Mandatory Gear Update:
Each racer will need a climbing harness, 2 locking carabiners, and 2 short lanyards (daisy chain, sewn webbing loops, etc. These must be a minimum of 2 ft long each.
Packrafts: We do have packrafts for rent. We have 6-10 single boats (mix of alpacka and kokopelli decked and self bailers and 2 doubles (kokopelli Twain). Singles are $80. Doubles $ 150. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request and we can confirm models etc. We've vetted the course with both singles and doubles. Doubles are faster on the flatwater, but more difficult in the technical whitewater, and a bit heavier and bulkier.
The course is shaping up nicely, with some amazing scenery (that most teams will see during daytime!), lots of gradual elevation gain and many fast fun bike descents.
There will be 5 stages total. Below are answers to questions we have received.
Q: Will there be a lot of boat carrying, and will I be able to start with my boat inflated.
A: The total boat carrying will be 2.5 miles spread out over 4 portages. Boats must start the race deflated, but teams can choose when to inflate and deflate them, as well as wether to do so before portages. Teams may also choose to do more portages if desired, although there will be some route restrictions. The paddle about 45% whitewater river, 55% flatwater.
Q: Will we be biking at night?
A: Yes. And bike lights (front and rear) are required. There will be some pavement, some forest roads (from pretty good to really rough), and some single track (from pretty good to pretty rough and overgrown). It is recommended to have a front light on the bike, and one on the head.
Q: Will there be hike-a-bike?
A: Depends on your uphill riding ability and your route choice. It is possible to do the entire course without any hike-a-bike, although this will almost certainly not be the fastest route.
Q: Are all the points mandatory?
A: No. As in the past, some points will be labeled "PRO". These are optional. We believe the course is clearable (all points) by a team with good navigation and speed on the moderate side.
Q: Is there water on the course? At TAs?
A: Full details on the stages, distances and what equipment/water/bathrooms is available will be released a few days before the race. There is water on much of the course, and there is also a large section where water is scarce. Race Staff will transport one 2.5 gallon jug per team like this to the remote TA. Teams should have the ability to filter/purify water.
Q: Are there any dark zones?
Q: Will the maps be waterproof?
A: Some of the maps will be printed on waterproof paper, some will not. It is recommended that you come prepared with a way to protect your maps.
Q: Will there be fire, food or drink available at the TAs?
A: Absolutely no fire. And it is forbidden to build one anywhere on the course. There may be some hot food at the remote TA, this will be TBD.
Q: Will the fire impact the course?
A: Thus far, fires are not near the race course. We were out the last three days and were pleasantly surprised with the conditions, and we did feel impacted by the smoke at all. That said, with no rain in the immediate forecast, fire and smoke might be an issue come race day. We've been experimenting with a few respirators as we bike around town , and both the N95, and P100 masks are ultralight, and will keep you breathing well. These are a bit hot to breathe through, and may limit aerobic output, but if you are sensitive to smoke it is worth monitoring levels and coming prepared with a mask or two.
Q: Is the course gonna be awesome?
A: Of course. Super Awesome. Best WW packraft we've ever done. And the rest of the course is stunning and challenging. Equal parts ultra endurance biking, lots of route finding, and amazing O-course, and some bush bashing for sure. All with a fast finish on bike and foot.