I don't know how to read a topographic map. Should I stick to triathlons? :) If you are doing the long course, you may have a bit of a challenge as you are required to know how to plot UTM coordinates and read a topo map over a long distance. It can be done with little experience, but will probably be a challenge. For your short course racers, your map is a topo map, but is pre-plotted. Meaning, we have marked your checkpoints on the map for you. There are numerous resources for learning how to read a topo map online. One great way to learn is to print a map from mytopo.com of your neighborhood (or a place you are familiar). They have great online tools for creating maps of just about anywhere in the US. A single map will only cost about $15. Another way to learn is to come to the orienteering workshop after the pre-race meeting. We will be providing some assistance in reading the race map and some fundamentals of orienteering.
Can I bring my own paddling gear? Yes, long course racers may bring their own PFD, or paddles. Both kayak and canoe paddles are acceptable. PFD's must by Type III. You will be required to bring these items to the race start and will be required to run/trek with them. note: The Wild Hares will provide canoe paddles and PFDs if you do not have your own. Short course racers will be wearing and using Wild Hares supplied paddling equipment.
What is this sandbag carry? The sand bag carry is a team challenge for the short course racers. You must fill and carry a 40lbs. sand bag for each member of your team. So, if you have 2 teammates, you will carry 2 bags, 3 teammates, 3 bags. At the start of the challenge, there will be sand, empty bags, and a weigh in station. You will fill your bags and weigh them in with the race official. Each sand bag must weigh at least 40lbs. After weigh-in, you will carry the bags over a distance. How you carry the bags is up to you (backpack, arms, etc.) If you decide to bring an apparatus to assist you with this challenge, you must carry it for the entire race. One person may carry more than one bag to help out a teammate. After traveling the distance, you will weigh in again. Each sand bag must weigh at least 40lbs. or penalties will be incurred. You must take care when traveling with your sandbags so they do not lose sand.
What about water? This race is a self-contained race. There are no water stations. This will be discussed at the pre race meeting.
Will all three teammates be paddling? Yes, for the long course, all three teammates will be in one boat. All three may paddle. This is up to you. Tip: The middle spot can get uncomfortable. There are a variety of creative ways to make this position more comfortable.
What time does the race start? Race start will be announced at the pre race meeting.
What should I do to get prepared for this race? Knowing how to plot utm (long course) is a requirement. You will be receiving maps and coordinates at the pre-race meeting the night before the race. This will allow you to take your time to plot and plan. However, you will be receiving more coordinates during the race. Being efficient at plotting utm on the fly is a good skill to have. You can learn more about how to plot utm at www.maptools.com. The total race distance is approximately 50-60 miles. This, of course, is somewhat dependent on your navigation skills. Biking and running long distances outside during the summer is a great way to get in shape for a long endurance race. Being prepared is also important. Extra items you might want to consider bringing are lip balm, sunscreen, Endurolytes (e-caps), and real food. Improving other skills like reading topographical maps, canoeing, trail running and single track mountain biking will all help you get through the race quickly and efficiently.