Coast 2 Coast – The Preparation

So easy to look at something in hindsight and find fault and very often the purpose of attributing of fault is to justify your own shortcomings.

On one hand I am delighted with the weekend spent Coast2Coast racing with my wife – all that I expected and hoped would happen did. We came down off the mountain tired but closer than ever with renewed vigour and appreciation for each other.

On the other hand I expected more.

It wouldn’t be like me to do a single race report when 2 or 3 will suffice so I’m not going to change my format at this stage! 🙂

Prior to the build up to Coast2Coast Edel and I didn’t really get to spend much time together training the way we used to, having busy kids and being shop-owners took care of that. However we decided that we would try this race, the Coast2Coast as a tough challenge; something we both rise to, to see if Edel had a flair for endurance events and possibly encourage her to see the side of AR that I see.

Over the past few months we’ve geared up a bit more for Adventure Racing – invested in a tandem kayak, paddles (obviously!), seats, kayaking compass; I have my Ronhill gear, I had to organise some for Edel. Buoyancy aids. It is like a new excuse to spend money!

In the weeks leading up to the race it had been surprisingly difficult to find out information about the weekend. There is an event page on Facebook but very little chatter, there is a thread on Boards with most of the chatter among ourselves, it just seemed very subdued as an event. There was more about the upcoming events following, than the Coast2Coast.

What it meant was we planned.

We assumed there was nothing and allowed for all eventualities. I got maps, I found route details, marked maps. I laid out Google doc with each stage; kit that would be needed, approximate planned ETA’s. We planned full kit changes for each stage allowing for any weather eventuality. First aid kit had everything a small hospital would need, nutrition, footcare.

Marking the route on backup maps

Buying and marking maps seemed unnecessarily over the top as the whole route was out on Garmin Connect but I treated it as an exercise as well. Also while we had the support crew and access to a support vehicle I was hoping to race as independent as possible, being as self sufficient as possible. Sure it’s only 24 hours.

We arranged our support crew, our shop cover and kids cover. Thank you Maurice, Peadar, Doireann & Tez for stepping into the breach.

Race week had us sorting out what was required or likely to be required for each stage and laying it our accordingly so we could pack:

Coast 2 Coast   Run - Bike   Google Docs
Plan for Stage 1 & 2

Stages 1, 2 & 3 I was counting on not changing or having to change. Hot & dry? take off jacket. Cold & wet? put on jacket. Simple! 🙂

This was all done as a Google Doc which meant Edel & Maurice could also contribute. From a support point of view he could update with Lat/Long for Support Points and Edel & I could add things as we thought of them. As a recent post will attribute I was concerned about my feet knowing the damage that occurred in the Beast, so I was leaving nothing to chance with footcare.

No chances being taken.
No chances being taken.

I was planning on carrying my pack, probably the only eejit to start with a pack as in 30 mins we would access the van. It’s how I wanted to do it though. And I’m a mule like that 😉

Not everything was being carried, I used saddle bags for the repair kits. The tops & base layers crossed over so by the time we sorted this lot out:

More gear than you could shake a trekking pole at!!

With a little reorganisation jig, it started to resemble this:

Stages laid out. L/R: Beach run, Cycle 1, Kayak, Cycle 2, Mtn Trek

Another shuffle around had the jersey from tile 4(a) going on in Tile 1(a) and the Jacket in Tile 4(b) staying in the box.

With everything packed away, the sleeping platform and air mattress sorted for the van it was left til Friday evening to travel up to Sligo. Edel went up with the kids, Maurice met me to load the van and we travelled to the race HQ in Enniscrone for registration and briefing.

The briefing was…erm… brief. Not much by way of information required. As in we didn’t need route maps or navigation or anything like that, everything was marked on the ground with yellow arrows. The support crew were given a booklet with routes for them to get to the various support points. Racers were provided with a route card:

26 Extreme Route Card

And a map for the kayak leg:

Stage 3: 26k Kayak leg with locks to negotiate

Picking up the tracker, route cars, kayak map, support booklet and hoodies and that was that. Off back to Rosses Point for a little bit of mullign over maps to see if we missed anything.

Not too late to bed as sure to be up early with the kids. Plan is to leave by 9am to allow plenty of time to fill the van with diesel, check oil, water etc. Edel has a feast of food planned and with a decent breakfast of sausage sandwiches we were off on our adventure!!

Picnic by the lake anyone? 🙂

To follow the story:

Coast2Coast Event Report – Part One

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