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By Owen Clarke
Picture this: You’re attempting an FKT and have reached the snow-capped peak of Mt. Kenya – the second highest point in Africa (16,355ft) and one of the most dramatic runs out there… and you didn’t start trail running until 2020.
As most major marathons were cancelled in the beginning of the year and travel became implausible, Kenyan elite roadrunners Susy Chemaimak and Kenneth Kemboi looked to their own country for a new challenge and decided to attempt FKTs up 3 different routes to Mt. Kenya’s peak. Despite the fact that neither athlete had ever trail run before they’re already well on their way, setting 2 unsupported FKTs on the most challenging route. To brave the changing elements, athletes kitted out in Janji’s winter running kit.
Founded in 2012, Janji is a running apparel brand focused on exploring, connecting, and giving back through running. The name “Janji” means promise in Malay, which refers to the brand’s promise to better the world with each product. 2% of all Janji sales go to support clean water projects in the countries that inspire each of their seasonal collections; Last year, Janji donated over $100,000 towards clean water programs in Mexico, the Philippines and Nepal.
Check out Janji’s winter running kit that accompanied Susy and Kenneth on their trip up Mt. Kenya:
OUTER : Rainrunner Pack Jacket
Weight: 8.0oz (M’s Med) 7.2oz (W’s Sml)
The Rainrunner Pack Jacket is the ultimate packable outer, with a 2.5L laminated shell using PFC-free, eco-friendly water repellency. The Rainrunner’s lightweight ripstop fabric is both wind-blocking and durable, while 360º panel venting provides an unprecedented level of breathability. With two zippered hand pockets and a secure internal chest pocket, along with a self-stowing pocket to pack the jacket down, this is an incredibly functional outer layer.
The snug, scuba-style hood provides 180º visibility with a micro-visor, and a protected zipper garage prevents chin irritation. Meanwhile, you can stow the hood when not in use with a minimalist elastic band which duals as an integrated locker loop. The Rainrunner is the outer layer you’ve always wanted.
Weight: 9.6oz (M’s Med) 7.6oz (W’s Sml)
The Mercury Quarter Zip is a cozy, lightweight, moisture-wicking mid, crafted from Janji’s revolutionary 4-way stretch Mercury Knit fabric. A refined raglan sleeve offers complete freedom of movement, while integrated thumb slits and a cadet collar add extra protection. Meanwhile, light peaching on both sides of the fabric provides warmth without sacrificing a single gram of weight or breathability. Mercury Knit is one of Janji’s greatest achievements, and this high performance fabric is sure to impress in the Mercury Quarter Zip. A perfect mid layer for colder days.
BASE : Swift Tech Mockneck Long Sleeve
Weight: 6.8oz (M’s Med) 5.7oz (W’s Sml)
The form-fitting Swift Tech Mockneck works well both as a base layer or a simple long sleeve top for warmer days. The ultra-soft, merino/poly blend breathes and excels when wicking moisture. While designed for winter use, this fabric is also thermoregulating, making it comfortable in a wide variety of temps. Meanwhile, special Polygiene® anti-odor control and DriRelease tech allows you to wear the Swift Mockneck multiple times between washes.
Weight: 8.6oz (M’s Med) 6.8oz (W’s Sml)
The Groundwork Tights come in a “Flyby” design for men and a “7/8” style for women, with hi-vis reflective taping along the side seams that all but disappears in daylight. With four spacious pockets in the Flyby and five in the 7/8, there’s plenty of space to hold all your essentials. Double-lined fabric in the front panel provides added wind protection and warmth in the Flyby, and a yoga waistband with an internal drawcord offers a secure, adjustable fit in the 7/8. The ultra-smooth, durable nylon fabric on the Groundwork Tights moves like a second skin, and won’t sag out even after multiple wears between washes. The Groundwork Tights offer everything we want to see in a pair of winter running tights.
Weight: 1.6oz (XS/S)
The Vortex Gloves provide lightweight warmth and breathability, no matter the conditions. A weather-resistant outer keeps the cold at bay, and with thermal stretch fleece venting heat and wicking moisture, clammy hands are a thing of the past. Hi-vis reflective tape on the backs of the hands keeps you visible on the road, while touchscreen-enabled fingertips allow you to stay connected on-the-go.
The exotic geometric design on these gloves was designed exclusively for Janji’s South Africa Line, in collaboration with Cape Town-based artistic duo MRS + MR LUKE.
The Multipass Sling Bag works both as a lightweight, secure sling bag for stashing a shell, shades, or water and as a casual day-pack when out travelling. This weather-repellent, 2-liter bag is technical enough to perform on the trail and stylish enough for daily wear. The flexible honeycomb foam air-mesh back panel keeps air flowing and allows for all-day wear, meanwhile, the adaptable straps allow you to sling the Multipass across your back or wear it as a fanny pack. What’s not to like?
With Janji’s Winter Layering Kit, you’re fighting the cold AND you’re fighting the international water crisis, holistically and from the ground up.