It always takes a few days for it to sink in that it's over once it's over. Months of thinking about the race, planning, tweaking, stressing over the details that i hope will come together to offer a course that will provide all participants - from the GearJunkie/Yogaslacker types who just can't get enough to the neophytes of the sport, nervously trying their first AR but daunted by the 6 hour price tag - with a rewarding and challenging experience.
I've already got a good start on next year's course - all the cool spots i found on my exploits this year that just didn't make it in. Although I know it doesn't really make any sense, it's sort of cool that every year is the best year. As it should be.
I want to take a moment to also thank the volunteers, without which the race wouldn't have been possible. The course was fairly complicated logistically - lots of stuff going on simultaneously with bottleneck potential. Volunteers did a fabulous job of keeping things moving and racers encouraged. They did such a good job i will name them here and where they were on the course so feel free to leave a comment/shout out to any or all -
Wes Peck (roving photographer), Carmen Peck (Larimore HQ), Megan and Erin Peck (Larimore), Nick Kludt (map-maker extraordinare and assistant race director), Stacy Kusler (packraft/foot rogaine transition), Aaron Kennedy (bike-whack and pack-raft safety), Dave Campbell (bikewhack), Dexter and Betsy Perkins (bear hang), Dan Salyers (Fire), Will Kusler (TRSP check in), Paul Eckstein (TRSP - river walk, general), Becky (Food delivery and Larimore general help), Mark and Linda Magness (Post Race meal), Ryan Wagner (finish line), Ryan's mom (Post Race meal), Sam Salwei (videographer), Erin Jackson (course cleaner).
To all of you - i extend my sincerest appreciation for your hard work on race day (and leading up to race day for some) - great races are simply not possible without great volunteers, and we were lucky enough to have the very greatest.
We're also lucky to have some great sponsors - so please, please, please, take a few moments today, this week, or whenever to go to shoot em an email (links to most of our sustaining sponsors websites can be found above, at the top of the web page), like em and thank em on FaceBook (this is easy! you can see all of ENDracing's likes right there on our FB page - but be sure to mention their support of ENDracing), or even show em some love by buying some of there gear. Lucky for you, we choose our sponsors, not the other way around, so it turns out they actually make some of the best gear for racing there is. Bottom line is that if we continue to appreciate the sponsors, they'll continue to support us, and we'll continue to be able to offer top shelf racing experiences at bottom shelf prices with awesome prize pools. After all, where else can you do a six hour race for $40 bucks and have a chance to walk away with a $850 pack-raft, or come October (END-TOMBED), a $2000+ dollar bike frame. Yeah, we know - nowhere else.
|Keep the fire burning!
Thirdly - we want your feedback! What'd we do right? What didn't quite work? Ok, we know that there was an issue with the underwater points.... great idea but it turns out it wasn't fool proof, one point got picked up off the bottom by a flotilla or racers and drifted, the other got unintentionally sunk. Back to the drawing board with those. Also, we know some of the small punches got destroyed or didn't work, which was too bad, but the back-up seemed to have been ok. Ideally we'd have indestructible punches - classic orienteering punches work well but are very hard (impossible?) to see on the wristbands - an idea that we're pretty much attached to. After all, we're racers too and we know that several hours into a race the interpretation of the rules for even top teams gets a good bit softer. Wristband's are the simplest solution we've found to solve this problem.
And if you don't have any feedback, just tell us your story - we'll put em on the blog for all to see. We've already had a few good ones coming in - including a tough Canadian gal who thought she just twisted her ankle 16 minutes into the race and soldiered on, only to discover on tuesday after it had steadily gotten worse that it had been fractured. That's pretty hardcore. It was her first adventure race - in my opinion she's made for it.
Ok, Ok, i know i'm long winded. Here's what you're waiting for.... RESULTS! (shoot me an email if i got anything wrong - i kept all the grimy wristbands and passports and spent four hours yesterday wading through em.... but i did have a couple glasses of wine to keep me company so it is possible i made a mistake or two....)