Lots of US and Canadian racers getting after it at this one starting tomorrow (Monday) morning. Anyone else planning to follow along?
I have a copy of the rules of travel in a digital document, but since Mark Harris tends to put this and racer maps up promptly once the race starts, I'll hold off on posting it someplace public until it seems like maybe it isn't going to be available on the tracking site.
Good luck to all the teams and racers!
Definitely watching - three teams to follow w/ local folks
edit: four teams if I make it state-wide rather than metropolitan
Lot of great media folk on the ground in PA and a slew offering dotwatching feedback from home. This is going to be a good one. Prediction is a fool's errand, but with Bones and Bend there it's going to be a horse race. Don't sleep on Rib Mountain, Rootstock, Untamed and Strong Machine. Here. We. Go.
Do they not have to get them all? I am confused by some rushing A8.
Here's the Route Book.https://adventureenablers.s3.amazonaws.com/Trackin...
There's also a description of the Stages at the Info tab on the Tracking page. Not surprisingly, it includes a nice history of the different areas. :)
The expected fast teams are done in Punxsutawney and headed to TA1. Bones leading by a nose.
Untamed New England is the only top team taking the south route to CP2 and it's not paying off.
UNE stayed on the south route and didn't go to CP2. Did they miss it on the map? They have great navigation and they clearly know where they are because they're making the right turns on their way to CP3. They may run into the lead teams (Bones and Bend) soon.
Team ThisABILITY also started on the south route and cut north at the place I'd expect - Bair Rd.
And there it is. Bend just passed UNE and now UNE has turned around to go back to CP2.
The geofenced times had them in 2nd at TA1 - dang, that's gotta hurt. Good thing they discovered their error before they went much farther.
[Edit: A whiteboard on Facebook shows slightly different times with UNE in 4th at TA1, 6 minutes behind Bones in the lead. The top 7 teams were all within 10 minutes at that point.]
Lots of race left for UNE to get back the lost time.
Absolutely! They're at CP2 already. Go, JayXC!
Bones and Bend taking much different routes to TA2. After punching 3 that is.
And they're both at TA2 getting ready to pack raft!
Looks like a geofencing issue for Team Strong Machine. I'm sure they punched CP2 but it doesn't show on the leaderboard because they didn't track close enough to the CP. They are right behind UNE, who are at CP3 now after riding past some teams.
The 2-man team Deviate currently arriving at TA3 in 3rd place consists of Mike Garrison and Kevin Poirier, who finished 5th on Team Rootstock Racing at Expedition Oregon 2022 along with UNE racer Jason Urckfitz (JayXC) and RD Abby Perkiss (Abiperk).
No much likely to change for the next 3-4 hours as teams trickle into TA and then slowly paddle the "lazy river" in packrafts w/ no nav until they hit the Curwensville Lake-O in early to late evening.
The 3 all-female teams hit CP2 within 4 minutes of one another and now they're about to hit CP3 close together too. That's going to be a fun race to watch!
Five teams on the river now:
1) Bones and Bend (tied)
3) Deviate (not Premiere division)
4) Rib Mountain
All other teams have cleared CP2 and are either at TA2 or on their way there.
@MHtrailvet...I'd put in that there is some "nav." on the paddle (CP 4) and that paddling a lazy river can be disorienting (distance measurement based on time is easily distorted) and sleep-inducing. So, I won't be surprised if a few teams paddle right past CP4 before they realize it and have to turn back for it.
It's possible, I guess. There look to be some solid river features at the CP location.
From Facebook - it sounds like there is some strategy on the river.
"Team Bones Adventure Racing and Bend Racing launched at the exact same time. They didn’t have much trouble getting started, despite the shallow water today. That said, Deviate elected to walk the opening stretch of river. It will be interesting seeing how much faster teams can move who can effectively read the shallow water and who commit to staying in the boat as much as possible."
For those who can see it on Facebook, the river is quite scenic.https://www.facebook.com/rootstockracing/photos/a....
It looks like the Wildlings (including AP's Work4Justice) arrived in TA2 with a 3-minute lead over "Masters In Age Only" in the female category. It looks like the Wildlings had a geofencing issue and didn't record CP3 so the leaderboard shows them in 3rd. The (actual) 3rd place Chickpoints have fallen behind.
Bones has a small lead over Bend. They've both passed CP4 on the river. Rib Mountain is at CP4 now in 3rd.
Following CP4 the water level rises and speed should pick up. The nav around Cville lake will be in the dark for most teams. It's a placid body of water but big enough that doing so in the dark will be an extra challenge.
Eager to see how teams tackle the upcoming "collect the lake CPs in any order and either on foot or by boat" section. There's likely to be some very different routes and times that could alter the placings considerably.
For what it's worth, I think I'd punch 6, 7, 5, & 10 by boat, then hit the TA and trek to 9, 8, 11 & 12. If the water is calm and paddling is going strong, I might consider bagging 12 after 10 by boat, then going into TA.
Looks like Rib Mountain is the first to break with the leaders in their route choice. They are moving fast on the water...maybe they'll gain some time?
Bend got to TA3 in the lead 7 minutes ahead of Bones. Rib Mountain is about to arrive in a close 3rd place. Teams are preparing to head out on the first of two long bike legs.
It seems like Rib made up some ground on Bend/Bones on that paddle? Great job!
Seems the darkness is making locating D1 a smidge difficult: Bones lost a bunch of time poking around in the drainage looking for it; Rib hasn't even gotten down into the drainage and is getting twisted apparently trying to locate the route down. Bend on the other hand, seems to have nailed it and has taken over the lead.
It may well have happened previously without me noticing...the staff having trackers seems like a great idea.
We always have a few trackers with staff at WT but we don't show them on the public map. I'm enjoying watching the hard working staff though!
All teams are off the water in Stage C. Facebook says that Texas Pride is continuing unranked with one member stopping because he felt unwell (but he's OK). It's not clear yet whether they took their tracker, which is sitting at TA3.
It appears that Bones got to TA4 about 15 minutes ahead of Bend. They've both started on Stage E "Into The Wild", aka the Monster Trek in the Quehanna Wild Area. Estimated time is 24-48 hours.
It looks like sleepmonsters got to Rib Mountain after CP17 and they've taken the wrong road to TA4. They'll have a chance to turn back toward the TA in a few minutes. Fingers crossed! At the moment, they still have a firm hold on 3rd place.
UNE (5th Premiere) is riding just over 1 km behind Rootstock (4th) close to D3. Male team Deviate (half of Team Rootstock from Exped Oregon) is about 2 km ahead of Rootstock.
It doesn't look like any teams are following the "red line" bike route near S.B. Elliott State Park. Bones found a way to get under the interstate and get onto the "red line" at the south end of the park, which gave them a much shorter ride to D2. Several other teams, including Bend, looked for a place to cross but retreated and crossed at the overpass. This will be part of the explanation for Bones passing Bend.
And Rib Mountain has turned toward TA4 and will stay comfortably in 3rd place.
Maybe Rib Mtn's route choice was by design? Not the most direct but less elevation gain/loss probably - avoiding the descent into the river valley maybe was the idea?
Bash were you talking about Munn Farm Rd? - Agreed, I don't see any reason to have not taken that.
Yes, that's the one. I was just looking at the maps and there are a couple of things:
- TA4 is near the corner of several maps so Munn Farm Rd. may not be as obvious to them as it is to us.
- Ardell Rd. is marked as a more major road so maybe they figured it would be faster.
CPs may be visited in any order on the Monster Trek. Bones went north to CP18 while Bend is heading south toward CP21. So it looks like we won't see head-to-head racing between the leaders but we will get to see how their different strategies play out.
What's kinda weird is that it would have been simpler for Bend to go straight south from TA4 to hit the road that CP21 is on. They also tried to get across in one other place before they turned south toward CP21. I wonder if they had a bobble at the start - or a change of plan.
Looks like Rib Mountain arrived at TA4 about 1 hr 20 mins behind 2nd place Bend. (Plus or minus some geofencing.) It took Bend 70 minutes to get from CP17 to TA4, and it took Rib Mountain 100 minutes. So if it was a creative route choice, it didn't pay off this time. Their last one did though! I look forward to seeing what they do on the trek.
That road looks more like a linear clearing and is only marked as a pipeline on the map. These are often very overgrown and very slow to move through. I suspect traveling Quehanna Hwy was much faster. They were probably hoping the road they checked (which is on the race map) might take them all the way through (as it shows on the race map). They ended up taking the next trail down marked on the race map.
It seems they are moving back to the road again.
Hi Abby! I hope you're getting some rest. :)
I assumed Rib's move was intentional, but hadn't figured out why, other than avoiding a dig out of the valley. Bummer it did not pay off. Go Richard!
Not yet, but I’m sitting here at TA4 on a lovely sunny day, sipping coffee with Jeff Woods, Doug Hershey, and Heidi. A rare calm moment so I thought I’d say hi!
Glad you have a beautiful day, Abby! Please say hi to all of them from the Attackpoint crew. I raced with Jeff and JayXC one time years ago.
@MrW, I'd assumed it was intentional until they missed Munn Farm Rd. But even that could be intentional - although definitely more of a long shot!
@Mayer22, ah, that's it! Unfortunately, the race maps are too low res for my aging eyes so I've mostly been looking at the different versions of the tracking map.
High res option perhaps, at least for contours and base map w/out course markups:https://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=41.23942,-78.34033...
For Bend's route, there are up to 5 CPs to hit as short out-and-backs from the road before heading south to the E CPs. Wonder how they'll play it.
Thank you, Mr. W!!
There are now 4 Short Course teams (skipped Mandatory CPs) on the leaderboard as well as Texas Pride, who are Unofficial with one team member out (and they do have their tracker).
The teams that skipped mandatory CPs did so at the end of the Stage C paddle/trek. That got me wondering if there was a cut-off but according to the Course Book, the first hard cut-off is the departure from TA6 on Friday at 4 pm. There is also a recommendation to leave TA5 by 4 am on Friday.
Maybe smart to get 21, 22, 23, and 28 and then south on the green line to E7 and beyond.
Good plan - looks logical. I don't know if top ARWS teams prefer head-to-head racing but I usually do better when I go my own way and don't see my closest rivals. How about you?
Unless you're friends and working together, I agree - much better to be off on your own. Keeping tabs on a competitive nearby team adds a bit of stress and maybe feels less like "pure AR" :)
The Wildlings (including AP's own Work4Justice) have a strong lead in the female category. They're just approaching the overpass between CP15 and S.B. Elliott State Park. The Chickpoints (love the name) are well back at CP13. Masters In Age Only are on the Short Course now.
The top Mixed Open team (i.e. not 4-person, thus not Premiere) is Adventure Addicts, including one of their RDs, Michelle Faucher. They are currently travelling with The Wildlings near that overpass.
UNE rode past Rootstock into 4th place and are currently at CP17, the last CP before TA4, the start of the big trek.
[It looks like the geofencing missed UNE's visit to D4 so the leaderboard may not reflect their lead right away.]
The top all-male team continues to be Deviate (half of Rootstock's Exped Oregon team). They're riding a few kms ahead of UNE on their way to TA4.
According to the TA4 videos on Facebook, there was wild weather during the night - thunder, lightning, lots of rain. Abby says it's sunny now though. There is a food truck at TA4 serving coffee, muffins and burritos - wow.
Rib Mountain gave a couple of brief interviews at TA4. For what it's worth, they didn't indicate any nav issues - although a top team might not say anything. They said they plan to sleep for 3 hours at 1 am.
Trackers between CP17 and TA4 are giving messages about "poor location fix" and "no cell signal" so I assume racers are using the small trackers from Adventure Enablers that work with cell signal. So far it's been good. I guess Pennsylvania has better cell signal than Ontario!
Was it legal to cross I-80 where Bones did? A lot of other teams seem to have checked it out and then retreated...
The map shows minor trails/roads leading to their crossing point and there is no indication in the Course Book that they must cross at the overpass. Given the calibre of teams who went there and chose to return to the overpass, there may have been signage or a fence or...?
P.S. Huge thanks to Mr. Wonderful for the link to that crystal clear map!
Good question, SM. I scanned every map and satellite image I could find, and there do not appear to be any culverts or underpasses in that entire stretch SE of the obvious offramps and overpass.
I just did the same thing, expecting to find a creek or culvert under the highway but it looks like they may have just dashed across the Interstate. Would that be legal in Pennsylvania? (Not race-legal but legal-legal.)
Looks like Rootstock crossed I-80 in the same place as Bones.
Bend, Rib, Deviate, and UNE checked it out but retreated to the overpass
Ha, just noticed all three of @kateness' Strong Machine teammates from ARWC Spain are in TA4 together, all on different teams. (Mark Lattanzi on Rootstock, Mike Garrison on Deviate, and Jason Urckfitz on Untamed). I think Kate should join them!
She's on her way! :)
So far Rib Mountain is taking the same clockwise route as Bones on the Stage E trek. Bend did 21-23-22 then headed south to E7 and then Mosquito Creek.
"Chase group" of Untamed, Deviate and Rootstock are starting off on the monster trek.
PA code says specifically that pedestrians can cross at places not specifically designated for crossing, but does also allow places to have specific rules. Whether the interstate itself had such rules, I'm not sure yet.https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/cons...
Given that they crossed at what seemed like, without checking time stamps, not exactly peak travel times, it wouldn't be the dumbest thing I've ever done.
There is now a new Short Course category on the leaderboard with 5 teams, including The Wildlings, the current leaders in the female category, and Adventure Addicts, the leaders in Mixed-Open. They all went straight from CP16 to CP17 without getting optional CPs D3 and D4.
Bones appears to be having trouble finding CP25 "Top of Rock Band".
Similarly, it looks like Bend had a little trouble finding E2 before they dropped into Mosquito Creek to get E1.
The geofencing has credited Bones with CP25 but from the way they're moving, it doesn't seem they've found it yet.
Rib Mountain is doing the clockwise route differently. Bones did 20-23-24-25. Rib Mountain appears to be leaving 23 for later.
Bones' dot is sitting right on CP25 so hopefully they've found it. They've been in the vicinity for 1 hr 20 mins. It will be interesting to see what happens when teams look for this CP after dark!
Untamed is also leaving CP23 for later. They're following Bend counterclockwise, heading down toward E7 and Mosquito Creek. Bend seems to be moving well.
Bones didn't find CP25 after all.
The Wildlings have decided to use the daylight and start the trek! The only other teams on the trek so far are the top five Premiere teams and the male team Deviate.
Bones still looking for 25. It's been around 2 hours. That sucks.
They've started moving in the direction of CP26 so I hope they found it. Rib Mountain should be the next team to attempt CP25 but they've been in a "No Mobile Signal" black hole for almost 90 minutes so we don't know exactly where they are.
Untamed has just passed E7 and is heading to Mosquito Creek. Rootstock is not far behind. Neither team got CP23 before heading into the optional CPs so they're 1 point behind Bend on the counterclockwise route.
Bones is moving well toward CP26, apparently not letting frustration get the better of them.
Deviate and The Wildlings are heading clockwise like Bones did. Still no sign of Rib Mountain's signal. They said they planned to sleep at 1 am so that's probably not what's happening.
Rib Mountain has reappeared and climbed to the vicinity of CP25 so we'll see how they do. Most other teams will be looking for it in the dark.
The male duo Deviate is following Bones' route by visiting CP23 between CP20 and CP24. I assume Rib Mountain didn't do that although their signal disappeared for a long time.
Untamed is heading to E2 to do the Mosquito Creek CPs in the same sequence as Bend. Rootstock is heading for the east end of the Mosquito Creek CPs, similar to the "green line". Bend is almost at E8 - making good progress.
Rib Mountain is having trouble with CP25 too. Bones has almost reached CP26.
What the hell is Bones up to now? Seems they nailed CP26, but now they are doubling back? Why not head SE for CP27?
It looked like Rib Mountain made an intentional move to CP25 - right on top of the dot on our tracking map - about an hour after climbing up. They spent some extra time in the area after that, though - maybe a break? They're enroute to CP26 now.
Rib seems to have moved on from CP25...did they find it? They circled for about 90 mins.
Good question, Conman. If someone wasn't feeling well, Bones would bail east from CP26 to the road. If they're fine, there's no reason why they wouldn't go to CP27. This is a crazy thought but is it possible they never found CP25 and they're going back to give it another shot? It's not really that far.
Seems plausible. Will they meet Rib on the way and then commiserate about if either of them found it?
In the movie, that's definitely what would happen. :)
Hahaha! In ECO, the RD would guide them to each other near a cameraperson so they could film the interaction.
I think they missed each other after all. Boohoo. :(
I wonder if Bones reported the flag missing but were told that Rib found it.
Untamed and Rootstock got to E2 by Mosquito Creek around the same time. Untamed came directly from E7, where they were a little ahead. Rootstock veered southeast first to pick up E5 on their way to E2 so now they are ahead.
Bones is back in the area of CP25.
And they are moving away again. I am betting they finally got it.
Wow, that had to be rough and demoralizing. Hopefully, finally finding it lifts their spirits and they start moving quickly again. And they are just about to reach the mapped roads.
If they are getting CP28 (which I think they definitely should at this point) they will have a shorter route than having to go to 26 first (so they should be able to get ahead of Rib again).
Oops, Rib already got 26 so Bones will still be just behind them.
Bones got CP23, which Rib didn’t, so they have an extra point in the bag.
Bend is just past E9, having picked up 10 of the 13 optional CPs. They still have 8 of 11 mandatory CPs left, going backwards on Bones' intended route. The fast estimate for this trek is 24 hours and Bend has been out for close to 12 hours. So far their trek is going very well but they'll have to find CP25 in the dark. I don't think the top teams have slept much yet so I'd expect them to stop at some point.
It looks like Bones might be napping on their way to CP28. Good idea after a frustrating few hours.
Rib has passed through CP28 so these two teams have visited the same number of CPs on this trek - 7 of the 11 mandatory CPs, none of the 13 optional CPs.
Rootstock was the first team to visit E5 on the way to E2 to save the climb out of Mosquito Creek valley, i.e. the Green Line route. It's paid off; they're still ahead of Untamed. The teams were neck and neck earlier in the stage. Bend took the same route as Untamed.
9 Mixed-Premiere teams on the Full Course
3 All-male teams on the Full Course
15 teams on the Short Course
4 teams on a lower ranked Short Course (missed Mandatories)
1 team Unofficial
Poor Adventure Enablers have enabled an unwanted adventure by turning off too early for CP19. It looks like they might have a nap there.
The lead male team, Deviate, has climbed to CP25 after following the same trek route as Bones to that point. They are starting to explore in the dark. Their initial climb got them closer to the CP than the previous two teams but then they turned south instead of north, alas.
Deviate got it! At least, their dot is on CP25. It took them 10-20 minutes in the dark (hard to be sure of exact times). We can't be 100% sure until they head for CP26.
The top female team, The Wildlings, are heading from CP20 to CP23 on their way to CP24 and CP25 - the same route as Bones. It looks like they might be napping now.
Yup, Deviate is heading to CP26. Maybe CP25 is more easily found from the south, which is where they started looking.
Rib did something unexpected. perhaps lost track of the trail they were on.
That's what I wondered too - maybe a parallel error where they thought they were on the Foley Trail instead of Gore Vista.
It looks like Strong Machine may be starting a nap south of CP20. They're on the full course, doing well and not giving us anything to comment on!
Speaking of naps, that sounds like a great idea. Looking forward to reading reports from the other dot watchers. Good night! :)
They look to be in very good spirits! And it looks really hot judging by their (lack of) attire; my FOMO just decreased a couple notches!
From Brent first thing this morning:
“Race director, Brent here!
A lot of chatter about how difficult some of the navigation is on stage E, sponsored by Visit Clearfield County. Indeed, we at rootstock racing are known for more challenging navigation than some races, especially on foot sections. Checkpoint 25 is particularly difficult.
Ironically, we have seen the lead teams really struggle with that point, but teams further back nailing it. Relatively speaking. This is a checkpoint that probably favors nighttime attacks. The reflective will surely help teams pick out the checkpoint, as it hangs along the top of a heavily vegetated rock band.
This very well may be the most challenging checkpoint on the stage, maybe in the whole race. There are different issues regardless of how you approach it. The climb up to it from below is massive, steep, and littered with enormous boulders. From above, the land is flat, and relatively featureless, and it is easy to end up on the wrong rim of the spur.
It is great to see some of the diverse route choice that is unfolding among the midpack and bottom half teams. And we are eager to see how Bend Racing tackles the last stretch of the stage. I think they still have 10 hours or so, even if they are clean. Depending on their ability to take advantage of trails and such, maybe they can speed it up a little bit, but don’t be surprised if they are out for a fair bit longer. Will CP 25 detail their impressive effort here?.
Back at the transition area, most teams were eager to get in and out during daylight, due to the heat. Teams that have come in after dark have generally been sleeping here for a couple of hours or more.
And a specific update on Moonhowlers. All is well. They decided to camp for a longer spell last night, and we should see them rolling into TA later today.
Teams better take advantage of the morning, because the afternoon is looking stormy. It could make a rough section even more challenging!”
A lot of teams slept on the 2nd night - a good choice on this challenging trek. Bend, currently ranked 1st, kept moving counterclockwise without any obvious issues. They stopped south of E12 and slept from 1-4 am. They're now at CP26 so we'll soon see what happens when CP25 is approached from the top, which Rib suggested might be easier in the FB video Conman shared above.
Rib also commented that they climbed from the creek to the wrong high point near CP25, which likely explains why Deviate had an easier time after choosing a different line up from Bones and Rib. Rib obviously thought they were being questioned about it because they had made a newsworthy bobble. They'll be surprised to learn after the race that they weren't the major story at all!
Bones is currently shown in 2nd place and that's probably right even though we can't be certain of accurate rankings until the trek is done. They're at E10 so they're just entering the points-dense southwest area. After the drama at CP25-CP26-CP25, they stopped to sleep from 9:30-11:30 pm. Since then they've been moving steadily and picking off CPs like the pros that they are.
Rib is shown in 5th but is really one of the teams battling for 3rd, given that they haven't been to the valuable southwest section yet. They made some sleepy-looking moves before CP27 then took a longer route from CP27 to E13 compared to most teams. They slept in an area with poor cell signal south of E12 so we can't be sure but they seemed to stop for several hours at 3:45 am.
I was curious so I measured the sort of, not quite corner to corner at 25, and it's around 250 m.
There is no way using only the map and circle center sans clue that a skilled club mate and I both walk to the same spot and end up within hand-shaking distance, or even accurate frisbee throw distance. A good reminder that I should stick to something with higher map scales and different clue / map relationship expectations, haha.
Would it be any less of a route challenge to put it on the highest point on the adjacent hill, with then allows everyone to go to the place once in the circle? Or on the terrace below. Or on any of the at least three distinct reentrants within 400 m. Or the pronounced spur bend at the north end of that ambiguous side hill?
@Bash so interesting the "meta-data" that teams get (or think they get) from being interviewed. hopefully Rib doesn't take away the impression that they messed up too badly at 25 and get down on themselves - they had a good go at it and need to keep pushing for the podium!
it seems Bones is about 2 hours ahead of Rib on the CW route. despite Bones spending hours at 25, they seem to have recovered and are moving really well. they left TA with about a 1 hour lead on Rib IIRC.
Interesting analysis, Mr. W. My thought on this CP was that the description doesn't sound like an identifiable point, which we aim for in orienteering controls but don't always get in AR. I assume the top of the rock band is a linear feature with the control somewhere along it within a large control circle. Maybe Brent and Abby can add further detail post-race, e.g. maybe the rock band has a highest point that is more obvious in the terrain than on the map. I can't remember the exact words from Rib's interview but they acknowledged climbing to the wrong hight point then reviewing the information and making a plan that took them to CP25. That suggests that the map and description gave them enough information but I'm sure we'll hear lots more about it!
@Silkychrome, agreed. We've all been in that position where we think about our friends or the RD watching our dot doing something strange. Rib is doing really well. Maybe they would have slept earlier if they hadn't been worried about their delay at CP25 but otherwise they've kept on plugging away. By contrast, Bones decided to sleep shortly after dark, immediately after their "adventure".
I LOVE Brent's/Rootstock's courses that I've done and recommend them wholeheartedly, but I have noticed that the flags, in general, are often hung in less conspicuous locations than your average AR. I am a proponent of the idea that, once you navigate to the circle, the flag should be readily visible or adjacent to a clearly identifiable feature. This tilts things more toward skill and less toward luck, IMO.
Rounding out our top five on the leaderboard, Untamed (including AP's own JayXC) and Rootstock appear to be travelling together now as they approach CP27 and the remaining mandatory controls. They both slept at E8 - maybe a 3-ish hour stop for Untamed and 4-ish hours for Rootstock. They've both been navigating well. Unlike Bend, neither of these teams picked up CP23 on their way out so they'll have a slightly longer trek to TA5.
Bend is within a kilometre of CP25 now. I think they're the first team to approach it from the top so we'll see if it seems easier that way, as speculated by Rib.
It turns out that in an interesting route choice, Teams North Star and Gung Ho approached CP25 from the top after taking a very indirect route from the bottom. They both had a couple of bobbles.
ThisAbility should be hitting CP 25 around the same time
ThisAbility is on a tiki tour to get 25. They came from 24 which is the creekbed control but instead of climbing straight up the spur, they continued low in the Sanders Draft, climbing out 2-3k to the east of 25 and then circling back around.
That's how North Star and Gung Ho did it!
Bend arrived at 10:56 am a little north of the CP. They've turned north first instead of south.
Bend arrived closer to the CP than Bones or Rib, who also started to the north. But now Bend is up where the other two teams started their search. Perhaps this is the place Rib referred to as "the wrong high point".
the tiki tour option follows trail and a jeep road, according to the map. I guess that looked more appetizing than the direct ascent of the bluff.
Like several other teams, Bend was so close to CP25 when they first arrived that the geofencing has already credited them with it.
It looks like they're there now - 15 minutes after arriving at the top of the cliff. We'll know when we see what they do next.
Yup! Heading downhill. So Rib may have been right about approaching from the top.
ThisAbility seems to be looking in the wrong place
I haven't mentioned Team Only MOSTLY Lost yet even though Canadian Owen Steele is racing with them. Bones includes Canadian Chad Spence so there has been lots of Canadian content here. :) OML is one of the 12 teams still on the Full Course. (Nobody will be moved off the Full Course until someone finishes the trek without obtaining all the optional CPs.) It turns out OML also approached CP25 from the top although not by taking the tiki tour. They went CP24-28-25, perhaps reasoning that would be easier at night because of the roads/trails. They didn't seem to have much trouble finding CP25. It would have been daylight by then. They're now missing just 3 mandatory CPs that are fairly close to the TA. It's time to decide whether they want to tackle some/all of the optional CPs.
Now that I'm looking deeper in the field, it turns out the tiki tour was pretty popular. Strong Machine did the same as part of a route that started north of the main road and dipped as far south as 22 before heading north to CP24-25-26. They didn't seem to have issues finding CP25 from the top. They've clearly focused on getting the mandatory CPs first. They're currently heading east from 28 to 27. After that, they'll only have to get CP21, easily accessed and just a few kms from the TA - and as many optional CPs as they want!
No Complaints is also a Full Course team going clockwise. They're ahead of Strong Machine and Only MOSTLY Lost. As per their name, they climbed up to CP25 in the dark and didn't appear to wander before shooting right back down. Like Strong Machine, they came as far south as CP22 and then they added an extra dip to E7. They're now at CP27, finishing their 2nd last mandatory CP other than CP21 near the TA. So now they can decide what they want to do about optional CPs.
Team ThisABILITY is the Lanterne Rouge on the Full Course - a very respectable position in this field. They went north on the clockwise route but dipped south to pick up both CP21 and CP22 so they will be able to stick to the road on their way back. They took the tiki tour to CP25, which they just found now after starting off on the wrong spur 500+ meters north of the correct one. They have 3 mandatory CPs left, then they can decide how to spend the rest of their day.
Bones' tracker shows them way far south of any recommended route, but it looks like they're probably correcting toward E8.
Thanks for all the info, Bash! SM also has a Canadian racing with us, Scott Cocks. So feel free to wave those maple leaf flags our way!
I always cheer for SM but I'll cheer a little harder now. :)
It looks like Bones got moving well on a road and got a bit distracted. I'm not that familiar with the legend of USGS maps. Is that a power line they crossed a while ago? They're correcting now.
Actually, my question may be irrelevant because it looks like Bones went south off the map (unless I'm not seeing another map they have) so they didn't have the power line on their map. I was looking at CalTopo. That explains why they're correcting so carefully. They are still south of the map but luckily there are north-south features they expect to run into as they head west.
Not to harp too much on the issue but I agree with MHTV (and Mr W) that 25 seems as though it was a bit vague in the information that was presented and wouldn't hold up to orienteering standards. It arguably should be just as identifiable as approached from any direction. If not then I agree luck is playing into the execution. It is arguably not much better than a control with the clue "hillside" since the entire hillside is a rockband. AR standards often aren't as high as O-standards, but I agree that definitive and identifiable points are best.
There was a similar (I think) point at Rootstock's last Crooked Compass. The flag was hung on top of a rock band in some brush. The clue was, top of rockslide, but the top of the rockslide was a good 100m long and covered in heavy vegetation where the CP was hung. It took me a few attacks to find it partially due to some poor execution but I was within 30m of it on 3 sides and didn't see it or the feature it was on.
Credit still goes to Rootstock for the large amount of CPs (lots of CPs in their races) that are OVERWHELMINGLY well-mapped, well-set, and challenging but I agree that there is the occasional CP/clue that is a bit too vague. And since large rocky terrain isn't mapped on a USGS map like an O-map maybe it is best to steer away from using them as definitive features.
Yes, they are off the map. Their current direction is concerning. I wonder if they made a parallel feature error and thought they were shooting west off of the more northern eastern jog of Clipper Rd.
Rootstock moved a little ahead of Untamed and is at CP28 now.
Unfortunately, Bend lost cell signal just after they moved downhill of CP25 so we have no update.
Rib is moving west toward E8, the same CP Bones is aiming for. Rib is on the Green Line and will gain some time on Bones on this leg.
Bones descended into the Mosquito Creek valley and surprisingly turned south instead of north. Probably they're looking for a better place to cross the creek and climb up to the trail they need to be on, which is partway up the slope on the west side of the creek. From there, they just need to go north to find E8, a "Vista" that appears to be right on the trail.
Oooh... if it's a parallel error, it could take a while to relocate. Interesting/scary thought.
Gah! They're still going south
I think you're right - they may think they're in Panther Run. Oh man, it is soooo hard to correct a parallel error when you're off the map. If they continue south to the junction with Gifford Run, they'll find a road and they would actually be able to get to E8 almost entirely by road - except those roads aren't on their map.
If they make it to the next river confluence, they'll really be in parallel-bizarro world and start looking for E8 there.
The one thing that might save them is realizing that they shouldn't need to go that far south to the valley junction - and that there shouldn't be an unmapped road there. But that's something that would be much easier to figure out if they had the map of the area they're in. These are super experienced racers so if anyone can do it, they can.
I think the road to the west of E8 is on the race map.
However the parallel spur to the south is not on the race map.
@MH hopefully if they get to that junction they'll notice the large reentrant/creek to the west (Gifford Run) and figure out they are not where they thought they were.
Yes, the road west of E8 is on the race map (Lost Run Road). But there are a couple of road junctions in the area off the map and they would need to make the correct turns at those junctions. You're right though - there should be several cues to show them they're in the wrong place if they get that far.
Meanwhile Rib is approaching Chipper Road, which dragged Bones south.
@ Silky, I hope so, but if they think they're in Panther Run, they'll be expecting that western tributary.
And Rib just crossed the road heading due west toward E8.
Rib does have one extra CP to pick up that Bones already has - CP23.
The top male team, Deviate, has reappeared and they are continuing to crush it. They're at E9 getting ready to head into the points-rich southwest.
The top female team, the Wildlings, are moving well. It looks like they spent a little extra time looking for some CPs, including CP25, but they appear to be following their plan well. After CP27, they wisely resisted the siren call of E13 to the east. They only need to get CP22 and CP21 on their way back to the TA. Maybe they'll dip south to get E7 or maybe they'll invest the day picking up points in the southwest?
Hopefully they realize that there is a reentrant to the NE and WNW and that should be a big sign that something is wrong. And if they do think they are in Panther they also should notice that they never saw the reentrant junction before mosquito run.
Even if they figure all that out. Getting back on track/the map is still going to be take time and figuring out.
Bones is almost at the creek junction. I just noticed that in addition to the roads, they'll also hit the Quehanna Trail, which - if they follow it north - leads directly to E8. I don't think they had Internet access when they were planning their routes and I don't see any information on the maps or in the instructions that names the Quehanna Trail. But maybe there is a map on a signpost that could help them?
Teams were provided a supplemental set of maps, of which Map 1 is the most relevant for Bones right now. It does include the area they are travelling now, albeit at considerably lower resolution. Another factor is that they may have opted not to carry this map.
Ah, interesting - thanks!
Bend just tracked at 20 - only 2 more CPs to go from there!
It was about 11 am when Bones continued past the point on Chipper Road where they should have gone west to E8 - about 2.5 hours ago.
They are obviously realizing there is a problem.
Lots of great info, photos and insights on the Rootstock Facebook page btw.https://www.facebook.com/rootstockracing
Bend has clearly assumed the lead by several hours, perhaps as many as 6 hours, on CP0 & Bones, who are currently (maybe changing to just CP0 momentarily) in 2nd. Bend will be back at TA in ~2 hours, perhaps less, if they cleanly collect the last two O' CPs.
Which team is CP0? (I'm sure the Murcans know but I don't!)
Ugh...have Peter Jolles on the mind: CP0 = Checkpoint Zero, Peter's team. I meant Rib Mtn.
Bend Bones is at the kind of location where you'd hope to run into a fisherman or hiker who might be carrying a map that could help.
I think we all have Peter on our minds. :(
Meanwhile, Rootstock is leading Untamed on the CP26-CP25-from-the-top route. They both need to get CP23 on their way out, unlike Bend.
Looks like SM, Mostly Lost, and No Complaints are all short-coursing themselves in the interest of saving time and lifeforce.
Looks like The Wildlings, Nerdquist and undoubtedly others have made the same call. It looks like a fun race course - might as well save energy to get through it!
Rib is just arriving at E8, the CP Bones has been looking for. Given all the CPs Rib still has to find in the southwest, I'd guess they're on track to get to the TA in 4th behind Bend, Rootstock and Untamed. But that's just a guess!
Bones is moving north on the Quehanna Trail now. So whether they used their expert relocation skills, the overview map, a trail signpost or a fisherman's map, they're now heading in the right direction and hopefully know where they are!
They're about 6-ish kms behind Rib on the same trail now, both heading north.
Chaos Required, the all-male leaders on the Short Course, are the first team back at TA4/5 with all mandatory CPs.
Up next on bikes:
STAGE F: ELK COUNTRY, Sponsored by Janney Montgomery Scott LLC
Distance – 60-94 miles (minimum/full course)
Elevation - +9100/-9900 feet
Once a bastion for eastern elk, Pennsylvania saw the demise of its natural herd in the second half of the nineteenth century, the result of industrialization and overhunting. At the turn of the twentieth century, the newly established Pennsylvania Game Commission conceived of a program to repopulate the state’s endangered wildlife populations, including elk. In 1913, as part of an effort to relocate the expansive elk population of Yellowstone, Pennsylvania welcomed fifty Wyoming elk and released them on state lands across Clinton and Clearfield Counties. In the century that followed, through tensions with farmers, contests over hunting rights, and seasons of disease and blight, the state’s elk population has grown to upwards of 1,400 animals. During this 90+ mile bike ride, racers will travel through the heart of elk country. And if our scouting missions to and through the area are any indication, they are likely to encounter some friends along the way...
Apparently Chaos Required plans to get all CPs on Stage F except F1 and F2.
Oh! I just realized we have the excellent overview map too - at the bottom of the PDF. Assuming Bones had it with them, it would be super helpful in relocating and finding the route to E8.
Nice pickup Bash. They weren't off ALL the maps after all.
Conman mentioned it above but I looked for the overview at the top of the PDF and assumed I didn’t have it. Really nice map!
Only about 4km left and one pretty easy CP (from the direction they will approach it) for Bend, before they get back to TA and realize they've taken the lead. If Rootstock mgmt and volunteers do what's usually required in ARWS races (complete silence about where other following teams are or how they are/have been doing), they will have no clue how far ahead of other teams they really are, nor who might be coming up on their backside. It will be time for a re-focus on the "race your own race" mentality and for look only forward, not behind. It is a very unique experience to be ahead late in races like this; you are truly alone with no idea where other teams are. Their own technical or nav. issues and sleep strategy may allow another team to pass them, which they'd pick up on at the next TA if they didn't see it happen on course. Barring any of that, the next chance for them to get a sense of those following will be at a one of the looped O' courses on leg G.
Now that I said all of that, it occurred to me that the next bike leg will take them on the road right through the heart of Leg E and they could see other contending teams as they pass through the first few kms. It's not likely, but possible up to about CP23, then they have nothing but rattlesnakes, elk, and maybe a few short course teams here and there.
Good insights, Conman.
Bones just reached E8 around 15:30. It was about 11 am when they missed turning off Chipper Rd. about 3 km to the east so maybe 4 hours lost? They must be feeling such a mix of relief and frustration. We've all been there and usually we don't have a GPS tracker broadcasting to the Internet when we make a parallel error. Time to put their heads down and race hard, as we know they can!
Rib and OML have just crossed paths (they can't have missed each other) at/near E6. Curious to have been a "snake in the grass" to hear what they said to one another. Now that I look at OMLs track and consider their probable plan, it appears that they might choose to travel together for a while, if they can keep up with each other.
Probably nice to see friendly faces after such a long trek! (If indeed anyone is looking friendly at this point.) :)
Strong Machine, Only MOSTLY Lost, Adventure Enablers and No Complaints have decided to pick up a few points in the valuable southwest part of the map.
Short course male team Recalculating was the only team in that part of the pack to head to E13-E12-E11 on the east side of the map. They may run out of time to get the dense points in the southwest though. They still need to get CP23-22-21 on their way back. This will put them ahead of Chaos Required if it doesn't make them run overtime somewhere in the race.
UNE seems to have nailed 25 without issue and moving efficiently forward (down)
Approaching from the top, it's hard to tell whether Rootstock found CP25 but their cell signal has disappeared, which usually happens when teams head downhill there.
Untamed shot a long bearing to the hilltop by CP25 and appears to have navigated to the flag without much trouble. They're now descending south of the CP.
Both teams need to do CP24-23-20-19-18 before the TA.
Looks like Bend could arrive at TA5 to encounter either Nerdquist or Adventure Addicts, both Short Course with all of the mandatory, but no optional, points here on Leg E. Curious to know how the leaderboard (whiteboard) will reflect the status of teams who have returned to TA5. Previously the TA4 whiteboard indicated how many CPs each team had collected, presumably checked by TA staff / Mark Harris on their passports.
Also looks like a team of 8 has formed with Wildlings, Masters in Age Only, and Finish Strong all converging while heading in the same direction, presumably for CP21, which is roughly on the way to TA5. That's a very wild group that I'd love to be following as they tick off the last kms of this stage. I bet there is a TON of laughter and silliness.
Photos of those whiteboards are really helpful!
Bones is currently where Rib was 80 minutes ago. I think they're moving more quickly though. Rib is in a cell signal black zone so we don't know where they are.
Seems the Moonhowlers have given up at tackling the O' Course after a bunch of zigzagging in the ravine just North of TA4/5 with nothing to show for it. No shame at all in packing it up and heading out on Leg F. Elk are much more fun to encounter during the day anyway, take it from a Wyomingite who lives with elk around town for 5-6 months every winter. Glowing eyes in the dark above your own head height...it's creepy.
REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wish they could live stream Bend in transition, but I bet the signal is not strong enough there for that to work. I'll settle for a recording posted a bit later, but not too much later.
I have Bend Racing at 30-31 hours to clear the trek leg (including any sleep)
Chaos Required reported seeing a copperhead and a rattlesnake so I'll bet Bend has even more to report. Yikes Conman, now I'm going to have nightmares of elk in the dark! ;)
Yikes! Why did Deviate climb up to the top of the spur between Panther and Mosquito...in the heat? Must be confused about what drainage they hit when the got to Panther. Another parallel feature error, I guess.
Strong Machine heading over to the honey hole of optional CPs in the SW and skipping the big southern route that only contains 2 CPs. Good move.
I was about to say, "Deviate is living up to their name"! Also, they've moved about 4 km in the past 2 hours. I wonder if they're feeling OK.
You're right Conman, they thought that reentrant was Panther Run.
Bones is about 500 m from E6. Rib and OML are still shown there but they've been gone for a while in No Cell Signal Land.
Bend is at TA5 at about 16:40, having visited all mandatory and optional CPs.
Rootstock, Untamed and Rib all have no cell signal and Bones is about to lose their signal. So we'll have to watch other teams outside the top five for a while - not the worst thing! :)
Deviate has navigated the trek almost flawlessly until now and they just started to backtrack where Panther Run curved northeast, highlighting their parallel error.
Rib just popped up at E1, the westernmost CP on the Mosquito Creek "loop". That's good progress. Bones must be past E6 by now and their signal is gone so we'll have to wait to watch them chasing Rib.
Similarly, Rootstock popped up at CP23 and is now heading north to get CP20-19-18 on their way to TA5. Untamed should pop up soon in the same area.
Rib just updated all the way across the honey pot at E1. Think from past experience that the tracker will send out their intervening data points as signal allows. I'm sure they got E4 and E3, but am curious if the charged up to E5 as well.
Meanwhile, Deviate is nearly at the bottom of the Mosquito Creek valley now, making a beeline for E8. That was a good, quick recovery.
Looks like Strong Machine couldn't resist the Lure of the Honey Pot after all. They're still heading southwest as the sun sinks lower. [Oops, MHtrailvet beat me to that a long time ago!]
Now that Deviate is looking really sharp, it's a good time to mention that they're 50% Canadian - Kevin Poirier. :)
Short course male leaders Recalculating made it back from the Wild East to E9. Given how bold they've been so far, I'd guess they'll go for the Honey Pot as well. Will there be a time crunch later on the course?
As predicted, Rib's missed pings in the drainage are now showing up. They did not get E5 yet and may have just missed E2, but it's hard to tell at the moment.
Short course female leaders The Wildlings with their partners in crime, Masters In Age Only and Finish Strong, are just heading down to CP21. From there, it's not far to the TA.
Not that they'll complain much, but Lars and Jason of Bend will have a smidge more time needed (10 mins?) to get their bikes ready since Lars' bike was packed for travel, not packed for race transport and probably needs a bit more work to get it built and ready to ride. Those fellas also will need to shift "stuff" from the bikes they have been riding back to their usual bikes.
Bend is out of TA5 on their bikes and passing thru the throng of short course teams headed to TA5 themselves. Seems that they only full course teams near them as the move through could be Untamed (but they are in the trees and won't go near the road after bagging CP23) and This Ability (but their tracker has been quiet for an hour, so they might be on the road or they might be across it off in the direction of the honey pot; also, they will soon be short coursed after missing some of the optionals out to the East). So, I suspect they won't likely see anyone who has potential to hunt them down.
Thunderstorm going thru TA right now. Heavy rains expected for next couple hours.
Ugh! Are you there, Ken?
Great job by Bend.
Untamed has just popped up near CP23. They still need to do CP20-19-18.
Rootstock is leaving CP20 at 6 pm. It took Bend 3 hrs 20 mins from CP20 to TA5. It gets dark around 9 pm (not taking into account thunderstorms) and Rootstock should arrive as darkness falls.
Nerdquist and the Addicts are both leaving TA5 with the apparent intention to skip F1 and F2, following in the tracks of Chaos Required, who seems to be weaving around the Bike O' already.
OML has popped up near E2 with only E5 left in the Honey Pot. Great stuff!
Bones is still in the Twilight Zone of the Honey Pot.
Educated guess time:
It took Rootstock about 4 hours in daylight to get from the TA to Rib's current position at 18:10 at E5, the northeast control of the Honey Pot. They did not visit CP23 (which Rib needs to do) so let's add a little extra for that, a little more due to impending darkness and a little more because everyone was younger yesterday. ;)
So an ambitious time for Rib to get to the TA might be about 22:30. They should arrive after Rootstock. It could be a closer battle with Untamed. Bones could pass Rib along the way if they're working hard to catch up.
Thunderstorms have descended upon TA4/5, and presumably the entire O' course, so I bet there will be some happy and wet racers soon arriving to TA after a whole day in the sweltering heat. I also bet the Wildlings will use some time at TA4 to make mud out of the gushing water and try silly things like sliding down the gullies while giggling like little kids.
Looks like Rib and Strong Machine have just missed each other at E5. SM took the hard way to E5.
But now Strong Machine is tasting that sweet, sweet honey.
Bend has reached F1, their first bike CP. Most teams won't ride the extra loop to get F1 and F2.
SM seems to have stalled out near, but not yet at, E5 and I wonder if they are sheltering from the storm and avoiding an exposed position with lightning strike potential.
Bones just popped up at E1 about 1 hr 40 mins after Rib.
No Complaints just did an out-n-back from E9 to E10. Sure thought they were itching to attack the honey pot and then loop straight back to the TA, but I guess something changed their minds. Now we see if This Ability makes a similar or different move from E9.
OML has apparently decided they've had enough honey and will go straight from E2 to CP22 rather than heading a little east to get E5 and E7. It looks like they set a deadline and they're sticking to it.
At 19:15, Untamed is at CP20, where it took Bend 3 hrs 20 mins to get to the TA.
Now it says SM has no signal, which is typical for that location. So they might be moving.
Bend is doing some strange things in Castle Garden. Kinda wonder if they're looking for a nice diner or something similar.
Edit: Moments later, they seem to have ditched the shopping in town idea.
It was a nice idea. :) Maybe they were looking for a place to take refuge from a storm?
In case it matters to anyone, it appears that the media race has Vlad in the lead by one point. Paul and Chris really need to get moving if they are going to catch him.
OML appears to have faked us out: they did skip E5, but now appear determined to punch E7 instead of heading to CP22.
Hmmm? Seems OML has thrown another fake at us. They're like a football striker weaving thru defenders to get to the goal.
I’ve raced against Owen many times. He’s tricky.
Uh oh! Rib is in the washing machine going in circles SE of E7.
It looks like OML took a bearing to hit the Quehanna Trail when Mosquito Creek turned west. They're now on the trail, heading northwest toward CP22.
Yes, I’m on course helping. Cleaning the controls on the trek sections. Will start on Quehanna tomorrow afternoon once all the teams are off.
E7 is "Open area, Rootstock". It looks like Rib almost got to the correct open area but they've gone south to explore a different open area. Uh on.
Looks like Deviate and Bones nearly crossed paths at E5, but I think Deviate dropped back off the ridge just before Bones will get there.
Rib is in a larger open area and you could spend a lot of time looking for rootstocks there. If they go far enough south, they'll hit the trail and realize what's happened.
I bet Rib is relocating to make a new plan for the attack, presumably with some stress about getting it done before dark.
This Ability is just about to nail E10. Then what? Honey or home?
Just noticing that Electric Mayhem may have tried (valiantly) to find CP25 but gave up. Not totally clear, but their track never even gets close to the circle after taking the long way 'round just to get up there. Ugh.
Seems like the live dotwatching broadcast is either running behind schedule or I've lost track of the correct time.
Looks like Rib is on a firm bearing toward E7. Now it's up to whoever is pace counting to get the distance right so that they don't stop too early.
Meanwhile Bones is steadily closing the gap.
Rootstock has clearly assumed 2nd position into TA4 and, unless something goes haywire, it also seems likely that Untamed will arrive in 3rd, perhaps with enough time to get out of the TA on their bikes before either Rib or Bones arrives.
I think Rootstock will be hiking right now very happy with their race-against-themselves performance coming off this huge trek. When they see that only one other fully ranked team is ahead of them, they might forget all that out of surprise and be adrenalized to get moving before others catch them.
Yes! It’s going to be fun for the people who get to tell them.
It seems to me, but I haven't measured, that Untamed is moving mighty slowly. I wonder if they've got a gimpy leg or blistered foot or two on the team after all this trekking in the heat?
I noticed the same thing with UNE. It's dark, it just rained. perhaps trying to regroup before the bike. I think once they realize what place they are in they may show some life.
Deviate has a chance to pull into TA5 ahead of or with Untamed but from opposite directions. Both only have 1 CP left and nearly a straight shot from their current position to that CP and then to TA. Not that Deviate is competing with Untamed, but being in 3rd or 4th overall will make those boys smile for sure.
A note about Deviate's ranking: it seems they escaped the geofence when punching E8. But I'm absolutely certain they punched it, esp. after the nav. error that took up and over that extra spur to get to it.
Agreed, their track looked especially un-detailed in that area so I think the GPS missed a little.
Rootstock arrived at TA5 in 2nd place just before 9 pm so they did that last section from CP20 a little faster than Bend.
Also, Rootstock took 1 hr 25 mins to get from CP20 to CP19. Bend took 1 hr 23 mins. Untamed took 2 hrs. So you're not imagining it; they've slowed down. I hope everyone is OK.
Strong Machine got all the honey - not sure if they'll veer east to get E7. They haven't tracked for a while.
Bend is having signal problems but they've almost finished the big F1-F2 loop. Unlike the previous stage, the Course Book does *not* say that mandatory CPs can be visited in any order. There are only a few mandatory CPs and this shouldn't be too difficult.
Bones is having trouble finding the rootstock at E7 - the same one that gave Rib trouble. It would be more difficult after dark.
OML just has to get CP21 on their way to TA5. Great stage for them. Strong Machine will take the lead in the Short Course Mixed division and it looks like OML will be 2nd.
It's hard to be sure, but I suspect Rootstock has opted to sleep before blasting off on the bikes. Their tracker has not updated in over an hour, so it's also possible they are at F1 already.
If the food truck is still there offering coffee, muffins and burritos, I wouldn't rush away on a rainy night! :) I suppose another advantage of sleeping there is the chance to check the whiteboard before they leave. If a team arrives behind them, they'll know the gap.
Strong Machine and Deviate are heading northwest to CP21. No messing around with E7 for them. Without going back to look, I don't remember E7 being an issue yesterday with teams coming from the north. There is a clear attackpoint from the road north of E7. It looks fuzzier coming from the south.
Deviate already got E7 last night. What concerns me about them is that they have slowed considerably, much like UNE.
Good catch! Yes, I noticed them going slowly this afternoon before their parallel error so maybe something is wrong.
Rib is on the road to the TA now. They just need to duck down and pick up CP21.
Untamed lost signal after CP19 but it looks like Rib has a good chance to arrive in 3rd.
Untamed still could arrive in 4th, which should rejuvenate them.
Bones is sooo close to the open area where E7 is. They've just made a move in the right direction.
Bones is still hunting E7. That's 3 big nav. trouble spots for them on this leg. Ugh! The frustration is probably boiling over.
Their search area is much smaller than Rib's and they are very close to the large open area - just south of it. It looks like they've got within a few trees of being able to see the reflective marker out in the open.
Bones slept early last night - 9:30 to 11:30 - and they also got less sleep than the other top teams, who stopped for 3-4 hours. Now that it's almost 11 pm on Day 3, I wonder if sleepmonsters are playing a role.
The geofencing credited them with E7 15 minutes ago. Sooo frustrating for them!
What a show! Dotwatching has never been so fun! I could not be happier for my team but I feel for Bones, too many mistakes shakes the confidence on the whole team
Hi Alex! I was thinking this must be fun for you to watch from the comfort of your couch, cheering on your team when they're doing so well.
Party at CP21! Strong Machine, Rib, OML and soon Lost & Found and Goals ARA will all be in da house.
It doesn't look like Bones got E7 but maybe the tracker just didn't catch it. Or maybe they're heading north to the road to attack it from a different direction?
I think it's the latter. That would be the only reason to go northeast instead of northwest toward CP22.
Oh, thank goodness - Untamed just reappeared. I was getting worried. Their tracks haven't filled in yet but it looks like they took the road less travelled to CP18, coming south on the trail in the bottom of Mix Run. That could be an easier route in the dark. Now they need to climb to CP18 to the east and it looks like they've paused in the right spot.
Meanwhile, Bones continues to move northeast. They'll hit the road soon.
It looks like Untamed might arrive at TA5 in 3rd place about 2 minutes ahead of Rib. Unbelievable after the very different treks those teams have had!
(When the tracks filled in for Untamed, they also "jumped" well south of CP18.)
Untamed, Rib, Rootstock, and soon after Deviate will probably all be in TA5 together. Be very curious who decides to bolt first. Rootstock will have the advantage regardless due to their sleep prior to the arrival of the gang.
Rib and Untamed are together. Will there be a sprint finish, lol?
Deviate continues to move very slowly. Hopefully they're just tired.
@Bash oh I'm having a blast! enjoying the show and beer at the same time is quite fun! :D so proud of our crew!
:) You must be so warm, dry, hydrated and well-fed. What a change!
Bones is heading all the way to the main road so they must have got E7. I guess they've decided to stick to roads as much as possible to get CP22-21 rather than bushwhacking west to the trail to CP22, which might not be easy to find in the dark.
It looks like Rib will win the sprint for 3rd place with Untamed a few minutes behind.
Aaaaand, I think Bash was right about Bones relocating and trying a new attack at E7. They appear to be milling about on the road, not heading toward 22+.
I thought they’d do that on the minor road 800 m north of the CP. Maybe they’re going to catnap?
I get the impression that there is a full on slumber party going on at TA5. Great opportunity for a sneaky person to put a coke in every backpack...or a 10 lb rock, but that's kinda mean.
Oooh, you have an evil mind! Nice!
On Facebook, they mentioned that Nerdquist brought 24 cans of Starbucks espresso double shots. I wouldn’t mind if someone snuck a few of those into my pack.
Relevant Aside: I used be a backpacking expedition trip leader & instructor. We instructors were regularly looking for an unsuspecting coworker to prank with heavy-ish things hidden in their packs. Sometimes the thing wouldn't even be discovered until after the entire expedition (30+ days). Other times, it would be a non-natural object (a toilet seat was one notorious example) and wouldn't be hidden so much as snuck in so that it would not be found until the course was in the wilderness...meaning it had to be carried until it could be packed out (at least 10 days). Not that I've ever participated in such shenanigans or been pranked myself. ;-)
A toilet seat!! Well done. In that case, I guess I can confess to helping to sneak a rock into the pack of our backpacking guide years ago. I think he discovered it at lunchtime so it was short term fun.
Also, Bones is still sleeping by the road after a frustrating day.
Rootstock has roused from their slumber and is moving off toward F1 on their bikes. By the time they get to F1 they will be roughly 6 hours behind Bend Racing. That's a massive lead that it seems is insurmountable by any of the remaining full course teams. I could be proven wrong, but it'd be a crazy outcome. Bend just needs to stay upright and not have some sort of race ending problem in order to close this out.
Interesting to note that Rootstock will likely pass by 4 teams walking on the road as they move through the O' course toward F1: Moonhowlers, Chickpoints, RoBros, and Electric Mayhem. Interaction with other teams at TAs is common during races but everyone is "busy" getting back out of transition (or sleeping) so those interactions aren't nearly as fun. On-course interactions, on the other hand, are pretty special this far into a race and I bet all of these teams get some enjoyment, inspiration, etc. from seeing others.
Hi all. Great seeing so much attention and analysis of the race. We really appreciate that.
CP 25: my two cents, though I completely know that not every cp is perfect…in Ar at least. Obviously, no, not orienteering standard. Most teams did not have a big problem with the point. Yes, some took some time to hone in on it, but I was surprised that more teams didn’t find it more challenging after watching Bones and Rib.
The clue and the Topo lines were the theoretical keys. I know that orienteering insists every point maps, and it’s obviously a shortcoming of usgs maps that so many interesting things are lost.
In this case. The control circle is placed on the transition from steep terrain to essentially flat. The clue: top of rock band (with by the way a clue amendment…one that doesn’t necessarily change the criticism) when taken in conjunction with the transition from steep to flatter Topo lines was key.
On the ground, the feature was distinct and dramatic: a steep , cliffy, boulder littered hillside that abruptly ended in a relatively straight rocky “cliff top”. Above it, a vegetated hilltop.
Im really interested to talk to Bones (and Rib). My gut is that this was the classic point that just hides in the shadows and escapes your gaze considering the large majority of teams are reporting no major issues. Im not saying it was a perfect point, and we felt it was one of the harder points on the course.
I appreciate the feedback though, and we always strive to learn while also believing that orienteering and AR norms and maps are not the same.
Happy dot watching!!
Thank for the insight, Brent. Wow, you are shockingly articulate for 4:30 am on Day 4!
Bones elected to sleep all night. They’ve picked up CP22 and are near CP21 now.
Rib took a slightly longer break than Untamed, who are currently about 8 km ahead on the F1-F2 bike leg.
Bend has moved on from the Bike-O and is now riding toward CP33 and TA6, where they’ll transition to paddling. It looks like another 30 km or so. Only Chaos Required is ahead.
Deviate is behind Rib on the F1-F2 bike leg. Most other teams will likely skip this.
From Facebook: It sounds like Bones didn’t find CP25? I’m sad for them. They’re a great team.
@Bill Donohue here from @AdventuringOne.The race has moved on from the “Into the Wild” trek and onto Stage F Elk Country sponsored by Janney Montgomery Scott. But the first place I looked this morning was for the #104 Dot of Team Bones Adventure Racing. They have made it to TA 5 and are off the trek-and it was an epic and difficult one for them. RD Brent Freeland had a chance to catch up with them and reported this information: “They are fine overall, I think there’s a lot of frustration, and some devastation when they heard that a point [CP25] they thought was not there was easily found by many teams. It wasn’t the easiest point in the world, and others struggled as well, but it proved to be a more straightforward point for most teams than they expected.”
Because they have missed a mandatory checkpoint, they will be ranked behind all of the teams that obtained all of the mandatory points.
I am in awe of their race and them as a team. They entered the trek in first and finished it near the bottom. They spent more time out there than any other team in the race and in some of the most challenging terrain in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I am sure they have stories to tell eventually.
The buzz amongst the race media team is that we all hope they continue on in a journey of joy together.
And I, for one, am going to send them some trail mail thanking them for their efforts.
What a bummer for Bones to miss 25. On top of the other issues they had!!
I see that Bend is frolicking on the bikes, having passed Chaos Required just before Ridgway/TA6 to assume the physical lead over short-course/unofficial teams. Strong performance by them so far!
The race for the rest of the podium will be fun to watch.
Poor Bones. I feel for them. Hopefully they can rally for a strong 2nd half.
Ooo, a Rootstock/Rib encounter on the Bike-O!
Rootstock has got F6, F8, 29, F7 and are going to 30.
Rib has only got F8 so far. *edit* going to 30 as well.
Are they skipping F6 and 29???
Am I seeing this right that Rib has passed Untamed? Hard to tell with the different route choices. Untamed went to F3 before tackling the F6/F8/29/F7 chunk, while Rib went straight for the chunk.
Very hard to say. With the out-and-back to F3, I'd say UNE is still a little "ahead" of Rib but it will all depend on route strategy.
Bend is now on the river for the final stage paddle. I'm looking forward to seeing the floating hotel setup.
It will be Rootstock in 2nd coming out of the bike-O and a toss up b/w UNE and Rib Mtn for the final podium spot. I'd give Rib a slight edge at this point.
Here's the description of the Stage G Paddle, which is actually a Paddle/Trek/Paddle/Trek/Paddle/Trek. Or for Bend, a Paddle/Sleep/Trek/etc.
STAGE G: THE SCENIC CLARION
The US Congress holds the power to designate a river as Wild and Scenic, an honorific reserved for waterways that are considered to have remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, or historic value. The Clarion River holds this accolade, and racers will see why on this final leg of the 2022 Endless Mountains Adventure Race, a meandering sixty-mile canoe paddle, broken up by two fifteen-mile trekking sections.
Their first stop will be Clear Creek State Park and State Forest, a pocket of woods along the river known for the sweeping Clear Creek valley and the steep, rocky hills cradling it. From there, racers will continue on to one of the highlights of the course: the old growth forest of Cook Forest State Park. Here, racers will travel among the towering pines of the Forest Cathedral, a registered National Natural Landmark. And if they're lucky, they'll also encounter local high school students cooking up burgers to fuel them for the final push toward home.
Participants will end their Endless Mountains journey at the boat ramp in Clarion, where they'll pull out and trek the last two miles through town to the finish line. There, they will be greeted by cow bells, Clarion River Brewing beer, Blackbird moonshine, and family and friends, eager to hear the stories they've gathered along the way.
A few important Stage G rules from the Course Book:
● Teams must depart TA6 by 4:00PM on Friday, 6/24. This will likely give you enough time to paddle the river and trek to the finish if you move efficiently, but you will likely not have enough time to find any of the CPs on Stage G(B) or G(C), meaning you will likely have to skip some of the mandatory numbered CPs on Stage G(B).
● There is one section of class II rapids, marked on your map, and known as the X, Y, Z rapids.
● When you reach the takeout in Clarion, you must carry all of your gear with you to the finish MINUS canoe seats for teams of three.
● Portaging canoes along parallel roadways is forbidden.
● G1-G8 MUST be found while on foot. You will not receive credit for any of these G points accessed from anywhere other than the CP36 boat drop.
● While on Stage G(A), there is a dark zone of sorts, marked on your map. This is the cabin and yurt area of the state park. We are not permitted to pass through between nightfall and dawn. You must travel around if in Clear Creek at night. Penalty: 5 Hours.
● While in the Cathedral area (the trail system between CPs 39-48), you MUST stay on trails. Penalty: Teams failing to do so will lose credit for five optional CPs.
● All CPs on Stage G(B) must be accessed by foot. These include 38-49 and
G9-G12. You will not receive credit for any of these CPs if accessed by boat.
Floating hotel video is up on Facebook - pretty sweet.
The leaderboard changed a lot overnight. There are only five teams left on the full course: Bend, Rootstock, Untamed, Rib and Deviate.
Adventure Enablers are currently shown on the full course but they will be moved to the Short Course since they skipped a few optional CPs on the trek.
Only MOSTLY Lost is 1st of 11 teams in the Short Course Mixed division. I expected to see Strong Machine in the lead but their tracker hasn't left TA5 since they arrived at midnight. Is there news? I haven't been able to be online much today.
North Star and Recalculating are pretty much tied for 1st of the 7 male Short Course teams.
The Wildlings continue to dominate the female Short Course category and they're 3rd of the 9 non-Mixed Short Course teams.
Of course Bones leads the Short Course (Mandatories Skipped) division, which is not where they ever planned to be. If you're on Facebook, it's worth watching Mari Chandler's video at TA5. She demonstrated class, dignity, resilience and respect for the race. She said the race isn't over and it will be interesting to see how hard they can push themselves.
Which video shows the floating hotel? I saw a video of Bend at TA6 but that doesn't seem to be the one. I like this idea!
Oh, *there* they are! Strong Machine just popped up at CP32, well into the Bike-O. Phew.
I have word that Strong Machine left TA this early this morning after a good sleep and left in good spirits. They are somewhere on the bike ride.
They just reappeared on the tracker at CP 32, I hope they got all the optionals!
Haven't seen it mentioned here, but the news is that Bones withdrew from the race after a short trial on the bikes out and back from TA5. Not recalling where I saw that, but it's understandable that they'd lose motivation after losing a chance at their pre-race goal...presumably a podium position.
I'm sure SM's tracker history will pop up soon and we'll know more about their Bike O' progress.
Forgive me for questioning Mark's navigation (assuming he's the one with the maps), but Rootstock's route through the Bike O' seems very chaotic and disorganized to me. There were a couple places where they ended up re-riding through places they'd already travelled earlier, and they did several out-n-backs where it seemed possible to flow around the course from point to point. Maybe there were weird circumstances, but other teams have seemed to flow through on much more efficient routes of travel.
Thanks for that update, Conman. I think it would be hard for Bones to keep all four teammates motivated to continue. If even one person didn't feel like going, it wouldn't work in a race this difficult. That's a real shame. I see they rode west toward the mandatory CPs around 11 am and returned almost immediately.
@Conman I agree about Rootstock's Bike-O route...does not seem optimal. some funny stuff at F6 and north of 29. it can't be easy to maintain focus at this point!
Bones showing retired on the tracker leaderboard. :( :( :(
I'm too lazy to check myself but would love to see a list of teams that punched every point on the Bike O' (mandatory + optional) with their split time from leaving TA5 to arriving at CP32. I have my own vision for how I'd ride that route and really would like to compare to the routes and timing results for everyone who took it on.
Looks like there's a little party at Straub Brewery! Hope they have an outside area, I can't imagine the racers smell very good at this point :).
Oh, that would be hard to resist! I love the little touches along the route - food truck, local organizations making food, brewery stop...
Bend hasn't tracked in almost 3 hours but we assume they're cruising down the Clarion River while taking turns napping. Chaos Required was a few kms back and they're not tracking either so it's probably a dead zone. Nerdquist has just started paddling - the 3rd team on the water. Next will be Goals ARA Masters who will arrive at TA6 soon.
The last recorded time check on the bike was CP32. Rootstock had a 1-hour lead over Rib, who had a 45-minute lead over Untamed. That looks about right on the tracking map. Untamed is leaving CP32 now.
Deviate is now the only team in the Full Course Male category although they may not know that. They're doing a great job on the Bike-O - just two more optional CPs before they head up to CP32.
Bend popped up just west of CP34. They've just finished the Class II X, Y and Z Rapids. Perhaps a shot of adrenaline woke up the sleeping paddlers and their tracker.
The trekking sections along the river will be a welcome break for paddlers who are tired of their boats. It looks like the navigation should be relatively straightforward compared to the Monster Trek but anything can happen - especially at night, which is when a lot of teams will be trekking.
Final paddle trek combo sounds awesome, my biggest FOMO for this race. I was too new to AR to catch the local 24 hr race that was a canoe-based breakout similar in gist, always sounded really cool.
Rootstock is in 2nd place...So, do they stop for a beer at Straub or zip right by to get to the paddle TA? We'll soon see, I guess. Rib is not far behind them...maybe 45 mins.
I'm definitely rooting for Rib to keep their foot on the gas and grab 2nd place. I think their paddling was pretty strong on the first paddle. However anything can happen on Night 4, in a canoe, on a gently flowing river
Anyone want to put their guess out for the time Bend will cross the finish line? Then add what place they think it will be?
Rootstock is definitely indulging/resting at Straub and Rib will arrive in moments.
Missed opportunity! Looks like Rootstock left just seconds before Rib arrived at Straub. Will Rib get info from the other teams that Rootstock just left???
Almost a guarantee that teams clinging on to beer steins were generous with news that "Rootstock just left a moment ago. You can still see them, right down that way."
RS and Rib will arrive to TA6 at essentially the same time in about 10 mins. Now we get to see who is the faster paddling team and who can navigate the treks closest to flawlessly.
Looks to me like Privateer has elected to rent a hotel room at the Royal Inn for a good quality sleep before they undertake the big paddle.
Bend is just about to reach the beach for O' course G(A).
Live feed video showed Rib made it in to TA6 ~5 minutes before Rootstock, passing them in the last several kms on the route into and through the town of Ridgway. Rib seemed like they were on a mission to get in and out of transition, hurrying around the TA collecitng bike boxes, etc. Rootstock rolled in seeming much more relaxed or maybe resigned. Now 20+ minutes later, it looks like Rootstock is in the river first. Not sure how they pulled off a faster transition, but kudos to them for being organized! Maybe it was because they didn't need to eat after a solid meal at the pub?
EDIT: RS definitely left TA before Rib.
Just did a little tracker timing test for Rootstock as they just started the paddle, the time between inflections in their track is at 5 minutes. Keep in mind that this could be different for each team and could change further along the course as cell signal or GPS signal is used to keep track of team locations.
The reason I did this is to keep track of the gap between Rootstock and Rib, which is just above 15 minutes right now...perhaps 16ish.
And, just for another sense of time/river distance scales, 7 hours ago Bend was about 2 kms ahead of where RS is right now.
Thanks to Brent for sharing Bones’ story. I’m so sorry to hear about Charles’ injury and impressed that they were motivated to press on after their tough trek - just like Mari said in her interview. Classy.
Very classy guys. They will be back stronger, we will have to be ready!
Currently your team is on the first trek off the paddle in Clear Creek State Park. The male team Chaos Required is also on that trek.
Lots of teams are on the river now. The signal isn't always good in there but two hours ago, Rootstock was about 4 km ahead of Rib. Untamed is a little behind in 4th. The final full course team, Deviate, is at TA6 now.
Best wishes to everyone paddling overnight tonight. Has anyone brought speakers for a sing-a-long, or will this be a purely a capella concert? Tim and Anna are excellent singers and Anna has a killer AR playlist if she brought it. She busted it out on Night 3 of Untamed and we were entertained all night! Excellent mix of pop, classics, and Disney.
Disney! That's inspired. :)
The top female team, The Wildlings, is resting at TA6 now.
Strong Machine is leading the Mixed Short Course now that the leaderboard has been updated from their passport (I assume). They weren't carrying a working tracker for the bike O so there was a delay. Only MOSTLY Lost is 2nd in the category. Both teams appear to be close together early in the paddle.
Adventure Enablers are the top Male Short Course team. They got some rest near CP33 - the last bike CP before TA6 - and they're at the TA now.
The last teams have passed CP32 on the bike so everyone is through the Bike-O. I wonder how many racers saw elk!
The first trek off the paddle consists entirely of optional CPs. As has been their style, Chaos Required has chosen a loop that leaves out a few distant CPs. Bend is going for them all, of course. Without watching closely, I don't see any signs of trouble but it looks like both teams are being methodical and not rushing. Nerdquist will be the next team to trek.
Just approaching CP35, Rootstock appears to have extended their lead to over Rib to 20+ minutes. Both of them will arrive at the first O' course -- G(A) -- before Bend has finished clearing it.
Assuming they recognize that Bend is there (not at all guaranteed if they don't see Bend directly since the boats are race provided; however, the paddles are not and could be ID'd from labels or stickers), this could either inspire even more speed from them or merely confirm how far behind they remain. Will Bend get a kick of speed from seeing these rivals? Do they need to worry at all?
Regardless, Rootstock and Rib will both be pushing to clear this O' section in the dark and literally anything could happen, including that Untamed could catch both of them.
Hmmm... Rootstock seems to have paused for a bit at CP35. Maybe there's a bit of a trek or scramble to get to the punch? For the moment Rib might be close enough now to be able to see Rootstock's lights ahead on the straight stretch of the river approaching the CP. Same could be said of RS looking upriver as they push off. Of course, neither will be able to tell who it is that's near them...but I bet they will feel compelled to push just a little harder if they suspect it might be their adversary.
Yep. Even the geofence has Rib 21 minutes behind Rootstock at CP35. That's mere seconds in AR race time...on blown whatsit or bathroom break could close the gap.
Saw on Rootstock’s Instagram than Mari (and maybe more of Bones) is helping set up the finish line arch. I don’t know how more to exemplify the AR Spirit. Go Bones!!
From Facebook - Brent is wondering why Bend is taking so much longer than expected on the trek:
RD Report on Stage G(A), sponsored by the PA Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau - Brent Freedland
Just woke up from some rare quality sleep, expecting to see Bend Racing clear of Clear Creek. For the first time in the race, I'm genuinely puzzled by the dots.
The course has run a bit slower than we anticipated for two unanticipated reasons and one very anticipated one. For starters, the low water levels on Stage C delayed teams early in the race. We then saw temperatures elevate and stay up for the duration of the race. These two factors cost the lead teams several hours cumulatively (though it's a challenge to determine how much time was lost by the relentlessly hot daytime conditions), and mid-pack and back-of-the-pack teams many more.
Additionally, the fast estimates, as always, are predicated on clean navigation. We have been super impressed with Bend's efforts here, but even they have not been perfect. Our races always offer more challenging than usual navigation, so this isn't a surprise.
Bringing us to Stage G(A), a 15 miles trekking loop through Clear Creek State Forest and State Park. What is it like in there? People are wondering, I know.
For starters, unlike Quehanna, the bushwhacking is less intense overall. There are patches of it, certainly, but there are a fair number of trails to assist with steady travel.
The navigation is not as difficult as earlier in the race. No check point is further than a few hundred meters from a trail or road.
There is some elevation, but we are not talking the near 1000 foot climbs the teams somehow saw on Stage E.
So, why is it taking Bend this long to return to their boats? I'm not sure. They don't seem to have had any visible nav meltdowns. No obvious four-hour rests (at least from what I have seen). Perhaps fatigue has finally slowed the unstoppable freight train that picked up speed and seemed to hold it during Stage E. Perhaps someone is hobbled by an injury from the monster trek.
Either way, I am very surprised by the 1.5 mph rate Bend has moved through this stage. I will add that from what I am aware of, Bend has not taken blocks of sleep as long as some of the chase teams. It will be interesting to watch Rib's progress. If they are more in line with the five-ish hours we thought a top team might take on this stage, and if Bend is struggling, things could get very interesting here. Stage G(B) is even more trail heavy, BUT there is one final CP on that Stage that may be very difficult (G10).
In AR, you race to the finish line. And the finish line is still a half day away it seems.
Rib is more than halfway around the first trek in 2nd place. Rootstock has just started heading inland from the river. I haven’t yet looked to see what happened overnight. Untamed is getting close to the takeout.
Signal is poor but it looks like Bend returned to their boats 2.5 hours ago. I’d expect them to pop up downstream soon.
Rootstock stopped for 4.5 hours before starting the trek. That’s a lot at this stage of the race while battling for the podium. They got going around 7:30 am, well after sunrise. I hope everyone is feeling OK.
Great stuff, Mari! Building the finish line is a great way to guarantee that Bones will cross first. There’s a racer who never quits. ;)))
UNE just hit the takeout for the first foot-O, about 5k and 2 CPs behind Rootstock.
As expected, Bend just popped up near the 2nd trek off the paddle. The most recent track was an hour ago so they may be trekking already.
Paddle should go well for the Wildlings. Brenda is fantastic; I can eat and read maps in the back while she moves and steers from the front, traveling as fast as any other team boats. It's glorious!
That sounds like a nice wilderness vacation! ;)
Very roughly, Rib is 75% of the way around the first trek going clockwise.
Rootstock is maybe 35-40% of the way around going counterclockwise. It's hard to compare because the stretch along the river is long but looks relatively easy. Rootstock has done it already and Rib will get there soon.
It looks like the teams met a short time ago, which may put wings beneath Rib's feet. Conman is good at imagining how those interactions might go so I'll leave that to him. :)
Only MOSTLY Lost, Nerdquist and Hunting Bigfoot are also on the 1st trek.
Oh! And Untamed just made their first move on the trek. It looks like they took a minor break at the takeout. They're going counterclockwise like Rootstock so they might meet Rib soon.
Nice video of @Kateness having a feast at TA6. Perhaps my only superpower in endurance sports is that food almost always seems appetizing to me. It looks like @Kateness has that same superpower.https://fb.watch/dRv7BTp_QP/
Bend is on the 2nd trek going
Rib has picked up all the optional CPs on the 1st trek and is making their way along the river to their boats at CP36. It's 3-4 km away so they'll still be trekking for a while.
Rootstock is approaching G8, the farthest CP on this trek.
Untamed is between G1 and G2, still early in the trek.
Strong Machine, Deviate and Goals ARA Masters have started trekking clockwise. Nerdquist is just approaching the boats.
@Bash I think you meant to say Bend is taking it clockwise?
Adventure Addicts are heading in counterclockwise and should meet Rib momentarily.
Conman, yes! I've already corrected that mistake a few times this morning in similar entries. I wonder if it's because my life includes very few real clocks! :)
...and things like this can get pretty vague or nonsensical with clocks these days more often resembling this: https://cdn2.vectorstock.com/i/1000x1000/71/01/mob...
It's becoming sort of like saying you are "dialing" someone when calling them on your mobile phone.
Won't be long before we're having the same confusion about why people call it "filling up" when you charge your electric car.
OML turning around after getting 2 CPs on the first embedded trek...
Finish cutoff is Saturday 6/25 at 10:00 AM Eastern. Less than 24 hours to go!
Rootstock about 15 mins our from returning to their boats and Rib is apparently sleeping at the boats. Rootstock slept at this CP before starting the O' course. So, will RS sneak out while Rib sleeps or will they both push off together, returning to the cat & mouse action that happened at TA6 and down river to CP36? We'll soon see.
It looks like Deviate has finally made the call to move to the Short Course. They might just be finding a road to access the SE CP on this loop, but it sure looks like they're circling back to their boats. Perhaps they're cooked and ready to wrap this? Perhaps they're feeling the time crunch?
Tomorrow at 10 am is starting to feel close!
The 2nd trek has a Honey Pot and it looks like Chaos Required grabbed those CPs and is now making a shorter loop back to their boats. For the whole race, they’ve been careful not to overreach. Good for them!
I just noticed that Honey Pot 2 is all mandatory CPs. It looks like Chaos still hasn’t visited them all.
No Complaints skipping the entire first O-course.
Apparently Jason from Bend is wearing flip-flops on the final trek.
Going out on a limb here, but assuming Bend keeps the current pace (not fast as observed by others) and that Rib and RS leave CP26 very soon, I predict Bend will complete this trek and hop back in their floating hotel just about the same time one (or both) of these following teams reaches CP37 to begin the second O' course.
And there we have it, or so it seems...Rootstock is back in the water before Rib Mtn. Really curious if they did it quietly and sneaked out or if Rib knows they've launched.
Uh oh! Looks like Bend is having trouble (coming up short) locating G10. Will this be CP25 all over again or just a little bobble?
It's (un)Official: Deviate will finish the race in the Short Course category. They have what appears to be insurmountable lead on all the other teams in all classes in this category, however.
EDIT: The BLUE dots are now extinct.
Brent mentioned that G10 was the one tricky CP on the paddle-treks in his estimation.
HOW many times can Rib and Rootstock flip flop??? I felt Rootstock's lead in the first paddle section was pretty strong. Then I thought Rib's lead in the first trek was stronger. Now Rootstock is back in front and I just don't know!!!
How much did Rootstock drink at that brewery???
@silky The need for sleep seems to have crept up on both of them.
^^on second glance...Rib's latest ping that I can tell is at the finish of the first trek, 11:25 AM. Could they actually still be ahead of Rootstock and just not pinging? Rootstock is 2.4k downriver, latest ping 2:00 PM.
side note, did you know there is a measuring tool available in the tracker?!?
@silky I think the tracking system only shows sleeping when a tracker is sending out pings but is not moving. The weak signal or no signal is what happens when they might actually be moving but the tracking can't see it. I'll admit that these icons have not seemed to be reliably applied. however...so take all of the notation with a bit of skepticism, as you have done.
Yes, the measurement tool is such a cool feature.
I did not see that tool - nice!
What I can't understand about the "sleeping" icon on the tracking system is why it doesn't keep updating the time stamp for teams that have stopped? It's just confusing to have the timestamp sit at a specific time for the duration of the stop.
While we're on the subject of tracker functionality...it would be really cool to embed a chat function in the tracker. Basically taking the chat here and pushing it to a space where it's more available to other dotwatchers (who may not know about AP), and be side-by-side with the dots/maps. Maybe it could even be re-playable sync'd with the dot playback feature...?
I'm sure this would require some sort of moderator. AR people are exceedingly kind but we wouldn't want it hijacked by anyone looking for trouble.
(paging Mark Harris)
What a cool idea! I agree re the sleeping icon. Sometimes it seems to start as “sleeping” then converts to “no signal” so I don’t really believe it.
That said, this is an excellent tracking interface - thanks, Mark! - although I wish the teams had satellite trackers.
I had this embedded chat discussion with Mark after/during another recent race (maybe it was the Shenandoah Epic or Exp Canada?) and he made the point that some RD's don't want this, favoring having the discussions occur on their social platforms, where they can get more views, reactions, etc. My point then (and is to this day) is that a single threaded discussion is MUCH more useful (edit: and engaging) than separate discussions occurring in multiple places and attached to posts that then become buried but subsequent posts. He said he could easily incorporate any chat forum (maybe even this one) into the tracking system, but he'd need RDs to want that. Point is, it's the RDs who need to request this if we want to have it happen.
I find myself imagining how powerful this whole thread would be if Craig Cook of AR Live Coverage were interspersing his insights with screen grabs and photos within all the other chatter in real time. It would be such an amazing story to review post race. Going through all the FB and Insta posts and chatter post race is nauseating.
Case in point: I have a really sweet message from Richard Sparks (on Rib Mtn in this race) after the 2021 Sea-to-Sea thanking me for the ongoing chatter here on AttackPoint (like we've done here). He and his team Good'Nuff read the entire thing during a post-race drive and dinner and it really helped them relive the whole experience.
@Conman that's interesting insight!
Meanwhile, Rib's icon HAS turned to sleeping and now I'm seeing Untamed make the turn on the loop, heading for the boat ramp. Still a ways to go for them but they ARE more than 50% done and if something doesn't change w Rib, UNE is going to shake up the standings even more!
I think about this a lot because we’ve been using trackers and doing extensive race coverage for Wilderness Traverse for years - since before it was sexy, lol! We’re still learning and experimenting.
As an interested and knowledgeable spectator of this race, I don’t have time to follow all sources of info. It’s overwhelming. It’s actually easier for the races that I follow less closely since I just check Facebook or AR Live Coverage and take occasional glances at the tracking map. I’ve also heard from racers who enjoyed reading the AP discussion. It’s something we can refer back to in future years.
In years when most of WT’s news appears on FB - like last year - it’s great but it feels transient. It takes some work to find the story of a race from 3 years ago. When we used Grant’s now-defunct system, it was easy to go back and relive the race through our news articles although they were less exciting than FB. I’m thinking about creating a news blog for this year’s WT. Maybe we could include links to FB posts in an attempt to gather the info in one place? Or maybe we should just accept that most interest in a race is temporary so it’s OK to just let it be scattered around.
This race has had amazing coverage and one of the RDs is an expert in history so maybe she’ll have some insights on how to preserve the story of this race for the future.
@Bash USARA did something similar to what you're describing for the 2021 Nationals. https://www.usara.com/2021-nationals-coverage
It's a blog, which is nice because the posts are sequential, and can link out to a variety of sources.
Thanks, I like that. I think there’s value in saving the story of important races. I’ll read through and may steal some ideas! :)
Bend did find G10 after an attempt or two and now they’re heading to the northeast corner of the 2nd team.
Rib just pinged and they are already on the 2nd trek!! Thinking they just started it but still...maybe they have been in front of Rootstock this whole time?
Rootstock is about 5km of paddling before the take out
The sleep icon lied again! It does make the race more exciting than it actually is, lol!
The Wildlings paddled right past Trek #1. Time is getting tight.
Go straight to the 2nd trek Honey Pot, Wildlings!!!
Oooo, Rib and Bend are on the 2nd trek at the same time, going opposite directions, here's hoping they run into each other! And trade some snacks.
Whoa! Very fun!
It appears to me that Rib DID sleep after finishing G(A) so the icon was right initially. Where things broke down was updating when they started moving. I'll go out on a limb and guess that the tracker was buried (common on boating legs) for the whole time they moved down river, so the tracking system just assumed they were still sleeping. What needed to happen for us dot watchers was for the symbol to change from sleeping (i.e. I *still* see them, they're not moving) to no signal (i.e. I don't see them so don't know where they really are).
Wildlings may not have been able to stop for Trek 1 with those canoes up on plane
Re: G10, I'm not clever enough to do anything but sweep it (ie aim off); going straight at it would increase potential for "where exactly in here am I" situation for me anyway.
Is that Rib circling back for CP39 as if they missed it the first time?
I think Bend did a great job attacking except it looks like they maybe saw something that might have been a faint reentrant before the actual reentrant. Maybe even the one on the map. And then decided to turn around instead of keep going. Maybe assuming the reentrant they found was the one past the actual reentrant.
I think I would have attacked from the road like Bend did into the southern reentrant. Watch your altimeter and drop 40 feet and then contour around the spur (keeping an eye on the altimeter). As you are contouring around into the next reentrant you'll be able to watch for features that you pass in that reentrant.
Going straight at it would be hard. It's about 1km from the rd.
If coming from the other direction it seems more straightforward. Come up the reentrant from the trail at the bottom. Shift to the northern spur (sidehill) if the reentrant is too slow/difficult. It looks like there is a pinchpoint (just below the main junction) from the N spur but the S spur is really flat in that same spot.
If it is in the reentrant marked on the map (not a smaller unmarked one) that is a substantial reentrant. I don't think you'd miss it walking by it unless your eyes were closed.
It's busy in the 2nd Trek Honey Pot! Lots of snacks being traded, I'm sure. Bend is making good progress - only two CPs left, I think. Their track doesn't go to 41 but I assume they did and the tracker just didn't see it. I can't imagine it would be efficient to pick it up later, given that they can't come in from the water.
Rib is maybe 20% of the way through the trek heading the opposite direction. (To heck with clocks!)
Rootstock hasn't tracked for a while but they should be at the takeout or even trekking by now. An hour ago, they were about 2 km away on the river. No signal since.
Untamed is bounding through the daisies on the steep downhill to the 1st trek takeout. (JayXC can confirm when he reads this discussion.)
Nearly all downhill from here for Bend...aside from the slog up on to the bench where the finish arch is at Clarion U. Not much likely to go wrong enough now to stop them pulling in atop the podium.
In fact, Rootstock and Band are just about to swap snacks on the park trail.
Aha, I figured Rootstock was trekking! And now they're snacking too.
For comparison, Rib passed through CP38 on this trek about two hours before Rootstock.
That said, there's a waggle in Rib's track between CPs 39 and 40 that suggests they may have wasted a little time. Or it's just a random tracker thing.
I wonder if Bend picked up 41 first on this trek. There's an area of poor signal and that would make sense. I keep thinking of Jason in flip flops.
Untamed wasted no time getting back on the water. At this stage, with Deviate switching to the Short Course, Untamed seems to have 4th place overall sewn up. I'd never say never but it looks like a battle between Rib and Rootstock for the podium positions.
It says The Wildlings are sleeping but if Mr. Wonderful's reports are accurate, they're probably taking turns water skiing behind their boats.
Honey Pots, snacks, flip flops, waterskis, what's not to like about Day 5 of Endless Mountains?!?!
Maybe that final climb to the finish line? But I'll bet they have snacks up there too!
Deviate and The Wildlings have started Trek #2. It would be much quicker to list the teams that are *not* on Trek #2.
Bash - I cannot imagine but, Is there an outside chance Bend missed/accidentally forgot 41?
I’ve wondered that. Based on the CP times, I don’t think they got it from the north but they had time to get it from the south. That would be quite the twist!!!
We've asked Mark Harris for confirmation on that - they punched 41 on their passport, so just a tracker glitch!
Recall that Brent was on the morning live stream and was heard to observe (paraphrasing here): "I just Saw Bend Racing walk by going in an unexpected direction." Walking up the middle of the park to CP41, rather than taking a CW or CCW route around the park, could be the reason.
Rootstock has caught Rib at or near G10 and they both have all of the same points...sprint finish seems like it's on the menu.
Still super close for 2nd place. Rootstock’s location is 1.5 - 2km and 1 CP behind Rib but Ribs last ping is 30 mins more recent than Rootstocks
Looking over the progress of all the mixed short course teams and my head is spinning. The numbers are so tight that it's totally unclear to me how it's going to shake out. Will OML clear this whole section --G(B) -- and still get beaten by another team(s) by the end b/c the other team(s) grabbed more optionals earlier in the race? It sure seems possible.
Bend has 4-5 km left to paddle then they just have to flip flop to the finish line.
Don't know how the fire tower at CP49 is organized, but if teams have to ascend narrow stairs and there's a critical mass of them trying to go up and down at the same time (seems like that's happening NOW), I bet there's some serious log-jamming and hopefully a lot of laughter.
Bend can flip-flop still, but they need to veer off a bit to punch CP50 before the finish or they'll spoil their whole week.
Tracker for Rootstock has updated and it appears that Rib has opened up a teeny lead (5 mins?) in the vicinity of the fire tower (CP49).
Rootstock tracker just updated. They are very close to Rib near 49. The tracks are so coarse, you can’t tell if either team got 48 yet. I’m guessing Rib did? The trackers are pretty feeble in this area, frustratingly.
Well, I guess the paddle sprint is on!!! And as darkness descends on everyone, to boot. No sleep for anyone this evening!
Looks like Rib is headed back to their boats. Rootstock maybe still needs to punch 49 and then chase Rib. I think both got 48.
Silly tracker, I refuse to believe that Bend is sleeping 50 m from the takeout.
OMG….I leave to travel to Stubborn Mule and THIS is what’s happening!?!?! Can’t believe this Rib/Rootstock dice to the finish. So painful.
@Bash hopefully it’s not because they forgot their tracker on their victory march to the finish!!
Luckily not! They are flip flopping to the finish as we speak.
Looks like the tracking has been upgraded for Bend to 3 min updates now that they are in Clarion. Also sounds like live streaming of finishes is the plan so be ready to watch!
I’m ready! It’s all kinds of impressive that Bend is the first team to cross the finish line ahead of the Short course teams.
Actually, it might be 1 min updates...
On the other front, Rib is now pinging in the river but Rootstock is not. I don't expect those pings to be consistent as they jockey down-river.
Rib had a 14 min lead at CP49.
Every team has reached Trek #2.
Bend is moving so slowly that I wonder if they are carrying Jason?
...every team, including Bones apparently.
I saw that! I’m beginning to wonder if Bend actually *will* be the first to the finish line.
Rib and Rootstock are both in a “no signal” area so we can’t even fret about that while we wait.
With the slow pace for Bend, it looks like Chaos will catch them and perhaps complicate the finish line party scene unless somebody asks Chaos to hold back for a bit. Is that reasonable or just stupid?
Chaos doesn’t know where they stand or who might be right behind. I don’t think they could be asked to wait but it’s unfortunate timing.
In recent ARWS races, I've seen non-ranked/short course teams held at the last TA to allow the top 5 teams to cross the line in ranking order. That may not work well for course with optional CPs like this one.
Bend looked beyond exhausted but very happy and proud - as they should be.
No sign of Rootstock’s tracker but Rib is probably holding 2nd place.
Untamed is almost finished the trek. No, they’ve just come close to the river. They still have the far controls left.
Untamed has skipped the optionals at G(B).
I was trying to figure out their route strategy but sadly, that seems to be the case.
Although… Strong Machine has taken a similar route to Untamed and they are heading up to the optionals.
Oh, Geez. Forgot to say CONGRATULATIONS! to Team Bend Racing. Two big wins for the team in the last month incl. Exp. Canada.
Rootstock’s signal reappeared and they are well behind Rib. Congratulations to both these podium teams! It’s been a fun battle to watch.
A theory on Strong Machine’s strategy (which may also be Untamed’s strategy): Collect all mandatory CPs then look at the time remaining before heading to the distant optional CPs. SM should clear this trek although their tracker was a bit squirrelly earlier so it’s not certain which CPs they visited.
Well, that appears to have been SM’s strategy but Untamed turned around without heading north to the optional CPs. They were behind SM, who are still on the river with 90 minutes to go (and should have no problem). It might have worked out for Untamed but it would have made this morning really stressful. They are now off the river heading for the finish line in 4th place. SM will be 5th Mixed. Great job!!
In the end, Bend (with possibly the slowest final leg of any team)(in the history of the sport) finished 3 hrs 16 mins ahead of Rib, who came in 2:40 ahead of Rootstock.
Dan made an online comment about heading north with Jason for the Yukon 1000 paddling race (“the longest paddle race in the world”) next week. !!
Only MOSTLY Lost was 6th Mixed followed by ThisABILITY, No Complaints, Nerdquist and Hunting Bigfoot.
If the leaderboard points are correct, Deviate will be the top male team by far, sitting between Untamed and Strong Machine in 5th overall. Chaos Required, in their first Exped race, was the 2nd male team and finished next after Hunting Bigfoot.
The Wildlings crushed the female category and left lots of teams in their dust.
A shout out to Abby and Brent for orchestrating a near-mass finish. They can’t do that on their own but it appears that teams made smart decisions aided by appropriate timing guidance and good information in their maps and instructions. It looks like all teams except Bones will finish within a 9-hour window. In a race this long. It’s unbelievable that only one team retired and another team lost one member. Assuming the leaderboard is up to date, every other racer will cross the finish line after a race through ankle-twisting, foot-blistering terrain. I’ll credit the great food offered along the route. :)
The Wildlings arriving at the finish line. :)https://fb.watch/dSOCohUDe-/
Strong Machine will make it by 10 am but they’re cutting it close, hitting the final CP50 at 9:37! It’s clear that Untamed made the right call on the 2nd trek.
That really seemed like a great race location and, as typical of Rootstock , super solid logistics.
Thank you for all of your commentary, I did not contribute at all, haha, but I read every word as I followed my friend’s teams through this race! I had a little FOMO myself. :)
Glad to know you were here! :)
Looking forward to hearing from racers and reading their reports.
Talk about some ACE time management, props to all those teams sweating the paddle and sweating the finish time and squeaking in with 119:xx. I am amazed! Five days! Timed it to within minutes!
I also appreciated all the commentary!
+1 on FOMO
This video starts with the arrival of Untamed. Erik was hobbling on sore feet but everyone was in good spirits.https://fb.watch/dT1dZH1AVW/
Awesome commentary all! I love reliving the race again at home! We had a ton of fun on the super tough course - it was unlike any other expedition race (in the best way possible)! Abby and Brent did a tremendous job with the course. Each leg felt uniquely special, purposeful, and well thought out. Not sure if I'll be able to race it again next year, but I was trying to make plans for it while still on this course. I would love to see top international teams come try their hands at the navigation that we offer in PA!
A few thoughts/answers to what I saw in the commentary:
On Leg E we (Strong Machine) planned a route that just happened to get nearly all mandatories first and sweep back south with most optionals. When we got to 22, we realized that our planned route to E7 might take too long to keep us on our estimates for the rest of the course. We had a tough team talk about it, but decided that skipping it then was the right choice. If time worked out in our favor, we would have been able to get it after E2. We ended up dropping E points because of the incredible heat. While we were getting and drinking loads of water, some of us had trouble regulating our core temperature. At one point we prioritized getting a teammate safely to a cool creek over getting more E points, which was definitely the right decision. I had a similar experience on the previous day's bike, and will forever compare hot days racing to "D4 heat", where I could barely mount the bike, let alone pedal, without overheating.
I like reading Bash's comment about a "party at CP21". We ran in Rib just as they were leaving; the first team we had seen since CP27, ~12 hours prior. It got very lonely in the Quehanna heat, and even more so at night..
On the G(B) trek, we had always planned on getting all of the points, and were always meeting our time cutoff. The order we chose made the best use of the Cathedral section of mandatories and made sure that if we needed to drop a point to get back on time that we had the best route back. I really liked the order in that it gave us a simple road run back to TA after we finished.
On that last trek, G10 was the tough point. I have done my fair share of Rootstock races, and I could tell immediately that it was going to be very challenging, especially after midnight when we got there. We made a good plan, skirted the hillside around some private property, and attacked from the large reentrant junction beneath the point. The area between there and the CP was full of blowdown. We got momentarily confused while trying to make the terrain match the map, when in reality we had to travel much further. There are lots of mini-reentrants, spurs, and streams in that area. Once we realized that we needed to travel further north to get out of the blowdown, it was easier to locate. My teammates did a terrific job here. I can see how someone unfamiliar with the terrain, even top-level navigators, would have trouble locating the CP efficiently.
Finally, re: 25... Being completely honest here, I think that the criticism is rather unfair. We weren't sure what the uphill bushwhack would be like (our previous downhill had been heinous), so we took a conservative approach and walked around on trails before approaching from the east. The terrain matched perfectly, and we were able to identify the highpoint before skirting to the side of it. We planned on catching the hilltop just north of the spur and tracking south to it. The point was EXACTLY where it was supposed to be on the exact feature listed on the clue sheet. The presence of other similar features doesn't make the point incorrectly mapped, hung, or chosen. When orienteering, I expect the maps to be perfect. When adventure racing, I expect to be given enough information to figure out the exact location of the CPs. As in this case, the information is spread out on the USGS map, the supplemental map, and the clue sheet. Part of the race is puzzling out which to rely on the most. (@mayer22 - you mentioned point P from the Crooked Compass. I felt that point was exactly where it was supposed to be - it was at the top of a rock slide, which happened to be located along a rock band. I didn't see anything wrong with it at all.)
Thanks for the inside scoop glewis!
Thanks for all that great info! It was fun trying to put ourselves in your shoes and guess what was happening but now it's going to be even more fun to hear the real stories. Wishing you a smooth recovery with deep sleep and all the best food. :)
GLewis I hope you didn't misinterpret me. I didn't (nor do I think anyone) say the points were in the wrong location. I would be pretty confident they are in EXACTLY the right location. I think the question Mr. W raised and the one that I was contributing to was whether the points could be spotted once you've found the feature and were within the control circle (the tracks show several teams walking righ by it and not seeing it). I expressed concern about using a large unmapped feature such that you could even be on the feature but outside of the circle.
Brent defended the point by saying the change in contours was also a significant addition to the location specificity. Which I agree helps but would argue that still isn't going to get anyone to the exact location because no one can convert the pitch on the map to the pitch in real-life perfectly. You will be in the same general area though.
So one would likely use the contours along with a distance/bearing from the adjacent spur but nobody is perfect (as Mr W pointed out). You will have some error from pace counting, some error from your bearing, and some error from accounting for the pitch. There will be some variance pooling and hopefully that gets you within some reasonable distance such that teams aren't walking right by it without seeing it. Arguably the size of a "control circle" (30m radius) but I understand that isn't always the case nor feasible. In which case maybe that CP location is not a good choice. Mr. W suggested other nearby locations that might have been both navigationally challenging and resulted in similar route direction and length.
I am sure Rootstocks goal is to make navigation difficult but they don't revel in the fact that teams walked by a control without seeing it and therefore don't receive credit. I am sure they talked with Bones and probably Rub to understand what their issues were and will consider that in future CP placement.
It seemed to me that glewis was saying, in a diplomatic way, that the provided info was sufficient to find CP25. Most teams did. Bones has not said anything to the contrary, as far as I've heard, although, they too may be being diplomatic about it. I think we can probably agree, given the fact that Bones was in the ballpark for hours without finding it, that the luck/easter egg effect for this one was likely more than optimal.
While watching Bones struggle. I was thinking that a good feature for this CP would be to stand atop the spur and look down - if you're in the right place, straight downhill should be due SW, if straight downhill is W or S or more subtly, SSW, you're on the wrong part of the rim. Sometimes these things can be hard to appreciate from ground level though. Any racer comments?
We attacked from below, went on our bearing then a little farther, then a little farther (alt reading 2200-2300) and then saw the enormous rock band. Brenda and I fanned saw it and I was able to channel my inner Angel Simpson and boulder to it. It was a head scratcher, and we got it. To racers who came from the top, was there yet another several contour lines?
From Rootstock Racing's Facebook page:
Two weeks out from the amazing finish of the inaugural Endless Mountains Adventure Race. We have been absolutely amazed at the feedback we have received, and we have already heard from several teams seeking information about next year.
So, here you go!
First off, we are working on scheduling for the week of June 26, 2023. We expect to have a similar timeline to last year, but we may shift it a bit.
In the pictures below, you can probably figure out that we are not trying to hide anything. Or, at least one thing, about next year. We are planning a race that will be based on the eastern edge of The PA Wilds (at least, the host location will be…). Those that participated this year know that one of our goals with this race is to showcase this entire region over the course of several editions.
Next year’s course has some really amazing land to race through. Expect some incredible water courses, more encounters with the region’s rich wildlife (still a chance you will see some of our elk, though less likely next year; we did see eagles and bear cubs among other sightings this week), some fun packrafting (hopefully in water deeper than your shins!), and possibly the addition of some climbing! Oh. And a proper waterfall or two:) Add in some great navigation, welcoming communities, and, yes, truly endless mountains, and you have a race that you will not want to miss.
We are also thrilled to be a full member of the ARWS - Adventure Racing World Series next year with the winner winning a paid entry to the world championship in South Africa, hosted by the truly amazing RDs from EXP Africa! We expect the event will be in the five-day range once again.
So, when can you sign up? We have already had people ask. THANK YOU for that, by the way!
A peek behind the curtain: we actually made some initial progress on our core permits well before the 2022 edition. At Rootstock, we feel very seriously about not asking for your money until we feel relatively confident our core permits will come through. Permitting takes ages, and we expect to be working on them deep into the fall and winter for an event of this magnitude. But we need to get to a place verbally with the forests, where we feel confident we can run the event. Maybe not with every checkpoint or route that we want, but an event were the of your time and commitment.
With that said, we are hoping to be able to get to that point by the end of the summer or sometime in the early fall, but we aren’t there yet. So, save the date in the meantime. We will be updating the website with details about next year‘s event over the next month or two, leading up to registration. ￼ Keep an eye on that!
To those racers and teams that joined us in Clarion, we hope to see you again next year.
To those who were unable to race with us this year, we hope you will consider coming out to the PA Wilds for what will be an amazing follow up to this year’s event.
See you in the woods.
Abby and Brent
This discussion thread is closed.