The Birkie has a page up of “New in 2014: what you need to know now.” You really need to know it next week, but that’s a digression. Here are some #PROTIPs on some of the changes that are in store:
- This is not completely new, but you probably just received an “action required” email with your number and confirmation. It helps everyone if you bring this to the start. PROTIP: load it on to your phone and bring it that way. If you take a screenshot of the email on your phone (on an iPhone, press the screen on/off button and the home button at the same time), you won’t have to search through your email. And it’s possible that Hayward’s cell network will get overloaded on Friday (more likely after the race).
- You can bribe your way in to the start. Okay, it’s not really bribery, but a donation. Give the Birkie $100 in cold, hard cash (or plastic, I guess), and they’ll give you a start pass. If you fill a car, that’s just $20 per person to get to not have to ride the bus. That’s not a bad deal. PROTIP: Carpool.
- There’s a big, heated hospitality tent at the start. It will probably be built on snow and lined with hay, which may have nasty fungus. We were all blowing black snot out of our noses after the Book Across the Bay in 2010. But we spent a couple hours in that tent drinking beer. PROTIP: spend as little time as necessary in the tent, unless it’s raining or frigid or something awful. And, you know, don’t show up for a bus at 6:00 if you’re not going out until 9. If you’re cold, find the heat vents. Mmm. Heat vents.
- The Birkie has new bibs. They’re … colorful? The old-style cloth bibs—two pieces of cloth and some elastic and piping—are great, but these are something you’d more likely see in a bigger race. I can only assume the Birkie got a deal on them. One potential issue is that for later-wave skiers they’ll be harder to fit over a jacket. PROTIP: wear a race suit. One other concern that I have is how they’ll be for memorabilia. Right now I have a couple dozen bibs, tied together, lining the walls of my bedroom. These will be harder to string up and display after the race since they’re fully stretchy.
- There’s doping control! You could get tested if you’re in the top 20, or if you’re a random athlete. PROTIP: take feeds during the race, to keep yourself hydrated enough that you can produce a sample. Being hydrated is good for skiing, too. Bonus PROTIP: Lay off the EPO, will ya?
- If you’re awake and sober enough, there are door prizes being given away on Saturday evening in Hayward. You can stop off there on your way to the Sawmill, I guess. PROTIP: Go to the Sawmill.