It starts May 13th at 12:01 am at the Slickrock parking lot and 142 miles later finishes in Loma. In fact it is reaching to call it a race. There is no entry fee or waiver to sign, you just show and go. Dave and I pre-rode the course last weekend. Taking two days to pre-ride a course is crazy too but was so, so worthwhile and a blast. We rode all of it in the daylight. The part during the race we will be riding in the dark is beautiful with huge and tremendous views. I'll be able to think of those views when I'm riding through that part now.
Big views of the La Sals are all over the place.
I've never done a race like this before. Everything is seemingly laid back and unofficial but there are a stringent set of rules to follow. You don't get DQ'd I suppose but I've heard of folks being asked "not to come back". It is a unique combination of low key and high intensity.
The primary rule is no assistance. It's totally self supported. You have to carry everything you need and if you ask for help from anybody then it's over. No stashes or caches allowed either. I've ridden further in supported events so the distance is not a new thing. I've ridden a 24-hour solo unsupported but passed my pit loaded with goodies every 11 miles. I've spent lots of time wandering around the backcountry self supported carrying everything I needed. I've sort of done everything in pieces and need to put it all together for this race. This is new for me and I like trying new things.
Riding the course helped me put together many of the small details. Tires, lights, food, pacing, water strategy etc. Riding it over 2 days was super as it was slow enough to take in the sights but fast enough to get a good feel for the flow of the course. The course had a few suprises I'll be glad to know about on race day. There is heaps of climbing with a 4k climb out of slickrock and another 2k climb after that. One of the suprises was that the hardest climbs came later. They are smaller and did not stick out on the elevation profile but their sandy, ledgy and techy nature made them slow going and energy draining. I'll definitely pace myself on the earlier big climbs now with them in mind.
On race day the weather will be a big factor. It was hot when we got to Dewey Bridge. These folks showed me how to cool off. Floating down the Colorado on pink air beds - LOL. I asked them if it was nice and they said they were getting a bit numb, they had come down the Dolores river first - think snow melt!
I'm still toying around with my race strategy. Do I want to go light and fast or take everything I could possibly need? My top goal is to finish. This is a tough course and finishing it will be no easy task - but then the competitor in me wants to go fast. So far in the history of the race there has never been a female finisher. I want that trophy! Maybe I will just have to finish to snag it but then maybe some fast chick will turn up and make me bleed for it. Ya never know. Bring it on!