Friday, October 07, 2005

Off to see the Wizard!

In a few hours I'll be on the road north headed to Kansas and Heartland. If all goes well, I'll meet Frances around 5:00 PM on Saturday and race with her until she finishes, between 7:00 AM and 12:00 PM on Sunday.

I love preparing for an ultra; it's like preparing for a small adventure. I've got four bags:
1. My race day clothes: shirt, shorts, shoes, socks, hat, bandana, wristband, Garmin, watch, bandaids, duct tape, BodyGlide.

2. My extra supply bag: to be carried by Frances' boyfriend in his car. Extra shirt, shorts, socks, bandana, wristbands, tights, hat, gloves, jacket, blister care kit, sunscreen, more bandaids, etc.

3. My Camelbak M.U.L.E.: I'm carrying the larger MULE so I don't have to refill as frequently. Since my primary goal is to help Frances finish, I need to tend to her needs at the aid stations, not get distracted filling up bottles or my smaller Camelbak. In my MULE I've got small BodyGlide, lip balm, Advil, extra batteries, toilet paper and baggies, 1 1/2 flasks of my favorite gel (Honey Stinger), flashlight, headlamp, Succeed caps, camera and race plan (aid stations, mileage, splits, etc.).

4. Clothes bag for pre- and post-race.

It's a lot for a two and a half day trip, but you can't be too prepared. I'd rather have too much than not enough, especially since something I forgot could lead to a DNF (blister problems, fueling problems, hypothermia, nausea, excessive pain). My job as a pacer is to make sure Frances finishes; I have to be prepared so she can focus on the race.

I'm really excited--I haven't raced since June and even though this is not my race I'm looking forward to the challenge, the frustration, the people, the aid stations, the stars, and the pride of seeing Frances finish her first 100! I'll let you know how it goes on Monday and try to get some pictures up as soon as possible.

Lots of people are racing this weekend. Good luck!