Colossal Vail Advice from Previous Participants

“It’s all about the 2nd half of the Race no matter what distance you run.” – Steven

“Throughout the whole race people will cheer you on by saying “have fun!” Don’t hate them. Yes, you’re not having fun. You have side stitches, there’s more uphill than you remembered, and yes, it’s an out and back. But you’ll look back on it and think, ah, ok. Sure. It was fun. And take all the whiskey hand ups possible from the bike patrol. They’re great!” – Katie

“It will probably be hot. Buy a Buff and wear it around your neck. At each aid station, take it off and ask one of the awesome volunteers to pour ice water on it. After a while, spin it 180 degrees to move the cool wet part hanging in front to the back of your neck. Don’t eat or drink anything you haven’t previously had successfully on a long run or a race! Try to carry your own fuel as much as possible.” – Angela

“Don’t miss the bacon at mile 33.” – Joe

“I’m a fairly inexperienced (read: slow) ultrarunner but I didn’t have a problem eating a ton of new food on race day. I ate whatever sounded good at aid stations, but I also have an iron stomach. I agree with implementing strategies for keeping cool – I put ice in my hat at several aid stations. Set process goals, not just outcome goals. Focus on things you have control over. Practice positive self talk. Cheer on other runners (and yourself!). Profusely thank the volunteers. Remember that it’s going to hurt and accept it instead of fighting it. Have fun!” – Emily

“Bring an Epipen if you are allergic to bees! Fortunately, I’m not but I did get stung as there were tons of bees!” – Brianna

“When it gets to be 1100-1400 don’t be afraid to slow down or even walk. The over doing it in the hottest part of the day will DNF you faster than the cut off times.” – James

“I’m always the fastest version of myself on a given day, and despite not being a rabbit, you have to give this race it’s props. Some folks do well in heat, and I am NOT one of those people. So take it easy, enjoy, let people pass you, walk the hills. Whatever you do, don’t find yourself leading a string of runners at the start. That’s a really bad idea!” – Geoff

“Run the course before the race if you can!! I ran it the first year and I felt like some sections were never-ending….if only I knew the course.” – Jamie

“It’s real easy to go out “too fast”. It’s a fast course out for sure but you need to save some for the climbs coming back to Start/finish.” – Andrew

“Be prepared to run on some rocky and uneven terrain at times. It will get a little warm. Run the downs and flats and power hike if you have to the climbs. The climb from the i-10 tunnel gets better when you hit the gate. Be prepared for some of the slowest miles when you leave Gabe Zimmerman at the cut off point to bring you into the finish. We pack our hiking poles to have for the last part. All that amazing downhill in the beginning, you have to go up for the end. Eat a good snack at the Gabe z for the last part. Be ever so grateful for the volunteers out there. Have fun. Be alert when the ground gets easy to run on that is when falls happen the most often. Enjoy the thunder above when the train goes across the tracks. Enjoy the cool air in the tunnels. Break your run up into aide stations. It will be cool in the start and know you can drop that outer layer at an aide station, it will find its way back. Mentally take note of landmarks on the way out as a mental point to look forward to coming back. Have fun. Have fun. Have fun. Thank the volunteers. Have fun.” – The Trapps

“I ran this as a 55K last year. I’ve run this trail lots of times before. If you can that’s always a good thing to do. It makes it easier for me to have mental benchmarks as I go. Even though this is not Badwater hot – most of us aren’t Badwater runners! Be prepared for the heat and complete sun exposure. There is only shade for about 3 minutes! lol Don’t spend all your training time running before the sun is up. Train in the sun (of course use caution) And then when it gets hot midday on the run. Slow down. Walk. Conserve. You can’t win against heat. And really it’s the sun exposure that gets to me. I also take peppermints for the stomach upset that will come with the heat. Helps so much physically and mentally. And I sneak in a few calories that way even if my stomach says – Nope – too warm to eat! At the halfway point expert Steve H fashioned my buff around my neck as an ice pouch. He saved me! That ice lasted until Steve O’s aid station where I got more ice. Best thing ever! One last thing. I’m so glad I started early. I opted to start with the 50 milers – I wasn’t going to podium anyways and that cooler earlier hour was nice!” – Susan

“*Thank the volunteers. *Enjoy the very runnable AZ Trail. * Enjoy a beer at the finish. The two things I learned this past year. 1. When it got into the 80’s with a hot sun, managing body temp became very important. Ice in the cap, wetting down your shirt, hydration, walk breaks to cool down as needed. and 2. I thought the very runnable trail would make the CV50/50 an easy ultra. Turns out that since there are very few sections that require hiking- running the whole course can be pretty brutal. So- train with long RUNs not hikes.” – Morey