Technical Notes on Race Day

Here are my technical notes on race day.  Hope it helps you accomplish your Western States goal.

Diet 2 Days Prior to Race: Low Residue  - Rice, pasta, pancakes, sherbert (no milk)
Diet 1 Day Prior to Race:  All Liquid Calories - Rice Milk, Gatorade, Chicken Rice Broth
Diet Day of Race prior to Start: Coffee/Gatorade at 1:00 am. Cliff Shot Blocks at 4:00 am.
--->> Result:  Not one #2 Bathroom stop!

Useful Electrolytes Table from the folks at Succeed:

NA started at 140.  NA finished at 136.  Right on!
1 Succeed every hour for first 2 hours, thereafter every 1/2 hour, until dark, then 1 per hour.
Pre-race weight 150.  Post-race weight about 147. Right on!

Started race with 1 20oz bottle with Gatorade and one 2.5L Hydration Pack with Water.
Dropped Bottle at Escarpment
1 non-caffeine GU every 25-30 minutes after Escarpment
About 2-3 Tums per hour

Got 2 20oz bottles with Gatorade at Duncan Canyon Aid Station
Got 2 20oz bottles with Gatorade at Robinson Flat and drank third one there.
Refilled one bottle with water at Millers Defeat
Swapped Bottles for Hydration Pack with 2.5L of water at Dusty Corners.
Started eating some Ginger Candies from Robinson Flat until finish.  Helps stomach.

Continued with non-caffeine GU every 25-30 minutes until bottom of Devil's Thumb, then switched to caffeine, Vanilla GU.
Refilled Hydration Pack with 2.5L Water at top of Devil's Thumb and had car wash there.
Had a Popsicle at Devil's Thumb
Only stopped for "car wash" at Last Chance and bottom of El Dorado.
Swapped Hydration Pack for 2 Gatorade Bottles at Michigan Bluff (but didn't drink them)
Mistake:  I had a glass of Coke and a glass of Ginger Ale at Michigan Bluff.  It killed my stomach all the way to Bath Road.

Had 3 saltines at bottom of Bath Road.  Stomach still messed up from the soda (because of the gas).

Switched to Heed at Foresthill (5 Heed on 2.5L Hydration Bladder).
Also had a bottle of Propel at Foresthill and 2 cups of chicken soup.
Adding propel powder to water helps water go down.

Bottle of Propel at Rucky Chucky Far Side and another on the way up to Green Gate
5 Heed on 2.5L Hydration Bladder with Water (but was not able to drink it all).

Nothing more until mile 90
Beer there (don't do that!) and some watermelon.

Switched Hydration Bladder for 1.25 L of water with Propel at Hwy 49
Had a cup of potato soup there.

Had some watermelon at No Hands Bridge and onto to finish.

Did not take enough calories from Michigan Bluff on.
Did not take one GU from Foresthill on (Mistake, but body couldn't absorb it).

Shoes - NewBalance 100 with about 15 miles on them prior to start. Never changed them.
2 pairs of socks each foot - WrightSock CoolMesh
Dirty Girl Gators. Stapled Velcro to Back of Shoe so Velcro wouldn't come apart.
Taped hot spots on feet with Elastikon Tape.
Applied Benzoin Tincture prior to Elastikon - (wait until sticky before taping).
Body Glide rest of feet.
Desitin between legs to prevent chafing.
Flashlight: Fenix L2D 6 Level High Performance Cree LED Flashlight
Headlamp: Petzl E53 AC2 ULTRA BELT Headlamp with ACCU (2 extra batteries Petzl E55400 Rechargeable Battery for ACCU 4 Ultra Headlamp)
Shorts: North Face Flight Series
Shirt:  Technical, short sleeve, North Face Flight Series
Head Gear: Coolibar Protective Drape (white) with separate white visor.
Hydration Pack: Nathan with Ultimate Direction Bladder (prefer UD nipple, though it failed)
Bottles: multiple sets of 2 x 20 oz Ultimate Direction

Heart Rate Monitor to mile 62 to ensure running below LT, thereafter I couldn't have gotten heart to LT even if I tried.

Having crews at as many aid stations as possible provides a great psychological advantage--- you want to get there to see them.

Give crew strict instructions to not let you linger at aid stations.

Have an important reason to run the race and keep remininding yourself of that reason throughout the low points.  50% of this race is mental.

My Mistakes:
1) Didn't take enough Calories, particularly from Michigan Bluff on. 
2) Focused too much on arriving to Foresthill with an hour of buffer, knowing that I would have a pacer from there on. Forgot that I was still the one who had to do the running from Foresthill to the finish.
3) Lost focus after mile 90 (a mistake if I was doing the run for the best possible time - worked ok for me this time).
4) Should have tested my new hydration bladder.
5) Didn't check for flashlight before departing Green Gate aid station.


  1. It has been a few years in the making, but congratulations on a fantastic run. You did it by lots of smart planning, hard work, and great execution.

    Wear that Silver Buckle proudly

  2. Congratulations on your sub-24 to you too Steve. Awesome!

  3. Just wanted to say thank you for this great source. It helped me a lot while planning and finishing sub-24 on my first WS (and also my first 100).