Microsoft word - 2006 mrar racer news#186a89.doc

2006 MRAR Racer Newsletter #2
August 4, 2006
Sam Council, Course Designer

Hello to everyone and welcome to the second installment of the Midnight RushAdventure Race Newsletter! These past weekends TBARC officers and your race staff have been testing yourrace course. They’ve measured distances for volunteer and race teamdirections. They’ve made pretty good timing estimates for the fastest andslowest teams. Race maps are being prepared. Passports are completed.
Race instructions are completed. It’s all over but the crying.
“So”, you ask, “what does the current wisdom say about the race?” Answer:“When the starting gun fires, you’ll scatter like spooked Gazelle fleeing from apride of starving lions. After that, it’s all uphill from there.” Rogaine-style races…wow! We’ve calculated 205,441 ways to race this course.
Number 106 is to visit the three mandatory checkpoints and return to the finishline 30-minutes later. And yes, you would be considered a qualified finisher! Beware, return in 30-minutes and you’ll be recruited to perform all the nastyvolunteer tasks nobody else wants. I’d recommend you find a shady spot andtake an 11-hour nap to avoid some back-breaking work.
Let’s get down to business. BTW, sorry for the length of this newsletter.
2006 MRAR – No UTM Plotting
No changes from the 1st newsletter. Still, no UTM plotting.
2006 MRAR – Checkpoint Locations
No changes from the 1st newsletter. Still, no trick checkpoint locations.
2006 MRAR – Scoring
We’ve revised the scoring…read on.
Teams will receive points for each checkpoint they reach. Generally, teams willreceive one point for each checkpoint. Because of the unusual nature of somelocations, several checkpoints will carry a weight of two or more points.
Rankings will be assigned to teams who complete the race within the prescribed,final race cutoff time of 15 hours. Rankings will be ordered from the most-to-least point totals. Teams with lower race clock times will be ranked above thosewith higher race clock times when point-total ties occur.
Teams who miss the final race cutoff time of 15 hours (highly unlikely), but visitedthe three mandatory checkpoints, will be ranked teams. Their ranking will fallbelow teams who complete the race within the final race cutoff time. In therankings, nothing will indicate these teams missed this or any other cutoff.
2006 MRAR – Intermediate Cutoff Times
This is a new section.
Your race staff wants every team to cross the finish line within the final racecutoff time…every team. If you are healthy, your job is to KEEP RACING andours is to get you across the finish line.
The race includes cutoff times at several checkpoint locations (locations to beincluded in your race instructions). If your team arrives at a checkpoint after theprescribed cutoff time, race officials will direct you onto an alternate route.
Alternate routes are designed to shorten course sections. Don’t argue with raceofficials when they direct you onto an alternate course…get moving and take thealternate route. This will likely save you from a race-ending DNF(Did Not Finish)later.
Teams placed on alternate routes remain qualified teams. No DNFs (Did NotFinish). No alternate rankings. You still have a chance to win the race. You willmiss checkpoints however, and will not accumulate those points. In the rankings,nothing will indicate you missed any cutoff.
2006 MRAR – Penalties
This is a new section.
In most instances, penalties will be assessed by subtracting checkpoint “points”rather than assessing time penalties. This is quite severe, since there are only20 or so checkpoint locations.
As your team successfully completes gear check, you will receive maps and raceinstructions. These instructions will include rules and restrictions that must befollowed.
2006 MRAR – Two-person Teams
Only 3-person teams may register for the Midnight Rush. However, two-person
teams will be permitted to race in the event a teammate is forced to withdraw.
Two-person teams will be ranked in the cellar, just above the DNFs, bankrobbers, and cattle rustlers. In the rankings, nothing will indicate you finished asa two-person team.
2006 MRAR – Hydration Alert!
This is a new section.
The race course is located in a “primitive” area. You won’t have access to
treated water anywhere on the race course
. Race staff won’t have fluids for
you at checkpoint locations. You may race up to six hours without encountering
a stream or flowing spring.
No, you aren’t racing in a desert. You may be encountering higher elevations forsustained periods. You may be traveling these elevations at night. Locatingwater sources in these conditions may be difficult.
The two most important items during gear check will be a water purificationsystem and fluid storage capacity greater than 80 ounces.
2006 MRAR – Paddle Section
This is a new section.
Current water levels are perfect for adventure racing…no kidding. Class IIIrapids have been reduced to babbling brooks flowing around house-sizedboulders. Class II rapids are spread thinly across river-wide ledges. Watertemperature is a wonderful 84-86 degrees. Sounds like a lazy day at a fancyspa, doesn’t it? You will have portage opportunities…before, during, and after the paddle section.
2006 MRAR – Course Layout
No changes from the 1st newsletter – still a Rogaine-style race.
2006 MRAR – Special Challenges
No changes from the 1st newsletter – no special challenges.
2006 MRAR – Drop Zones
This is a new section.
During gear check, two of your teammates will follow written instructions totransport your bikes and canoe to designated drop zones. After they depart HQ,race maps, race instructions, and passports will be issued to your teammate whoremains behind.
Why Drop Zones?Drop zones are a necessary evil to avoid triathlon-style transitioning from acentral location. A centralized transition zone limits the overall “size” of the racecourse. The MRAR race course is enormous, requiring four major transitionareas covering three states.
Drop Zones are a PainTraveling to the drop zones will consume an hour (yikes!). Your drop vehicle willmake a giant, one-way loop through the mountains of North Georgia.
In the next newsletter we’ll announce the last-departure time from HQ to dropyour equipment…likely 9:00 pm. After that…your equipment will remain at HQand you’ll be running the entire race…completing a 55-mile foot race. In thisinstance you would remain a qualified team…interesting.
Drop Zone MannersWe’re doing everything possible to avoid waiting times at the drop zones. Bepatient with your volunteers if you encounter a short wait.
Drop VehiclesYour drop vehicle will travel on paved roads and graveled forest service roads.
Choose a higher clearance vehicle for a margin of safety. Four-wheel drivevehicles are nice but not required. A two-wheel drive pickup truck would beperfect.
Trailers are permitted, but will be a giant pain in the “bee-hind” on steep, curvyforest service roadways. For your mental health, avoid trailers.
Dropping Food, Fluid, and Other Supplies at the Drop ZonesNo food items can be dropped at a drop zone. This is a US Forest Serviceregulation. Volunteers would likely not survive drop zone visits from hungrylions, tigers, and bears if you set a table of bountiful treats for them.
Fluids may be dropped at a drop zone.
Mandatory race equipment such as bike shoes, helmets, and paddling gear maybe dropped at a drop zone.
Race officials will inspect your team’s drop area for forbidden items. A penalty
of one point will be imposed for each item found. Discovery of three items will
result in disqualification and removal from the race.
Race officials will inspect your team’s drop area for trash and discarded
equipment as you depart. A penalty of one point will be imposed for each item
found. Discovery of three items will result in disqualification and removal from
the race. No trash receptacles will be provided at drop zones or checkpoint
Gear Pick-up After the RaceGear pick-up locations depend on where you dropped it. For most teams, youwill pick up your bikes at the canoe put-in drop zone. This drop zone isseventeen, paved miles from HQ (start/finish line).
You will pick up your canoes at one of two locations. Each is within five miles ofthe canoe put-in drop zone.
2006 MRAR - Use of Non-race-issued Maps
This is a new section.
Use whatever maps, book, and encyclopedias you desire…anywhere on the racecourse.
2006 MRAR – Spectators
This is a new section.
As we race, we all enjoy the cheers from family and friends. We’re sorry to saythat this year’s Midnight Rush isn’t spectator friendly. The primitive nature of thearea severely limits vehicular traffic.
We recommend that spectators volunteer for checkpoint duty. Several locationsare dog friendly. One location requires a strenuous 3-mile hike (good exercise).
Think about it.
Hope this information helps your team prepare for the Midnight Rush. There willbe one more newsletter describing race logistics – directions to HQ, sleepingaccommodations, parking, etc… If you have questions, post them on the TBARCmessage board.
Good luck and have a great race!


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