Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snowmageddon, Alaskan Edition

From the Susitna website:

"When we started Sunday morning, there was 2 to 3 inches of fresh snow at Point MacKenzie.  The fresh snow thickness increased steadily to Alexander Lake where there was about 20 inches of fresh snow. (...)  It snowed heavily all of the way back to Point MacKenzie and then all of the way back to Anchorage.  So, the trail is probably gone by now."

Gulp!

So it appears that I will be using my snowshoes after all. Damn, I wish I had trained with them a bit more, but what could I do? There ain't no snow here.

Apparently, some people who planned on doing the race on foot are thinking about switching to x-country skiing. I don't want to, so I will be running/power-walking/snowshoeing. This might very well mean that I don't make the cut-offs, but such is life. Things could be worse, I could be a cyclist!

My bags are packed, my flight is confirmed and I'm ready to go. Mentally, I'm in a decent place although I feel like my head is stuffed with cotton balls. I had a good 45 minutes run yesterday, I'm about to go for an easy 30 now. Then, no running until Friday where I'm going to stretch my legs and try Junior for a couple of miles.

I've been wondering about the wisdom of sharing my SPOT checkpoints with everyone. Fear of humiliation I guess, if people can see it in near-real-time should I decide to stop. I've decided that I don't care. Click here to see my SPOT page.

The start is at 9:00AM Saturday, Alaska time, which makes it 1PM here in Toronto (not noon as I previously said). There will be nothing on the page until the first update, which should happen within 10 minutes of the start. This is fickle technology, operated by a tired runner so please do not be worried if updates stop appearing. The SPOT can flip in my bag and then it can't transmit. The device stops after 24 hours and I might forget to turn it back on on Sunday. I'll do my best.

So that's it. Flying to Anchorage tomorrow, pre-race meeting on Thursday, getting ready on Friday and start on Saturday morning.

It's going to be amazing.

18 comments:

EJ said...

I am just so excited for you and wish you all the best!

Sara said...

It IS going to be amazing! Thank you for sharing your training journey with us, JD. Looking forward to hearing about the race and following along where possible. We're all rooting for you (and Junior) and I hope you feel that during the race and it gives you a boost whenever you need one. To me you're already a true champion just to take this on. Now go have fun and enjoy the trail, the views, the people, everything!
Snowshoes Rock!
Safe travels.

Johnny said...

Have a great time and enjoy the experience. Keep safe!

David said...

Just let everyone go ahead and pack down the trail for you. No rush, so take the easy route.
It's HUGE - Good Luck.

Alaskan assassin said...

Have a good flight and be prepared to be out there for a while. There will be a trail....it might just be a slow trail.

Eagle River is 10 miles north of Anchorage and you will pass it on the way to the race. That is where I live.

Have fun and let everyone know you are from Canada. We like Canadians a lot more than the people from the lower 48. =)

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine part of what you're going through right now, JD. Let the race get started already! All the pre-race preparations are so annoying, but think of it all as a mental exercise. A well organized gearbag gets you really far. You've done your training and you looked strong and confident when we ran 2 weeks ago. You have an amazing group of supporters here and got great advice. Stay focused and, like they told me in Texas, Go git 'em!
Have a safe trip! We'll be thinking of you!
Kinga & Stephan

Derrick said...

All the best JD! You're ready!

Have fun, run strong, stay positive and be safe!

Derrick said...

Have emailed with JD a couple of times and he seems all ready to go.

The pre-race meeting was last night and went over all the safety stuff. Sounded very thorough. The course has been re-routed through a section for safety, but will add on a bit of distance.

Sounds like they didn't get as much snow as they had feared, which is a blessing. Temps are fairly mild too.

JD built 'junior', is happy with him and says he looks smashing ...junior that is, as I think JD is sporting a scruffy beard ;)

Oh, the time difference is 4 hrs, not 3 as he'd originally posted, so the race will start at 1pm Toronto time on Sat.

Should be great. I think JD will be very happy when the gun finally goes off and he can just get moving forward.

Derrick said...

Link to live tracking...

http://www.susitna100.com/Results/susitna2010results.htm

Johnny said...

Into the final stretch now... Go, JD!

Derrick said...

If my math and mapping is right only about 15km to go! Great job!

Gave us a small heart attack when we momentarily forgot that the finish from the last checkpoint is different than the start to the first checkpoint.

Anonymous said...

Almost there, JD!! Can't wait to hear all about it. Kinga

Derrick said...

JD just finished! Wow, what a race. 36:59. Congrats JD...now get some rest!

Johnny said...

Way to go, JD! What an accomplishment!

David said...

Wow - awesome job can't wait to hear all the detail. good for you for getting this done. It is huge and a memory that will last for ever. Well done

Sara said...

Yayyyy! So happy and excited for you! Eager to hear the full story!

Alaskan assassin said...

Great job out there. Cant wait to hear about the details.

EJ said...

Awe-inspiring accomplishment!