Well, the course is set, and we are VERY excited to share it with you! We have a few final notes for you for next weekend.
The big question, of course, are the conditions:
There are currently 1-3 inches of snow on the ground. As of now, the weather forecast is calling for roughly another foot between tonight and tomorrow. We will check in with the park rangers during the middle of the week and update you if the final accumulation is notably different from these predictions. It does not look like conditions will warm up much before the end of the week, so we doubt much will melt off before race-day.
That said, the race will go on, but you may want to consider microspikes, yaktrax or even snowshoes depending on your personal preference! Gaiters will likely be worthwhile.
As for the course:
There are approximately 35 controls in total. The woods are relatively open with the requisite pockets of thorns and such, but overall, you can generally maintain a steady pace.
We are not modifying the course as of now. With the additional snow, we expect strategy will become even more important as the full course will be difficult to clear (and we didn’t expect many teams to clear it before).
As indicated on the gear list water purification of some sort is mandatory. We will have some emergency water, but treat this like an eight-hour rogaine: you should be self-sufficient out in the woods and plan for water accordingly. You will cross numerous water sources, so refilling water should never be too difficult!
For those still considering lodging options: as noted earlier, Breezewood is your best bet. Plenty of food, several lodging options and 10ish minutes from the start line. We have now sampled both the Econo Lodge and Quality Inn. If you are looking for bare-bones, cheapest option: go with the Econo Lodge. BUT, we have to say we did not have the most comfortable or cleanest experience there. We were much happier with the Quality Inn (and we’ll be staying there Friday night)! There are a few other options as well.
If you are considering camping, you do technically need to fill out a permit form. Please email us ASAP and we’ll send over the paperwork. We believe they are telling people to camp along a road very close to the start line.
That’s it for now! The course is beautiful, and even if you only travel the mandatory loop, it’s still a great journey. With snow and ice, the woods were majestic this past weekend, especially along the many water courses and rocky features that dot the state forest. The conditions may be slower on Saturday, but if anything, they will be more beautiful!
See you in the woods!
Abby and Brent