You've read all the "you are responsible for you" stuff here a million times, and that stands true to this day as far as this event goes. But what does that mean? This year's edition of Trans Iowa is going to bring the meaning of this home in a serious way for those who are still in the running by Saturday evening. This time in Trans Iowa, it is as imperative as ever that you understand just what needs to be done to get from Saturday evening to Sunday morning.
I've said before in recent years that riders need to carry water and food supplies enough to get them by for 100 miles at all times. I wasn't kidding either. Just ask any of several riders from last year's version who didn't heed my warnings and paid the price, being forced to drop out late Saturday, or on Sunday morning, or Sunday afternoon. One fellow had to quit, getting within two miles of the finish, succumbing to a severe bonk.
|Pack rat: Image by Wally Kilburg|
As I have oft said, convenience stores are closing up at night these days, and many by 10-11pm. After Checkpoint #2, approximately 175 miles from the start, you have a convenience store chance shortly afterward. If you get to the checkpoint on time, (10pm is the cut off), you should see this chance still open. Then you have 90 miles or so until another chance, but unless you are traveling at super-human speed, and the conditions are spot on, (think last year's perfect weather), then you'll likely come through there after closing time but before they open at 6am.
So, you think, but how long could it take to go 90 miles? Think about this: Chris Shotz cane through Checkpoint 2 last year at 3:11pm. (A Trans Iowa record for getting to Checkpoint #2) I was standing at a corner 98 miles up the road afterward and he did not come through until after 11:00pm- past closing time for most convenience stores!
This was on perfect weather with a head start that was a Trans Iowa record. Yeah......you have a better chance of rolling through closer to when the store opens than to when it closes, but at any rate, there is a high probability you will have 120 miles without any chances for water or food.
|I think I can.....NOPE! I'm walking! (Image by W. Kilburg)|
Consider that there may be at least one B Maintenance road in between Checkpoint #2 and the end, and you may be going even slower, unless we have perfect weather again. (Which I would be super surprised by if we did.) You are more than likely going to have to walk any B Maintenance Road you come across if it is a typical Trans Iowa year.
So- the point is that you had better not be caught out skipping a chance to load up with water, food, and have your clothing and mental state dialed by the time you get past Trans Iowa's second checkpoint and hit that convenience store. .You'd better be ready for the night and a long slog with zero chances for resupply until the morning.
Don't say I didn't warn you!
Pre-Race Meat-Up E-Mail:
I still need to hear back from several folks about that e-mail I sent out to everyone two weeks ago. Most of you have responded, (thank you!), but some of you need to get back to me. Maybe you didn't see te e-mail? Then hit me up a firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll make sure you get the e-mail. For now, here is the list of folks I need to hear from ASAP!!
- James Chidester
- Gary Cale