I am toeing the start line in about 3 hours. Two things on my mind? 1) It’s freaking cold, and 2) there IS a swim.
I guess everyone has their pre-race ritual – obsessing about core temperature seems to be mine.
Some preliminary info that has been shared about the course at the athlete briefing yesterday:
Distance: 14.75 miles (23.7km) – most of it single track. As much as I love single track, this will potentially be a pain in the ass, in terms of bottlenecks. Part of the course goes through the infamous Western States ultra – that’s pretty exciting.
All ropes in rope climbs will be unknotted. Phew. I find the knots more annoying than helpful.
I have not seen the rig yet, but I hear it’s EXTRA long. The rig is always a burpee town, but will be especially so this weekend.
The Ultra Beast on Sunday will include two laps, and a bit extra with the cutoff for starting the second lap at 2.30pm. For both races, the presence of headlamps will be checked as early as 3pm, and the races can expect to use headlamps by 6pm.
Obstacles: 36, including a 70 yard swim on top of the mountain (water depth is 20 feet, so PFDs will be mandatory this year, and the race director promised that they have enough to avoid bottlenecks).
Athletes from over 20 countries will be represented. Apart from Canada, France seems to have a very strong presence (and a great gear sponsor). I have also spotted/met athletes from Sweden, Mexico, and others.
General race information, including bib numbers, cash prizes, etc. is here. Athlete standards and guidelines (yes, ALL athletes, not just elite wave) can be found here, and specific obstacle instructions, including the information on which obstacles are mandatory can be found here.
If anyone you know (and care about) is running the championship race, you can track their progress live here. [Although given inevitable issues with tracking, I would not assume that your racer is dead, simply because they fall off the tracking radar three hours into the race].
Now if you’ll excuse me, I will go back to freaking out about how cold it is going to be. [Oh, and look out for my race recap, where I will predictably tell you that it was not as cold as I thought it was going to be].