As with Tahoe, I thought it'd be a good idea to compile links to race reports and the like that'll be good reading as I get progressively more anxious and excited about the event at hand. I'll be adding to this list as I find things, and please let me know if you know of any I've missed! I've added a quote from each report with something either to remember about the course or strategy or something similar :)
Mountain Man Steve's 2006 Report-"The aid stations were extremely well stocked and almost too frequent if that is even possible! I usually carry two water bottles because I like to have the choice of either water or sport drink out on the trail, I also have rather high hydration needs and so I usually need them both. With aid stations rarely more than 4.5 miles apart and some as little as 2.5 miles between, I really could have done with just one."
Short Angry Person Miki's 2006 Report -"There were a lot of uphills through the area before Skyline Gate"
CoolRunning Forum DrugDoc Report - "No more than one minute at each aid station, 5 minutes at the halfway point, then turn on the afterburners only after mile 40 if I had anything left."
10/13/04 - Firetrails 50 Mile - By A First-timer -Jennifer Ray (scroll a bit)-"my lowest point came on the climb back up MacDonald grade. This section packs about 500 feet of elevation gain into just over a mile, and it was exposed and hot. My mind started to wander on the long hot climb up this hill, and my energy was quite low.
Rick's musings from 2006 (over a few post w/ picture links) -"The trails on this race were awesome. With a name like Firetrails you would think it was mostly fire road, nope. Lot's of beautiful, tree lined, soft single track - the type you encounter in Marin. The course was extremely well marked. 8000+ total elevation gain. Excellent post race bbq with enough picnic tables for tired runners to sit on."
1996 Jane Coleman-"And I've brought away some lessons for next time: more training, more hills, more trails, more speed, a better flashlight." (for this one, the big thing is the flashlight! She finished last place, and in the dark. Something to think about since I'm thinking I'll be pushing cut-offs most likely!)
1996 Richard Pon -" I also approached this run as going from aid station to aid station (13 of them), and not as a 50 mile course. "
1997 Richard Pon - "The course through Sibley and Huckberry Preserves is all single track and beautiful. The trail is soft and dry, and the shade provided by the forest refreshing."
2001 Steve Patt -"Then there was the last aid station, just 3M from the finish, and I'm thinking, "it's all downhill from here. Wrong! To my amazement there was as almost as much uphill as downhill from there to the finish, and it was tough going."
2006 Tim Daly - "nothing flat about it (with the exception of the first 1.5 miles); the first half is tougher then the second half; The trail plunges down 1,000 feet after Skyline towards the redwood forest, and with my quads feelinggood here, I felt like I was flying. It hit Bort Meadows (44.1 miles) at 4 PM, 5.9 miles left and 90 minutes to go. "
How wonderful is this world of technology that us somewhat compulsive researchers have so much to work with!
From reading, what I've learned so far is:
- Drop bags! I've never used a drop bag before (I have prepared a few, but never needed them) so this will be important.
- Flashlight! as I'll be doing the early start at 6am and likely finishing late, I might possibly need lights at both ends. I need to look into this
- Blisters! Many many of the reports talked about blisters. I have a few trouble spots so I'm going to be good and read fixing your feet and find out what to do. Gotta solve this so that it's not an issue
- Heat can be a problem. I need to make sure I have my handkerchief (at least at the turn around)
- the 2nd half is longer than the first (as the turn around is at mile 26). This is nice :)
- The whole course is rolling. I knew this, but it's a good reminder