Tip #4 Hydration and Restrooms!
by 10k Tony · October 20, 2011
This Cactus Rose tip is on hydration and restroom strategy (just for Jessica).
I already know I am suppose to hydrate during the race so why spend a whole tip on it?
One of the unique factors about running Cactus in late Oct is cool mornings and warm days causing several runners to get behind on hydration. In fact last year a couple of Rockhoppers (Larry and Tom) who shall remain nameless (Larry and Tom) because I want to spare them (Larry and Tom) further embarrassment got a bit dehydrated during the race and they weren’t the only ones.
Ok, so what is the first thing I should consider when hydrating during Cactus?
Well first is to make sure you are prehydrated before race. Especially starting Wed you should be drinking plenty of water. Additionally the morning of the race it is a good idea to drink 16-32 oz of water depending on your sweat rate.
So begin race already hydrated….check. What do I need to know when the race starts?
With the exception of Lucky and Ice Cream Hill the first 15 miles are flat and will be the fastest you’ll be moving all day. Plus the temperature is very pleasant. Consequently, a lot of people get caught up in the early excitement and feeling good that they drink very little that first 15 miles and get behind. So don’t ignore drinking water those first 15 miles.
I’ll be sure to drink water early, what else do I need to know?
After the first 15 miles the next 15-35 miles are very hilly and rocky plus temps will start to rise at a rapid rate. This is when most people get into trouble. If you used one water bottle the first 15 miles then maybe grab a 2d water bottle. If you have a high sweat rate this is a good time to grab the hydration or waist pack. The other thing is to remember to fill up your bottles/pack at the Aid Stations. Last year our two anonymous (Larry and Tom) Rockhoppers forgot to fill up at Boyles at mile 30. Well the stretch from Boyles to Equestrian is 5.5 hilly, rocky and slow miles with some very exposed sections like the Sisters. Plus it is pushing noon at this point. That section ended up being a struggle for them (and other runners). So ensure you are filling up at every aid station (especially as the day gets warmer). Always better to carry too much water than not enough.
With all the hydrating I’m doing I know I’ll have to hit restroom a lot and I prefer to avoid the bushes if I can. What are my restroom options?
Restrooms are located at 3 spots on or near course. The Lodge, Equestrian, and as you transition from trail 7 to 8 (Bar-O area) you will come within 50 yards of park HQ and they have a restroom. But it isvery slightly out of the way. This means you will hit a restroom at miles, 5, 8, 15, 25, 35, 42, 45, 50. So there are some 10 mile stretches where no restroom is available. However, Boyles Aid Station is a big area and there are some places in the trees behind the buildings you could go to.