I’ve had numerous, disjointed blog posts started. Most I realize I am just blathering on and just end up deleting them.
I’m running the Black Hills 100K this Saturday, in Sturgis, South Dakota. This is the Blue Train, the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club, destination race of the summer. It fell on my four day weekend off, and I was able to add one more day to that, to have a little mini-vacay and a bit of tourist activity before the race.
There are three races occurring at the Black Hills Ultra, the 100 mile run is the main event, with both a 50 mile and 100K options.
When I first signed up for the race, I didn’t know how recovery would have gone after MMT and didn’t want to chance another 100 miler that close. I was pretty sure a 100K would be a good distance to run.
The course is an out and back. It also appears to be rather hilly, from the elevation profile.
The weather-it looks like it will be warm one, high about 80 from last I checked. I believe we will have a bunch of creek crossings, so that will be good, a chance to cool off if it does get pretty warm.
Flying to a race always brings a different set of challenges. One, it does force you to pare down on the gear and options that ultra runners drag with them to a race.
It’s very helpful to read the race website info and directions! I’m always amazed by the amount of runners who DON’T.
For example, when I was reading the info through-for the second time! I came across the statement that “drop bags will all be returned by 11am” or some time like that. Aha! I am running the 100K, and I will be long gone on a flight by 11am Sunday morning! So I am going with disposable drop bags-clear two gallon bags that can just be tossed after I use them.
The 100K runners only have 2 drop bag locations (which we can access twice, due to the out and back). My only items in these bags will drop be some baby wipes; gels/Cliff Bloks; and in the drop bag around the 42 mile mark (I don’t have the distances memorized) will be my headlamp.
I am not doing malto mainly for the flying reason. I will use it again on some long runs, but I will be diluting it far more than I did for MMT!!
I dithered on and on about hydration. I wore my Ultraspire two bottle vest on my long Mohican run-and I just don’t like it. It’s too big for my short torso. I also practiced with the one bottle waist pack and one handheld; but that Ultraspire model doesn’t give me enough room to pack my gels and assorted stuff.
I noticed, working aid at two different races in June, that ultra runners carry far too much stuff. I’ve been guilty of this also. I did go pretty minimal at MMT; but I also knew the course. Since I don’t know the Black Hills course at all, I want to make sure I have enough calories, and other “comfort items” to get through the race.
So I am going to carry my old Nathan Vest, with the bladder. I did a run around the block, just to make sure I was still comfortable with it. It worked well, It also has enough storage room for: my assorted gels; inhaler; drugs; camera; small Fenix light, emergency whistle.
Clothing and shoes were just pretty standard, my La Sportiva Ultra Raptors, and will be sporting the blue “away” VHTRC shirt.
Now I did pack ALL that stuff in the suitcase, and checked it. So I am being optimistic that the suitcase will also arrive in Rapid City when I do!