For me, the last couple of days before the race are the hardest. There isn’t much (or anything, really) of consequence that you can do at that point, except pack and repack your back. And obsess over race course descriptions and elevation profiles. And perhaps, read other people’s recaps.
125km of technical terrain
three mountain summits
17,000ft of elevation gain (yes, GAIN!)
5 legs, varying in length from 19km to 38km
The tough part about relay races (not that I have ever done one) is that every person depends on every other person. Each leg matters. The slower I go, the less time he has for the next leg. There are cut-offs at every leg. If the team member does not make it by the cut-off, the whole team is DQd. I am running legs 1, 3, and 5. My racing partner is taking the grunt of the event, running legs 2 and 4. My challenge will be simply covering the distance. His will be making it back in more or less one piece. On a continuum from cocky to overly conservative, I probably err as a latter. I will be the one on the team to plan for the worst case scenario. For the longest possible times.
See you on the other side.
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