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Discussion: 2022 ARWC Expedition Guarani in Paraguay

in: Adventure Racing; General

Sep 15, 2022 11:13 PM # 
Just watched teams parade around downtown Asuncion with country flags waving. Lots of very high quality teams on the roster, although only one from Oceania. Also listened to the DarkZone podcast episode with predictions and course analysis by broots and Craig Cook of AR Live Coverage. Who else is keen to track this and discuss team tactics, blunders, status, and generally just root for them all?
Sep 16, 2022 3:13 AM # 
I'm interested!
Sep 16, 2022 3:06 PM # 
English version of the race website

The pre-race newsletters are packed with useful information including the team list and logistics for each stage, all in Spanish. Here is Newsletter #3 with that info.
Sep 16, 2022 11:56 PM # 
The stories of Team Estonian ACE and Gym City AR getting their whole team and gear to Asuncion are epic enough and the race hasn't even started.
Sep 18, 2022 4:58 AM # 
And they’re off!
Sep 18, 2022 5:01 AM # 

At CP6, it’s Estonia followed very closely by Merrell and Avaya.
Sep 18, 2022 7:00 AM # 
Seems that team East Wind's Yone is feeling ill and they have slowed down to manage and help him through it.
Sep 18, 2022 10:01 PM # 
Normal service with Avaya into the first transition in the lead after 28 hours of trecking. The next river leg looks equally long. I don't know the official distance but about 50km straight and more like 150km with the meanders is my guess.
Sep 18, 2022 11:30 PM # 
Leg 2 is 94 kms according to the route book.
Sep 18, 2022 11:51 PM # 
Avaya spent a longer amount of time in TA1 than I expected. I wonder if they took a 1 hour nap (during twilight hours) along with the food, electrolyte, & gear transition? Seems like they pulled out of the TA at about the same time as the other three following teams arrived, which appears to have been all together.
Sep 18, 2022 11:52 PM # 
It also sounds like Silver of Estonia was considering taking a 1.5 hour nap before they get on the water.
Sep 18, 2022 11:56 PM # 
SAFAT has clearly skipped any form of rest and moved from 4th at the CP31 river crossing to 2nd out of TA1 and went immediately onto the paddle with no messing around. They might only be 45-50 mins behind Avaya now. They were about 80 mins behind on arrival at the TA.
Sep 19, 2022 12:23 AM # 
Ah, so Avaya had to sit out a time adjustment at TA1 because they skipped the ziplines at CP19. More details here:
Sep 19, 2022 1:12 AM # 
I've parked a set of photos of the route book provided by Stephan Muller (Exp Africa) here:

If somebody wants to crop the oversized images and turn the set into a pdf then send it back to me, I'll happily replace these.
Sep 19, 2022 1:50 AM # 
Merrell Songlines had some difficulty with navigation in the dense bush over the last bunch of kms of the trek and is aiming for a sleep (~1hr) at/near the TA.

I think Brazil Multisport might be in a 1hr penalty box before they can enter the TA for possibly skipping the zip lines like Avaya did...haven't heard this officially, but it seems to have been alluded to in the "Avaya leading" article linked a few posts ago and their behavior near the TA (parked a few blocks away for a while) seems to indicate this. Maybe I'm all wrong, though: the tracking site has gone offline in the last hour or so.
Sep 19, 2022 2:12 AM # 
That's crazy news about Avaya. They're still in first though, so it's not too controversial just yet.

To be fair, this is what you would see if you *weren't* the first team to arrive.
Sep 19, 2022 2:13 AM # 
Live tracking seems to be broken. :(
Sep 19, 2022 3:33 AM # 
Race mgmt. knows the tracking is down. I'm just guessing, but getting that fixed after dark on a Sunday from a tiny village where the internet and cell coverage could be pretty weak might be harder than anything else dealt with so far in the race, which already includes rescuing the impounded bike trailer and rushing Estonian ACE's gear from the airport to them mere hours before the start.
Sep 19, 2022 5:43 AM # 
Tracking came back up within the last hour. :D
Sep 19, 2022 5:58 AM # 
Interesting to note that the two leading teams from the start of the paddle (Avaya and SAFAT) have stopped for a sleep in different spots near the first Safety Point (SP1). Both have been stopped for at least 1.5 hours. I suspect they have stashed their boats and themselves so that following teams don't know they are stopped...? At this moment, both Estonian ACE and Imptek are right at SP1 as they travel downriver. They both clearly slept back at the river put in (CP32). Merrell Songlines is just a bit over 2 hours behind these two, with Brazil several 5-10 minutes behind that. Once SAFAT and Avaya get back on the water, I think all of these top 6 teams will have had a sleep.

So, for at least a little bit, the order of the race leader(s) will change. Hard to know how the speedy paddlers of Songlines and Avaya, in particular, will reposition themselves on this long paddle once they get moving again. Will be fun to examine in the morning after I've had my own sleep.
Sep 19, 2022 6:39 AM # 
I'm quite confused by the controversy at TA1. The article seems to suggest that the Race Course Booklet wasn't clear and that Race Referree Adrian Crane didn't fault Avaya for making the 'error' at CP19, especially given that they were the first team through. However, when I look at the booklet supplied by Conman, it seems quite clear that there are ropes to do at CP19. Perhaps there's a different booklet? I'm gutted for everyone that this would happen.
Sep 19, 2022 12:04 PM # 
Agreed, the instructions are clear. The only potential confusion I can see is that teams were supposed to carry climbing gear from CP19 to TA1 so when there was no mention of the zip line at CP19, maybe they thought the start was farther along. Apparently the race officials at CP19 were told to say nothing about the zip line to racers, which is bizarre. You can bet that when 5 teams are at CP19, the officials tell them where to leave their packs, where to line up, etc. It’s unusual to have to search for a zip line when you’re already there. The fact that another team carried on for 10 minutes before turning back suggests that they also thought the zip line must be farther along, given that the volunteers said nothing about it. I’ve never arrived at the start of a ropes course where volunteers checked me off on a clipboard but explicitly did not mention the ropes course. They usually give racers a bunch of info for safety reasons. I expect Avaya arrived at the TA fully aware they’d missed it but displeased at the way the zip line was managed.
Sep 19, 2022 2:51 PM # 
Having managed the live tracking side of our races for the past decade, my stomach is in a knot on the organizers' behalf. I obsess over whether every team is carrying their tracker properly. I can't imagine how stressful it would be to have the site go down for an extended period of time. Not only does this affect race safety and logistics and the spectator experience, it limits the amount of race news they can write. :(
Sep 19, 2022 3:55 PM # 
Video from TA2 showing the arrival of SAFAT and Avaya together and doing their transition. Rain is pouring outside! Around 20 minutes in, they show a whiteboard with TA1 times. It looks like tracking may be back up!
Sep 19, 2022 3:58 PM # 
And... the tracking is back down. :(
Sep 19, 2022 4:17 PM # 
There is a subsequent live video on the Estonia ACE FB feed of them arriving with SAFAT still there and Avaya gone. Shortly after, Imptek arrives.
Sep 19, 2022 5:13 PM # 
Tracking is back up! Avaya and SAFAT together on the early kms of Stage 3 bike.
Sep 19, 2022 6:03 PM # 
There is so much diversity of race overage, I don't have time to speculate or comment about what's going on! Rockin' media presence even with spotty cell coverage.
Sep 19, 2022 6:56 PM # 
good to see some decent teams on the course, and even Avaya (can you believe it, unranked!) out front is one thing we're used to, they will be pushed hard here to stay there.

it's been a while since I've had a moan about a tracking platform. They are all incredible compared to what we had to deal with even just 6/7 years ago. I'm guessing it went down due to server load, which is also something you can predict and account for (ie. throw money at)

This one doesn't seem to have breadcrumbs*, surely a vital part of any tracking site? part of me is ok with that as it does take up time working out who was where and when.

*full apology loaded if I've got this wrong, it sure ain't easy to find if it's there.
Sep 19, 2022 7:18 PM # 
shebeen: You are right that it doesn't have breadcrumbs, but something approximating this is the tail length selection. However, this becomes much less useful as teams get more than 2 hours beyond the spot you are interested in. The site does have a full function replay feature that will allow you to scroll thru the race by time and sort out the splits from there.

EDIT: breadcrumbs are better!
Sep 19, 2022 7:20 PM # 
Jumping in here after returning from USARA Nationals...anyone know what happened to the teams that dropped out? East Wind, Blizzard, Fairis in particular?
Sep 19, 2022 7:40 PM # 
Blizzard was first to drop with an injury early on the big trek. Not sure who or what kind of injury yet.

East Wind's super strong navigator, Yone, has been ill since about the race start as I noted and linked above. They nursed him and kept moving for nearly 24 hours, but then had to stop b/c he couldn't drink any water. They have withdrawn, are waiting in a local's home for an ambulance to take him to hospital. At this time, the rest of the team is eager to continue on unranked, but the time when they can depart is uncertain because getting Yone out is first priority.

Fairis: I only know that they pulled out and were at TA2 when the leaders arrived. Not sure what the circumstances were, but they did not make it to the end of the first trek. EDIT: It looks from their track like they pulled out at CP19 AFTER doing the zipline crossings. Makes me wonder if someone got hurt on that activity?

San Juan: No news that I've seen yet. EDIT: They appear to have pulled the plug after the waterfall cargo net ascent. Same curiosity...injury during the rope work? Or, just a convenient place to withdraw after reaching their limit?

There are other teams who have withdrawn or become unranked, but I don't know anything about them either.
Sep 19, 2022 8:24 PM # 
The chat here about breadcrumbs is interesting because I've just been having that discussion with YB Tracking (formerly Yellowbrick), the company that does our race tracking for Wilderness Traverse. They offer replays and tails (short or long) but we really miss breadcrumbs, as do our spectators. They seem interested and open to providing more functionality but - surprisingly - this doesn't seem to be a request they've had before.
Sep 19, 2022 8:31 PM # 
WHAAAT? I guess they need to solicit feedback (new site feature?) on their software from all users. Dot watchers know better than RDs what features are most useful for dot watching. RDs already have the ear of the tracking companies, but have a different perspective and priority. Whose site traffic is more impt. to getting more sponsors: RDs or dot watchers? I'll look for their answer on their tracking platforms.
Sep 19, 2022 9:00 PM # 
As an assistant RD who manages race HQ, I'd say we watch dots more than anyone else and for the same reasons! A lot of spectators are interested in (a) their loved one and/or (b) the race leaders. At HQ, we are interested in every dot (but never have enough volunteers to watch them all as well as we'd like).

We want the racers to be safe so we watch for weird dot behaviour and we can instantly locate them if they contact us. We want it to be exciting for our spectators so we watch for teams who seem to be carrying their tracker incorreclty. We watch the leaders in different categories so we can write news articles. We keep our CP/TA volunteers informed about the location/number of teams approaching them. We also check routes to see whether teams stayed off illegal roads, etc.

So it's not that RDs aren't dot watchers. The real issue is that YB Tracking is used most often for yacht racing and the tails seem to do the job for them. As mentioned, YB Tracking is interested and open to discussing our feedback. They've always been great to work with.
Sep 20, 2022 1:35 AM # 
Avaya and SAFAT have arrived together at TA3/TA4, a Museum. The next stage is a trek that starts and finishes here. Estonia is in 3rd about 45 mins behind. Brazil Multisport and Life Adventure Imptek are close together 90 minutes further back in 4th and 5th. It's another big gap back to Merrell Songlines in 6th.

This trek sounds pretty. The CPs have descriptions like "Waterfall", "Natural Viewpoint" and "Rockwall in Creek".
Sep 20, 2022 1:43 AM # 
Darkness for this entire orienteering section unless they go quite slowly. True challenge for these top notch navigators.

Also, Songlines is much closer to 4&5 than the tracker shows...they haven't updated for a quite a while. EDIT: of course it updates as I type...they are about 1 hour back from Imptek
Sep 20, 2022 2:00 AM # 
Sounds like the trek will be prettier for midpack teams - my kind of trek! :)
Sep 20, 2022 2:28 AM # 
So, the mud:


This is the rescue caravan for Team East Wind's sick navigator, Yone.
Sep 20, 2022 3:13 AM # 
Sep 20, 2022 6:26 AM # 
Uh oh...Avaya appears to be out on the stage 4 trekking loop, but their tracker is absolutely still at the TA. There are hints that this may be the case in the social media channels, but it has not been confirmed by anyone on course. If true, there's likely another penalty in their future. This penalty is dictated clearly by ARWS rules...although I am loathe to go searching to look up the time.
Sep 20, 2022 6:40 AM # 
Okay, so I guess it was easier to look up than I expected: the tracker is mandatory gear per the gear list and not carrying such equipment unintentionally is classified as a Yellow infraction (rule 2.2) with a time penalty of between 2 and 6+ hours at the discretion of the race referee (rule 10.3.3).
Sep 20, 2022 6:51 AM # 
Someone just suggested that this could be an error on the part of the race organizers if they swapped trackers to provide fresh batteries, but didn't allocate the team to the new tracker address. So that's a possibility, and this roughly-in-the-middle stage of the race might be the appropriate time to perform a tracker swap. Hmmm?

I'm going to sleep for a while and imagine this will become a huge kerfuffle or will blow over by the time I awake.
Sep 20, 2022 6:56 AM # 
One more observation before sleep: appears Greener Adv. and USWE Adv. are having night navigation trouble at the westerly turn downhill just before CP39. And they are being passed by several other top ten contention teams while they hunt and peck.
Sep 20, 2022 8:03 AM # 
I don't think Avaya would leave a tracker behind at a world champs. They have learnt that lesson the hard way.
Sep 20, 2022 8:11 AM # 
It looks like Sonnglines took a 2hr nap around EXP41, which is listed as a "house".
after seeing the video at TA1 where it was doef doef music at top volume I think this might have been a wise move rather than roll on slowly to TA3.
Sep 20, 2022 11:17 AM # 
If the tracker system works like the one we use, a team’s tracker number can be swapped online in a few seconds. If this is a TA where trackers get swapped for fresh ones, it appears that other teams’ trackers have been swapped successfully. Organizers must be aware of Avaya’s issue so there aren’t many happy options. A couple of possibilities are that the tracker was swapped to the wrong number or race staff failed to record the new tracker number because Avaya may have been the first to swap. Or maybe Avaya took their old tracker with them. Otherwise… :(

ARWS Facebook mentioned the issue 5 hours ago and promised an update.
Sep 20, 2022 12:31 PM # 
Hi all!

One additional thought. It's a simple one. Maybe wishful thinking (because it's just depressing to think another worlds could end with a podium team being hit with a significant penalty...albeit a justified one).

Pending on how the staff are handling the tracker swap: it's POSSIBLE Avaya has a new tracker. And it's possible that tracker was not turned on properly. If so, Avaya would have no reason to check that, swapping the numbers wouldn't work, and it could account for the argument that "Avaya wouldn't leave their tracker behind again. They have learned that lesson the hard way" (saw this argument in FB comments).

I'll be honest, however...I'm inclined to think lightning has struck twice, unfortunately. While I would like to believe they learned their lesson, sleep deprivation has a funny way of turning us into toddlers, incapable of remembering the most basic lessons we have learned. I also would like to think that if the actively tracking device labeled 53 was, in fact, their old one, the RDs would have turned it off by now. They have to know what is going on and that people are speculating.

I actually am troubled by the fact that they have not put out a more formal post about this (as of half an hour or so ago, last time I checked). To me, this is either terrible RD coverage (they broadcast videos from the TA, they clearly can post there) or they are having big conversations about something and don't want to put out anything public until they have a decision.

And of course, all my speculation is probably incorrect. Regardless, something seems rotten in the state of Paraguay, and it feels like the AR Gods are throwing everything they can at Avaya....or they are proving they are mortal when they are actually pushed. They are, rightfully, put on a pedestal for not making mistakes. Maybe their seeming inability to make mistakes stems from the fact that they always have the luxury of more sleep and time to process everything. This race has been unique in that way in that SAF at least has seemed to match them with sleep.
Sep 20, 2022 1:10 PM # 
I’m with you, Broots - sad and I believe lightning has probably struck twice. Their tracker is still tracking at the TA. This happened to Team Tecnu at Wilderness Traverse. We were lucky that a volunteer had time to look through their gear for their tracker. It isn’t always obvious. It could have been dropped on the ground elsewhere or in a washroom. Volunteers may be too busy or maybe they can’t find it. But I agree - race organizers know whether they swapped trackers so they already know whether there will be a penalty.
Sep 20, 2022 1:11 PM # 
Facebook comment from the tracking managers of all people (Raceplay), in response to a criticism of the tracking platform:

"Avaya forgetting to bring their tracker has nothing to do with the tracking solution"

Not an official announcement, but I think that about does it. Avaya can still win, but they have to finish 4 hours or more ahead (I think it's a four hour penalty). I am not betting on that. SAF and Estonia are literally tracking side by side. I don't see both of them faltering that much over these last few stages. Unless Avaya has been coasting until now and they do in fact have an extra extra gear, they are likely racing for third place now. And they don't know it yet...
Sep 20, 2022 1:17 PM # 
I'm bracing for a tirade from Nathan...though hopefully they can process and respond respectfully. I'm aware of their 2011 mistake but not their response. What was that like?
Sep 20, 2022 1:23 PM # 
Just posted on FB: Team Estonia ACE La Sportiva have caught up to team SAFAT just before CP53 and they have been moving together for the last half hour or so.
The race media are struggling to establish internet connections out in the jungle, so until they do, or they get back to the TA, the whereabouts of team Avaya is likely to remain a mystery.
Sep 20, 2022 1:33 PM # 
you can find the Seagate Report from 2011 directly here

if you're into this sort of thing, they are all on the XPD site, that was one hell of a finish
Sep 20, 2022 1:35 PM # 
I don't remember. I THINK he owned 2011 with a fair bit of grace. He tends to be pretty blunt and honest but fair, in my opinion. In that case, what can you say or do?

Really, the only thing one could question is that nature of our sport and the frequency of penalties that do not affect the actual travel/speed/etc. Of course, such penalties are to guarantee safety, and as an RD, I'm not suggesting anyone change these sorts of standards.

That said, it's a real shame that this will be the second time they are deeply impacted by a penalty for something that didn't help them on the course in any sort of way. Now, skipping CP 19? That is not excusable from what I have seen on paper, and I know some teams and racers will be steamed about the light penalty for that one...

Ultimately, I do feel our sport can be unnecessarily punitive at times for certain types of infractions. It will be fascinating to see the conversations that emerge out of this race. Ironically, both primary issues revolve around Avaya. Not racing like Avaya normally races.
Sep 20, 2022 1:37 PM # 
Here’s Nathan’s race report from that race where he discusses the penalty a lot. TLDR; he disagreed with the magnitude of the penalty and felt it shouldn’t decide the race but he ultimately respected the referee’s decision to stick to race rules. There was considerable discussion in the middle! One point he raised was that after they forgot to transfer their tracker from their PFD, subsequent teams were reminded.
Sep 20, 2022 1:38 PM # 
Oh! Same report that Shebeen already posted.
Sep 20, 2022 1:48 PM # 
Kudos to shebeen for the excellent archives.
Sep 20, 2022 1:50 PM # 
Re tracker penalties: they should be stiff but flexible depending on circumstances. For example, a team might leave their tracker behind in a section where they could gain considerable time by passing through an out of bounds area or traveling on an illegal road.

The safety concern is obvious and organizers also use tracks to plan logistics because they can estimate when a team will arrive somewhere. The other issue is that it’s now an expected part of the sport for organizers, media and spectators to be able to watch the race online (and see sponsor logos, etc.) When Tecnu left their tracker behind at WT a few years ago, I felt so deflated at HQ because it was a great battle for the win and nobody could watch it or report on it. Less knowledgeable spectators thought Tecnu hadn’t left the TA, which changed the way they watched the race. They absolutely didn’t do it on purpose but it had a big impact on our spectator experience and our reporting - not to mention the time we spent confirming what had happened and reporting on that.
Sep 20, 2022 2:13 PM # 
Avaya possibly showing some rust from not racing 3-4x per year/missing Sophie.

When we received the penalty at WT for leaving the tracker at the TA we accepted it even though it was deciding the race because we knew we were at fault. The stakes are obviously higher here but I don’t think Nathan has a leg to stand on if in fact they did forget it. I don’t like the fact that there is a range in penalties for it. That will surely make it awkward for the referee.
Sep 20, 2022 2:15 PM # 
Just saw this on FB:
Sep 20, 2022 2:25 PM # 
Jayxc, is there a range of penalties for a forgotten tracker? That would absolutely muddy the water, especially since I suspect some people are going to be upset about the lighter 19 penalty already...

What a nightmare for Heidi and her team.

And agreed, assuming the reporting is accurate, and Avaya forgot the tracker, nothing to argue since those rules are clear.
Sep 20, 2022 2:29 PM # 
Conman mentioned this above: " Tracker is mandatory gear per the gear list and not carrying such equipment unintentionally is classified as a Yellow infraction (rule 2.2) with a time penalty of between 2 and 6+ hours at the discretion of the race referee (rule 10.3.3)."
Sep 20, 2022 2:37 PM # 
I can understand why there is a range of penalties in the ARWS rules. A missing tracker in a 2-hr prologue in town is different from a missing tracker on a 2-day wilderness trek. A tracker lost in a whitewater capsize is different from a tracker left in the gear bin.

This is one of those things like a misplaced CP: there is no way to make it right once it has happened. It's much better if it doesn't happen. I'd be all for signs at every TA exit saying, "Do you have your tracker?" Nobody takes pleasure in giving those penalties.

And yes, JayXC was very gracious when he got that penalty at WT. My team also got knocked off the only ARWS podium I ever could have stood on by a penalty for a sat phone left behind on a gear box on the final evening. It sucked but it made sense.
Sep 20, 2022 2:57 PM # 
SAFAT and Estonia ACE are approaching the final CP on the jungle trek. I'm guessing, if Avaya is physically ahead of them, then Avaya may be arriving back in TA 3/4 relatively soon.
Sep 20, 2022 3:49 PM # 
I spent time with ARWS head referee Adrian Crane at Expedition Canada in June while I was volunteering (he's in Paraguay). I discussed/consulted with him on a couple tough judgment calls he had to make, including one with the 2 leading teams clamouring to get on the ropes. Gave me a better understanding of the rules, how they're applied, and why some things are at the ref's discretion. Solutions are never perfect, but I respected his understanding of AR and racers and his approach of trying to apply the rules fairly. Having the referee also allows the RD to remain separate from those situations and focus on running the race. A well-refereed hockey/football/basketball game and adventure race is one where you don't notice the referee. Sounds like he's already busier in Paraguay than he wants to be.
Sep 20, 2022 4:05 PM # 
Here's the update:

In summary: all three leaders are right on top of each other (4 mins apart). There is a 2 hour penalty for Avaya for not taking their tracker on the Stage 4 trek.
Sep 20, 2022 4:06 PM # 
Media guy went to roadside to find signal. Yes, AVAYA were missing tracker. Referee Adrian Crane was there. Stu Lynch looked in pack and didn't find it. Nathan went to box and found it. AVAYA 2 hour penalty, likely serving at last transition.
Sep 20, 2022 4:17 PM # 
Very unfortunate and a bit strange that it was in a gear box. When this happens, it’s usually a paddle transition. Teams don’t need to change the position of a tracker on their pack between bike and trek. Maybe they intended to transfer it to a different teammate who was feeling stronger? Or maybe they completely unpacked everything including the tracker for some reason. Regardless, they’ll be kicking themselves.
Sep 20, 2022 4:23 PM # 
Note that 2 hours was the lowest possible penalty. When this happened to Avaya before, it was a 4-hr penalty.
Sep 20, 2022 4:27 PM # 
We took a bit of a different approach to trackers at EMAR this year. Our philosophy was to try to shift SOME (not all) of the responsibility for trackers onto ourselves. We had instructions for staff to check when teams left TA. Teams get tired, they make mistakes, especially if they are switching the tracker from a PFD to a pack.

In one instance, a team left a TA without staff handing them their tracker at a tracker change in the middle of the night (staff make tired mistakes too!). We actually went after them to avoid them coming all the way back. I'm not saying this is the way to do it, but we wanted to avoid any "gotcha moments" with rules that can easily be avoided by a more communicative approach.

I think there are ways we can improve our support through a bit more compassion to racers when it comes to certain rules and scenarios. Yes, teams need to be responsible and being organized and dialed in is important. But everyone has been in a similar situation where we forget something we need in a tired moment. If some of these scenarios can be minimized or even completely eliminated through some additional checks by race staff, I think it would make an awesome thing even better!

To be clear: not advocating for a complete gear check at every TA. Trackers or safety related gear, however, are as much for the RDs as they are for racers. I'm not interested in testing tired brains and allowing them out into potentially risky situations, personally. To some degree, I think that responsibility may even tip toward the RD than the racer.

Again, major bummer that this race might be impacted and determined by penalties that don't reflect Avaya getting any sort of undue advantage.
Sep 20, 2022 4:35 PM # 
As for dotwatching, though:) This is going to be epic.

Avaya leaves knowing exactly what they need to do: they need to bank two hours. They cannot afford any more rests or stops even if they need it. All out, try to get ahead.

For SAF and Estonia, they cannot assume that Avaya will melt down. If they stop to rest tonight and Avaya holds it together, that may open an easy door for Avaya to make up the time. So they too need to go all out to make sure Avaya doesn't pull ahead.

All teams are tired and the mental gymnastics of all this drama might be invigorating for a little while, but they still have a lot of time for that adrenaline to where off.

AND...Avaya knows what they are doing for those two hours. Sleeping and getting ready to roar toward the finish. Tonight could be nightmarish for Estonia and SAF if they are not fresh enough to push through.

It's going be an epic, epic ending, I think! For all of them, at least. Whether it plays out in the dots, who knows;)
Sep 20, 2022 4:40 PM # 
And considering Estonia ACE's finish at last year's ARWC in Spain...where they were in the lead until nearly the end and slowed due to sleep deprivation, which allowed SAFAT to surge ahead and win.
Sep 20, 2022 5:00 PM # 
RD estimates on top team times for remaining stages:

BIKE 74k - 5hr
TREK 33k - 8hr
BIKE 104k - 9.5hr
TREK 19k - 4.5hr

Total 27 hrs not including sleep or TAs or penalties

So if SAFAT and Estonia can meet those estimates...Avaya needs to be about 8% faster to overcome their penalty time of 2 hrs.
Sep 20, 2022 5:17 PM # 
I agree with your earlier comments, Broots, although if race organizers assume some of the responsibility for teams carrying mandatory gear, we need to ensure that every team is treated the same way as volunteers change throughout the day, go to the washroom, etc. As you say, volunteers get sleepy, forgetful and busy, and some of them overlook RD instructions. Steps may be missed, especially for the first few teams.

Maybe there could be a mandatory TA sign-out sheet where the team has to initial that they have their tracker and other mandatory gear. That way, it's still their responsibility but the race organization has done its best to help them out, and the reminder is exactly the same for every team.
Sep 20, 2022 5:26 PM # 
Yep, that is another good idea. I have seen sign in sheets all the time with course amendments. Using them this way might also be a great idea!
Sep 20, 2022 5:30 PM # 
Maybe another approach that's a middle ground where staff and racers bear nearly equal responsibility, but there's less chance of a human error, would be to put on the TA check out sheet a check box for race staff to confirm that each team has visually proved that they have their tracker and maybe one or two other key safety equipment items for the upcoming stage. It'd be important to make sure that the rules of travel clearly state/remind teams which gear they will need to show to race staff before they can leave the TA; then it's not a surprise check and they can be efficient and prepared to show the named equipment without significant delays in their race. Teams who don't read the rules clearly still get checked, but suffer the time loss in not being ready for the checks. Dunno if this is too much for RDs to add to an already big load to prep things for a race, but it sounds okay.
Sep 20, 2022 5:34 PM # 
That's essentially what we did, Conman. Generally, it worked really well. 32 teams x6-7 TAs. Again, one missed tracker at one point, but not bad. I'm liking the sign out sheet idea though either in lieu of or in addition. Nothing wrong with double checking!
Sep 20, 2022 5:34 PM # 
Meanwhile, SAF is riding strong. Not sure Avaya is going to make up time on this stage unless nav comes into play. It's unfortunate for them that these other teams know a thing or two about navigation;)
Sep 20, 2022 5:43 PM # 
And a big shout out to Estonia for racing with the leaders even though the reporter said they had to buy some gear in Paraguay and expected some of their gear to arrive during the race. Yikes.
Sep 20, 2022 6:03 PM # 
Bash: the Estonian's gear story is that only one of their bags arrived with them from Paris. Note that they are a group of 5: Silver, Rain, Reeda, Timmo, and Rain's spouse. Everything else (6 bags and 4 bikes) were still in Paris (three flights behind) when they reported them missing in Paraguay. They spent ~4 days in Asuncion without their own gear (except the one bag, which I think was Reeda's...maybe Silver's) and trying to borrow, buy, or otherwise source replacements in the event that nothing else arrived in time for the race.

Over night on the last night before the race start (teams on buses at ~4am, etc.) their bikes and all but two bags (one each for Timmo and Rain) arrived at the airport. Jose Pires took Silver to retrieve all of it and then straight to the race start (Silver missed the buses). That gear arrived for them to begin dealing with at about the same time as teams were given the race maps and put on lockdown. The RDs had made an exception to the scheduled gear turn-in requirement of the day before to allow this to work.

Suffice it to say they had to build and prep their bikes for race transport (not air transport) in addition to rearranging most of their personal gear boxes and getting all of these things within the weight requirements DURING lock down when they were also prepping the maps. The two extra bags finally arrived and were ready for them to sort through when they arrived at TA3. You'll notice in photos and videos of the first bike leg that Rain is wearing Team Seiklushunt bibs. The comments about them being a bit of a junk show in the TAs (perhaps all of them, but esp. at TA2 and TA4 to my memory) is evidence of how chaotic their gear management scene has been. MAYBE they have it all sorted now and will be able to be more efficient for the rest of the race?

Unbelievable that they are racing at the very pointy end given all of this.
Sep 20, 2022 6:21 PM # 
WOW!!! That is really impressive.
Sep 20, 2022 6:23 PM # 
Wow - I'm surprised that Estonia was not given some type of time credit for this.

@broots - what was done about Lars' bike arriving late to EM? There was a mystery time penalty that was potentially waiting for us at the last boat drop at EM that I never found out about...
Sep 20, 2022 6:26 PM # 
According to the 2011 Seagate report the forgotten tracker penalty was 5 hours. Then they let the hounds loose!

Tough break, but 2 hours seems fair, stone would say a bit light. Keeping a tracker on the route is a basic requirement now and most handle it just fine. Good to know they are human after all.
Sep 20, 2022 6:32 PM # 
It was originally 5 hours but they asked Craig to reconsider and he reduced it to 4 hours. Nathan said they spent an hour in the original discussion though, so it sounds it worked out to 5 hours anyway!
Sep 20, 2022 7:07 PM # 
Glen, Lars his bike arrived mid race. The airport delivered it in Clarion, and then we had the personnel to deliver it to him on course. No penalties or time credits for that. The potential stop at the last TA was if there were short course teams ahead of the leaders at that point. It only ended up affecting one or two teams. There was a small issue with a CP placement on the final trek, which resulted in one team (I think only one?) having to sit for half an hour to equalize time, but I don’t think that would have impacted you guys when you arrived?
Sep 20, 2022 7:11 PM # 

Re: Lars' bike. Nothing really. His bike arrived in the middle of the race. We were able to get it to the TA in Quehanna for the second half of the race. They were racing with a semi-functional loaner for the first half of the race.

Penalty: I THINK you are remembering the semi-standard rule at this point of holding short course teams until the leaders are through. We were telling teams that pending on Bend (or Rib/Rootstock, etc.), if teams came back early for the final stretch to the finish, we would hold them for approximately an hour to let Bend ideally finish.

There was some talk of whether we should hold longer or shorter, whether to hold until more than the lead team passed through. We held a couple of teams for an hour. Even then, one of those short course teams came within 5 minutes of running down Bend!!

I don't love this part of the sport and am not sure how it should be managed. I understand why we want the winning team(s) to cross the line ahead of a short course team (optics, honor, it creates confusion for some on tracking, etc.). But it's a tricky one to manage and measure sometimes.
Sep 20, 2022 8:50 PM # 
Very interesting info - thanks for sharing. When we arrived at the boats at the end of the last trek, we were told that there was a note saying to hold us for an hour if we arrived before 2:30 (we got back at 3:45, so it was moot). We couldn't figure out what the purpose of that would have been, so we got pretty speculative wondering if maybe every team had to wait a short bit to account for the bike issue, or things equally as bizarre. We were told that it wasn't a penalty on our part, but rather to equalize "something", but we never found out what it was.

Anyway, not a complaint from me and neither here nor there. Just curious if there was some type of precedent for a team receiving a credit for serious gear arrival issues outside of their control. It sounds like maybe there isn't?
Sep 20, 2022 8:54 PM # 
Spent a little bit of time with Timmo at the recent Rogaine World Champs in an official capacity and then a few times on course - very calm individual
Sep 20, 2022 9:28 PM # 
This thread is a bonanza for future episodes of The Dark Zone:
- TA gear management
- Sourcing gear in a foreign country
- RD on-course team management
- Penalties, penalties, penalties
- Therapy session for Thisability after their 72-hour first trek

Podcasting greatness to follow.
Sep 20, 2022 10:13 PM # 
Sep 20, 2022 10:23 PM # 

Since you're mining for ideas, have you heard the story of the Polish team Gymcity AR? Going to assume not. I'd have to dig for all the details, but the gist is that two of their team were denied transit visas (or something like that) after they had already flown out of Poland and couldn't fly onward. They had to fuss around at customs for hours to get this sorted. Meanwhile the other two teammates got on their flights. Of the two who didn't, one of those crowdfunded cash to pay (in part) for a new ticket once all the visa junk was sorted, but the other just gave it up. They picked up a fourth racer from a support crew person for another team already in Asuncion. I think he was from the Brazil Multisport team/crew. The details are out there somewhere in the interwebs.

After all of that travel mess and wrangling, they are in ~9th place...solidly within the top 10. Incredible!
Sep 21, 2022 12:52 AM # 
Wow....crazy racing stories thus far!!
Re: Avaya penalty - Earlier this yr, at Exp Canada our team received penalties for infractions that were well justified. I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting up Adrian for some time afterwards; he is legit. I am positive that he is in knots about having to make these types of calls; he is very fair.
We had to serve our penalties at the last TA and I really appreciated that format.
You finish when you finish.
I agree with Jay XC - a few yrs of no international races, and a different teammate, certainly add to the pot of potential mistakes, etc. I am sure they will have some comments, especially Nathan. If I understand it correctly, they were assessed a 2 hr penalty and if I had to bet, I'd still put my money on them. They have shown time again, they have another gear when it counts with plenty of course left. If the penalty is 4 hrs, then my pendulum swings more in favor of SAFAT having a strong shot at the title again, barring a major malfunction.
Remember ECO- Avaya (Team NZ) had their boat sink; imagine that mind bend...and they still won with authority. They are masters at handling adversity and strategy. Just my 2 cents.
Sep 21, 2022 1:12 AM # 
One personal thought on some of the conversations regarding trying to explain Avaya.

I think it’s easy to wonder about the fact that they are racing with Simone.

That said, Simone is one of the most incredible athletes on the planet, and I am pretty sure Nathan at least knows her very well. Avaya has won multiple big races without Sophie. They have won without Nathan too.

I don’t at all think anyone is blaming Simone, but there is something to chalking it up to a different teammate which might be undermining to her. If, hypothetically, she couldn’t hang. Turned out to be a bad teammate. Had a bad attitude. Was terrible at TAs…yeah, chalk it up to the team difference.

That all said, I don’t think that is the issue, and I’ve gotten the sense Avaya won’t race with someone if they aren’t confident in their ability to integrate them in.

I lean more to rust and the reality that things change when you are pushed. Mistakes are more likely. There is a great video of them heading out on the trek. They alluded to some physical issues as well. Sounds like a couple were injured and maybe not 100% going in (that from a pre-race source). I think this is part of it too: they don’t seem able to surge the way they normally do.

Anyway, my personal thoughts while being a fly on the computer screen. They looked way happier than I expected in the video, btw
Sep 21, 2022 1:27 AM # 
Broots - If I came across as blaming the new teammate, that's was certainly not the intended message, apologies! Avaya has shown resiliency with their history of wins. My only reason I mention it as a discussion point and possibly a tiny factor (which it may not be a factor at all) is that the little things add up, especially under pressure as we all know. SimoneM. is a legend and one of the best - hands down.
It sounds like many teams have a story and struggle to tell afterwards to all of us sitting at home wishing we were there :-)
Sep 21, 2022 1:32 AM # 
No need to apologize! Again, seeing that question a fair bit, and I’m sure it’s being asked multiple times more. Just noting my thoughts on it :) I’m sure it’s a little different in some ways. Maybe somdd we good ways too!

Watched the rest of the Avaya video. Sounds like heat may have hampered them a fair bit.
Sep 21, 2022 2:06 AM # 
Quest-Bend Racing just took the wrong road out of TA4 on their bikes. Classic parallel feature error. Seems they've caught on that something isn't quite right. I wonder how they'll correct.
Sep 21, 2022 2:20 AM # 
Black Hill quietly having a terrific race, creeping up that leaderboard. This chase pack is going to have quite a race with each other, I think.

And Brazil is about to legitimately climb into the mix as they are closing in on Estonia. Still some work to do there, but Estonia has fallen off the leaders and is tracking tired.

What madness will we wake up to?!
Sep 21, 2022 2:33 AM # 
Broots - you're going to sleep tonight? Are you nuts? NYARA is right on your heels and likely to sleep less than you...
Sep 21, 2022 2:44 AM # 
Hah! Need my beauty sleep;)

And I trust you will leave a play by play log so that I can catch up in the morning!
Sep 21, 2022 3:28 AM # 
Well, there we have it: Avaya has made their break, pulling past and ahead of SAFAT.

If SAFAT sleeps even just a little bit, they *may* give away the race. They will be able to see how far ahead Avaya is at each TA so that can help them inform their sleep strategy. Avaya on the other hand, while they know how to race in the front, will not know, nor be able to know, how far ahead they are at any point. That is, unless they are in TA long enough to see a following team arrive...which almost certainly means they aren't far enough ahead to offset their 2 hour penalty. This is going to be so fun...for *us*.
Sep 21, 2022 3:31 AM # 
And, just as we were getting hooked on the race between Bend/Quest and BlackHILL, somebody stuck BRQs tracker at the bottom of a pack. :-/
Sep 21, 2022 4:37 AM # 
So, that breakaway by Avaya plus nav. bobble by SAFAT has opened a lead of over 1 hour within the span of about 2 hours. This image has 1 hour tails turned on:

So, at the moment, Avaya is 1+ hours ahead of SAFAT and ~2.5 hours ahead of Estonia.
Sep 21, 2022 4:47 AM # 
Edge-of-the-seat AR entertainment!
Sep 21, 2022 4:50 AM # 
I'm sure it's easy to see times in TA, but does anyone know the amount of sleep if Avaya vs SAFAT? The former had to push to TA7 no matter what, the latter could be more picky.
Sep 21, 2022 5:02 AM # 
They both slept on the stage 4 trek. Avaya told us during one of the videos (probably the walk out of TA5) that they had slept 3 hours during the trek. SAFAT slept for ~2 hours from 3am to 5am between CPs 48 & 49.
Sep 21, 2022 6:07 AM # 
Wearing my (currently retired) RD hat, I'm really impressed to see the acceptance of photo CP at a ARWC. We've had them are our A1 races for a while but pretty sure this is a first for ARWC. Probably the most number of CP (95 for a 500km course) which brings flexibility and options to the route. In this case it looks like it has reduced route choice but that is up to the designer.

It adds a layer of requirement to the racer (batteries, memory card, water damage etc) but makes the job of the course planner so much easier, ESPECIALLY after the event when collecting CPs is such a hassle. With accurate gps it is almost redundant anyway, but we're not there yet and might never adopt a position fix only race.
Sep 21, 2022 6:48 AM # 
Uruguay Ultra has just seemingly pulled themselves out of the bush on the Stage 4 trek. Did they overshoot the turn to CP54? This seems unlikely since they walked right past a CP they punched on their bikes on the previous stage. Whatever is driving it, I hope they correct or that they are all okay.
Sep 21, 2022 9:56 AM # 
Conman - Thanks for the Gymcity AR tip. Made a note to try and track them down on the Internet post race. An entire episode could be devoted to the stories about GETTING to the races. This year we had a teammate miss his flight at JFK, get to London and then head to a tour of Windsor Castle while we furiously tried to find him alternate transportation while on a train to Oban. He arrived late the day before the start cool as a cucumber, unpacked his gear, and crushed it. We're a different breed.
Sep 21, 2022 9:57 AM # 
Woke up to a whole new reality. SAF is barely on the bike and Avaya just left 76. They left the TA with a 2:10 lead. If they can bank more, the short final trek might make it harder for SAF to get ahead. Holy smokes.
Sep 21, 2022 9:59 AM # 
Just amazing. Avaya has a 2 her 15 min lead now. Nothing yesterday suggested they would be able to do that in the span of 5-7 hours and SAF looked good. I was imagining A best case scenario in which Avaya crept ahead by half an hour or so by the final TA. They would have the luxury of sleeping for two hours and be able to hammer that final trek. That might have given them a chance to run down whoever was in front.

That thinking has totally changed. They now are in complete control. If they are able to ride well through the day here, they may put on even more time, be able to sleep, and even get moving before anyone catches up to them. They would then be relatively fresh for that final stage, while the other teams are forced to keep pushing.

Unreal. Not that any of us should be surprised.
Sep 21, 2022 10:07 AM # 
@broots I frankly wasn’t sure, but I did say in another conversation that if anyone can, Avaya could!
Sep 21, 2022 10:58 AM # 
question, think I know the answer but how will the 2hr penalty work?

I'm guessing Avaya will need to sit in a naughty corner for 2 hrs before they can touch gear boxes. they can probably only use a bathroom. They could sleep with the gear they have from the bike leg and any food they brought can be eaten.

actions at TA7 -
*bikes need to be boxed
*get trek gear
*get food for ~4/5hrs

if they can do any of this before the 2 hrs is up then they have an advantage for a (relatively) quick transition
Sep 21, 2022 11:01 AM # 
i added up the times spent on the two bike legs for the top5, purely from TA exit to TA entry, which may be affected by any naps on the way.

Avaya - 15:18
SAFAT - 14:20
Est - 15:42
BM - 15:44
MS - 23:47
Sep 21, 2022 11:17 AM # 
You’re correct regarding the time out. They will most likely not be allowed to do any formal transitioning until after the two hours have been served. So it’s essentially an additional two hours on the bike leg. They will, of course, sleep and eat whatever food they have. They may have brought extra food for that purpose.

Once they are up, then they enter the transition area and access their bike boxes and do all of that.
Sep 21, 2022 11:40 AM # 
Just me, or is Avaya's tracker crapped out again?

I can see them, and they look up to date, but their tail is not working, and when I replay, they vanish. So no longer able to analyze the gap. Sigh.
Sep 21, 2022 11:41 AM # 
We talk about whether AR is costing us a year or two at the end of our about dot watching?
Sep 21, 2022 11:45 AM # 
From the archives. Finish to ARWC2011 off quick interest, winning time is 130hrs
Sep 21, 2022 2:48 PM # 
Avaya's lead over SAFAT on the bike is almost 3 hours now. I'd say that's unbelievable but we all know it's not. What's more unbelievable is Avaya getting two "rookie" penalties. It's not at all settled yet and it's going to be an exciting finish.
Sep 21, 2022 2:48 PM # 
Regarding the penalty execution: Avaya will be allowed to transition completely and serve the penalty after they have "checked out" of the TA. I swear that I watched a video of Adrian Crane explaining this to Alen at TA5, but now I can't locate that video.
Sep 21, 2022 3:05 PM # 
Huh. I thought it was in reverse, Conman. I think normally you are not allowed to enter the TA because it allows you to grab extra food, clothes, sleeping gear, etc....

Sep 21, 2022 3:08 PM # 
ARWS just did a Facebook Live where the reporter ran along with Avaya on their bikes between CP81 and CP82. Nathan looked a little more fatigued than the others. They were moving steadily but the reporter stayed with them on foot for a while. The road looks a bit soft with some slippery rocks.
Sep 21, 2022 3:36 PM # 
At CP79 just now, SAFAT was 2 hrs 45-50 mins back.
Sep 21, 2022 3:40 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
It's the hardtail beating him up
Sep 21, 2022 3:43 PM # 
At TA7, Avaya will do their bike/trek transition and serve their penalty in some sequence. They'll be preparing for a 19 km trek where they'll look for 12 CPs on a 1:25,000 map. The fastest estimate is 4.5 hrs and they will be fresh off a nap and some snacks. The transition itself should be super fast and I assume the most time-consuming activity will be putting away their bikes. If they serve their penalty before accessing their gear boxes, I wonder if there's anything stopping them from taking apart their bikes as they wait. That might be an argument for serving the penalty second in this case.
Sep 21, 2022 3:58 PM # 
looks like 3.5 hours to me at this moment.

good question, Bash. If penalizing before, you need to tell them to take whatever they want off the bikes and leave them aside, I think...

I'd venture that TAing beforehand is a slight advantage...actually, more. If they have sleeping pads, bags, etc. in their boxes, they get those for a much better sleep. If they didn't plan accordingly for food, they can chow down. They can finish the TA so that when the alarm goes off, they can simply get up and walk.

Odds are good they have some energy going right now coming into TA. If they sleep first., they lose all those potential edges AND they likely are groggier when waking, which potentially slows down their TA...It's almost like an additional penalty.

It's a fascinating question!
Sep 21, 2022 4:21 PM # 
My guess (from a place of naivete) would be that they are only put on the clock after they 100% finished their TA, just before they would typically leave. I would imagine that they can't be allowed to use their gear or revisit their TA materials during or afterwards. Otherwise, it seems like an extra luxury instead of a penalty.
Sep 21, 2022 4:23 PM # 
and they are in, according to the leaderboard. 9 hours after leaving, half an hour ahead of the estimate.
Sep 21, 2022 4:24 PM # 
I'm intrigued by Estonia who may be closing the gap. SAF has clearly slowed down somewhat. Is it possible there will be a reversal of last year and Estonia passes SAF toward the end?
Sep 21, 2022 4:24 PM # 
Agreed, Glewis. If they take out their sleeping bags, they'll have to carry them on the trek - which may not be the worst thing.

I was curious about the difference in our time gaps, Broots, and I noticed that SAFAT has taken a different route out of CP79 - not the "red line" route that Avaya took. This minor road seems a bit slower and they appear to be losing time.
Sep 21, 2022 4:25 PM # 
ARWS has a Facebook Live at TA7 right now.

[Edit: it's been posted now.]
Sep 21, 2022 4:27 PM # 
Avaya is doing their transition first.
Sep 21, 2022 4:33 PM # 
Oh wait - SAFAT's track is 40 minutes old. They did take a different route, though.
Sep 21, 2022 4:36 PM # 
The referee description of the penalty process is here starting at 5:40:
Sep 21, 2022 4:49 PM # 
SAFAT's tracking again and the gap appears to be just under 3.5 hours now.
Sep 21, 2022 4:51 PM # 
Just ran the tracker again. Avaya was where SAF are tracking now at 93:16. It is now 96:48.

On my screen, SAF has updated. at 96:41, so within 10 minutes.

I think that is fairly accurate. So, it's 3:15 or so.

Especially being able to get everything ready before sleeping, Avaya should be an hour or so into the trek when SAF arrives at TA.
Sep 21, 2022 4:52 PM # 
I'm now going to sleep for two hours as I'm in bed thanks to a covid booster...It's perfect timing for me;) Thank you, Avaya, for cooperating. Thank you, trackers.
Sep 21, 2022 4:53 PM # 
Congratulation on your enhanced immunity, Broots!

One thing I've noticed on the replay is that the times of the replayed team are a bit suspect because they don't actually track everywhere along the line shown.

With that caveat, Estonia is about 3.5 hrs behind SAFAT at CP77.
Sep 21, 2022 5:35 PM # 
This puzzled me until I figured it out: On the tracking map team list, where it shows the total team distance, Avaya is at 408.5 km, whereas SAFAT is 412.2 km and still 20-30 km behind Avaya. Originally I wondered if this was better AVAYA nav choices, over the course of the race, but then I remembered that AVAYA's tracker has only done 408 km, but the team has done another trekking loop.
Sep 21, 2022 5:35 PM # 
Avaya's tracker is better rested!
Sep 21, 2022 5:50 PM # 
Avaya's actual (not geofenced) arrival at TA7 appears to be around 96:20 on the race clock. That also matches the time of the announcement in this thread. SAFAT appears to be where Avaya was at 94:10 so the difference is much less than what we saw most recently. I don't think SAFAT caught up that much. I forgot to stop Avaya's "clock" when they arrived at the TA.
Sep 21, 2022 5:55 PM # 
Some info from ARWS Facebook, some of it disturbing:
- The caged parrots at TA7 are very noisy. (Not the disturbing part.)
- Avaya arrived at 12.23 and checked out at 12.32, then walked into the penalty box to start their two hour wait.
- Nathan Fa'avae was having a lot of difficulty with his left eye and arrived with it covered by a buff. He said he is getting split vision and it was clearly troubling him. He also didn't have any trekking shoes in his bike box and said he'd be OK in his bike shoes or flip flops for the final trek.
Sep 21, 2022 5:58 PM # 
There are photos too.
Sep 21, 2022 6:02 PM # 
A little info on monocular double vision (i.e. in one eye) from the Mayo Clinic: it's most likely due to dry eyes in a case like this. Sudden appearance of binocular double vision would be a reason to seek urgent medical care - although I hope Nathan has been able to consult a medic there anyway.
Sep 21, 2022 6:10 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Flip flops on 20 m contours!
Sep 21, 2022 6:13 PM # 
With one eye.
Sep 21, 2022 6:14 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Parrots and one eyed captains, I've seen this movie before.
Sep 21, 2022 6:17 PM # 

Speaking of weirdness, what is happening with Estonia? They visited EXP77 and EXP78 and started toward CP79 but now they are heading south. It's hard to believe they'd make a mistake that big so are they bailing? I hope everything is OK.
Sep 21, 2022 6:17 PM # 
Estonia going South? Looking for another route up the hill?
Sep 21, 2022 6:20 PM # 
It looks like they'd need to travel on a prohibited road to get to any other route uphill - not that the red line route looks bad anyway.
Sep 21, 2022 6:23 PM # 
wow 9mins to box bikes and checkout?

obviously they haven't seen the bike boxes since the end of the paddle, so unless they have beaten a transition box to TA7, I guess a lot of teams will have this issue

I was going to say that a lot of the top team's transitions seemed a little on the slow side, considering for the treks they were just dumping a bike in a field and putting shoes on.
Sep 21, 2022 6:29 PM # 
Avaya is about 5 minutes away from their release. Broots, I hope you set an alarm.

Now that I've been staring at SAFAT's track so closely, I see why our time gaps bounce around. They aren't tracking all that often. It looks like Avaya was about 1:40 from the TA when they were at SAFAT's current position. Avaya will be sprung from the penalty box in the next 5 minutes so they will not see each other.
Sep 21, 2022 6:33 PM # 
ARWS is on Facebook Live at TA7. Avaya just left.
Sep 21, 2022 6:33 PM # 
Nathan is wearing shoes.
Sep 21, 2022 6:42 PM # 
Ah, their gear boxes were delayed due to an issue on the local roads so they were allowed to access their gear boxes before leaving the penalty box. Nathan probably has his trekking shoes back.
Sep 21, 2022 6:42 PM # 
There were supposed to be gear boxes at the TA:

Avaya's weren't there yet when they arrived. After their penalty time, the boxes had arrived and they were allowed to access those boxes before they left (spent <2m doing this).
Sep 21, 2022 6:42 PM # 
It didn't look like he was covering his left eye at all.
Sep 21, 2022 6:43 PM # 
Shout out to the media guy (Alen Pujol?) doing good work on the live FB videos. He's in the right place, updating his audience in at least 3 languages. Even being careful to not broadcast naked AR butts to the world.
Sep 21, 2022 6:43 PM # 
Get this. Just as I went to close everything for email comes in regarding Endless Mountains 2023 permits.

After reading it, no way I was sleeping. Mind churning. So, 45 minutes later, I'm off the phone, ALL IS WELL, and I go back to dotwatching just in time to watch them stroll out of TA. Got to love our sport!

Also, SAF is currently tracking where Avaya was an hour + before they arrived to TA. It's going to take a miracle considering how Avaya looks.

For the 83rd year in a row, I am left in awe...even though I'm not surprised.
Sep 21, 2022 6:44 PM # 
Welcome back, Broots - and sorry that your nap didn't happen!

Here's the Facebook Live of Avaya leaving the penalty box and starting the final trek.

Wow. Just wow.
Sep 21, 2022 6:46 PM # 
Wilberto, I agree. The tracking system is so-so but the media guy has tried to answer a dot watcher's questions by being in the right places and broadcasting just enough. The 3 languages are icing on the cake!
Sep 21, 2022 6:47 PM # 
And... the tracking system just went down.
Sep 21, 2022 6:59 PM # 
odds they see each other as Avaya crosses the road into TA?
Sep 21, 2022 7:06 PM # 
Quite possible. The tracking system came back but now it's acting up again. The track I just saw for SAFAT (before it disappeared) was more than 40 minutes old. Boy, that would be soul crushing.
Sep 21, 2022 7:09 PM # 
Before the tracker went wonky again, I noticed that 3rd place Estonia did indeed take a different, longer route up the hill. It didn't necessarily look intentional and they may have briefly strayed onto the prohibited road. I was just trying to figure it out when the tracking system said this again: "Ett fel uppstod. Data kunde inte hämtas. Testa med en annan webbläsare, eller försök igen lite senare."
Sep 21, 2022 7:09 PM # 
Agreed, though they may be expecting it based off the gap at the last TA. I’m sure it’s really tough. Unforced errors for Avaya, three hours of penalties, physical issues, and all day yesterday it looked like SAF was in command?

What does it take?!
Sep 21, 2022 7:10 PM # 
Translate, Bash;)
Sep 21, 2022 7:10 PM # 
"An error occured. Data could not be retrieved. Try using a different browser, or try again later."
Sep 21, 2022 7:10 PM # 
I’ve developed some rather colorful translations for that statement myself…
Sep 21, 2022 7:11 PM # 
Technically, I can't take credit for that translation. :)
Sep 21, 2022 7:11 PM # 
Lol, Broots! Yes, I was thinking similar evil thoughts.
Sep 21, 2022 7:14 PM # 
It's back. Looks like Avaya will pass that road section before SAFAT gets there.
Sep 21, 2022 7:24 PM # 
Replaying Estonia's route raises questions. Was the road closed? Instead of a climb that took Avaya 20-25 minutes, Estonia rode a roundabout route that took 1.5 hrs and may have taken them onto a prohibited road. For a long time, they could have saved time by turning around. They're outstanding navigators so if the road was open, I'm guessing they are sleepy.
Sep 21, 2022 7:32 PM # 
The allowed route was revised, apparently at the previous TA, but after Avaya and SAFAT had passed through. Here's the marked up map
Sep 21, 2022 7:33 PM # 
Road is marked prohibited on the race maps, so it looks like they will likely have to serve a penalty, putting 3rd place up in the air.
Sep 21, 2022 7:35 PM # 
Looks like avaya and Safat might cross paths, exciting.
Sep 21, 2022 7:38 PM # 
Oh, interesting. Estonia was instructed to go that route as the course was changed.
Sep 21, 2022 7:39 PM # 
And it was a lot longer! But thanks, that makes sense now.
Sep 21, 2022 7:43 PM # 
Anyone else notice that Brazil Multisport's tracker is pinging nearly continuously? EDIT: This seems to have started when the left TA6.
Sep 21, 2022 8:21 PM # 
From SAF Facebook page:

“Now we are at the bottom of the barrel and digging.
The navigation has knocked and the team's orientation has not chewed in since last night, when the maps have been sharp to decipher when the selection of paths has been difficult.
A little frustration when Avaya sailed away and even with the two hour penalty has gotten at least 1.5 hours out on the last trek.
Sep 21, 2022 8:27 PM # 
I hadn't noticed Brazil Multisport's tracker. Maybe they were given a new one with a different interval?
Sep 21, 2022 8:30 PM # 
Re the route change we saw with Estonia, ARWS Facebook says:

"For those watching the tracker a road which
was previously out of bounds (and which Estonia Ace Adventure just took) has been opened to teams. This is part of a route change due to access issues."

Commenters noted that the route is now longer but it probably doesn't matter since the top two places are likely decided.
Sep 21, 2022 8:32 PM # 
A short time earlier, ARWS Facebook had described it as a nav error too!
Sep 21, 2022 8:34 PM # 
SAFAT's tracker is a little behind but they should be arriving at TA7 now.
Sep 21, 2022 8:35 PM # 
From Bend Racing, who spoke with someone else about Estonia:

Estonia is in the clear. I have it confirmed that Estonia (which seemed to get lost and take an illegal route) were actually directed to do so. The top two teams were able to take the intended route (about 10km shorter) but apparently there were some issues with crossing farmer land. So all future teams will be redirected as the Estonians were. Not sure how the time adjustments will go between Estonia and Safat, as there is still some race there, but likely it will basically mean that the top 3 is set.
Sep 21, 2022 8:51 PM # 
Meanwhile, Brazil Multisport is almost 4 hrs behind Estonia in 4th place. Merrell Songlines is in 5th at the end of the trek at TA6.
Sep 21, 2022 8:54 PM # 
The American (7th) and Canadian (14th) Bend Racing teams are both out on that trek.
Sep 21, 2022 9:01 PM # 
ARWS Facebook Live with SAFAT at TA7. One guy is lying face down on the ground while the others do transition tasks.
Sep 21, 2022 9:04 PM # 
The referee said the Estonians and other teams behind the leaders will get a 1-hour time bonus because of the route change.
Sep 21, 2022 9:19 PM # 
Meanwhile, Avaya has picked up 7 of 12 CPs on the trek and they have < 5 km to go. Most of the remaining CPs are on or near trails. Heidi is on her way to the finish line for another Facebook Live.
Sep 21, 2022 9:23 PM # 
They're guessing about 30 minutes till the finish.
Sep 21, 2022 9:24 PM # 
The sun is setting so the teams behind will have a more difficult trek.
Sep 21, 2022 9:52 PM # 
SAFAT has started trekking. Avaya's tracker is a little behind so it's safe to assume they're finishing up the final 3 CPs, all of them along trails fairly close together. Then the finish.

Nathan is 50. Will he be the oldest AR world champion? Mike Kloser was 47 when he won in 2007.
Sep 21, 2022 9:54 PM # 
Facebook Live near the finish - looking into the woods.
Sep 21, 2022 9:56 PM # 
Our media guru is now trekking with Avaya from CP93, the 3rd last CP.
Sep 21, 2022 9:58 PM # 
They have 2 maps so we can see Chris and Stuart navigating together.
Sep 21, 2022 10:07 PM # 
They stopped to put on headlamps after sunset and now they're inside a cave. It's cool to follow along!
Sep 21, 2022 10:08 PM # 
CP94 is inside the cave. Obviously, I looked only at the map - not the control description, tsk tsk.
Sep 21, 2022 10:10 PM # 
Only CP95 left - "cavity in wall". They are jogging.
Sep 21, 2022 10:15 PM # 
It’s dark but there is gorgeous pink-orange-purple light at the horizon. At least it’s gorgeous if you’re finishing your trek - less gorgeous for SAFAT, I’m sure.
Sep 21, 2022 10:19 PM # 
Nathan is giving a gracious interview while still racing.
Sep 21, 2022 10:23 PM # 
Avaya is having trouble finding the final CP95 in the dark, which gives us an idea of what it will be like for the teams behind.
Sep 21, 2022 10:24 PM # 
I’m not navigating - Chris Forne is navigating, fergawd’s sake!!! - and I’m totally stressed by this.
Sep 21, 2022 10:27 PM # 
They’ve got it. Phew.
Sep 21, 2022 10:28 PM # 
This is an amazing way to show a team coming to the finish. The tracking hasn’t been great but the media has been awesome.
Sep 21, 2022 10:35 PM # 
They are running - yes, running - into town.
Sep 21, 2022 10:42 PM # 
And Avaya is done!! 7-time World Champions and they did it the hard way this year.
Sep 21, 2022 10:50 PM # 
I totally got teary eyed when they relaxed on the road run and the brief post race interview.
Sep 21, 2022 11:27 PM # 
So cool to watch the best in the world in action and feel their joy. :)
Sep 21, 2022 11:32 PM # 
But the race is not over! SAFAT is approaching CP86, the first CP east of the road where we thought they might meet Avaya trekking while they were still biking. From this point, it took Avaya about 3 hrs to reach the finish line in daylight. For tracker calculations, Avaya is shown reaching the finish line at 102:43 race time.
Sep 21, 2022 11:37 PM # 
Estonia is in 3rd, 60-90 mins away from TA7.
Sep 21, 2022 11:53 PM # 
Digging into the geofenced leaderboard data, SAFAT arrived at TA7 4 hours after Avaya. They took 2 hours longer on the TA6-TA7 bike.
Sep 21, 2022 11:58 PM # 
Avaya's final trek took 4:09 according to the geofence info.
Sep 22, 2022 2:20 AM # 
Number of ARWC wins:

Simone - 1
Nathan - 7
Chris - 8 (including 2007 on Team Nike)
Stuart - 8 (including 2013 on Thule Adventure and 2008 on Orion Health)
Sep 22, 2022 2:24 AM # 
SAFAT is at the 6th CP of 12 on the final trek after 5 hours. Darkness, sleepiness and likely some disappointment are taking their toll. From this point, it took Avaya a little less than 2 hours, mostly in daylight.
Sep 22, 2022 2:39 AM # 
3rd place Estonia is at TA7. 4th place Brazil Multisport is about 3 hours away from TA7.

5th place Merrell Songlines are at EXP77 and seem to be taking a short break. They're 6 hours behind Brazil. Meanwhile, 6th place Blackhill has almost caught up.

No one else has left TA6 after the 2nd last trek but several teams are in the TA.
Sep 22, 2022 2:55 AM # 
Estonia is taking a nap after a bout with the sleepmonsters on the last hours of the stage 7 bike, but they are not at all worried about their placing...they believe there is plenty of gap on both sides of them.

Both BRQ and USWE have left TA6. BRQ left a while ago and it appears they found a quiet place in town for a nap. USWE left within the last 30 mins.
Sep 22, 2022 3:15 AM # 
A bunch of teams have disappeared from my tracking map and leaderboard including almost everyone I'd like to watch. The rankings had been bouncing around earlier too. I think this is a sign to go to bed!
Sep 22, 2022 5:55 AM # 
Blackhill/MS both seem to be hitting CP79 from doubling back on the north, all other teams followed the suggested route so far
Sep 22, 2022 6:42 AM # 
ok, this makes more sense now.
Estonias tracker is off - the route change is from EXP78? BMS took a wild route back from there, Merrel crossed paths with Blackhill who didn't seem to do the deviation. could be interesting with this one later.
Sep 22, 2022 12:06 PM # 
Morning has broken and the tracking seems to be fixed again. SAFAT finished about 4 hours ago, 9 hours after Avaya according to the geofenced times. If the gap had been closer, I wondered if anyone might complain about the 1-hr zip line penalty vs. the 4 hrs in the race booklet. As it turns out, there is no debate about the 2022 champions.

Estonia is on the final trek, having just recovered from a small bobble. (There have been a few here.) They’re on the east side of the road and should finish in 3-ish hours with daylight on their side.

Brazil’s track is quite old. The leaderboard says they’ve reached TA7. They could be trekking but more likely, their tracker is at the TA in a place where it can’t see the sky. Black HILL passed Merrell Songlines in the night and USWE is in the mix for 5th too. They all remain very close together and Merrell’s track is too old to be sure what’s happening there. They aren’t far from TA7 so we’ll get better info soon.
Sep 22, 2022 12:42 PM # 
From FB:

The Swedish Armed Forces Adventure Team has finished the Adventure Racing World Championship in second place.

They arrived in the early hours of the morning and John Karlsson said, "Maybe next year, this wasn't our year. We found the maps really hard to work with as they don't have the detail we are used to, and Chris (Forne) is so amazing at dealing with that."

Erik Jonsson said, "That last stage was terrible, really terrible. It was so hard and took us much longer than we expected. Oskar was sleepy and had only 15 minutes sleep before we started the stage. We didn't stop to sleep at all and haven't had enough sleep, but when you have a plan you stick to it."

The tired team posed very patiently for many photos before taking some food and heading for their beds in the race finish hotel.
Sep 22, 2022 1:17 PM # 
It seems like Quest may have fallen back a touch. Unless they sprint the trek, our hopes of an American team in the top 5 seem to be dashed.

However, it's hard to tell with the tracking being so intermittent. It looks like that pack of teams from 5-9 haven't tracked in a while (or maybe that's just my tracker), and Imptek is currently listed down in 37th place, which is confusing.

Outside of the connectivity issues, I've found this tracking system to be a bit confusing. I can only show the race maps for certain sections, and the tails seem to be very random. Anyone else having those same issues?
Sep 22, 2022 1:18 PM # 
Ugh for Estonia. They are tracking, more or less, up to date and still a ways out. Already 10 hours on the trek.

Brazil has not tracked in four hours.

Avaya took four+ hours to do the whole trek.

One has to wonder if Brazil has already caught up to Estonia. I have not analyzed sleep, but Brazil has come on strong the last couple of days. They know how to nav in Paraguay after winning most of the previous editions. Estonia seems to have really faded, and clearly the trek has been a nightmare for them and SAF considering how fast Avaya did it (aware that Avaya did 95% of it with daylight to help).

I'm not optimistic that Estonia is going to secure the final slot on the podium...
Sep 22, 2022 1:21 PM # 
glewis: you can manipulate the tails with the tools. Overall, I have found that to work. That said, when teams disappear from tracking, it sometimes seems to impact the tails.

Connectivity aside, this has not been my favorite tracking platform. That said, I DO like the tail function and I also like the ability to change displays (team number, number+ name, name, short name, etc.). A fair bit of nice functionality that allows the dotwatcher to finetune their experience.

That said, the crashing, disappearing teams, etc. undermines all the benefits!
Sep 22, 2022 1:27 PM # 
And a bit more analysis on Estonia and Brazil:

Estonia spent around 5 hours looking for 86. 1 hour before finding it, Brazil was about 1 km away. At that point, Brazil stopped tracking.

Unfortunately, it looks like Estonia's tracker was moving that entire time, so no rest. There is a real chance that Brazil passed them at 86 if they were able to spike it.

Estonia then bobbled 87 slightly.

And their tracker does not appear to have found 90, but I am assuming that is a glitch since they moved through 91 quickly.
Sep 22, 2022 1:38 PM # 
Hmmm - maybe it is me then? I have to refresh the page to get the dots to move, and the tails work intermittently for me. I wish I could make the tails appear only for a selected team without deselecting the entire list of teams. Like you broots, I do appreciate the function of selecting tail length, but I can only get it to work for 2 hrs or full, and full is useless with everyone on there.
Sep 22, 2022 1:39 PM # 
Should have looked at Facebook!!!:)

Brazil is finished. 3rd. They have them on video for the last hour, similar to Avaya

Amazing finish for them. Nick briefly comments on their passing Estonia .
Sep 22, 2022 1:41 PM # 
There is a select all button, glewis. So you can hide all in one click and then highlight the teams you want. Easier?
Sep 22, 2022 2:05 PM # 
First world problems - I like being able to see all of the dots when I'm looking at the tails...
Sep 22, 2022 2:07 PM # 
Oh wait - Brazil finished - thats awesome!

Broots - Did you or Brian or Craig nail the top 3? I thought you all had Estonia.
Sep 22, 2022 2:40 PM # 
Wow, Brazil - amazing! It would have been exciting to have tracking for that final trek.
Sep 22, 2022 3:33 PM # 
Wow! Brazil! They have come in first in this race several times, so it's nice to see that experience paying off.
Sep 22, 2022 3:39 PM # 
Still catching up after my own sleep. Only one contribution: I bet Brazil's tracker battery died after so many hours of continuous tracking.
Sep 22, 2022 3:55 PM # 
Estonia recently geofenced at the final CP95 and a straight shot into town/the finish line now. Great effort!!

Current standings, estimated after 3rd:
3-Brazil MultiSport
5-Black Hill?? their tracker stopped near CP86
9-Life Adventure
Sep 22, 2022 3:56 PM # 
Oh update...Estonia is crossing the finish line just now!!! live on FB
Sep 22, 2022 4:03 PM # 
Congratulations, Estonia! What a tough, gutsy finish.
Sep 22, 2022 4:11 PM # 
When asked about their nav issues, Estonia mentioned sleep deprivation and said they had a sleep in the woods. They also said they packed food and water for 4.5 hours but they were out for much longer.
Sep 22, 2022 4:14 PM # 
Their gear issues must have taken a toll at different points in the race so they should be really proud of this.
Sep 22, 2022 4:58 PM # 
Now I can focus on cheering for our Canadian team, Bend Racing, currently in 14th place on the bike between TA6 and TA7. (Not to be confused with the American Quest AR/Bend Racing team, currently at TA7 in 8th place.)
Sep 22, 2022 6:58 PM # 
Black HILL has finished in 5th place. They're drinking their finish line beers.
Sep 22, 2022 8:52 PM # 
I love that teams from five continents likely to be in the top 10.
Sep 22, 2022 8:53 PM # 
There is serious foot race between BRQ and Songlines right now on the final trek. They can't be more than 50m apart by the timing and seem to be running given their tracker pace.
Sep 22, 2022 8:55 PM # 
Just as I posted that...Songlines seems to be stopped or lost hunting for the small waterfall at CP92 and BRQ has dashed away and is at CP93 already.
Sep 22, 2022 9:32 PM # 
Oh, geez! Now BRQ seem to have found a trail to their liking but lost touch with the compass and map. They have veered South when they need to go West to find CP95...And Songlines has their mojo back and has likely "punched" CP93 with 94 just around the corner.
Sep 22, 2022 9:41 PM # 
If you're on the Facebook Adventure Racing Discussion Group, Bend Racing posted about Merrell inadvertently entering an out-of-bounds area near CP80. It gave them no benefit and they turned around when they realized their mistake so apparently there will be no penalty. But if two teams finished very close together, someone might lodge a protest (although I doubt it).
Sep 22, 2022 9:44 PM # 
Current situation in pictures:
Sep 22, 2022 9:51 PM # 
There are also photos on ARWS Facebook of Quest/Bend standing still and looking at maps, with a note that they're having trouble locating CP94. Photos posted 17 mins ago.
Sep 22, 2022 9:54 PM # 
Based on the latest tracks, it appears that both teams may be relocating by going out to trails in the vicinity of #94. This is the CP in a cave.
Sep 22, 2022 10:02 PM # 
DEEEP in a cave, in fact.
Sep 22, 2022 10:03 PM # 
Yes. The sun set 15 minutes ago but as my husband just pointed out, that wouldn't matter if they were in the cave by now!
Sep 22, 2022 10:03 PM # 
If they only knew that they were both circling on opposite sides of the CP. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of that cave...
Sep 22, 2022 10:04 PM # 
This is almost exactly the same time that Avaya reached CP94 yesterday.
Sep 22, 2022 10:11 PM # 
It looks like Quest/Bend may be there. Maybe.
Sep 22, 2022 10:32 PM # 
This sums it up. (It was posted a while ago.)
Sep 22, 2022 11:14 PM # 
Bend Racing / Quest Races was out there for ~127hrs and spent the last two pretty frustrated and could see it in their emotions as they crossed the line. HUZZAH!!! Welcome to pizza and beer time.
Sep 23, 2022 12:10 AM # 
Two of the teams who should be at TA7 by now have trackers that have stalled: Keltoi & Uruguay Natural. So annoying! Don't be surprised if Bosi also stalls out soon as theirs has been on continuous tracking for a while now, much like Brazil Multisport was.
Sep 23, 2022 12:14 AM # 
Make that three teams: BOA-Brazilia is also stalled but should be at or near TA7 by now.
Sep 23, 2022 12:16 AM # 
And, there's a fourth: Papacara. Although they are a bit further back, maybe just setting out on the last bike leg.
Sep 23, 2022 5:01 AM # 
Uruguay and Keltoi have both revived at TA7. Seems Keltoi is leaving first on foot at ~1am...good luck with the night nav.!
Sep 23, 2022 5:05 AM # 
Gymcity is crushing the navigation on the last trek, doing ALL of it in the dark. Not one bobble and they are just about at CP95. It's not elephant tracks: most of this terrain is so rocky it wouldn't show any tracks. Incredible!
Sep 23, 2022 8:59 AM # 
Thank you to Craig, Brent and Jason for coming onto the show last night. You're up next, Barb Campbell!

As always, thoughts and feedback are welcome. Best way to share that with me is to send an email to mrgatens at gmail dot com.
Sep 23, 2022 5:35 PM # 
Looking forward to a good listen!
Sep 23, 2022 7:57 PM # 
Bend Racing Canada has finished in 14th place. Congratulations! :)
Sep 23, 2022 8:52 PM # 
As I predicted yesterday, Bosi's tracker has failed after a day or so of near continuous (every second or two) tracking. Thankfully, Alen with the media team has been on course recording videos and has found them. They just punched CP90 at the same time as Seiklushunt.
Sep 23, 2022 10:25 PM # 
Alen is a rock star.
Sep 25, 2022 9:22 PM # 
I'm a recent convert to AR and dot watching... But if the events are all as exciting as this, I'll be hooked forever. Was very cool to see the live video streaming, and it was super interesting to see teams in action. Not sure if I'm up to doing an expedition race yet, but there are certainly plenty of lessons to be learned from watching this stuff.
Sep 25, 2022 9:56 PM # 
Welcome to the dotwatching party, Wilsmith!
Sep 26, 2022 1:54 AM # 
Cool that you were watching, Wil!
Sep 26, 2022 2:43 PM # 
Btw Wil, if you're thinking at all about trying an Expedition Race, one of the closest events to us is put on by Rootstock Racing in Pennsylvania, capably co-hosted by Abiperk who commented above. They're hosting a Facebook discussion on Oct. 25: "Expedition Racing 101". It's a live panel of first-time exped racers from the 2022 expedition. Their perspectives should be interesting. I expect it will be recorded if you can't see it that day. I know you'll need to borrow a FB account.
Sep 26, 2022 3:19 PM # 
That looks pretty interesting! I'll add it to the calendar and hopefully I can find the time to take a look.

Have floated the idea of trying an expedition distance course with the brothers plus Katta - might be a tough sell but you never know...
Sep 26, 2022 3:41 PM # 
One of the things I enjoyed about training for an expedition race was that it gave me lots of excuses to do fun, active things with people I liked. My biggest piece of advice would be to choose teammates you work well with. You're off to a good start there.

For those who don't know Wil: he and his wife Katta and most (or is it all?!) of his siblings have been on Canada's national orienteering team. So it wasn't a huge surprise when in Wilderness Traverse last month - their first big AR - Wil and his brothers were 1st Male, 1st Rookie and 5th overall. Katta, their teenaged daughter Mia and Wil's sister Heather were the Female champions. Not a bad start to their AR careers!
Sep 26, 2022 11:33 PM # 
Love that!
Sep 26, 2022 11:56 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Abiperk's race of course sounds awesome, also I was wondering if a good XPD-lite would the Rev3 50 hour. 30 hour winning time, but with 50 hours of time for normal-er folks.
Sep 27, 2022 9:11 PM # 
@Mr Wonderful, to me, that race looks like a glorified 24-hour race, with the bonus for mid-pack and back-of-the-pack teams that they have practically unlimited time to clear the course.

It's funny this race as described as "Eco-style." For what it's worth, if we had known that we would have practically unlimited time to clear the course in Fiji, I think we would have had a much different strategy! Previous Eco Challenges had had very tight cutoffs. The generous cutoffs in the most recent Eco were not expected by most teams and were the main reason why there was such a high finish rate. Our team was in ~25th place when my dad got injured and we were not moving fast compared to what most expedition races require in order to remain full-course.

Eco-Challenge also paid for its competitors to compete, whereas this race is not cheap. I'm curious what people think of charging $550-650 per person for this?
Sep 28, 2022 2:16 PM # 
Interesting comments re your Eco Strategy!

Looking quickly at the Rev3 race, some expenses will be higher just because it's longer. They offer packet pickup and a race briefing at the host hotel on Thursday afternoon and a banquet there on Sunday. They may rent some space for race HQ throughout the event. They provide canoes, paddles and PFDs, all of which will be rented for longer in a race with longer cut-offs (unless this race organization owns all those canoes?) They rent trucks to transport gear and bikes over several days. They're offering GPS tracking, which is not cheap. It looks like they pay some staff and don't just rely on volunteers. More days of work = more wages and some accommodation/meals/gas. Plus inflation, especially this year.

I'm not too familiar with different U.S. race organizations but I know in Canada, there is a tendency for racers to compare entry fees for races hosted by fulltime professional organizers (people who need to make enough money from races to buy groceries and kids' shoes) and organizers who have other careers and don't care about much more than covering their costs, possibly on behalf of some volunteer-based organization. Good AR organizers are people who would be good at a lot of things and I'd like them to make enough money from AR that they want to keep on offering events for us.

I'm just packing for the final edition of STORM The Trent, which has been the largest AR weekend in Canada for most of the last 20 years. The RD moved on to a new career after the pandemic started. We wish him all the best but STORM Racing used to put on 4 great events a year in our area. :(
Sep 28, 2022 7:41 PM # 
The friendly folks at Natural Selection AR are planning a 48 hr in July in NB.
Sep 28, 2022 7:46 PM # 
Sep 28, 2022 8:28 PM # 
race report from Avaya:
Sep 30, 2022 4:24 PM # 
@MHtrailvet Very interesting...we're looking to move MSAR to the following weekend so doing the double could be possible.
Sep 30, 2022 4:36 PM # 
@Bash you have good points about cost, and as a race director who doesn't make very much from putting on races, I am 100% in favor of registration fees going up (and racers should expect this across the board in the U.S. next year with inflation driving up the cost of putting races on).

I do get more emails about the cost of our races than anything else (mostly from people who have never raced an adventure race before and don't know the value we provide). We eat insurance costs, boat rental fees, host venue fees, portapotties, permit fees, post-race food and drink costs, GPS tracking, awards and prizes, UHaul, photographers, food costs for volunteers, cost of materials (flags, water coolers, gas for scouting and setting/taking down the course), etc. etc. etc., all for less than what professional race organizers in my area charges for a road marathon or half-Ironman triathlon. All going to say, I think adventure racing is the best deal in sports!

I'm curious to see how Rev3 does with this race format and I hope they sell out. Curious also to see if the Eco-Challenge marketing tie-in works for them.

On a personal level, when I was getting started in AR, I was always frustrated more than anything about not having enough time to see the whole course. I wanted to know what the pro checkpoints were like in terms of difficulty! And many of them had the best views or most fun route of approach, so it was always frustrating to have to drop them in the interest of making it back to the finish in time.

My previous comment was primarily to elaborate on why most races are not point-to-point with all points being mandatory.
Sep 30, 2022 4:55 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Second best deal (orienteering and its unsustainable pricing for the win), otherwise I agree. I'd much rather pay extra so people can do it for a living and we get more races, granted I have flexibility there. Also be right back, off to spend more on bike maintenance than the last 12 hour race.
Sep 30, 2022 5:39 PM # 
From my limited experience - 13 years or so, primarily in the Northeastern US, I feel like the courses have become more ambitious over the years. When I had first started racing it wasn’t unusual to have the top teams finishing way ahead of the cutoff time, which meant that more teams got to see more of the course. Now it seems like most courses are barely or not clearable. I’m not complaining, I really don’t have a preference because I like the strategic aspect of a too long course. From an RD perspective, what is the downside of a course where the winner might finish in 2/3 or 3/4 of the nominal race length? I guess it did make the finish line more dull since teams are finishing over a long period rather than all within a few hours.
Oct 1, 2022 12:37 PM # 
@StrongMachine, your list of costs should be required reading for all adventure racers! I often tease Bob Miller about what the world thinks an AR race director does for a living vs. what they really do. We need a meme! Many people imagine long days of wilderness course testing - and that does happen occasionally. But mostly it’s desk work - spreadsheets, lining up caterers willing to work at odd hours, seeking countless permissions, racer/volunteer communications, confirming sufficient washroom facilities, etc. etc. etc.

@Mr. W, 100% agree with everything you said. I remember the angst when some orienteering clubs in our area bumped their entry fee into double digits - the horror! I remember the talk about the need to keep orienteering affordable and accessible. That’s great and I’d be fully supportive for something like inner city orienteering. The truth is, most orienteering meets in our area require a car and most orienteers are university-educated people or their children. They don’t need $7 orienteering meets; they need their spare time, i.e. they’d gladly pay more so that some O club roles could be paid rather than relying on volunteers. In Canada, many parents pay thousands so their kids can play hockey and travel to tournaments. It’s not the price keeping people from orienteering.
Oct 4, 2022 12:56 PM # 
Personally I don't think it should matter who is hosting the race (a professional or a volunteer) for how much a race costs. Many volunteer RDs (or a team of volunteers) are doing pretty much the same amount of work as a professional RD but also holding down full time jobs. The motivations of the different RDs may be different but the work they do, be it for personal income or for the financial betterment of the organization(s) they are volunteering for, is more worth while if the true race cost is charged.

I recall that 20+ years ago the Raid the North was $1500 CAD for a team of 4. The races sold out. Am I remembering that correctly? Maybe it was $1200. But regardless, in comparison the Wilderness Traverse early bird rate is $1300 CAD for a team of 4. WT today is a much better race than the old RTN events were when you add in all the extras that WT offers today (pre marked maps, GPS tracking,...).

In short, Bob Miller (WT RD) and almost all other AR and O race hosts are NOT charging enough regardless of if they are volunteers or professional race organizers.
Oct 4, 2022 9:13 PM # 
Agreed, Hammer. I was talking about the common situation where racers see that good events are available to them with very low entry fees, usually because the people hosting them are volunteers who choose to cover costs and not much more. Racers compare those fees to higher entry fees of other events that are priced so that the organizers' labour is assigned a value. Some of them appreciate the reason for the difference; others don't.

Professional RDs have to make a living from hosting races and they'll move to other jobs if they can't, which is sad and has happened. Volunteer RDs have every right to charge a similar price for their events and it's actually better for the overall racing scene when they do.

P.S. You're correct that the entry fee for a 30-hr adventure race in Ontario is about the same in dollars as it was 20 years ago, i.e. it's too inexpensive now.

This discussion thread is closed.