Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vermont 100 Final Prep and Packing

Getting gear ready for both running and camping

It's game time.   I'm done running for the week, my body is happily resting, and my focus has shifted to logistics.  Running a hundred miler is a different type of beast altogether when compared to other distances (even 50 milers), and presents all sorts of new challenges.  Lots of things can change over the course of 100 miles, but you obviously don't want to carry everything.  Pacers are not allowed to mule for runners in Vermont, so anything I want....I have to carry.  Luckily, there are drop bags allowed at various points throughout the race.   This is where good logistics planning comes in.  It turns out that one particular station in this race, "Camp 10 Bear", is visited twice:  Once at mile 47, and once at mile 70.  This means if I send a full bag of spare clothes, shoes, hydration options, and a headlamp...I will be able to potentially swap out gear two different times.  This is an enormous burden off of my back.  In a sense, I can prepare for a 50 miler, and send a big bag of extras to 10 Bear.  In 2009, this strategy actually kept me from dropping out of the race.  After about mile 25, my left foot started hurting very badly as the shoes I was wearing were causing me some problems.  I had sent more supportive shoes to 10 Bear and swapped them out at mile 47.  My foot felt much better for the rest of the race...and I was able to finish.  The drop bags also mean that I can send my favourite bars, gels, and goodies up ahead and only need to carry enough to cover me for 10-15 miles.

Another added twist to all of this is the camping, and the 8 hour road-trip.  I have to remember little things like air mats, jugs of water, baby wipes, camp soap, etc.  I just spent the past two hours or so making sure everything is in order.  Now, I get to patiently wait until Friday when I'll be en route up to VT for another fun race.  I've also picked up some more local Otto's brew for my pacer.  Hopefully we will be toasting at the finish line!

Some Drop Bags

Can't wait till this weekend!  They are predicting temps in the mid-80's, so it's going to be hot, muggy, and a wild time.  Woo we go.

On a completely random side note,

I received an email from the Columbia Sportswear Field Testing division.  They found me through this blog and asked if I'd be willing to field test (and keep) a piece of their gear under the agreement that I'd then give it an honest review and write-up both on a survey form and on this blog.  I said...Sure!  Why not?!  The gear they sent me is the Titanium Omni-Dry Peak Jacket.  It's a really nice breathable, waterproof shell that is supposed to perform well in all kinds of conditions.  I haven't had a chance to truly test it yet (I got it after I got back from Colorado), but hope to get it out a lot later this summer, and in Antarctica.  You can read about the features here:

Peak 2 Peak Jacket from Columbia

The new jacket


Derrick said...

Good luck! The wait for the next few days is the hardest.

Sara Montgomery said...

Good luck, John!! You sound very ready!

(Nice jacket.)

Eliza Ralph-Murphy said...

Is "Final Prep" same as "Long Preview"?

Personally I think you should send that jacket to the 3rd person who comments on this post.

You certainly appear to be well always: ) Have Fun!

Tara said...

Good luck! Looking forward to your post-race report.

Eliza Ralph-Murphy said...

Great Job John!! Hope you are feeling well today??