This upcoming February, I’ll be running the Susitna 100 for my 3rd time. When I ran it last year, I left my sled unchanged from the previous year. This year, I decided to make a few modifications. During the race last year, I made a point to pay attention to other runners’ sleds, and noticed quite a few using only a single pole. The double pole setup is really for stability and helping to keep the sled tracking behind you when you’re going downhill. Susitna 100 is a very flat course overall, so I really don’t think that’s necessary, and I’d like to try and cut weight this year anywhere I can.
After deciding to drop down to a single pole, the next decision was how to attach it to my sled. Previously, I just used rope running up the center of the pole, which is effective, but doesn’t do much for stability. Since I’d be losing the stability of the double pole setup, I wanted to do something different. I bought some stiff rubber tubing, cut it in half lengthwise, and used that to attach the pole to my sled, and to my belt. The tubing is stiff enough that it doesn’t allow the sled to flop around, but has enough give to act as a mini shock absorber.
Here’s the finished product:
So far this winter, I’ve been able to get in several good long runs pulling my sled. Many of them have been with friends pulling their sleds, who are training for Susitna as well. At least I’m not the only weirdo out there running around on the trails dragging a sled behind me! 🤪