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Bataan March New Mexico advice
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Heath Poulter
(hpoulter) - M

Locale: Southwest
Bataan March New Mexico advice on 12/15/2013 14:37:42 MST Print View

I am doing this Bataan March in New Mexico with a Veterans group that I am a part of and I was wanting to get some opinions and advice on what to wear for this event; from socks, baselayers, midlayers, to hats, sunglasses shoes, etc.. The temps in the morning can be in the upper 40's and during the day up into the 70's. The biggest problem is blowing dust and wind. The course is 26.2 miles long and is quite arduous. I want to be as light as possible but be prepared for the elements and remain safe. Our goal is to finish in 10hrs. Please folks let me know what you think will help me to complete this race. I have wide feet and plantar fasciitis so I am quite limited in the shoe selections I can make other than that I am all ears.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Bataan March New Mexico advice on 12/15/2013 15:29:29 MST Print View

I'll likely be there solo to to test myself out (plan on doing some "sand" walks leading up to the actual miles). Think the footwear advice is correct as a friend of mine lost all her toenails (she was a middle age woman) but still completed it. She and a girlfriend just trained on walking in sand east of New Mexico St.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Bataan March New Mexico advice on 12/15/2013 16:03:08 MST Print View

If your goal is to finish in 10 hours, it sounds like you're trying to place highly in any of the categories. That's how I do 30-40 and 50-mile day hikes. For myself in my 40s and 50s, if I train to where 1/4 the event distance is effortless, then I'm going to finish, although I might be tired or sore. If I train a lot at 1/2 the event distance, the event itself will be no problem.

10 hours and going light allows you to hike the whole way, if you keep moving. Injuries and exhaustion are so much less likely hiking than running, so I'd work on keeping moving. During all your practices, eat as you walk, drink as you walk, adjust clothes as you walk.

Don't start out too fast. It's always tempting, but I've always regretted it. Start with a pace you can manage for the whole 26 miles.

Particulars on gear:

Two pairs Smartwool socks in rotation. I change sock every 10 miles (every 8 miles in this event), letting the other pair dry out and fluff up (beat them against a rock/branch).

Whatever lightweight shoes work for you, but have LOTS of room in the toe box.

With those temps, I'd do running shorts, a wicking t-shirt, a puffy, a wind shirt and a sun hat and peel as the day goes on. If it was unexpectedly cold, I MIGHT add wind pants, but for 28 miles in the Grand Canyon, I had only what I listed even with a 30F start and 30F and snowing finish.

I don't know how old you are (I'm 52), but I haven't found any limits to what I can do with age, but I definitely need to condition for longer beforehand. As someone said: do sand work, since that is its own challenge on this course. Set up a goofy-easy schedule of training, but start it early and stick to it. For instance, stair climbing (actual stairs, walking up and down): 10 weeks in advance, do 5 minutes each morning. Each week, add 2 minutes and 2 pounds. In 10 weeks, you'll be doing 25 minutes with 20 pounds on your back without ever having felt sore or wiped out.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Re: Bataan March New Mexico advice on 12/15/2013 16:23:40 MST Print View

Well one thing I should point out is the ONLY way to be certain is to just use the shoes yourself. People can be VERY different in how their feet respond and what works for you may not work for others (and vice versa)

A couple of pro-tips I've found over the years.

1. if you start getting blisters, try to wear your shoes loose, VERY loose. This also helps with circulation. I wear my shoes so that they can actually flop around a bit... YMMV here but it's worth a try even as a plan B.

2. Every hour or so, try to lay down for 5-10 minutes... on a horizontal surface. Sit down on the ground, take your shoes off, massage your feet for about 1-2 minutes each. The just lay on the ground and stare at the sky. It works WONDERS for me and seriously extends my mileage for the day.

Good luck.

Heath Poulter
(hpoulter) - M

Locale: Southwest
Re on 12/15/2013 16:40:12 MST Print View

Thanks for the info, I am 33 I hike regularly and I have run a half marathon this year and I run/snowboard regularly. I have smartwool socks in a few varietites; lightweight, midgweight and PHD's, my personal favorite is the PHD's. Water, electrolyte drinks, bananas and oranges will be provided every two miles as well, I am wondering if I should bring other foods and a hydration bladder? I was thing about wearing hiking pants as I am not a fan of shorts in case I fall down or encounter the blowing winds that I have heard about(blowing sand feels terrible, I live in Phoenix and we have some nasty dust storms in the summer), a light jacket and a long sleeve wicking shirt, a large brimmed hat and sunglasses. I will probably bring a bandana and goggles if the sand kicks up, I am definitely bringing a first aid kit and I don't know what else to put in my pack. We are just trying to keep a 2.5 mph pace, we might pick up the pace in the end to ensure we finish at the 10hr mark. I was looking at some lightweight Merrell proterra mid hiking shoes they are one of the few shoes that have a large toebox and are naturally wide by design. I plan on running more every week and doing long hikes in the mountains near my house. There is a trail I like that is 4 miles long and has an elevation change of 1,300ft in that 4 mile span and it starts out really sandy and becomes very very rocky. I think it will be a perfect analog. I figured I could just do loops on this trail to get my self acclimatized.

Also I have tried on hiking shoes/trail shoes by every single manufacturer out there and not a single one of them fit my feet with the exception of the Merrill's they were the only ones that fit my wide feet, had a large toe box and accomodated my orthotics.

Edited by hpoulter on 12/15/2013 16:58:48 MST.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Bataan March New Mexico advice on 12/15/2013 19:08:26 MST Print View

Hey Heath,

Gear is secondary, physical preparation should be your first order if it isn't already. I live in Las Cruces, NM which is the closest city to the race and have several friends that train for this event every year, both in the light division and the heavy, so I'm very familiar what's needed for runs of this length, this one in particular.

Are you planning to hike this event or run? If you're planning to run Bataan, you need no more than a pair of shorts, shoes, shirt, maybe some liner gloves at the start and some water/supplemental calories to get you between the aid stations. My running partner runs this race in a racing singlet jersey, a pair of split shorts, shoes, and a handheld bottle- what Bataan requires is subjective as with anything. March is fairly mild, but can occasionally be fickle with the winds that blow through the Tularosa Basin and off the east side of the Organ Mtns. Temps out at the start can actually be at/or below freezing at the start and can reach the low 80's in the day at the high end. In warm years people have suffered out there due to being ill prepared for the distance and the exposure- there is ZERO shade the entire length of the course, so keep that in mind if you plan to be out there for 10hrs.

If you're hiking and carrying a pack, I would suggest a kit list along these lines:

-Thin baselayer T-shirt, wool blend or synthetic
-Thin breathable nylon hiking shirt with long sleeves that can be rolled up or down to regulate temperature and sun coverage
- Midlayer *I would skip this altogether, unless the weather the day of is expected to be on the chilly side. Start your run or hike of Bataan on the cool side, you will warm up very quickly once you start moving.
-Light liner gloves for the start of the race when you're waiting around in the cold
-Sun visor or full coverage hat of some kind
-Bandana to wipe snot, additional sun coverage, face protection in case the afternoon winds pick up, wipe sweat, etc.
-Lightweight hiking pants or running shorts
-compression shorts to help prevent chafe and keep your goods all snug as a bug
-Preferred socks that work well with your feet for all day hiking (consider packing a second pair or be deliberate in monitoring your feet condition, you'll be crossing through miles of arroyo crossings and sand)

-Lightweight gaiters
-Pack (*I would look into a lightweight running vest pack [ie. Nathan Hydration, Ultimate Direction, Ultraspire] that holds either bottles in front or a hydration pack in the rear- oversized backpacks and even day packs aren't necessary if you're doing the light division. These facilitate hydration on the go and storing/accessing calories efficiently)
-Sunglasses, any old pair that you have
-Shoes. You have PF issues, so what works for you is up to you. No one here can suggest a shoe that helps prevent PF flare up. I've heard people say switching to minimalist trail running shoes helps with PF and others say uber cushioned shoes like Hokas help alleviate PF issues. Find something you can wear all day.

Anti-chafe, if that's an issue for you
Sunblock, generous amounts of sunblock for the light skinned folks. We're a few thousand feet higher than you in Phoenix and our sun bakes the snot of you in the high desert if you're not well lathered up.


I'll be out there this year running in the civilian/light division. Maybe we'll cross paths at some point.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Bataan March New Mexico advice on 12/15/2013 19:47:06 MST Print View

Hi Heath,

I had PF pretty bad for a while. After visiting a podiatrist, he recommended Spenco cross trainer insoles. As soon as I put them in my shoes, the problem completely disappeared within a couple weeks and hasn't returned in almost three or four years. Our local Fred Meyers stopped carrying Spenco insoles so I tried out Smart Feet (green) and they've been just as good for two of the last four years.

My coworker suggested the death march a couple years ago but we never followed through with it. Sounds like a fun challenge but the sand will be grueling.

Heath Poulter
(hpoulter) - M

Locale: Southwest
Re on 12/15/2013 19:47:32 MST Print View

I am walking the light division, the guys I am with will be doing the heavy division. I am not ready for that and pretty sure I don't ever want to do that. I have run marathons in the past but there isn't enough time between now and then for me to be in marathon shape. I am not worried about the physical preparation aspect as I have trained for many half and full marathons and I hike extensively in crappy Arizona sandy and rocky mountains all the time. I have some brutal trails I plan on using for training.

Edited by hpoulter on 12/15/2013 19:50:44 MST.

Heath Poulter
(hpoulter) - M

Locale: Southwest
Re; PF on 12/15/2013 19:49:12 MST Print View

Ian, I have had it for 9 months now and my left foot hurts constantly even with insoles, physical therapy and a night boot. I have also been stretching on my own every day. I am going to see a different doctor soon as mine isn't helping me to get any better.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re; PF on 12/15/2013 20:02:12 MST Print View

Sorry to hear that Heath. Sounds like I got off lucky.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Re: Bataan March New Mexico advice on 12/15/2013 20:07:20 MST Print View

Agree with Eugene. If you are properly trained then you could run or hike that distance with little effort. I would focus on the training and Eugene's list is pretty close.

Heath Poulter
(hpoulter) - M

Locale: Southwest
Re on 12/15/2013 20:13:42 MST Print View

My concerns do not lie in the training. I have ran a full marathon numerous times, and hiked significantly further than this but I have never done an event that lasts 10hrs straight and I am most concerned with nutrition, hydration, endurance with an event lasting this long. The second thing I worry about is my feet holding up with my PF. The last is making sure I am prepared for the weather with the proper clothes and attire this aspect is the one I am the least familiar with and why I asked for help here.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re on 12/15/2013 22:01:10 MST Print View

You may want to look at some maltodextrin drinks. I started using Hammer Nutrition Perpeteum last summer and found that it gave me an extra gear and that I could hike further and climb more elevation without bonking. Hiking Malto has posted some interesting stuff on the topic here at BPL. If you're interested in concocting your own recipe, you can buy some maltodextrin and mix it up the way you want with electrolytes, koolaid for flavor, etc.

Sounds like you probably already have this on your radar since you've run marathons. Either way I'll let those who have this dialed in better than me discuss this in better detail.

Desert Dweller

Locale: Wild Wild West
PF on 12/15/2013 22:01:38 MST Print View

I had the PF bad for three years in both feet. New Balance Ultra Arch Support inserts and
stretching several times a day, doing the alphabet with my feet while laying down and
keeping those hamstrings flexible and stretched were my ticket to happy feet. Best of luck
at the march.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Bataan March New Mexico advice on 12/15/2013 22:36:37 MST Print View


The clothing/kit selection is pretty straight forward, but again, you will see everything under the sun on the morning of Bataan, from guys running in gas masks, lugging 45lb. packs in full fatigues, to guys running with nothing but shoes and shorts. I think my list above is pretty thorough for walking Bataan in March.

Keep the sun off of you to prevent dehydration and sunburn, and whatever you chose should dry quickly and not cause you to overheat or chafe. Manage your feet early and you're feet will thank you. Not much more to it.

As far as nutrition, that too is going to be dependent on your preferences and physical needs and conditioning going into Bataan. Good rule of thumb is to stick to a 100-200 calorie per/hr. fueling schedule (*set yourself a timer if you have to, I always forget to stay on top of my intake), in the form of carbohydrates (maltodextrin, sucrose, fructose). Since you're walking Bataan, the effort is going to be low intensity, so no need to really take in more than that per hour since you're not going to be pushing yourself beyond threshold. Gels and liquid calories are an easy way to get your fueling in, but there are other ways to get in calories. Real food works as well, but I think you're asking for undue stress on your GI system by incorporating starchy breads or proteins into the mix, especially if the temperature rises on the day of the event.

Hydration can be tough. Sipping water consistently throughout the day seems to trump gulping down water sporadicly, IME. Start hydration early and stay on top of it. It's hard to get out of a hydration deficit once you're in the red. The easier you make getting water into your system the more likely you will stay hydrated. If you store your water in bottles in your backpack, you will likely get behind on hydration unless you take frequent stops to fish them out. I would encourage you to pack a hydration bladder with a hose or carry handheld water bottles up front that are easily filled up at the aid stations by volunteers.

Endurance? You said you're familiar with the process. Pacing yourself and listening to your body is the name of the game. There may be people around you that take off like a bat out of hell at the start only to be passed by you if you maintain a steady pace. 10hrs. is a long time on the feet and can put a pounding on connective tissues and muscles. I would shoot for a training hike that gets you close to 10hrs. on the feet. Better to know before you drive to Bataan whether or not you can realistically finish it without severely aggravating your PF.

Ito Jakuchu
(jakuchu) - MLife

Locale: Japan
personal experience on 12/17/2013 05:03:48 MST Print View

I live close to a trail and have been doing traverses over a local mountain range, eventually increasing milage by walking off the mountains on the other side and going back up and walking home again.

My longest day has been 55Km (34miles) with a bit more than 5200m (17000ft) elevation change. It wasn't a race, just something for myself and I did it in 10 hours.

Some of the things I have found, which might, might not be useful to you and your trek. Take what is useful to you, ignore the rest of course..

Sustainable pace:
I never ran, only walked, at an average speed of 5.5Km/hr or 3.4miles/hr). I had done days where I went faster, allowing me to go a bit slower but longer for this day.

For me the trick was going fast but not too fast and be able to sustain that pace, almost continuously. I did one 10 minute break, and two other 5 minute breaks, mostly to change some kit. I try to keep a fairly fast pace on the climbs, recovering on the flats or descends.

So that means eating and drinking on the go, and also not stopping all the time to adjust your gear. I found during other days where I go shorter but climb harder and walk faster, that stopping to eat, stopping to navigate, stopping to get something from the bottom of your pack, etc. is one of the greatest time eaters. It is very hard, for me at least, to walk faster than an average 5~6Km/hr (3.5ml/hr) so my fast time comes mostly from consistency.

I mostly wear a base layer with a big ½ zip, a wind shirt with a hood, a buff/thin balaclava, and a cap. With this you can alter a lot of your temperature while walking. Neck and forearms are for me great thermo regulators. Zipping/unzipping chest zip, exposing forearms, donning my hood or not, etc. I bring a rain shell, but often don't wear it unless it gets around 0~6˚C (32~42F). I just get wet and because I'm hot I'm ok. At those times I do have my thin balaclava/buff and hood up to keep my neck and head warm. What also helps me a lot if at half way I can change into dry socks (smart wool PHD's as well) and a dry base layer. Really, really makes me feel as if I just started and I can highly recommend doing this if you can afford the weight.
I like shorts but with the bugs and rough plants and dirt I often wear a thin long pants. If I do wear shorts I wear dirty girls gaiters to keep some of the dirt out of my shoes so that I don't need to empty them out every hour. Though you might be forced to, if the trail you will do is that sandy. Anyway, taking care of your feet sooner rather than later if something is bothering them will prevent that small irritation from grinding you down to a snails pace (or a full stop of course).

For hydration I have water mostly. I don't really like sports drinks, but you do need the minerals of course. Here in Japan we have hard candy with salts in it. I take those and hydrate. I have also made tea with honey and salts which you could try as well, but if you do I would try that a couple of training sessions before so you know how your body responds to it (too much salts and you might get the runs for example).

For food I had a lot of dried fruits (dates, figs, raisins, berries) some cliff bars, nuts, and probably bananas although they are heavy. I personally liked the dried fruits better than the carb gels etc. that runners often take. If you have trained a lot already and you don't overdo it with your speed your body will not eat into its glycogen storage as much. Even then you should probably try to eat consistent small amounts of carbs. I eat and drink something every 30/45 minutes I think. If I eat bigger, heavier carb/calorie bombs I don't feel as 'light' and need to stop to eat and rest a bit. So I keep it small and light and as natural as possible. If the weather isn't too hot I love to bring lots of chocolate though.

Not sure if that is useful at all. I would test any changes in the system or clothing you already have beforehand so you know if it works for you or not. Since you run you probably know better than me to listen to your body seeing what you can keep up with, and when you can sometimes push a bit. For me the last hour or two were absolutely killer. Shaking legs and bruised feet on a steep descend and it was mostly autopilot.

Hope you have fun out there!

edit - think Eugene above did a better job of talking general principles, especially regarding hydration/nutrition (don't get into a deficit, it's harder to re-hydrate than to stay hydrated etc.).

Edited by jakuchu on 12/17/2013 17:48:10 MST.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
PF: don't worry on 12/17/2013 10:05:34 MST Print View

I've had plantar fasciitis for about 25 years, and I wear orthotics routinely.

If your shoes work with your orthotics, and you aren't having trouble with your shorter activities, you should be fine. I wear ASICS trail runners (no Gore-Tex!), loose enough that I can slip them on and off without untying.

I take short breaks every 60-90 minutes. I sit with my butt at the same level as my feet, take my shoes and socks off, let my feet air out for a few minutes, then wear the driest available socks. Means I must hike a little faster to maintain my overall pace.

Figure out what works for you during training, and good luck!

-- Rex

Heath Poulter
(hpoulter) - M

Locale: Southwest
Re on 12/23/2013 09:50:16 MST Print View

Sorry for the delay in responding I have been swamped with/work family things before the holidays and for some reason I am not getting email notifications of new posts on Backpacking light. I appreciate all the advice.

Oh and 若冲さんどうもありがとうございました. Your post was very informative.