Here's the aid station menu:
• Cookies and/or Brownies
• Assorted Candy
• Chicken Broth
• Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
• GU Energy Gels (Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Outrage, Strawberry Banana, Jet Blackberry)
• GU Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gels (Roctane Blueberry Pomegranate)
• GU Electrolyte Brew (Lemon Lime, Raspberry)
• nuun Electrolyte Tabs
• Soft Drinks
• Assorted Fruit
Some of the aid stations are unmanned, so I hope they don't run out of food or water! I'm bringing at least 5 GU packs just in case.
I'm also really nervous about getting lost on the course, which is marked by different colored ribbons.Although Delia and I plan to stick together, I bought a case to clip my cell phone onto the belt of my running pack...in case I get lost. While I may not have cell reception, they should be able to find me based on cell tower pings. Get lost??? It can happen on ultra runs. I actually run with a girl who got lost, along with several other runners, while attempting an ultra. They were following what they thought was a trail, and it dead-ended into a stream. Unsure if they were supposed to cross, they back-tracked and saw a ribbon tied to a tree, a signal to go a different way. This ultra is sponsored by North Face, and should be both better supported, and better staffed. But I can get turned around on our normal runs in the hills above Irvine, so I'm not taking any chances! I really don't want to end up on that show I Shouldn't Be Alive.
Ribbons: At The North Face Endurance Challenge, each distance will follow a unique color of marking ribbons. The color of the ribbon your course follows will match the color of your race bib. The colors associated with each course are as follows:
Gore-Tex 50 Mile: ORANGE
Marathon Relay: RED
Half Marathon: YELLOW
Images 1 and 2 show an example of the ribbon used to mark the courses, and typical placement of ribbons. In this example, the runners in 50 Mile (orange), 50K (blue), Half Marathon (yellow) and 10K (red) races would be following the trails marked with these ribbons. If the course was only for 10K and Half Marathon, only red and yellow ribbon would be placed. Anytime runners do not see their race color among the ribbons hung on the trails, they should take it as an indication that they are no longer on their race course. They should return to the last place they saw ribbon matching their race.
The last major thing I'm worried about is making the 10 hour cut-off time. I just want to finish. Our 'easy' 10 mile taper run on Saturday wasn't easy, and this has been playing on my mind all week. Part of that was due to the almost 80 degree heat, and it will be much cooler outside of San Francisco (expected high of 60), but it was still more difficult than I expected, given how high our mileage has been. You would think it would get easier, but those 10 miles still felt like 10 miles. If I don't finish, all that training since August - all those back-to-back weekend runs have been for a good attempt, a good try, but not a finish. At this point, I've done all I can. We finished our last run - a short 3.7 miles tonight with a beautiful sunset and now it's time to rest and carbo load. And stay away from sick people! There's a lot riding on this, and I desperately want to finish, so I can cross doing an ultra off my list!