Drop Bag Plan for Cocodona 250

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Edits: I will be updating this post as I actually lay out my gear and pack up my bags these next few days.

On May 2nd, I will be running my first 200+ mile ultra marathon, the Cocodona 250. Making this challenge a little more interesting is the fact that I will be doing so without pacers or crew and while still recovering from an injury. 😱 😱 😱

I have never run a race with a crew or pacer.

I am fully expecting chaos and an unpredictable pace due to my injury. To overcome these challenges, I am going to focus on two critical elements:

  1. Always having sufficient food/water/gear on me
  2. Careful preparation of drop bags with duplicates of many items across the bags

Drop Bags

The aid stations (allowing drop bags) for the 2022 Cocodona 250 will be located at the following locations and distances:

  • AS2 - White Rock - 17.9 miles - Bag B
  • AS4 - Skull Valley - 36.5 miles - Bag C
  • AS7 - Whiskey Row - 60.7 miles
  • AS10 - Mingus Mountain Camp - 91.6 miles - Bag A
  • AS12 - Dead Horse Ranch State Park - 117.2 miles
  • AS14 - Sedona - St John Vianney - 144.9 miles
  • AS16 - Munds Park - 171.7 miles
  • AS16 - Munds Park - 187.2 miles
  • AS18 - Fort Tuthill - 213.6 miles - Bag B
  • AS19 - Walnut Canyon - 229.4 miles - Bag C

This adds up to 8 unique drop bags as some are shuttled between aid stations as runners pass through. See the map at https://caltopo.com/m/U0V1G and Runner’s Guide for more details.

Gear kits

I’m going to plan on two different kits, the hot weather and “oh shit” backup clothing that is always with me and a cold weather kit that I’ll pick up and drop off at different aid stations. When and wear I get the different kits will depend on the elevation profile of the course.

Elevation profile for the 2022 Cocodona 250 ultra race in northern Arizona

Elevation profile for the 2022 Cocodona 250 ultra race in northern Arizona

Always with me

I will always be wearing/carrying the following in my Salomon Adv Skin 12.

  • Outdoor Research Quarter Zip long sleeve shirt
  • Arcteryx Norvan GORE-TEX® shell
  • Janji 5" AFO Middle Short
  • Injinji Ultra Crew toe socks
  • Buff
  • Outdoor Research ActiveIce Chroma Sun Gloves
  • REI fleece gloves
  • SpeedGoat 5 shoes
  • Sunday Afternoons trucker hat
  • Dirty Girl Gaiters

Cold kit x 2

I know that Mingus Mountain (miles 85- 110) and basically everything beyond mile 150 up on the Mogollon rim could easily be in the 30 to 40 degree range at night requiring a cold weather kit. The first kit I will be picking up at Whiskey Row at mile 60.7 containing the following:

  • REI windproof glove shells
  • REI fleece beanie
  • Patagonia Nano-Air Jacket
  • Patagonia R1 Air Fleece
  • Janji Tech Transit pants

After reaching Dead Horse Ranch State Park, I will leave all of this gear in my drop bag except for the glove shells and then picking up the following (I have multiple of the same item) at aid station 14 in Sedona before climbing up Casner Trail to the Mogollon Rim.

  • REI fleece beanie
  • Patagonia Nano-Air Jacket
  • Patagonia R1 Air Fleece
  • Janji Groundwork Flyby tights
  • Hot hands x 2

At Munds Park, I will have my travel trailer near the aid station with the following gear easily accessible.

  • Arcteryx Incendo Pants
  • Warmer gloves
  • Smartwool long sleeve shirt
  • Extra Buffs

Whatever I have at this point, I will probably carry to the finish unless I hit the Walnut Canyon aid station in the morning.

Replacements

I plan to also be able to replace some of my “always with me kit”.

  • new shoes available at Skull Valley, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Munds Park, and Walnut Canyon aid stations
  • fresh socks in every drop bag
  • fresh shirt/shorts in every drop bag at aid station having a sleep station

Lighting

This is an entirely different equation. Basically I will always have a headlamp with 2 battery packs and some extra AAAs. I’ll probably pick up one of my two Kogalla headlamps at Whiskey Row and then additional batteries scattered throughout with always enough juice in the headlamp to keep me going. I’ll keep an extra Kogalla light at my travel trailer in Munds Park.

Hydration

I will always have the ability to carry about 4 liters of water, 2 front vest bottles, a bladder, and the Katadyn filter/bottle combo.

Nutrition

Requires another post…

Misc

I will always have the following:

  • Rudy Project photochromic sunglasses - for sun and wind protection, it can still be windy at night
  • Lip balm
  • Basic blister
  • First aid kit
  • Toothbrush
  • Sunscreen
  • Katadyn water filter
  • Emergency blanket
  • Spot
  • Phone
  • Drivers license
  • Credit card
  • Cash
  • Pixel buds
  • probably a bunch more items

Munds Park and travel trailer

I plan on taking a shower and cleaning up in my travel trailer at Munds Park. This will be either at mile 171.7, 187.2, or both! I’m hoping for this to be my “self-crew” experience with lots of goodies to keep me motivated and moving.

TBD

  • Chargers for phone and watch. I have the Garmin Enduro which should need a single recharge. I’ll probably just carry the specific USB cable with me at all times.
  • Sleeping gear - Maybe Whiskey Row, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Munds Park(travel trailer), and Tuthill? I might have enough layers to sleep at the Sedona aid station without a liner/bag?

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