Well, it must be 3 weeks out from the race as my little brain has started to tick into "Expedition Race Details" mode.
Experience of the last 3 races has shown me that there is absolutely no way you can be overprepared. Details, details, details are the things that make the race run smoothly. All that time training, all the money spent on gear, trips and the race itself - we owe ourselves the best run at the race. Sadly that means busy brains in the weeks before the race.
What sort of stuff am I talking about ? Well, last year I, the organisation freak, managed to kill my lights on the first leg paddle - saltwater and Silva L1 LED lights do not a good bedmate make. I had no spare light available for the 100km mountainbike leg - at night. Jerry thankfully had something but of course that meant we were already compromised - Day 1, Leg 1 and I had made a massive F&^%&$% up of it. Saying that, Jerry had also lost one of his trekking shoes in the paddle as well ! That made me feel better and a good trade was made as I have the same foot size as him and use the same shoes!. This year - waterpoof lights !!
It's all the little things that count - this is 700km, possibly 6 days. Sanitation and health are two key things - keeping your hands clean when eating and not sharing bugs with the rest of the team. So having settled on what bum cream to use (vaseline mixed with nappy cream by the way ...), small bottles of hand cleaner, wipes, anti-everything sprays, Nuun tablets - you name it. Then we get down to gear. Oh. My. God. Gear - where do you start ? Well we start with luggage allowances which mean we have to be quite efficient in what we take. We also know that there is a finite amount of gear we can spread around boxes and trunks. Key things - best quality gear we can get means light, quick drying and comfortable. Anything on top of that is a bonus. Good rain gear is paramount - thank you Earth Sea Sky in ChCh who make the BEST wet weather gear and first-layer gear you will find. Designed and made in NZ so support local. Warm comfortable feet with good sock - TICK, thank you Bridgedale Socks. We choose these socks as they are the best by miles so this year we are very lucky to have LOTS of socks. Good drybags thank you Seal Line. And of course FOOD - we learnt a valuable lesson last year and that is that not every race means we can use the same food. Everything we had we didn't want which was a bit annoying at times. This year we are onto it - I'm saying no more so as not to show our hand. However, as always our friends at backcountry Cuisine have given us access to their amazing dehydrated meals and we'll be munching on our favourites every day - porridge, muesli and yoghurt, roast chicken, thai chicken NOM NOM NOM. Amazing how good you feel after a proper meal. That stuff is already in tassie - you see, preparation is everything.
So why then am I contemplating building a Corflute bike box 3 weeks out ? Who knows....