10 Tips: Prerunning Baja

1. Gas & Water. You can never have too much gas and water, do not pass a Pemex unless your tank and coolers are full. When you realize you are out of gas or water its already too late and you will be camping out. – Cameron Steele & Chad Ragland

2. Pre-work not Pre-party. If you’re really going down to Baja to win then you need to go to work. Be the first out and last in everyday. Otherwise its easy to find drinking partners that will bring you and your team down. – Alan Pflueger

3. Take notes. I don’t care if you are Lightning Larry Ragland, you can’t remember every turn, rut, and gotcha. Use multiple forms of note taking, (GPS, Road Books, Rally Style Notes). – Chad Ragland

4. Only drive what you can see. Driving as fast as you can while prerunning will make you miss things and could give your chase crew unnecessary repairs – Cameron Steele & Alan Pflueger

5. Share the Aloha. Be an ambassador of our sport and be cool to all the people in Baja. All they ask for is a sticker (or ten) and maybe a little conversation. Its a gift to race in Baja and you never know when you will need some help.  – Alan Pflueger & Andy McMillin

6. Prerun Day & Night. If you have a night section, pre run first in the light. Take your notes, and learn it well before you do it at night because you won’t learn much in the dark. Prerunning sections at night only helps to familiarize yourself with the course and what it will look like come race day. – Chad Ragland

7. Traffic. Always expect oncoming traffic or livestock on both sides of the road, even dirt roads in the middle of no where, stay to the right of the road going over rises. Expect the unexpected, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. – Cameron Steele & Andy McMillin

8. Pause.Take time to look around. There is some really cool places in Baja. Old Missions, caves with petroglyphs, and all kinds of unreal views. This is a hobby for most all of us, and it needs to be fun, first. Pre-running is your chance to enjoy the beauty of Baja in its’ most raw form. If you’re not smiling, you’re in this sport for all the wrong reasons. – Alan Pflueger & Andy McMillin

9. Try different lines. This is Baja, and there are lots of different lines. This means you may have to stop your pre run winning pace and turn around and try different lines. It takes discipline, but it can really help. – Chad Ragland

10. Food.  Stop at Alfonsina’s in Gonzaga Bay for the best fish tacos, ever. Go to Rice & Beans in San Ignacio for some awesome food before heading out for your day/night of pre-running. “Super Burro” in Loreto is a MUST. It’s taco stand that is tough to find, but you will not have better tacos anywhere else in Baja. Heck, they use filet mignon for their carne asada! When you arrive in La Paz, hit up The Bismark on the Malecon. The best Lobster in Baja! – Andy McMillin

  • S
    Scotty Breauxman
  • October 19, 2012
Rule #0 (before#1)
Humble UP before heading DOWN
Sounds like the Baja 1000 "Ten Commandments".
  • B
    Bobby Velazquez
  • October 19, 2012
Good advises from the Pros !!
  • R
  • October 19, 2012
my uncle has a house in gonzaga bay and yes booomb fish tacos by far!!
  • D
    Dave Caspino
  • October 20, 2012
Rule #9? "turn around and try different lines" WRONG-never try this STUPID Advice!
Never go backwards on course...NEVER!
Try your alternate lines the 2nd time you pre run,this has gotten people killed,hospitalized,and crippled for life.
    • M
      Marty Hoffman
    • November 10, 2016
    It seems you think its race day everyday ? these are public roads used everyday by locals , Rerunning to turn around and go back turn around in a SAFE place, checking for a better route is not an issue , these are open roads NOT a closed course ,We are talking rerunning ... Yes expect oncoming at all times even race days. The day of race IS when you don't go against the flow if smart.
  • C
  • October 22, 2012
I never said go backwards on the course. Of course this is a bad idea. You must have use common sense in Baja above all else. I simply said "turn around" and try different lines. Turn around and take the highway back to where you started would be a great way to accomplish this.
  • K
  • October 22, 2012
Can anybody just come down there and prerun to check it out and enjoy the trip?.... Dont mean to ask a stupid question but honestly this is my question because I dont know. I live north there is no desert racing where I am.
    • K
    • October 23, 2012
    Kyle, yes pre-running is open to anyone and a good way to gut check if you are ready to enter such a big race. Good luck.
  • I
  • November 5, 2012
I wish more people would take the time to get some medical training... Most assume that just having that 500.00 first aid kit in each truck will save them. It doesn't mean jack if you don't know what to do with it. Spend the majority of that same money on training for multiple people instead of the kit then improvise when the need arises. More often than not your training will more then make up for the lack of supplies in the kit.