Our buddy was listing all of his upcoming make-up races when we accidentally let the wind out of his sails. You see, most of his muddy obstacle races and triathlons were originally scheduled for late spring and early summer. Some were cancelled, but a handful were rescheduled to the last quarter of the year. You can imagine his excitement to learn that his 2020 race season won’t be a complete bust. That’s when one of us, let’s call her “Debbie Downer”, pointed out, “You know it’s going to be cold, right?”
Think about it. A number of previously postponed races are now commencing anytime between late October to mid-December. No problem if you’re used to it; but if you’ve only raced in warmer weather, you may be in for a miserable surprise. Let’s talk about what to expect and how you can prepare for it.
With cold fronts already sweeping parts of the North West and Midwest states, mud and water-based obstacles could near freezing temperatures.
Short term exposure to ice water is just part of the fun if you’re talking about Tough Mudder’s Arctic Enima or Savage Race’s Shrivveled Richard. Normally you take the plunge, try to catch your breath, negotiate the obstacle, then continue on your way. The chilly blast can actually be quite invigorating on an otherwise hot race. However, water obstacles and events during colder months mean you run the risk of developing an abnormally low body temperature for a dangerous length of time. Fortunately, experienced race directors know to monitor weather and water temperatures for their racers’ safety.
Even if your race proves safe from any risk of hypothermia, it doesn’t mean you won’t get cold. You’ll notice it at the start line and immediately after wet obstacles, but your own body heat will cancel out the cold for much of the race. It’s really post-race when you’ll need to move quickly before the cold sets in.
Days Prior to Your Race
- Make sure you pack a towel, warm clothes and warm sustenance.
- Confirm that your car heater is working or bring blankets to compensate.
After Your Race
- Get indoors or into the changing tent quickly.
- COVID restrictions probably won’t let you linger around the finish line to talk to race buddies anyway.
- Towel off, and change into something dry and warm.
- Even if you don’t put on warm socks (recommended), make sure you insulate your core and upper body - including a warm hat.
- Hydrate with warm fluids (tea, coffee, soup, broth, cider, etc).
- You might need to bring your own in case it’s not available on location.
If you feel freezing and are shivering uncontrollably to the point that you can barely function to change into dry clothes, you might need to intervene with an emergency thermal blanket. These thin, Mylar blankets retain/reflect the user’s body heat.
Since changing stations aren’t always available, Dryrobe is a quick and discrete way to get changed and stay warm!
Like you, we’re happy that several 2020 races were postponed rather than cancelled outright. While cold weather races may take a little extra planning, we expect to see a smile FROZEN on your face!