Like most runners, the final few days before a race is spent obsessing over the weather forecast. The bigger the event, the greater the obsession. I have been very fortunate on my longer triathlons (five 70.3’s and one full Ironman, all with near ideal weather). Now, I am obsessing over this weekend’s weather forecast for the 24 hour ultramarathon.
To a certain degree, it doesn’t matter that much. I will get my 50k completed, and could tolerate almost anything for that distance. But, after that, I think that a part of me might want to keep going. I won’t be there for the full 24 hours, but I know the little voice in my head will keep after me to do one more mile or complete the next big milestone. I may not be nearly as motivated to do so if the weather is miserable. Running a half marathon in a cold rain is unpleasant. Doing a fifty miler in the cold rain risks hypothermia. So, I was hoping for good conditions to give me the best chance at my best performance.
Will Mother Nature cooperate? Not quite. But it will be much better then last year.
The 2014 race was a torrential downpour from start to finish.
Latest weather forecast calls for morning sun with a cold front and rain coming through later in the day. That could be early afternoon or late evening. They can’t predict the timing at this point. It will almost certainly rain all night. There may be thunderstorms in the evening and overnight.
I certainly feel bad for those planning on the full 24 hours. Lightning will suspend the event and affect all of the finish results. Also, the trail is mostly gravel and unlit. Rain and puddles in the dark will make visibility quite poor overnight. The risk of rolling an ankle will be high and will slow down the more competitive participants.
The daytime high will be warmer then desired. It will likely be in the high 70’s with high humidity. The only good thing about that is that the rain will be a warm rain with little threat of hypothermia.
How is this affecting my plans? Well, any chances of my running into the overnight hours just went from slim to none. It sounds like the rain will most likely be later in the day, so it likely won’t impact any drive to 75k or 50 miles if my legs hold up. Looks like I should pack a few extra pairs of old and beat up shoes, multiple changes of clothing, including rain gear and warmer gear just in case the temps drop as the rain starts.
But, there is still 48 hours until the race starts. Everything may change by then…