- you can paint your face, dress up, and act like a zombie. Don't have all the face painting gear? we'll have someone on-site who will be able to make you look even 'deader' than you feel between laps! (donations encouraged)
- 12 hours of mountain biking!!!!!
- S'mores (yeah, we're going to try and have some of the fixins around for folks to enjoy after dark)
- YOUR playlist... thats right - you'll get to hear your favorite song (keep it clean folks, or at least use the radio edit!) as you come through the race HQ.
- Pumpkin carving! we'll have a bunch of pumpkins available (donations encouraged) to keep you busy while team-mates are charging the course. Bring your own carving tools - we'll have prizes for best pumpkin at the awards ceremony!
- Awesome halloween pictures! ENDracing is blessed to have connections with superbly talented photographers who will be out there snapping pictures all day. We never charge extra money to download these.
Alright all you race fans out there - if you're participating or planning on participating in next month's 'to die for' event END-TOMBED, then we want to hear what you want to be hearing as you pedal your way through 12 hours of fun.
If you've already registered for the event, just send us an email with the subject line 'END-TOMBED tune'. Include your name and/or team name and an mp3 attachment of the song and we'll make sure it gets on the playlist, and even try to make sure it gets some air time as you come in towards race HQ on one of your laps.
If you've yet to register, then make sure you send us this info once you do.
|Tom Fisher (18)|
Lots of people argue that endurance racing in general and more specifically adventure racing are sports for older people. Experienced people. Patient people who know a little thing or two about suffering just by proxy of having lived on this planet a while. People who have been around long enough to get over the foolish notions of youth, accept their limitations, and develop their strengths. In fact, if you go to any adventure race, this argument will often be supported by the results.... teams comprised of 40 somethings routinely trounce super fit college kids. But i'm not sure i agree with the reasoning - after all the number of teams of 'mature' individuals is so much higher...experience may help get you to the finish line, but a healthy chunk of change is often required to get you to the start - something most 18-25 year olds simply don't have.
|Jaclyn Sand (18)|
|Logan Smestead (23)|
I believe that adventure racing has great potential in offering a transformative experience for 'younger than average' racers, that they can be competitive if nurtured a bit, and that exposure to the sport can translate into a life-long love of adventure based health and wellness. This is one of the reasons ENDracing is working so hard to introduce more youth from our region to it, and hopes to form a youth team, team END-FAST, in 2012. Already we've been exploring the idea in 2011 and in fact there was an END-FAST team at our recent 24 hour race up in the Pembina Gorge at the end of August. The team was comprised of Logan Smestead (age 23), a cross country skier, climber, and runner; Tom Fisher (age 18), a runner and triathlete who is a senior at Central HS in Grand Forks, and Jaclyn Sand (age 18), also a runner. While both Logan and Tom had tried adventure racing earlier this year at END-SPAR, it was to be Jaclyn's first adventure race (and race over 2 hours, period). In fact, Jaclyn had never even mountain biked...
END-FAST was fourth place in their category, and fifth place overall out of 18 teams and had the youngest combined age of any of the teams by more than 10 years. Logan was kind enough to write up a race report from their experience that is both hilarious and quite descriptive of what they went through. Enjoy the read. END-FAST RACE REPORT
ENDracing/Ground UP adventures hopes to be able to financially support END-FAST in 2012 and help send them to races outside of our organization. We endeavor to build a team so that each year we can bring new, keen young people into the group, allow the experienced youth to mentor them as through a race season or two, and then repeat the process, gradually building a positive youth culture around adventuring and adventure racing in our community and region. Click HERE For information about the team and how to donate to its cause.
Section 3 – “the Gauntlet of Darkness.” Teams Starting: 14
Section 3a – “The Long Course.” Teams Starting: 4
Section 4 – “Rollin’ on the River.” Teams Starting: 13
Section 5 – “Sting.” Teams Starting: 13
Note: My hard drive crashed while i was writing this and with it went tons of un-backed up digital stuff, including the maps for the run section, short course, and long course, which is why they aren't included. Bummer. Don't worry, there will be more cool maps to look at next year!
This is a general shout-out to anyone interested in doing trail work at Turtle River State Park this weekend. This will be the first of two to three days (not in a row) of work that needs to be done to finish the loop for END-TOMBED (coming up October 29th).
If you are attending please email firstname.lastname@example.org and say who you are and what you're bringing so we can get an accurate count.
- Sunday, September 18th
- 1:30-4:30 PM at Turtle River State Park
Directions to site:
- Enter TRSP, stop at ranger station to get $5 vehicle pass if you don't have one (free entry pending, we're asking)
- Take first right after ranger station.
- Continue north until you pass second bridge; park in lot to the right.
What to bring (if you have it):
- Long pants/long-sleeved shirt (stinging nettles and bugs are possible)
- Closed-toe shoes
- Rakes (leaf and rock)
- Weed-whackers or machetes for soft stuff
- Handsaws for woody debris. There may be one tree still in place, so a chainsaw or cordless power saw might be useful.
- Other implements of construction if you think they will be useful.
- Your mountain bike!
We will be more clearing brush than benching trail, so please don't bring a bulldozer or anything like that. This is (for the moment) a temporary trail to be used for the END-TOMBED, however we plan to construct it to be as sustainable as possible in hopes that it can become a permanent part of the park.
We're looking into getting some pizza delivered for volunteers at some point as well.
One or two other trail days will include constructing a temporary bridge (for the race) across the Turtle River (at the end of the new trail) and clearing out brush on the other side of the river.
|There she is, in all her glory - the END-TOMBED trail (KMZ). Be afraid, be very afraid......|
Bummer. The ENDracing email was hacked and many of you may have gotten a message about buying electronics in China. Hopefully you did not click on the link, which is probably a virus. Luckily, folks were pretty quick in letting me know about the hack and the passwords have been changed, security settings updated, and vacation responder message deleted. Please don't hesitate to let me know if any of you continue to recieve suspect messages.
|Team Aborted Unicorns before the race|
A good race intensifies everything - all your senses and feelings. It compresses things. The emotional roller coaster of life is squeezed into a day - highs and lows coming hours apart instead of weeks or months. Supreme challenges are confronted by the dozen, something that might take years of 'normal living'. The aging process that we're all in the grips of seems accelerated and sometimes decades can seem to have been added to the physical body overnight. To many this may not sound appealing at all - but there the intensity and the suffering has its rewards.
As everything is intensified, it is also distilled. All the details that normally overwhelm our senses seem to dissolve, leaving only ones that are truly important. Eat. Drink. Figure out what you need and ask for help honestly. Give it when asked. Don't worry about things you can't control. Focus on one thing at a time (or else you won't succeed). Work together - you are always stronger that way. My clearest thoughts have always come during adventures or long adventure races (long enough so the race part is a technicality) - i'm reminded of what is important. People - friends, family. Challenge - the best teacher. Food tastes better. Laughter is more genuine, healing, and crucial.
A good tough (and long enough) adventure race is truly an epiphany factory - at the most basic level its what i think keeps alot of folks coming back - the weekend warriors who will never win a race and who always suffer the most. These folks are who the sport is for - its greatest beneficiaries. Their lives are changed in a more meaningful way than a simple growth of the ego. But don't just believe me..... I've included below a message of reflection sent by one of the racers from last weekend (END-AR 24) to his team that is raw and unedited, but (at least to me) speaks some of this truth. I know it all sounds very etherial and self help like, and maybe this post is a little to late - you may already be swimming again in the sea of minutia that makes up our lives - the profound moments of your race all but swept aside and forgotten, but just wait till the next race....
Hey team, I wanted to write to you and let you know that I had an absolute blast last weekend. I cannot think of anyone I would have had more fun with or anyone I would have rather raced with. I look back and I almost can’t even fathom just how much fun I had; I was having so much fun that during the race I didn’t even realize it. During the race Tammy and I were talking the affect surfing (for Tammy) and skiing (for me) has on your outlook or how it will fix a rotten day and that is how I feel right now, like maybe things are actually alright. I think a little bit of that feeling comes from just the race itself, but I know the majority of that feeling comes from the experience I shared with both of you. I had so much fun that I have a very hard time not getting completely distracted from work just remembering the experience. I remember on the river bed when Tammy decided to sit down for the second time and I sat down with her and we slept for 10 minutes; I just had the most surreal feeling sitting there in a ball, at 330 in the morning, on a river bed, almost in the middle of nowhere, completely and utterly exhausted. I remember bumping into Nic’s team and Ted’s team on the bike trail and just feeling like I was running into some friends I hadn’t seen in years; and oh how happy I was to see them. I remember numerous times laughing uncontrollably with Tammy about jokes that don’t even seem that funny now. That type of laughter is like a drug to me. It is so relieving, and you can’t just create it out of nothing. I remember being along that green wire fence and thinking I knew exactly where I was and where I was going, and then getting to that field and realizing with utter disappointment I had gotten us completely lost. I remember on the river when we were looking for the photo CP and you guys kept on saying “oh I think this is it, or what about this, this could be it,” and I just kept on saying “nope,” and then Chase said “MAX, START MAKING THE TERRAIN LOOK LIKE THE PICTURE.” Haha, I still laugh hard at that one. However, one of my favorite memories (although there are many) was when Tammy told the story about how she and Andy met; we were on the bike and it was around midnight maybe, and I just got completely lost in the story. It was perfect timing. Plus, it was a really good story. Made me wish I had a story like that. Many of these memories are so vivid I don’t think I’ll ever forget them. I think I could almost go on forever describing my favorite memories.
I want you guys to know I wouldn’t have changed anything about the race. I’m sure we all feel like we could have done better, I know I could have done better and maybe if I had it would have been different and I don’t know what that would have been like. So I wouldn’t have changed anything. I had so much fun; this was probably my favorite race so far. It was exactly the experience I needed. Thank you! Chase, obviously you know I’d race again with you, but I don’t think I told Tammy this after the race and I regret it, but I would race again with you, Tammy, any day.
--From Max Whittaker, Team Aborted Unicorns
And now to make sure this is suitably way too long-winded, here's my own reflection written after a 30 hour desert trek as part of the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge in December of 2010.
During that trek I remember thinking about lots of things – and HATING the present moment. Suffering – more than I could remember ever experiencing. No shade. So much heat. Pain from the knees down, and a future that seemed so daunting – 25 km more of walking across endless dunes – slow and painful going. At the same time though I knew it was temporary. And I had a strange sort of awareness of this ephemeral nature of my present state that helped get me through it. It didn’t make the suffering somehow less – but it did make it endurable – at the moments when the thought of 6 hours more walking seemed to encapsulate everything – an eternity – I’d know, intellectually that there was going to be a moment in my life where the desert was only a memory. And I had these points of reference – knowledge of recent experiences where I must have been suffering (even previous stages of ADAC) or past situations where I must have felt similar all encompassing anguish – where the memories themselves contained no real sense of the suffering I must have endured. Like in Primal Quest (2006) – I’m sure there were times when I felt an overwhelming sense of impossibility when viewing the task ahead, and yet made it through. Lots of internal dialogue/self attention went on in the last 2 CP’s – I was essentially “in my head” the whole time – perhaps to avoid being in my body.
I do think I could have gone faster physically – but the mind wasn’t behind the body enough to do so – the mental effort required to sustain forward progress was good enough – speed seemed to require additional effort at such a diminished return (i.e. every 1% faster required 10% more effort or something). It was like a complicated mathematical equation or relationship – I sought the minimum along some curve described by a combination of variables related to suffering – mental effort, physical pain, and duration. Move slowly and the physical pain goes down slightly, mental effort down significantly, but duration up. Moving quickly takes heaps more mental effort, causes a bit more physical pain, but requires less duration. This is why I sought the tow – minimization of suffering. It was really, in retrospect, a beautiful, fascinating, illuminating, humbling, and torturous experience. My calves became swollen for the last quarter or so of the trek and still remain so today (3 days later). In fact – from my knees to my toes I’m full of fluid – my skin taught and itchy (not sure why) and I can feel my pulse radiate in my shins and toes. Bizarre. Wonder how long it will last [Note – it took about 2 weeks to have normal legs again.]
Here are clips of a pre-race and post race story that aired on the Fargo news stations, provided by Grant Mehring:
http://www.wday.com/event/article/id/51072/publisher_ID/29/ - pre race story
http://www.wday.com/event/article/id/51234/ - post race story
And here is Ted's video blog from the race - good stuff guys!
The blessing of being a race director for something like END-AR24 is that it allows you to meet and get to know so many truly remarkable guys and gals. i shared meaningful moments with each of the teams whether they finished or not, and acted as coach, guide, cheerleader or chief consoler. Each team had their own experience - a triumph of teamwork; a supreme battle of will that pushed them beyond the personal limits they were looking to challenge; or tough decisions brought on by injury or illness to a team-mate. The human drama on display was simply gorgeous.
|How can I rank a field full of teams like this?!|
|Tu-Uyen embodying the spirit of AR|