With being at Haliburton this past weekend and seeing all the great races, I’ve been thinking a lot about racing again. While I don’t think that I can run a trail race for a while, I have been thinking a bit about other options. One of those options is the Ottawa 12 or 24 hour race. The race is held on an indoor track, so would be something completely different than any other ultra race that I’ve ever done. I have some reservations about doing it, but will decide in the next week or so if I want to give it a go.
The following are the top 10 things that I’m a little concerned about regarding this race…
Shoes: I haven’t worn track spikes in years, and I might have to get a new pair. I’m not sure what length of pins are appropriate for a 12 or 24 hour race, but will be checking into this further. I wonder if La Sportiva makes track spikes yet?
Weather Conditions: At this time of year, the weather could be nasty. Heck, it’s Ottawa so it could even snow! It will be really tough to know what clothing to wear for the weather conditions. If it snows, I might even need to wear snowshoes too, which I suppose would at least solve any concerns I might have about track spikes.
Aid Stations: If I have a crew, they won’t be able to drive to different checkpoints on the route, and there is only one aid station per loop. I am secretly hoping that we do get an early snow, and then I could at least pull my pulk/sled with extra supplies.
GPS: Even though there is no tree cover on the course, I am told that the GPS reception is very poor. I’m worried about knowing how far I’ve run, how far to the next aid station and about my pacing while potentially not being able to rely on my GPS.
Surface/Terrain: Mondo sounds like a very gnarly and technical surface. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that type of terrain at this point. Also, I would have to be careful with all the corners and potentially rolling an ankle as well.
Elevation Gain/Loss: I haven’t seen an elevation profile of the course yet, but am concerned about my lack of hill training this summer. I can only hope that it’s not too mountainous.
Navigation: There are a lot of turns on the course. According to one report, there is a turn every 100 meters! I guess I’ll have to study the map really closely to make sure not to take a wrong turn and get lost. I’ll definitely print off a copy of the map to take while running.
Live Tracking: I will be taking my Spot Tracker with me, but again, I’m a little concerned with reception on this course. So, if you don’t see my Spot pinging/moving on the route, please don’t be concerned as this might just be a small technical glitch.
Wildlife: The course is considerably north from where we live in a fairly rural area of Canada, so I am a bit worried about the potential for wildlife encounters. I’ll be sure to take bear spray with me though and have it ready AT ALL TIMES.
Exposure: Running for 12 or 24hours is a long time to be exposed to the elements. I’ll have to make sure to bring sunglasses and good sunscreen. Also, if I do end up running the 24 hour race I will have to make sure to have plenty of extra batteries for my headlamp and the nighttime portion of the race.
I plan to decide about the race soon, but if I’ve left out anything or if you can help me overcome any of the above potential issues, please let me know. Hopefully this list will help others who may have some of the same concerns as I do.
See you on the trails!