About: In 2003 I participated in the first ever offroad iron distance triathlon, the MXT, in Park City Utah. I finished in 20 hours, give or take. It was the first race I had ever done where people were allowed to be hooked up to an IV during the event and then continue. It was epic. But it was discontinued. Why? Maybe it was overdone. It had corporate sponsors. Maybe it was too hard (only 68 people finished) - so hard that it wasn't accessible. Maybe it didn't make money. Who knows.
According to one researcher, more people have been to the moon than have completed an offroad ironman (check out a brief history of the endeavor HERE). Crazy. But I'm not sure how long that is going to last, because the off road ironman is coming back. But this time it's with ENDracing - a grassroots extreme endurance events company based out of, of all places, North Dakota. And we like 'too hard', have never used big corporate sponsors, and for some reason didn't really get into the whole making money thing. But we do put on great events.
If you thought Ironman was the end of the road - the big enchilada - the pinnacle of multi-disciplinary solo effort endurance sports - think again.
Think Harder---Think Better---Think Cheaper---Think Wilder.
Welcome to the Wilderman
Course Details: Lots of folks clamoring for details about the course, particularly the biking. HERE is a link to a video from last may of a trip I took to the region for biking and paddleboarding. The biking starts at 2:00. You can see the nature of the trails that will make up roughly 40-50 miles of the course - fast and flowing. There may be a few short sections of tougher terrain, but if conditions are dry the bike course will awesome. The balance of the miles will be on gravel or minimum maintenance roads. Again, lots of climbing, though no single climb will be bigger than 400' of ascent. We're planning a course scouting trip up there in early November and will return with more footage of both running and biking trails. Much of the run will be on trails that are smaller than those of the bike (singletrack) and there will be some rougher terrain, including possible 1-2 miles of creek bottom running (this may involve flat, easy, shale bottomed creek or a more rugged boulder filled creek or both - check out some photos of the famous Speights Coast to Coast race for an idea of the inspiration for this short section). The bike will involve at least one, possibly two river crossings. The run may have several creek/river crossings, and running in the creek bottom there may be several inches to a foot of water on occasion. In other words, if you're afraid of getting your feet wet, you shouldn't do this race!
Date: August 2nd and 3rd, 2014
Location: Pembina Gorge, near Walhalla, ND.
Registration: (less than 1/4 the price of Ironman!)
|before Jan 1||Jan 1-Jun 31||Jul 1-Aug 2|
|Solo Wilderperson - Register||$175||$200||$250|
Registration Cap: Race will be limited to 250 participants.
Amenities/Lodging: There are accommodation options in Walhalla (camping and motels, 11 miles from race start), Cavalier (camping and motels, 30 miles from race start) and Langdon (camping and motels, 25 miles from race start). The Pembina Gorge is located approximately 1.75 hours drive from Grand Forks, ND and 1.5 hours drive from Winnipeg, Manitoba. We will post more details about accommodation options in the next few weeks.
The course: The course will involve a 2.4 mile swim in a reservior, a 112 mile bike ride (in two laps - approx. 50% gravel roads, 50% single and double track, or creek riding - with a few river crossings thrown in for good measure), and a 26.2 mile run (10% mininum maintenence road, 15% creek bed running, and 75% single/double track). It is going to be challenging with many descents into and out of the 400 foot deep Pembina Gorge. It is going to be a HARD course.
Registration includes: Swag (TBD), pre race meal (friday night) and post race refreshments (finish times will vary widely). Course will have a cutoff, TBD, but somewhere between 24 and 36 hours. . Racers will also have the option to purchase additional ENDracing swag for deep discounts during registration - stuff like socks, hats, and merino wool baselayers.
Other Details: Tentative course map will be posted soon, although is likely to change somewhat as we get feet on the ground and collect GPS data from all the trails.
Tattoos: We will aim to have tattoo artists on site to provide those finishers that want to get a W-dot tattoo to commemorate the occasion. Ok, we may be joking, but we may not!