Ultra Runners

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Barkleys Fall Classic (Read 74 times)

    We interviewed Gary's co-race director the other day. Sounds like a cool race! Look forward to hearing of the suffering.


    A Dance with Monkeys

      Steve Durbin and Laz just sent me some kind of awesomeness, using a tone I find refreshingly familiar:

      greetings you poor fool;

      it is with the utmost regret that i must inform you that your entry to the 2014 barkley fall classic has been accepted. while we realize that you probably do not yet rue the day that you submitted your application, we know that the magnitude of your error will become obvious before the sun sets on september 20. thus, we wish to emphasize, at this point, that this unfortunate situation is entirely due to your own misguided decision to apply to the race.

      in the interest of fairness, we would like to give you some information regarding the race. if your time is too valuable to spend on minutia, we certainly understand, and you are encouraged to read no further. there is nothing here that you won’t find out during the race.

      1) how to get to frozen head:
      we recommend that you drive… what were you expecting, directions to the park?
      if you cannot find frozen head on your own, you will have little chance during the race.

      2) course map: we will have a course map in your packet. how long in advance you know the route will depend on how early you arrive. feel free to whip into the parking lot at the last possible moment.

      it will amuse us greatly.

      3) important course details: the worst climbs are in the second half of the course. the importance of this information will become obvious, when you start doing the climbs in the first half.

      there might be some briars. plan your attire accordingly

      4) anticipated weather conditions… temperatures during the race might range anywhere from the 20’s to the 90’s (f), possibly during the same race. september/october is the least likely time of year for precipitation. but this is frozen head. any form of precipitation is possible. weather conditions at the start are no guarantee of what the weather will be by the time you finish… if you finish.

      5) pacers: pacers are not allowed.

      6) bailout points: you will have the option to bail out at 6.5 miles, and get credit for a 9 mile “fun run”; at 11.5 miles for a 16 miler; or at 23 for a 24 miler.

      quitter’s roads will be pointed out for you at those places.

      7) flashlights: sunrise is at 07:14 edt. ambient light should make a flashlight unnecessary at the start. runners proceeding past 23 miles will be required to carry a flashlight, unless it’s still morning when you pass 23 miles.

      8) drop bags: we will carry small (meaning shoe-box size or smaller) drop bags to the 23 mile mark. any materials or drop bags left after the race is over will be considered abandoned property.

      if we want the contents, we will keep them. if not, they will be discarded.

      9) pacers: there are no pacers at the barkley fall classic.

      10) cutoffs: runners will not be allowed to continue past 23 miles after 9.5 hours. runners not making 6.5 miles in 3 hours, or 11.5 miles in 4.5 hours will be encouraged to take the bailout options.

      11) pacers: pacers are allowed after you finish.

      12) course markings: there should be signage at all major trail intersections. we will have volunteers there as well, if we have enough volunteers. confidence flagging along the trail will not happen. if you have confidence in your map-reading skills, it will be a big comfort to you.

      13) trails: there will be a short stretch of pavement at the start to string out the field before hitting the single track. there will be a short stretch at the end to reach the finish. the remainder will be on single track and double track trails (we call those jeep roads here). most of the trail is what people like to call technical. this includes the double track. in september you might be able to cross all the creeks with dry feet. you will probably not be able to cross the creek at 23 miles without getting feet wet. if it has been raining, there might be numerous wet-feet crossings. there will be one of the original barkley’s “signature” hills in the second half of the race. you might not consider it as being a trail at all.

      but you won’t be able to get lost… just keep on climbing.

      14) aid Stations: aid Stations will be at 6.5, 11.5, 19.5, 23, and 28 miles. availability of water between aid stations is questionable at best. you can expect the distances between aid stations to take longer than it does on most courses. prepare your race gear accordingly.

      15) animals: you will probably see white tail deer, and you will envy how easily they go up and down the mountains. you could see elk. there are also a lot of wild pigs, not many bear, rumors of cougars, and plenty of rattlesnakes.

      look; don’t touch!

      16) litter: if you throw litter on the trail, you will be shot, and left for the wild pigs.

      17) switchbacks: DO NOT CUT SWITCHBACKS!!! switchback cutting is cheating and damages the trails. it is one of the reasons that trail runners can become unwelcome.

      18) pacers: pacers are not allowed under any circumstances.

      19) crew access: there is no place that your crew will be able to reach you during the race. however, there will be a “viewing station (requiring a 4.5 mile hike both in and back out) where they would be able to see you pass by.

      they are not allowed to pace you!!!

      20) trail Sweeps: we will have trail sweeps on duty, following the last runner. they will have the option of requiring you to take a bailout. so you should pretend to be in no real distress, if you wish to continue, and the sweep is behind you. if you cannot run without a pacer, you should stick with the sweeps.

      21) you may decide to train for this event. Hhowever, training is only making small payments over time; putting miles in the bank, to withdraw on race day. if you choose, you may simply pay a lump sum on the day of the race. please note that there is a significant penalty for overdrafts. not training, however, will provide comfort when your inevitable failure occurs as you will realize that you have not wasted all those hours in a fruitless quest.

      there. that is all we can think of right now. if you have additional questions, feel free to ask me (laz) or durb. if we don’t know the answer, we will make one up.

      laz

      one other important thing. 

      if you haven't registered for strolling jim, what are you waiting for?

      it is one of the coolest,
      if not the coolest,
      road ultra in the country. 

      this is your chance to run on hallowed ground with some of the legends of ultrarunning. 

      this event was started 36 years ago by none other than laz... (that's before he was laz even)

      visit the website at www.sj40mile.com

      new this year are 20 mile and 10k options. 
      bring a friend or two and let them get a taste.

      durb

        Heh, I like the part about pacers.

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