Posted in Racing

Preparing for the PA road trip

For Luke and I, it’s nearly departure time for our first away race. Up until now all of our races have been within a 90 minute drive from home. In contrast, Blue Mountain will be about a 4 ½ hour drive, so planning is a little bit different. If you at all care what the race is like, this is a link to the NBC TV broadcast of last year’s race, 2015 Spartan Super Palmerton, PA.

So to get ready, I am running through my mental checklist of things that we will need for the race.

  • Rental car (since we are now a one car family)
  • Hotel reservation
  • Race registrations and waivers

All these major things are in order, so I can move on to setting up my checklist for the little things (like all of my race gear). This will be nearly the same as for all my other races with the exception of having in race nutrition for this one since I am planning for a worst case scenario of 3 ½ hours of racing.

So the nutrition plan looks like this:

Total calories carried will be about 1,750 split between bars and gels. I am partial to Clif bars (white chocolate macadamia nut) just because I like the way they taste.  Gels I really don’t care who makes them; as long as they have sugar and caffeine they work for me.  Electrolytes would be a major bonus.

  • Bars – 3 or 4 at 250 Cal each
  • Gels – 6 or 8 at 100 Cal each

I know I can’t eat all of that,  I figure I  can eat 1,350 max, but I want to make sure I have options if I get tired of one of the two sources. Plus also to have extras if I decide to lay down and take a nap under a tree during the race.

I will also be carrying at least a liter of water in my race vest to minimize the need to stop for water during the early parts of the race. I will probably need to refill the pack at least once during the race, but at least for now, I think refilling would be better than carrying an extra 2.5 lbs of water up the mountain. This is the elevation profile of last year’s race and this year should be very similar.


This all seems like a good plan, but we will soon find out what happens when the plan intersects with reality.

As Mike Tyson once said: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. “

I just hope not to have my face punched by the race.


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