Congrats on making it this far! Have a look back at yourself when you entered and how much you’ve learned and achieved since then - better fitness, mountain biking, rogaining and no doubt you’ve been on some wicked adventures too. Looking back on all this is pretty exciting and you have to be proud of what you’ve achieved so far. Completing the event itself is often just the cherry on top of all this other awesome stuff you’ve done! Here's some final tips to help you get prepared to have a great day out there.
Make a list for packing. Before you start packing anything, make a list of what you need and what you want to take with you. It's a foolproof way to ensure you don't miss anything important.
I find that visualising each stage helps me put a list together, and anything and everything I think of goes on that list. I also find it really helpful to make a list for food. Not just the food that I’m going to eat during the race to go along with my nutrition plan, but also the days before and after.
Set yourself a schedule. Having even just a rough guideline of a schedule for the day before the race, and on race morning, certainly avoids chaos and stress.
For the day before the race, figure out:
How long it’s going to take you to get to the host location
What time your registration and map pick up is (which I recommend doing as early as possible)
What time you need to be at race HQ for your race briefing (there are different times for each of the 3, 6 and 9 hour events)
What time you want to be in bed by.
Then plan everything else in around those times.
How long do you have to get your gear organised?
How much time is there for going through the maps and planning your route?
And don’t forget to leave time to chill out and relax over dinner too!
Having at least a guideline in mind of how you’re going to use your precious time will help avoid too much phaffing or running around like a headless chook!
Keep warm and comfortable during the event. If it's a chilly day it's just not worth it to be cold and shivering - find a place to stop that's as sheltered as possible and layer up. Put fresh dry layers on next the skin. Taking 5 minutes to stop and do this will mean you'll be warmer for the rest of the day and your body is more likely to put energy into going fast - instead of the energy going into keeping you warm.
Often this means that you’ll actually need to take more gear than what is on the compulsory gear list. You might have figured out during your winter training missions that to stay warm, dry and comfortable you actually need more than what’s listed here.
If if you’ve got a hotspot that could turn into a blister, or something is chafing, or you’ve got a niggly knee that’s playing up, stop and just take a few minutes to address the issue. If you just ignore it and don’t give it any attention then chances are it will turn into a much bigger problem later on.
Be prepared for anything to happen. Plan and prepare to have a great day, but still be prepared for something to not go quite to plan. Don't get too stuck in the weeds thinking about all the little things that could go wrong. It’s simply a smart thing to do to think these things through beforehand, rather than just reacting in the moment if they do happen.
Don't try anything new on race day. You may have heard this piece of advice plenty of times before - that's because it is great advice! A challenge like this can push you beyond your comfort zone, so by sticking to what you know with food, gear and clothing you'll have a great day out.
Plus don't worry about what all the other teams are up to. Some will take off at a great rate of knots from the start line, or will blast past you out of a transition area. But don’t worry about them - you and your team have your own thing going on, so just travel at a pace your team is happy with. That also applies to your navigation - if you’ve planned a good route, and you have some solid navigation skills, then don’t worry about what other teams are up to.
It's an awesome effort just to make it to the start line, so you can already be super proud of what you’ve achieved. It's pretty special to be a part of the largest adventure race on the planet, so good luck and have fun!
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