The race boxes are in. It represents a special milestone in the lead up to the race. Something of me will be on the trail long before I get there, waiting patiently for my arrival, ready to provide a much needed physical and mental boost when I eventually catch up.
I found this quite an intriguing concept when I first started following the Freedom Challenge. My first race boxes were loaded to the brim, the result of meticulous planning and providing for many scenarios, needs and consequences. I have now packed race boxes 4 times and every time the content has reduced, my boxes have over the past few years been generous donors to support station hosts. The question is always what to pack and what not.
In the end it depends on what one will require along the route. Racing snakes carry very little and pretty much just need to supplement their base supplies from a nutrition and hydration perspective. Some even go very light on race boxes and live off the remains of boxes from previous days. I have been told of of race boxes containing as little as a Coke, a Sterri-Stumpi and a box of custard. Those on a longer race strategy tend to add a few extras to cater for overnight stay situations and perhaps some snacks and treats for the evening. There have been stories of shampoo and lubricants spoiling carefully selected snacks and RASA riders may add clothing and spares into their boxes. It’s pretty much about personal preferences and on-trail needs.
Last but not least on the packing list of most is the precious maps. The first time round I had my maps lined up pretty neatly until I realized they were lined up one support station too late. Luckily this was realized in time and the alignment problem was rectified. The race boxes are one of several little nuances that make the Freedom Trail races special and unique.
There are probably some riders who return year after year only for the fun of packing a lucky packet type race box just to look forward to opening it up a month later while on the trail. 🙂