Last minutes updates before the big race

Atop Mount Royal in Frisco, ColoradoThe shotgun will be fired in downtown Leadville at 4 AM tomorrow to start the Leadville 100-mile trail run.

My wake up alarm is set for 2 AM. Ugh.

I believe there are about 460 runners registered, including 7 men in the  70 and up category. Impressive!

I think I’m ready to go. For the first time, I am doing this race unsupported. No pacers and no support crew. (Okay, my friends Kevin and Shelby will stop by to cheer me.)

Going solo means I have to rely on my drop bags as well as the food and water at the aid stations.

Having five drop bags along the course has really forced me to be more organized and prepared. Each drop bag has specific food item (energy gel, protein bars, salt tablets), extra clothes, and sometimes spare  running shoes. One bag contains my headlamp, too.

And speaking of headlamps, I’m looking to not repeat last year’s failure when my batteries died at around 4 AM. Luckily some other racers let me share a light. This year I have a superlight LED flashlight in addition to the headlamp. Together they should get me through the night.

This year I am also using a new hydration system from Nathan. It’s designed for ultra-runners and carries up to 70 ounces of water. The pack is comfortable to run in and it doesn’t slosh much. It also has easily accessible pockets for my gear and spare jacket. My only concern is some reviews say it’s prone to leak. So far, mine has not.

This year’s race comes with both positive and tragic news.

First, the positive: the weather looks great, if not a little too warm with a forecasted high of 72F. They are predicting a full sun, and at mountainous altitudes, that can make things real warm. I am sure to carry my sunscreen, plenty of water and salt tablets.

The tragic news is an Army Blackhawk helicopter crashed Wednesday on Mount Elbert, just outside Leadville. Four were killed. With the investigation ongoing, a portion of the run course has been re-routed.

Hopefully my next entry  will end on a more positive note and with the news of a decent finish.

Good night!



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