Prevention is always better than cure.
Written by: Rebeca Ehrnrooth - myRaceKit
Chafing is one of the most annoying things that can happen to you during a run. You don’t notice it before you have it. Once you have it, your entire mind is focused on that sore area of skin. It is painful. My first experience with chafing was during the multi-stage Oman Desert Marathon in 2017. I made a rookie error of not strapping my Raidlight backpack tightly. The rucksack bounced on my back while running 30km and when I removed the pack I had five spots on the skin of my back that had been made sore by rubbing. Over the next four days it stung every time I put on the rucksack. It was frustrating seeing the extent of the chafing gradually increase day by day. Rookie error number two during that race was not bringing an anti-chafing cream in my self-sufficiency pack. I guess we can all relate to having a foot blister and the disproportionate pain it can cause.
Chafing creams have multiple uses: all types of sports and outdoor pursuits (sweaty runners, water sports enthusiasts, military, hikers, etc.) plus usage in hot weather where your clothes may rub. Anti-chafing creams can be used on your feet, armpits, crotch, butt and nipples for anti-friction, chafing and blister prevention. Chafing can be a full-body issue! There is no part of the body anti-chafing cream cannot be applied, although the creams are for external use only and should be kept clear from the eyes.
Prevention is always better than cure. So which chafing brand should you choose? There are many out there such as BodyGlide, 2Toms, Lanacane and good old Vaseline. Personally I really like GurneyGoo and I know many runners who would agree with me. So what is it and why is it so good?
GurneyGoo is simple having only four ingredients: bee’s wax, tea tree oil, petrolatum (as a skin smoothing agent) and cyclomethicone. The product was developed through trial and error by Steve Gurney, a New Zealander and endurance athlete looking for a holy grail to solve his chafing problems. When Steve retired from professional racing the secret recipe of GurneyGoo was commercialised and athletes around the world can now enjoy its benefits. No more sore butts or blistered feet or hands.
Thanks to the tea tree oil GurneyGoo is antiseptic and can prevent infection. This is extremely useful for longer events such as the Marathon des Sables. GurneyGoo has waterproofing effect so if you do watersports, or even cross country running where your feet get wet, it is an excellent product.
The packaging is also super practical with one large tube of 85ml for the bathroom cabinet and smaller tubes of 10ml for when you travel or race.