Brr, is it ever going to be cold on Saturday morning, which, if you're dressed properly, is going to be great for long distance racing!
Here are some tips on how to make the best out of this freezing but uniquely fast weather:
First off, everyone should wear an inexpensive but thick and toasty sweatshirt and sweatpants over your racing outfit. for at least the pre-race corralling, if not for the first few miles. Plan on peeling these off and throwing it to the curb, after you've warmed up (these throwaways will most likely get donated to Richmonders in need). I'd also suggest gloves/mittens and a fleece hat.
The key is to not waste valuable energy, prior to the start, by shivering to stay warm.
1. If you're racing the 8K most likely you're going to be in the 20's for the entire race, so I'd suggest wearing tights/capri's, a long sleeve shirt (over a short sleeve shirts or tank) with gloves or mittens and maybe a technical fleece hat or ear-headband.
2. If you're racing the Half, you will be in the 20's to start and will probably only see the low to mid 30's by the end. So, I'd suggest wearing a long sleeve shirt over a short sleeve or tank (you might heat up enough to take the long sleeve off), tights/capris, mittens and a hat. Legs get warm fast? Then start with the sweat pants but go to shorts after warming up.
3. Those racing the Marathon will start in the 20's and will most likely not see much more than low 40's in the latter portion of the race. It is supposed to be sunny, so follow the "15 degree warmup rule", which has you feeling 15 degrees warmer than the air temperature. So, your body will perceive mid-high 50's by the latter portion of your race. So, start with long sleeve over a short sleeve. The pants vs. shorts debate is up to each of your individual past personal experiences. So, if your legs get cold easy, I'd suggest sticking to tights the entire way but if they wamrup easily, then start with the sweat pants that you can peel off.
Gloves and hat are a must to begin with
Hydrate accordingly and stick to your normal electrolyte intake.
And, above all else, celebrate the fact that it's not going to be in the 70's like it was for so many of your fellow marathoners, who ran during any of the weekends in October. You can always warmup in the cold but it's impossible to beat the heat.
So, dress properly and enjoy this unusual down turn in temps.!
I'm looking forward to cheering for each of you Saturday morning (in my down jacket, mittens and hat)!