I’m a big fan of Nissan – Innovation for Endurance. They work with some pretty amazing athletes, including Ryan Hall, Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, Ryan Lochte, and Chris Horner. They also make some pretty awesome videos and commercials. Today, Kara Goucher tweeted this video of her and Shalane Flanagan trying to break the women’s marathon record. I love these ladies…
The very end of the video gave me the idea for my question today. What exactly is the point of those silver blankets you are given at the end of the race?
The silver blankets actually come from space, well NASA technology at least. The material used for these blankets has been used on all manned and unmanned missions since the 1960s, and in the 1970s, race organizers started giving them to race finishers. The point of the blanket is to help regulate body temperature. Once you have finished running, you are still sweating and it stops being evaporated (because you are no longer running). Not to mention your clothes are still nice and sweaty. All of this has the potential for a runner to become cold and develop the shivers. The blanket helps to prevent hypothermia by the airtight foil reducing convection as well as reducing heat loss caused by evaporation of perspiration, moisture or blood.
This shiny blanket is called many different things – mylar blanket, first aid blanket, emergency blanket, thermal blanket or weather blanket. Many races will print their logo so it can be a pretty cool souvenir to add to your collection. Need to buy some? I found this website that will print custom blankets or send you unprinted blankets for $200 per 150.
After my first half marathon I did back in 2004, I kept my blanket because I thought it was pretty cool to have. Since then, I’m pretty sure all of the others have safely made it in the trash. They have always served me well though.
Here I am after a marathon in 2009 where it was 40 degrees and pouring down rain the entire time. I was soooooo cold and the blanket was much needed…
Some sisterly love and Mario trying to help me along
Being that it’s 100+ degree in North Carolina right now, I hope I don’t come anywhere near one of those heat blankets. But I know they will be quite useful during the fall racing season and I’ll be thankful to have one.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,