|Mount Shasta from the plane. It was a beautiful day leaving San Jose.|
As for clothing I plan to start with, if the forecasts hold true and temperatures are around +20 degrees, I will probably start the race wearing a pair of wind tights, a base layer, a bike jersey (for use of the pockets in back, where I will store things I want to keep warm), a Gortex coat, a thin balaclava and hat, and my same DryMax sock/ fleece sock/ vapor barrier sock/ Vasque Gortex shoes set-up. I will probably go bare-handed with pole pogies, and carry a set of liner mittens in my coat.
My race strategy is one of continuing forward motion and minimizing impact on my body, so I will likely make good use of my poles and snowshoes. I don't expect I'll spend much time "running," as I consider the motion too much of an energy drain for too little increase in speed when traveling on top of soft snow. I also need to acknowledge that I didn't train running in snow, and I have no idea what kind of impact the uneven footing will have on my body, but I do feel confident that I can walk consistently and comfortably at a decent clip. However, I will have to race the first checkpoint cut-off. Warmer temperatures and a sled full of tasty candy will likely reduce the allure of slumming at indoor checkpoints. Slushy conditions will significantly reduce everyone's pace, but hopefully things cool down a bit by race day.
I'll probably post once again before the race starts on Saturday morning with a final pre-race update. But I wanted to make a gear post — if for no other reason, so I can check everything off when I complete my final packing on Friday. I should have a SPOT tracking page set up at http://www.beultra.com/routes/main_new.php?course=SU100Jill. Beat designed the page to include special slogging and sleeping icons if I am either moving very slow or have completely stopped. There's also an option to send pre-set messages, and if I have the wherewithal to do so, I will probably have some fun with that.