Hola, Runners of Zion! Here is the email that I sent out last week, posted here because about ten of your email addresses didn’t work.
1. YOU MUST CHECK IN EACH AID STATION. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE COUNTED BY THE AID WORKER WEARING THE REFLECTIVE TRAFFIC VEST. FAILURE TO BE COUNTED AT AN AID STATION CAN RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION.
2. With a 6am start, it will be dark for the first half hour or so. We will have a volunteer with a headlamp drop bin about 5.6 miles into the run. If you don’t want to leave it there, you can hang onto it until the aid station 5 miles later. We will mark your headlamp with duck tape and take it to the Goosebump aid station, where you can rummage through the bin for your headlamp at mile 58.3 if you’d like. Just in case you don’t have an extra. You’ll want it going down the Goosebump if it’s dark.
3. We’ll be updating your status at 4 different points on the course (3 for the 100k) through a Google Doc linked to the website. These updates will be given at miles 19, 31, 58.3, and 83.
4. Camino del Rio Crew Access has been moved around the corner and had a name change. She’s now known as “Dalton Wash Water Station”. This will allow crew to see you twice at this location, miles 63 and 81. All “Crew Access” stations have been renamed to “Water Stations”. The name was too confusing and implied that these were the only crew access points.
5. Thanks for being understanding on all of the changes made to the course this year. I know it is frustrating for some of you, but I was fighting to the end to get what I perceive as the best course I could put out there for you guys, while staying within the many limitations placed upon us. We are getting close to what I would view as an absolute home run of a course, I’m hopeful that we’ll be there in 1-2 more years if things go well with the status changing on certain existing trails that parralel our current route. Once these trails are approved, we could have over 20 miles of singletrack added to this course without changing the aid station locations.
6. I’m feeling very confident about our trail marking system this year. Barring someone tampering with the markers, I don’t think many will be getting off route. Here’s a blog post from a runner that came out to our mock up marking session on one of the most difficult sections of the course (at night): http://www.fastcory.com/2013/04/zion-100-night-preview.html Some will complain about the course being overmarked. On Gooseberry and at Guacamole, we will not be taking any chances. At Guacamole, the trail winds in and out of draws and around different features and it would be very easy to shortcut, especially with the lighting from the trail markers making it obvious where you’ll be running in the not too distant future. Do not shortcut.
7. There is a stream crossing around mile 82. Your feet might get wet if you’re not an agile rock hopper after running 82 miles.
8. You will monitor your own weight this year. We’ll have scales and will record your baseline weight at packet pickup. Scales will be at Goosebump Aid and Walsh Aid for you to use to make sure you’re not suffering from dehydration or hyponatremia. The use of the on course scales is optional- a tool to help you stay on top of your game and identify possible serious health issues.
9. Some roads can get pretty dusty. Crew will be accessing Goosebump and Grafton Mesa aid stations via the same roads that you’ll be running. I’ve restricted them on Eagle Crags, Dalton Wash (Guacamole access), and Smith Mesa roads. It’s a compromise. We’ll have traffic signs to remind them to be aware and keep their speed down. You may want to consider a dust mask. (This inconvenience will hopefully be alleviated in future years with the status change of existing trails that provide access to the same areas that the roads do. They are currently considered “illegal” trails but are in wide use by humans and even cattle. Makes little sense that we can’t use them, but it is what it is for now.)
10. We’ll have showers set up at the finish line (both hot and cold) with a privacy barrier around the hot showers.
11. Dutch oven potatoes at the finish line (vegetarian, meat lovers, and breakfast variations). And your preferred cold beverage.
12. Be prepared for heat. Plan for mid 80’s with little shade.
13. Free group campsite location is 5 miles up Kolob Terrace Road, tucked away on the right hand side, just after crossing the creek. Eco Commode will provide a portable toilet.
14. We’ve got a great post race lineup put together. Make sure to bring your race bib to the theatre, BBQ, and tube rental shop in order to avoid having to pay. See this post if you haven’t yet: http://zion100.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/the-bad-and-good-news-about-the-post-race-fiesta/
15. CLOSE ALL GATES. You will pass through 5 cattle gates during your 100 miles. You must close each one as you go through, or you will be jeopardizing future permitting for the race.
16. We have been granted access onto private land for the last half mile to the turnaround point at mile 91. Any chance that we have to get off of the main road, we’ll take it. The turnaround point is at a little slickrock patch with some nice views, much better than some random spot on Smith Mesa road. Please be respectful and leave no trace. Do not trespass on this piece of property before or after the race or we will not be allowed to use it in the future.
17. Be aware that the Grafton Heritage Society has granted us permission to use the historic wagon trail to climb up onto the mesa at mile 49. This trail was built in the late 1800’s, so please go out of your way to make sure there is no litter or damage done to the trail by any of our runners to ensure future use.
18. UltrAspire’s headquarters are located in southern Utah and they’re having a retreat for their sponsored runners the same weekend as the race. Many of their athletes will be at packet pickup on Thursday evening, so don’t miss your chance to meet them and pick their brains for tips that could help you on race day!
19. Drop bags can be dropped off at packet pick up or on race morning.
20. If you’re planning on running in one of the early start options, make sure that you check in beforehand and are on the list for that wave of runners.
Best of luck! I’m excited for you to run this course!