|Photo of the Sky Pilot area from web|
This is the race I've been waiting for all year and even more so since talk of Via Ferrata type terrain was going to be involved. I raced Buckin' Hell and Squamish 50 this year and without a word of a lie, Gary and Jeff don't actually know how to put on a bad race. Not only are the venues exquisite and dreamy, they're challenging and one loves to hate them. Outside of course planning and management, it is clear the details are better than taken care of.
In putting together SkyPilot it would seem they created much of their own terrain with the likes of Eric Carter and Jean-Francois Plouffe, no strangers to big mountain terrain. In my mind, combining these guys with Gary's will to challenge and impress his"clients", I'd say we're in for a serious treat.
I'm excited is an understatement. As I said to good friend James Marshall yesterday, I don't have a clue how to race something like this. Will it be hands down? Will I be able to safely run exposed, narrow, single track with others around me? It seems we'll all be shooting for a Killian-type experience. I anticipate it to be a whole body experience and not solely a leg burner. Mentally as well, I predict vast numbers of foot placement decisions in conjunction with accelerating and decelerating thousands of times based on the changes underfoot. All the while trying to take in the vastness of the terrain around me. I have not taken it lightly that, although the route is stunning it is also very dangerous. Coast Mountain Trail Series has taken on some serious responsibility in bringing this to us and I hope everyone follows the rules and takes care of each other. It would seem that a race like this will be more of an experience than a race and the camaraderie will be what's most valuable out there.
Tales to follow and good luck to everyone who is about to taste Sky Pilot, the 12k or the 19k.