Gear Recommendations (& swap)

The best gear for a rando race is . . . rando race gear!
Even if you don't want to go all-out on race-specific gear, a race-specific ski pack allows you to attach & remove your skis for bootpack segments without taking your pack on & off.
(And these packs are great for shorter ski tours plus off-season hiking, biking, etc.)

You must wear a helmet at all times during the race, and that helmet must be certified for either skiing or climbing (or both).

For those too modest to appear in public wearing a one-piece lycra race suit (women-specific models too), a race top/jacket combined with any reasonable soft shell pant/tight (women's here & here) offers almost all the same benefits as a full suit (especially climbing skin stowage).

Plus check out the gear swaps at Facebook and also right here.

Finally, although you can't buy fitness, you can buy skimo-specific training manuals.
(For training venues, resort uphilling policies are available at USSMA.)