It’s no big surprise that the CJ weather on race day can swing a multitude of directions. It might be a blue bird day with temps in the 80’s/no wind....or….it can be downright COLD (2017), rainy (2017), windy (2016), or even frosty (2013). Although these variables add to the excitement, the drama, and the hype of the race, they can also add to your opportunities to strategize! Being prepared ahead of time knowing what works for YOU in the above mentioned conditions will allow you to paddle with confidence while avoiding unpleasant surprises. (YOU in all caps because everyone is different. In the pic above you can see some paddlers in shorts while others are totally decked out)
Having confidence in your selected gear will increase your pre-race peace of mind, meaning less jitters! You’re going to have jitters no matter what. Think about it, with all the questions…. At what mile will I begin to fatigue? What if I cramp? Will my draft train stop 30 seconds to eat or will they just hammer? Should I sprint off the start line? If yes, how long? How do I manage my hydration pack/packs since I’m not going to stop at an aid station? Who am I going to line up beside? Did I test my sources for calories on my stomach enough? Did I taper enough?
With the infinite list of questions it’s hard not to have jitters. The garment variable is completely in your control and an easy one to check off with a little time, thought, and testing.
Photo: Rick White