Hey Jill, was just down riding the beaches in your neighborhood, man you can go forever down there. I was on my FatBike but it seemed that a SnowCat set up would work for most of it so great place to train. Here's some pointers though I havn't done the SU 100 since 2000, can't be real specific but maybe AK 29 can chime in.
The last few years were slog fests with lots of pushing. I would guess the finishers pushed around 30 to 40 miles (AK29, correct me if I'm wrong). But there have been years of yore when there was almost no pushing involved.
Depending on conditions, you could finish in around 14 hours if it's hard and fast and around 24 hours or more if it's soft and punchy
For footwear I prefer a shoe that's comfortable to walk in and big enough for a pair of heavy wool socks with a NEOS overboot over that for warmth and overflow protection. The rubber sole on the NEOS grips pretty good on ice and works great on snow. Also they are so big they actually give you a bit of flotation like a snowshoe and makes pushing much easier.Also, go with a BMX style flat pedal instead of clipless cause you're on and off the bike so often and the metal SPD cleats can ice up.
The last few years have been relatively warm for the race I don't think it got below much zero (AK29?). For lights, the new generation of LED's work great and the batteries last a long time. A good and inexpensive set up is a Cateye or similiar 5 led or 1 watt led handlebar light with a smaller LED like the Petzl Tika on your head.
Anyhow, don't be too daunted, just keep on training and you should do just fine. It really is a real fun race mixed in with a bit of pain and suffering for good measure.
Thanks for the good advice. This definitly gives me a start on training on what to expect (which can be hard down in Homer. It's so warm and wet here this month.) I have been riding on snowmobile trails around town. After the thaw the trails were torn to shreds, and refroze like a boulderfield of ice. Tough riding. I took a few good spills. I have some specific questions I'd love to ask:
Out of curiosity, how much pushing do you usually do?
In past years, what has the average temperature been during the race?
Do you where anything (like cleats) on your feet to aid in pushing?
What kind of time do beginners who are not racing competitively usually post?
I think that's all for now. Any more advice is greatly appreciated.