• Janie Crouch

Fire & Ice - 10 Weeks Out • ALL this stuff?

10 weeks out from my Fire & Ice Ultramarathon. I spent some time this week working out everything that has to fit in my pack.


Spoiler alert: it wasn't pretty.


Here's a video of it all before I tried to pack it all:


Required Kit List

1. Backpack capable of carrying all compulsory items

2. Sleeping bag capable of withstanding nigh time temperatures of 0 degrees. Must be in dry bag.

3. Head torch AND emergency light.

4. 12 x Safety Pins for number

6. Survival (bivvy) bag

7. Small flashing red light, to fit on back of backpack in darkness

8. Sunscreen

9. Lip balm

10. Medical kit, with special provision for blisters

11. Tissues / Wet wipes

12. Hand cleaner

13. T-shirt (long or short sleeve) quick dry material.

14. Waterproof jacket and trousers

15. Warm mid layer, lightweight down sweater or similar, for use on a cold day, or at the camp in the evening. All clothing must be in dry bags

16. Running shorts and tights

17. Hat 1 – suitable for protecting head and neck against the sun

18. Hat 2 – For warmth during cold evenings

19. Trail running shoes

20. Socks, minimum of 2 pairs

21. Lightweight, warm gloves

22. Sunglasses with UV protection.

23. Food and nutrition for complete event,

24. Hydration system or water bottles. You must have the capacity to carry a minimum of 2 litres

25. Sleeping mat

26. Any extras: chargers, camera, extra food, gaiters, ipod etc.


So ALL that has above to fit in my backpack. As I mentioned in the video, at least the weight of the pack will go down each day as I eat the food I bring (more on that in upcoming weeks). Basically by about 1.5 pounds per day.


The good news was that all that stuff together only weighed 24 lbs, which is not an unreasonable starting place (packs are usually between 18-30 lbs).

Bad news was....I couldn't fit it all in my current pack. 😬


I immediately ordered a slightly bigger pack than my current 35L one (I was looking for 40L, but ended up buying a 44L one by Teton). There's no problem bringing a bigger pack as long as I don't give into the temptation to bring more stuff and make it heavier. I've ordered new packs before but didn't like them, so sent them back. Hoping this one will work better.


In addition to the backpack you carry, all Fire & Ice competitors must turn in a drop bag, (which is the bright blue bag in the back of the pictures).


The drop bag contains warm clothes—hats, gloves, pants, shirt, jacket, some extra medical supplies, etc. but NO FOOD allowed. The drop bag becomes available at the discretion of the organizers, generally if the weather drops below freezing at night (which happens often in Iceland, even in August, and we're sleeping in tents). Racers can also request their drop bag once (even if organizers don't offer them to everyone), but you are given a 10 hour time penalty.


Let's be sure to mention that Janie will not care about a 10 hour time penalty being added on to her official time if it means she can sleep comfortably.


And wear this hat. 🤓


This week's training:

9 mile -9.5 lb pack (pain = 1)

2 mile run; 9 lb pack (pain = 1)

11 mile run; 10.5 lb pack (pain = 1)

13 mile run; 10.5 lb pack (pain = 1)

TOTAL: 35 miles, no cross training


After spending a crap-ton of hours researching and trying to figure out my training plan...I've decided to do two 7-mile runs, then two back-to-back longer runs each week. So 4 runs, and 2-3 days of cross training (some sort of strength training or workout that is NOT running).


This week's long runs were both supposed to be 13 miles, but we were at a basketball tournament so things were a little crazy. Something I've learned from all my running: you have to adjust your running to life, not make life adjust to your race training. But next week needs to be 7/7/14/14, with an 11 lb pack. We'll see how that goes.