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Foot Healthcare During an Adventure Race

Martin Duggan / 00.25.1611

I have been covering adventure/endurance races now for some 30 years, as a race medic and podiatrist. In this short article I have set down a few thoughts and ideas that I believe are worth considering.

Prevention is Better than Cure

This old adage has a great significance in adventure racing. All past injury and trauma sites should be treated prior to the race starting.

- Nails should be cut and edges rasped/filed 4 days prior to the race start.
- Thickened or broken nails should be reduced to normal thickness (Visit a podiatrist/chiropodist).
- Blackened nails should be trimmed and reduced in thickness.
- Corns and calluses should be removed 4 days prior to the race start.
- Fungal infection should be an ongoing treatment.
Adventure racers should see a podiatrist /chiropodist on a regular basis. They will be able to offer advice and address potential problems at an early stage. A biomechanical examination of your feet and gait is a must for serious athletes.

Skin Integrity

Maintaining the integrity of your feet should be top priority. To this end, thought should be given to keeping your feet as dry as possible during the race.

Consider:

- Applying talc (zeasorb) or a moisture repellant (Hydropel) to your feet
- Carrying extra socks in your race kit and at transition areas.
- Wearing moisture wicking socks (coolmax liner).
- Wearing water resistant socks (sealskins).
- Carrying a small towel in a plastic bag for drying your feet. A beer cloth is a good alternative.
- Wearing plastic bags over your socks, but inside your shoes before entering water.
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