Now that it’s fall, with daylight waning, a runner’s thoughts turn to … headlamps, what else?
Outdoors stores are flooded with headlamp options, and we’ve asked some of Sacramento, Calif.’s best ultrarunners to illuminate us. You may not run all night on rocky, root-strewn trails, as they do, but they can help recommend what works after dark on the streets of your town.
Tim Twietmeyer, a five-time Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run champ, wears a Petzl RXP2 ($89.95, with 160 lumens) around his waist (by removing the head strap), a Petzl Tikka Plus ($39.95, 50 lumens) on his head and carries a Fenix LD15 ($79.95, 337 lumens) hand-held strobe “for when I need to get directional light in a place that I’m not looking.” The waist light, Twietmeyer says, focuses the light closer to the ground and gives “better depth perception.” Using all three is overkill on the street, but “when running downhill in dicey terrain, you might need all three.”
Jen Pfeifer, a former Olympic Trials marathoner who now races on the trails, endorses the Petzl Tikka XP2 ($54.95, 60 lumens) because “it’s light and distributes the light over a wide area.”
Western States 100 runner Mark Lantz uses the Princeton Tec Apex Pro ($94.95, 200 lumens) because of its brightness, but he says it has two drawbacks: a strap that goes over the top of the head; and “battery life is about three hours … so you either run fast or carry extra batteries.”
And John Blue of the Buffalo Chips running club uses a Black Diamond Icon ($64.95, 100 lumens) that has a “less-bright setting that can run for about two days.”