Saturday, June 28, 2014

One Week to Go!

Preparations for the Creemore Vertical Challenge are progressing smoothly.  It helps to have more than 1 week to cram in all the chores, tasks, communications and shopping before the race.  Let's start with the fun stuff - the weather!

I take a somewhat perverse delight in watching the long range forecast before the race.  It is always something pleasant, or at least provides some room for optimism.  Hey!  Only 30C and a light breeze.  Luxury!  Then on the day before the race, they change the forecast to horrific heat, humidity, tornadoes, thunder and lightning.  One year we had all of the above!  And I don't mind the crazy weather.  Why?  Because I stand around at the start/finish and cheer people on.  Okay, that was low, even for me.  I ran most of the course yesterday.  It was only 27, but high humidity.  I brought one water bottle.  I sipped sparingly and it lasted until 19K.  I do this on purpose, so that I am aware that running out of water at the aid stations is a really bad idea...  For those who want a good chuckle on race day, the current forecast is calling for partially cloudy with a low of 14 and a high of 23.  We can sit around the medical tent and joke about it after the race!

As mentioned before, there will be chip timing this year.  I know that chip timing is not flawless (there will be manual backup, in case) but I struggled with the homegrown finish time entry system almost every year.  The trickiest part was trying to print results.  A finisher could not be recorded during the print set-up!

I have just installed a new bridge in the swamp.  I'm not 100% happy with it.  The leading edge is a bit dicey.  However, it is a lot better than the gnome bridge (what did you call it Chris Mc?) and hopefully no one will drown.

The signs have been painted in the CVC colours.  For those who missed last year, the new tech T-shirt colours are navy blue art on a lime green background.  "Garish" comes to mind, but the shirts are highly visible, even at dusk.  There are more signs, although chances are good that someone will get lost again this year.  It is difficult to direct runners on country roads.  I could use about 15 marshals for the more critical intersections, but I don't have 15 friends...  Well, at least those willing to stand out in the hot sun for 6 hours directing traffic!  I have also created a sign that reads "Creemore Vertical Challenge" for posting at the race site, to help those new to the race.

The aid stations will have about the same fare as in previous years.  This year, there will be no gels.  There will be more ice, especially during the afternoon.  Aid stations 2 and 3 (which are both visited twice per loop) will have a 220L dunk barrel, as the sponge stations tend to run out of water in the afternoon.

Home base will offer aid station fare.  Perfect Pizza and Creemore Springs Brewery are back on board.  The water is now being sourced from Dennis Campbell, who has volunteered in past years as the photographer.  His work is excellent - check it out:

Well, back at it!  I still have to final-prep the trails, then I can start flagging (in more ways than one!).

Go Sharon Z!  (she currently running Western States).

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