Monday, April 23, 2012

Wet and Cold Race Day Checklist

This last weekend, we completed the Parkway Classic, a 10 mile race. The weather only kind of cooperated. It spared us a downpour and lighting, but gave us a heavy dose of cold and wet. I'm always a bit wary about what I want to bring to a race, as I have visions of dropping off items a bag drop and then needing to wait in some long line to pick them up again. Usually this is solved by bringing the absolute essentials only: a key to the car, a credit card, license and cell phone (how else am I going to grab photos like this one?), and then keeping them on me throughout the race.

The cold weather and 2 hour wait complicated matters. Do I bring extra warm gear? And if I do, at what point should I drop it off at the bag drop?

In the end, I wore a wind breaker and hoped for the best. From talking with our friend Sue (a seasoned pro at events like these) and checking out others, it's pretty clear that to be prepared I should have brought along these items:

  • A hat - d'oh! What was I thinking not bringing a cap to keep the rain off my head, and the heat inside?
  • A big 'ol black trash bag. Improvised ponchos were clearly the order of the day. Tear it off at the last minute and you're all set. Even with all the fancy gear floating around, the black trash bag was still the preferred keep-dry solution.
  • A space blanket. They were handing sheets of mylar and they truly saved the day. Shira wore hers as a shawl, I wrapped mine around my legs as kilt. They absolutely provided warmth and helped made sitting on the ground a lot more pleasant. For more serious outdoor usage, I like Adventure Medical Kit's Heatsheets over plain old "emergency blankets." But, given that you're going to be tossing these after a few hours of use, I think buying and using some cheap ones from Amazon make sense.
  • A Styrofoam cup filled with hot tea or chocolate. I'd usually prefer a reusable thermos, but again, having a disposable solution would have worked perfectly.

Next time, I'll be prepared.

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