November 03, 2010

Haney to Harrison - race day clothing

Naturally I have been keeping a close eye on the weather forecast this week. It's important to dress properly and, in the case of running 100km, to be prepared with spare clothing and footwear, should it be wetter or colder than expected. I generally prefer to race in shorts and a sleeveless top.

It has been a beautiful fall this year. Squamish has had rain, as always, but also plenty of sunny autumn days. Day temperatures have been mostly between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius. Mornings have dipped below 10 degrees, though only a couple showed signs that the mercury fell below zero at night.

The 2009 Haney to Harrison was cold and wet, with only 29 of the 37 ultrarunners finishing. That was the event’s highest drop rate, according to the website.

As of today, the forecast for race day is, “Cloudy with showers.” That’s an improvement from the “Light rain” forecast earlier. Two days ago the chance of rain was 90 percent, now it is only 40 percent. The expected high of the day is 10 degrees, and the low is 7. The weather is supposed to be “Mainly sunny” today, with a forecast high tomorrow of 17 degrees. 

It confirms my decision to start the race wearing shorts, a Mizuno pair that fits perfectly and which has been tried and tested in training and races. My top is a comfortable running bra with two back pockets in which I can stash a couple of bars and up to four gels. Again, tried and tested.

I’ll wear a dry-fit hat, a white one to help in the first 3 1/2 hours of darkness. (I still need to check that I am wearing enough reflective gear to help visibility in those early hours.)

On top I’ll have a short-sleeve white Running Shoes Are a Girl’s Best Friend dry-fit shirt. I’ll keep a lightweight dry-fit long-sleeve top and gloves handy, just in case the morning feels chilly. In fact I will almost certainly wear light-weight gloves, as there is nothing more annoying than hands that unnoticably became too chilled to open wrappers of energy bars and gels.

Today I will get all my race gear, nutrition, hydration and other items ready. It's not as much or complicated as packing for an Ironman but I am taking at least as much care to (hopefully) prevent any panic on race day and make life as easy as possibly for my crew.

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