Gear Grid Explanation – Allen Krughoff’s Breck Epic [partial] bag
What we have here is one of those ever-popular ‘GEAR GRIDS’ that the Insta-crowd loves. Rarely do I organize my things in such tidy neatness but alas, it’d be hard to see what I incredible goodies I packed for the Breck Epic if it was all stuffed in a bin…so here we are.
On this occasion, I was driving to the event and staying in a friend’s house. That means I’ve got room in the truck for a rice cooker (bottom right) – a simple godsend with a timer that will let you set it to finish when you want said rice. Perfect for when you’re eating before 6am…6 days in a row. Wake up, roll over, consume. Mine here is a Sanyo but Zojirushi makes some nice ones as well. My go-to, pre-race meal is simple: basmati rice (I like the texture), brown sugar, a fried egg or two when/where I can cook them, and soy sauce. Crushed almonds are a nice addition if you want to get really fancy.
The Breck Epic is 6 days of mostly singletrack, XC MTB racing around 10,000 - 13,000ft and averaging 40 miles per day. If those numbers are foreign, lets just say a pretty legit, hard single day of training will roll over 200 TSS for me. This year’s race I was well over 200 TSS for four out of the six days back to back.
Getting sick is by far the easiest way to throw away a multi-day race and every additional day you become more run down. That First Endurance MultiV (not the hyper expensive PRO version) in the center is my go-to for a safeguard on illness. Produced in clean facilities and about as far as I go into the pill supplement world. I also have been into their recovery mix called Ultragen, for years. Cappuccino tastes great every day and gets the job done.
For day in and day out, I’m a fan of Skratch hydration mix for every bottle, every time without turning my stomach. Hotter or more intense days and especially for cross season, I will also drop in on a bottle of hyper hydration prior to the race. PRO TIP – finish that hyper hydration mix one hour ahead of the start or even more. If you don’t, you’ll be burping up that mango flavored mix and that rice bowl for a solid 45 minutes into your event – trust me, I’ve done it many times.
Food wise, I try to eat the same stuff in a race that I train with. For a MTB race like this (if you’re truly racing it) waffles and other more fragile foods that aren’t stuff-in-your-face compatible need not apply. Just trying to eat the dark chocolate/espresso Enduro Bites that I love was a challenge and I primarily went to my staple of Clif Bloks in Margarita or Black Cherry for a caffeine bump. Yes, a waffle would be delicious but this is smash food/try to breathe/cough up that crumb you inhaled/get on with it territory.
Lastly, some gear considerations to get through all this adventure. Comfy shorts are essential - a great chamois, no chafing on seams, quick drying… all that good stuff. I ended up wearing this pair of Super Total Comfort (yes…that’s actually their name) bibs from Sportful repeatedly. I had another pair of bibs as part of another kit and they just didn’t compare – more laundry for me each night but it was worth it. An additional spare tire with beefy casing is a safer choice. We rallied through some shale and extra sharp rocks above treeline. I used Specialized Fast Trak w/Grid casing – 2.3 width front and rear – and felt like it was seldom overkill. Maybe I’ll chalk up my slower starts than Todd and Howard on the first climb each day to the tire weight. Also – bring a reliable GPS computer so you can keep track of your mileage if you’re new to the race like myself. Day 1 I had the pages setup without distance on my Wahoo ElemntBolt – nothing like flying blind to start 6 days of suffering. Changed a page to show distance and elevation profile and was perfect for the rest of the race.
Bedtime – I bring some Sleepytime Extra tea on trips as a little help. I jokingly call it Sleepytime with Nightmares™ because the valerian root, the ‘extra,’ can produce some pretty awesome/terrible dreams. Hey roll the dice, you only live once.