…remember, the water temperatures at this event are ranging from -5.0°C to 4.5°C….core temperature management is critical. I’ve sent the Hawaiian-based manufacturer an email explaining an opportunity to test the real toughness of their suit together with the fund raising cause and the event itself in the hope they may even consider supplying a suit for me….never hurts to ask. The suit looks absolutely spot on for what I’m after. Costs around $600.00, so fingers crossed on that one.
I’ve also been to visit Macpac, Kathmandu and Snowgum in the hopes that one of them may also see an opportunity to test their products in a somewhat abnormal environment. My main needs from these guys are Marino thermal baseline kit (tights, tops, socks, balaclava and footwear). Even straight off the cuff, I’ve been offered product “at cost”, which is a great gesture. With that already in play, I have taken the advice of the local Moorabbin store managers and have submitted a proposal to their respective head offices for consideration.
Meanwhile, my shoulder is continuing to grind away a bit. I haven’t heard anything back from the email I sent through to Dr Fuller, so I’ll be giving them a call this week to discuss when I can get another script for an ultrasound-guided cortisone injection. While the Prednisolone (oral corticosteroid) is helpful, the side-effects aren’t that great and I’d prefer to get off the stuff if I can…not to mention the Panadeine Forte.