MacGyver was an ultra runner

Well, if he wasn't, he should have been.

I've discovered that MacGyver's ability to turn a piece of chewing gum and a match into a battery charger would come in handy in solving some last minute logistical challenges with my equipment.

This is how I've been MacGyvering the Great North Walk 100s.

Challenge one: maps

It's a mandatory requirement to carry course maps and detailed directions. There are 18 A4 maps and eight pages of directions, though on each section, you only need to carry the maps for that section. They need to either be in a waterproof map case (like this one) or laminated.

I'm not familiar with this course at all, so I decided that the maps need to be easily handy for me. I usually put my maps and directions in one of my water bottle holders, but I need to be able to use these for water on the weekend.

A map case is fine if you only need a couple of maps, but in total there are 18 maps, and up to four between checkpoints. A couple of weekends ago I spent hours contacting my maps and I've roadtested a system whereby I hook them on to my pack so they hang to the back of me while I'm running.

There is a very real chance that they'll annoy the living crap out of me at some stage on the weekend but I'll take that chance for now.

Challenge two: battery charger

I bought my Garmin Fenix 2 primarily for the long battery life but I didn't read the fine print. The unit will work for 50 hours, but only if you sacrifice accurate GPS tracking. This isn't feasible because I need to know how far I've traveled to be able to use my maps and detailed directions.

So my Plan A was to use multiple devices and swap them at checkpoints, but then would I need to redo my maps so that my directions are based on ks from the checkpoint I switched rather than total.

I've decided to charge my Fenix on the go as I need to from an emergency mobile phone charger. Despite its limited battery, to its credit, the Fenix 2 can be worn while charging.

There's a very real chance that this too will annoy the living crap out of me too but I'm going to have to suck it up for a couple of hours, a couple of times during the event.

The other random challenges

  • Gastro Stop challenge. Need I say more.
  • Vaseline challenge. Now that will get you thinking...
  • Actually reading the maps challenge. Let's just say I've been spending some time on Google Earth.
  • How much stuff do I need challenge. Do I need to change clothes, shoes, socks during the event and if so what's the optimal time to do so? 

I think it's suffice to say that I'm taking the logistical challenges in my stride and working them out one by one.

That's what MacGyver would do.

Related posts:
How I Barney Stinsoned my marathon training run

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