Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Full Moon 50K

Right now in Perry, Arkansas, it is 90 degrees outside, at 8:00pm. That’s down a bit from the afternoon high of 95. Meanwhile, the forecast for New York tomorrow is 94 and nobody can shut up about the “sweltering heat wave.” In Arkansas in the summer, that’s just called “Tuesday.”

In any case, the reason for my sudden interest in Arkansas weather is the Full Moon 50K, which I’ll be running in Perry, Arkansas, this Saturday, at 8:00pm. The forecast high for Saturday is 95 again. Forecasts are seldom very accurate more than a couple of days out, but at this point I think I can count on it being hot. Seems obvious now, but I actually chose this race in the hope of “avoiding the heat.” The problem is, the only way to avoid the heat in Memphis in the summer is to stay inside. Given the state of the trails this time of year apart from the weather—nettles, poison ivy, mosquitoes, snakes—I definitely gave that option some thought. But given that I have long races coming up in October and December, it isn’t a very good option for me.

So apart from taking the summer off, the only way to avoid the heat is to run at night. It's called the Full Moon because it's run at night, in the light of the (mostly) full moon, on a pretty runnable course. From what I hear, it's the kind of race that people either PR or overheat and drop out. Sounds kind of fun, except that I pretty much wilt in the heat. Obviously staying hydrated is key in a race like this, especially for someone like me who sweats up to 4 or 5 pounds of water per hour in the heat. And the good news is that water stations are only about 4 miles apart on the course, so I won't need to carry more than I can drink in about 30-40 minutes. Still, I'm more than a little nervous about the heat. I'll be carrying water, electrolytes, and gels, but I'm looking for your advice for staying cool--or at least just keeping moving in the heat. Comment away!

Also, if you read about Four on the Fourth and wanted to see photographic evidence, it is now up (finally).


  1. Have you ever run with electrolyte or salt tablets (like S-Caps)? That might help with the sweat-weight-loss. They were shoving S-Caps (or Endurolytes?) down my throat at almost every aid station at the Syllamo 50k. Otherwise, I haven't used salt tablets and have only had watered-down sports drink in my hydration pack on longish summer runs.

  2. That's funny, Syllamo was actually my first experience with S-Caps too, and I'm pretty sure they helped. For me it was a case of too little, too late, as I sped through the first few aid stations, stopping for water but forgetting the "aid" part. By the time I took some S-Caps (maybe the second to last aid station, the one where Richard and Billy were) I had already had a pretty miserable 90 minutes, and wasn't sure I would finish. Anyway, there's a bottle of them sitting next to me right now!

  3. Oh good! Yep, Billy force-fed me some at that station too, despite my protests of "NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY!" I don't really know how they work or how much to take or whatever. Maybe hit up our local gang of experts on dosage, etc.