The Sea to Sea kicks off on Thursday morning from the Gulf Coast of Florida. I'm happy to be watching this one from the dots - anyone interested in following along with me? Looks like a HOT race with highs in the 80s.
Seems like a potential 3-way race at the front between:
MRC Mac Parkman
Tracking link: https://live.enabledtracking.com/s2s2022/
Rules of Travel: https://adventureenablers.s3.amazonaws.com/Trackin...
I'll be here, glewis. Agree with your elite division (3-4 Coed) podium selections. Would not be surprised to see one of the all male teams finish is this mix, too, but don't have any insight on the specific racers.
Don't have my hands on a course book or maps yet, but based on the schematic that I sourced from FB, it looks like the race starts with a paddle/trek, which should be ~4 hours for the top teams. That is followed by a quick trek. Lead teams should probably expect to be onto bikes by late afternoon.
This seems like a great course at first glance from the tracker. In the past, racers have ridden across the state while stopping for loops. This course seems to send racers forward by all modalities multiple times! The only downside is that bins are not available at all transitions - I imagine that moving bins for that many racers will be a real challenge.
Been out on the course, I think one of the big deciders for this race will be the bike section around TA5. Fairly simple navigation in a very sugar sand heavy area may cause teams to make some interesting nav choices to stay on the good roads. Unlike last year we dont have a marathon hike to separate the top teams so knowledge around the two major bike sections will be very important.
Santos will be a big advantage for most of the Florida teams, as anybody who lives in Florida has most certainly biked every trail in that park. But the course design has maps hanging on the ODD checkpoints resulting in teams having to backtrack alot in that section.
Looks like a good start to the race! The top 3 teams (I don't recognize any names who might contend with them at this point) are just off the water and probably on the trek after ~3:30.
Looks like team Wild Wanderers has done just that on a very interesting route to CP3! They will get themselves turned around now that they're at the road.
Working on getting maps for Santos section of the course updated. Looks like either the GPS tracker or the link to the paper maps is wrong.
Good 'Nuff appears to have opened up a lead on the first trek. Maybe Jared knows more about this area than I gave him credit for. They might end up with more than an hour on MRC and ARGeorgia.
Understandable nav error going to CP6 for ARGeorgia. They are not all sorts of our a whack looking for 8. Seeing that Josh forester skipped CP3, looking like a 1 horse race early. From the early paddle leg ARgeorgia seemed faster. There's alot of paddling in the upcoming stages for them to make up ground there.
I thought that ARG chose the best route from TA (due north) but I'm guessing that trail was junk - know anything about that?
Nope, i only know some of the course. My thoughts from the computer were north was good if the trail was good. Seems like alot of teams had trouble getting through there. Probably pretty swampy.
Thanks - must be a mess. Based on the Strava global heatmap there has never been any trails in there except for the red ones, so those smaller black trails are probably terrible.
It seems like GN has ~1hr on MRC, and probably 2hrs on ARG.
Lots of race left, but this is a much bigger gap than I expected at the beginning. Word on the street is that Jarrod knows Santos very well, where they are heading next. MRC and ARG will need to try to keep the gap low and stay clean.
Definitely lots of race left. We are getting to the point where the GPS map on the tracking doesn't match the paper maps the racers have. Hopefully we can get that updated before it gets confusing for the dot watchers.
Seems like ARG had some nav struggles early on, doing some CP hunting rather than bagging, but are reeling in GN bit by bit. Both are super-strong and I'm very curious to see who has the better paddling stroke...that leg could be the back breaker for the weaker paddling team.
Great work by ARG overnight to pass MRC. They are in TA now, about to trek towards the monster paddle. GN was in that TA more than 2 hours ago and will be paddling within the next 2 hours. The paddle should take 11+ hrs, so big advantage to those and any other teams who've timed it perfectly to get it done in daylight.
While it's great to have so many teams, it's near impossible to keep track of what's going on in the race without knowing exactly who is who. Our friends from Girls Will Survive are (I think) still on the full course while riding the trails at Santos - they've had what appears to be a clean race so far. thisAbility also is still on the full course, a little bit behind GWS. The race is really wide open after the top 3, but I think that these two will factor into the top 10 somehow.
Can we talk about these team names? So fun!
Muddy Cuddles - 2C
The Nothings from Nowhere - 2M
Legs Miserables - 3M
Ducky Fuzz and the Masters of Rubber - 3M
@glewis agree - it would be nice if teams who have dropped CPs get changed to a different color. Or maybe that is the plan but it's a manual change so AE hasn't done it yet since they may need info from TA4.
Time check on the water - the distance between GN and ARG is ~2:30 from CP44. Even if ARG has a paddling advantage (not sure if that's the case as both teams seem even) that is too much to overcome on the water. Time will have have to be made up on the relay and bike leg in the dark! Which team has the best pair of navigators?? MRC is another 2:30 back, still on the trek to the paddle.
My money would be on the top 3 remaining in this order, but I've been wrong before.
Also, if Jeff Woods wins again, how many total Sea to Sea wins would that be for him? 8? I can't imagine that someone has more than that.
I doubt there's anyone who has raced it more than Jeff/Michele. Looks like GN's lead has grown to about 2:50.
I stan Jeff Woods! I raced w him at S2S 2015 and it was so fun. He just doesn't quit!
I was shadowing (on bike) GN on the TA2 trek and Jarrod was solid and looking forward to Santos. They ran most of that section.
Oh yeah - Joe is on here - I stan you too! :)
Wow - impressed that the lead has grown, as it seemed like it was very slowly sinking. This is a big paddle in the hot sun though, so it's not surprising if someone(s) is hurting.
I raced with Joe and Jeff once, in a fake race, for about 3 hours, and they about gave me heat stroke.
And Good 'Nuff is the first team off the paddle!! 11.5 hours for them.
ARGeorgia seems to have slowed considerably and is about 4 hours back. They seem to have had a bobble after cp50, but they're now on the same channel that GN took.
Top 5 coed:
Also now realizing just how dark it is out. Navigating Florida rivers are so tough in the daylight. If midpack teams lose contact with the map it could take them until sunrise to get found again! Stay awake teams! (Or, sleep and then paddle in the sun)
Two other teams of note:
Team Onyx is made up of 4 racers who (I believe - correct me if I'm wrong) are new to multi-day racing. They've been moving very well through the course, skipping cps but chugging right along towards St. Augustine.
Adventure South contains the youngest racer of the field, and the dad-son team have been consistently moving across the course well. They skipped a bunch of cps last night and will have to sleep somewhere tonight I'm sure, but impressive what they've done so far.
In the early morning hours droves of teams appear at the TA after the long paddle. Hard to tell exactly what's going on with the top end of the race now, but it seems like Good 'Nuff has just finished both relays. Based on the tracker, it looks like they had a few bobbles on each but got it done. They'll be heading out on bikes next for a long bike rogaine. Based on FB posts, it seems like they will have had plenty of sleep. ARGeorgia is nearing the end of the long relay, with only the short relay left. Their tracker was wonky, but it seems like they moved quickly and have probably cut into the 4 hour lead by a decent chunk. If they can keep the transitions quick, we may have a race!!
I was wrong - ARGeorgia had already completed the short relay, meaning that they are only 30 minutes behind on the bike. What a race!
Going to be an awesome race to close! Final bike leg might be the decider! Any trails on this stage the at arnt straight will be almost primarily sugar sand (very little riding). There have also been many burns in the area so there’s always the possibility of fairly good riding through the burn areas to shorted the distance. The trail to 56 is tons of sugar sand. and 57 is right in the middle of a burn so trails are not necessary for that cp if they attack from the north.
GN has lost some efficiency on both of these o courses and are now trailing ARG by about 2k. They’re both just past half way on the bike loop.
Update from team Good'Nuff: Scary update about last night:
-They were almost shot getting the 2nd check point of solos trek.
-They have a time credit. Don't know how much.
*OA2 was removed from the course all together.
Wow - wild stuff there. I wonder, if they're close after the time credit is applied, if they might be co-winners. Would be tough to have it come down to ~10-15 minutes after a time credit.
Time credit is 30min according to Mark Harris' "official" punch card tracking sheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQ...
Hmmm - good find. That seems a little light for having to head out to the point, almost get shot, and then leave the point. That's probably the gap right now. I think ARG has the edge on the foot section as well. What a race!
Dude, almost getting shot is super scary. That has happened to me when there was an active shooting range NOT MAPPED between a TA and a CP. Very upsetting. The RD just assumed people would take a nearby road instead of redline.
Hopefully this shooter was trespassing themself or some other un-preventable thing vs. poor course design/mapping.
Someone had better tell Barbara and Brenda this because they’re trying to get to it right now.
ARG is nearly 1:45 ahead of GN now, heading back to TA for the final trek/bike legs. They took the CPs in this section in a wild order, one that I would not have predicted. If it was due to trail/road condition, then smart going on their part. GN is doing something similar. Might be the fastest routes, but certainly extra miles. ARG did find a store just out the way to refuel at, which was certainly helpful for them.
ARGeorgia is nearing the end of the final trek in Rice Creek Conservation Area - I remember visiting here in 2020. The trails are a bit tricky at times but they've got through the meat of it and are onto a section that I recall being easy to navigate through. They'll be onto the bikes in less than an hour.
Good 'Nuff is 3 hours back now. The advantage has gone from +4hours to -3 in just 24 hours of racing. I'm sure that they're devastated, but they'll have some stories to tell. From what I could parse on Facebook, it seems like they didn't get enough sleep last night and have struggled today. Still, they are surely guaranteed 2nd place. 3rd place MRC are ~8 hours back.
I tried to guess out the top 10, but so many teams have dropped points that it's too tough to figure out at the moment. Of note though is that the RD predicted that 10 teams could clear, but I think that it will only be 2. MRC and Last Minute are the last 2 full course teams, but I just don't see how they will have enough time to grab the rest of the bike points.
ARG just missed a CP and is backtracking for it. Darkness could maul their near perfect 2nd half.
When’s the finish cutoff?
Looks like a pretty difficult situation there...perhaps loads of unmapped trails which makes for a difficult relocation effort. That's what they need though: find a spot that's positively known, then shoot a bearing and do your best to follow it and pace count.
If they have indeed got it now, that nav. error took them about 1 hour to correct. Ouch. With the time credit in play for Good'Nuff, there's not a lot of room for additional errors.
Really rooting for MRC to clear this thing, but it's going to be close and they really need to nail the navigation. Even one bobble could sink it. I have no idea how much sleep they've banked, but they also can't really afford to sleep other than a power nap (~30mins) as long as it gets them rebooted and moving fast enough to regain the time.
Just under 11 hours hours left to get to the finish line for everyone. ARG looks to have it locked up after starting the last stage (~60K bike) and will likely finish within the next 2 hours.
Gah! MRC bailed out of the bike O' course, skipping the two middle-west CPs. I bet they're wiped out, sick of sugar sand biking, and concerned that they're running out of time to refuel and clear the rest of the course...which must be easier than the Bike O' in the dark.
All of a sudden the tracking is broken...it's about the worst time for this since the lead team is nearing the finish.
Tracking might be working again. Not trusting it, though, b/c Good'Nuff is still apparently hunting for CP68...same one that gave ARG fits a few hours ago. Is that real or just silly tracker behavior?
Oh, and ARG just finished about 5 minutes ago. Only evidence so far is Randy's live video that went dark went he had to use his other camera to record the finish. The sound work, though. Last I heard is the team need dry clothes and is headed to Taco Bell for some late night vittles.
Congratulations to Hunter, Jesse, Anna, and Tim for a stellar race performance. They fell off the lead on the first day, but stayed steady and caught up the lead during the morning hours today on the orienteering sections, finally passing Good'Nuff early on the Bike O' course.
Yikes! Looks like Good'Nuff has given up on finding CP68 in the darkness and is sleeping in the vicinity of it, probably with a plan to find and punch it at first light, which is still a couple hours off.
Jesse Spangler here, posting an update before I go to sleep. We had a great time out there on the course. The race really turned around for us at TA5, when Hunter crushed the A relay and then I completed the B relay in good time. Tim and Anna were able to sleep for 6 hours during this time, setting us up for the win. After TA5, Tim was able to make sense of some tricky CPs and demonstrated some incredible navigation. CP 69 could have been a disaster, but he figured it out. I don’t think the lead navigators of the other top teams had such a restful second night.
Thanks for the quick report, Jesse, and congrats!! What a huge advantage to let Tim sleep and have 2 other competent navigators complete those relay legs. Good strategy! Hope you enjoyed some singing with Tim & Anna :)
Woke up with no internet so I'm late to the party here - congrats Jesse, Hunter, Tim and Anna! The last 26 hours of the race was so impressive for them. Lots of fun to follow along.
About CP68, I checked the map from 2020, and the trails are mapped different in that area, but I distinctly remembering them being boardwalks through swamps. Whatever was going on out there, glad it didn't completely.derail any races.
@glewis: I think it derailed Good'Nuff. It didn't change their place in the standings, but I'm willing to bet they were grumpy and super-frustrated when they made the call to bypass it. I wonder if anyone other than ARG even found it?
Oooo - didn't realize that they never found it. I stand very corrected. But it looks like they did take a nap there, right? My experience is that there are some very, very challenging CPs in this race, and there is no way to use features to navigate to random trees in swamps with flags that are tucked into the scrub.
fuzzylines - Will we be getting a race report??
They may not have slept, but they did lurk in the same area ~SSE of the CP for a while (30+ mins?) before moving off toward CP69. EDIT: They were "circling" in the spot mentioned above from ~4am to ~5:30am.
Hopping into this conversation about 69, we were with them. Such a confusing area and called it because we were strongly encouraged to get to TA 6 around 6. We were on the wrong trail. I think only ARG got it. Happy to answer other questions while my husband drives me home. That paddle….
W4J - great job out there! That first trek looked strange. Strava Global Heatmap only shows 1 trail, in a loop, but the maps had tons of trails and teams got all turned around. Any insight?
Out map was one trail one loop for the most part and there many bonus trails. Bearing and pace count were important. No features really.
W4J what was up with the shooter/OA2?
My experience is that there are some very, very challenging CPs in this race, and there is no way to use features to navigate to random trees in swamps with flags that are tucked into the scrub
Barring the odd local meet director, orienteering figured out decades ago that using mapped features eliminated bingo-ness. I'm not sure why AR persists with tolerating featureless or unmapped placements.
Silky, a property owner who thought the CP was hung on his property.
Thanks, W4J, for the additional intel. That must have been scary and no fun for either party.
There's some really good, constructive, and respectful discussion going on on the ARDG FB page about mapping/CP placements. Social media CAN be a place for this kind of dialogue, especially when adventure racers are doing the typing! Sounds like the general consensus was that the overall course layout, flow, and logistics were spot-on, while some (a minority) of the CP placements and associated maps/clues were inadequate.
CPs not on mapped features, quick survey. Example given of my criteria. Perhaps others' standards are different.
5, 7, 8, 10
I would count 53...the middle of a ridge is not a point, but at least you can work with it with some brute force. 0.5 point credit. The maps alleges there is a reentrant and spur nearby.
10.5 / 72 or so?
I don't mean to discount the other 989.5 things the organizers got right.
Mr. Wonderful - not to throw fuel on the large Facebook (or very small attackpoint) fire, but it is way more than ~10 cps on unmapped features. A vast majority of their flags are on things like "tree in swamp" or "oak", etc.
It's a style that is unique to Florida. People who are used to racing elsewhere find it annoying, frustrating, or an outright travesty. But those who are from Florida see the "hide and seek" nature as part of the game. Erik Wise doesn't find it to be a travesty - the lack of connection between the map and what's on the ground to be part of racing. (I struggled with a mishung flag last year, and the response was something like "well, you found it, so what's the big deal?"). Ron Eaglin has been racing in Florida for ~20 years, and I've never heard a single complaint about it from him - it's just accepted as part of the racing.
On top of this, there is a reason that the Sea to Sea is so incredibly popular. The race is a wonderful experience. Part of that is the experience of traveling across a state, but there is also the awesome volunteers, the simplicity of finishing, the wonderful TAs, the simplified race format, the huge group/party atmosphere, etc. All of that outweighs the map errors. Even with all of the navigation questions, I would still recommend it to someone as a first expedition race, without question. Most, if not all, is due to the positives that Jeff and his ARGeorgia crew bring.
Please, fuel away. AP is more fun that FB forcing its preferred comment collapse, etc.
I was trying to be generous, not having had boots on the ground. If a point is on a mapped hill and the clue is "unmapped shed on hill", I think you can still use the map to get there, and is tolerable for AR. If they want to tell me the genus and species of the tree, as long as I don't actually need that to get to circle center, I do not care.
The monotone innards of a control circle are what make me most sad. If you look at 10 above, and move it to the peninsula just west of the "2" in 2.3...I suppose you have a handful of treasure hunters sad it was "too easy", and then the rest of the field navigates with confidence and still gets all the awesome stuff you described as being part of an amazing race.
It should be noted that the recent Panama AR also had issues with CP placement, resulting in penalties that had potential impact on the race results. And I will acknowledge that at Strong Machine Adventure Racing's Maine Summer Adventure Race, we've also had a couple of problems (over five years) with misplaced CPs or with CP placement that didn't align properly with the map or mapped features.
As a race director, I lose sleep wondering about our CP placement. It takes a lot of hard work to do significant scouting of every area of our 100+ mile course, ensuring we pick good spots for CPs, and appropriately mark (or erase) every trail that is (or isn't) there in real life. We have found that adventure racers are pretty forgiving types but Kate and I work harder every year to improve our processes, especially when it comes to mapping and CP placement. I can tell you that this takes up a massive amount of time, effort, love, care, and technical expertise both with on-the-ground scouting and the software we use (thanks Kate, love ya!)
In short, I don't think this problem is going away anytime soon. I would say the best thing the AR community can do is respectfully raise these issues in the forum they think will achieve the best outcome, whether that is privately or publicly. If a race director is not responsive, public pressure is a good motivator, and failing that, voting with your dollars and deciding which races are worth your hard-earned $$$ - and which aren't - ultimately makes the biggest impact.
I have a suggestion to the AR race director community: you can solve the majority of this CP placement problem by taking a page from Orienteering (see this thread right here on AP: https://www.attackpoint.org/discussionthread.jsp/m...
All orienteering A meets (national ranking events) and many B & C meets, depending on lots of factors, have a volunteer pre-run every course. That'd probably be more like running each leg in AR. This is specifically to make sure that controls (CPs or just flagging tape in AR) are properly located and to establish a rough estimate of completion time for each course. Why not design courses with this in mind? If your point locations lead to trouble for the volunteer, direct them to either 1. relocate the flag/flagging or 2. help you correct your clue sheet descriptions, base maps (either with trail or other feature markings), and/or CP circle positions. You can likely get volunteers from local orienteering communities happy to practice their skills, but who'd never consider signing up for a race with a team (?!) and that lasts for more than 2 hours (!?).
Human error is ALWAYS part of map prep, course design, and course prep (volunteers hanging flags make mistakes often). Accept this and utilize a solution that others have proven works. Of course, there are subtleties to AR that might make it work differently than in orienteering, but the concept is sound and it vastly improves the experience of racers.
I have participated in many ARs where CP placements have been troublesome and those races and CPs, in particular, stick in my mind for many years afterwards. In one particular situation, I searched the correct spot for about 10 minutes, then took the obligatory selfie of "where the CP should be", then moved on only to find the CP 10 minutes later in an obvious, but wrong, location about 500 meters down the same trail.
Misplaced CPs are disheartening, sap energy from racers (esp. navigators), and, perhaps most importantly, cause an otherwise trustworthy navigator to lose faith both in their own skills and to lose the faith of their teammates. On long races, this loss of faith can doom a team; I'm not joking. After all, AR is as much a social experiment/experience as it is a race. Misplaced CPs really shine a negative light on the quality of the race organizers when the teams find the CP accidentally (or by time-consuming area searching/"egg hunting") in completely the wrong spot, as in my own experience described above.
These situations also sour the overall experience for racers and give them pause in signing up for races hosted by you, the race organizer. I can attest that this hesitancy has been part of my race scheduling calculus several times in recent years. THIS alone is a bad thing for our AR community and for growth of our sport. Just imagine how demoralizing this can be for newbies who had been hesitant to tackle an AR specifically because of the navigation; this is the most common concern of new participants in my experience.
I have had the discussion that a team needs to be able to navigate to the point only using the maps with this CD every year that he has been in that position. It seems to always fall on deaf ears and then taken a bit further by not providing trails that he clearly had on a map from prior years.
Still frustrated after all these years...
Sony - when you're able, I'd be interested to hear about what happened on that o-relay, specifically with OA2. Were the other flags tough to find, too many trails, etc.? Any why did they hang a flag so close to a known out of bounds area with an active shooter?
Chris and I followed the trail near the fence line to the corner to attack the cp. At the corner in the dark was a hunter in full camo who claimed we just scared away his prey and we were on private property. We thanked him and left to try and attack from a different point but it brought us back near him. At that point we went back to TA. The CD said the cp location was not on private land but would remove it.
Navigating to the circle was fine, finding the flag in or near the circle was difficult especially as we became more fatigued. We struggled with 2 points on the OA course which required a trip back to TA to grab more eyes. There were no issues on the OB course. Hindsight shows we all should have slept for an hour before anyone headed out on the o course.
Like the sun rising in the east each day, it's almost reassuring to know that no matter where you go, someone will treat the public land adjacent to their property as a place to dump tires and set up exclusive private hunting zones.
conman- amen brother; it's definitely a conflict of emotions. I believe my teammate and I experienced that same CP you described 'looking in the wrong spot for 10 min' however my teammate and I searched for 45 min (determined) before moving on and accidentally finding it, quite literally 5- 10 min later, as you described.
Congrats to all the racers who completed S2s safely. There's nothing like AR racin'!!
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