Final Course is set. Make sure you have read update #1 too, it goes over some of the specifics of this years race. Please refer to previous update for mandatory climbing gear, and the general mandatory gear list all other gear (unless discussed below).
This course is very different from past iterations of La Pine Loop in that it will have a little bit more of a "self sufficient" feel as teams will not have a big transition bin. Transition bags and and water resupply will be very limited and the responsibility of each team, and there will not be opportunity for easy re-supply, so plan on carrying enough water and food for most of those 6 hours. Below is an outline of what drop bags and gear you will be allowed and required.
Bags, gear, and transition areas
Each team must bring one climbing bag. This will be allowed to have ONLY the team's climbing gear (mandatory and any additional climbing gear they want to carry). No food or water is allowed in this bag. When you pick up the climbing gear, you will be required to take the bag also. You will carry your climbing gear/bag the rest of the race. Please label the bag clearly with your team name/#. You will get your team # at check-in.
Each team must bring a bag (or bags if necessary) to keep all of their paddling gear (boats, paddles, pfds, inflation devices, paddling clothes if wanted) in. Paddles and life-jackets are allowed to be securely fastened to the outside (not dangling everywhere) if they are too long/bulky to fit in. Bags and all contents must be carried on the entire paddling leg, so think carefully about what you pack. Nothing is allowed to be left behind at the boating transition area. We recommend over-size mesh laundry bags or heavy duty yard waste bags. Clearly label your team name/#. At the end of the boat section, you must repack/secure all paddling items before leaving on the next section. Staff will test this so be prepared for them to ask you to improve your bundle if it is not tidy. This is so that our staff is able to easily move your equipment for you and not lose it. This bag/bags can contain only paddling equipment, no food or water.
Optional Bags: These are not required, and some teams may opt to not use them to move faster through the transition areas.
Remote Drop Bag (1 Gallon Ziploc): 1 and 2 person teams are allowed 1 bag. 3 and 4 person teams get 2 bags. Bags must be able to close. Teams will see the bags at transition areas 1 and 3. Food, clothes whatever...anything but a GPS. Label these as above.
Potable Water Drop: 1/2 person teams can have a single gallon of water. 3/4 person teams can have 2 Gallons of water. Teams will see the bags at transition areas 1 and 3. Label your water jugs as above.
There will be 2 bike drops in the race. One is mandatory, the other optional. At bike drops, teams are only allowed to leave their bikes and any non-mandatory team and non-mandatory personal gear.
Weather is going to be great for our staff (70 degrees and sunny) when we set the points. But forecast is calling for a cold snap on Sunday with a high around 50! Perfect for riding and running, but a bit chilly for the water. We've designed a pretty "weather proof" course that will be drier than years past, so this is good news. You will still get wet, especially if you suck at paddling and splash each other. And there is at least one potential point for some serious water contact. (Hmm, can I fit a pack towel in that ziploc bag?)
All climbing points are optional, and we will have staff there to help. If you are totally totally clueless and a danger to yourself, we'll be very honest and ask you to skip these points. This is a race, and not a training clinic. We offer those too, but there is not time to teach too much out there.
Bottlenecks: We try to design a course that avoids these, but it happens. In the event of a bottleneck at rope section time credit will not be given. Teams that arrive at the rope section first (geared up and ready - see below) will go first. For stations with multiple ropes, teams of 3/4 may use 2 ropes. Teams or 2 must use the same rope.
Geared up and ready: Harness on. And ready to do the following bad-ass stuff.
The rappel will require teams to descend from a bridge into the river with their boats. Boats must be inflated. So think about the best way to manage this.
The Tyrolean will require teams to cross with their bikes. Remember that picture in update #1 with the guy and his pack...well your pack will be on your back (cause I hope it is pretty light), and your bike will be where his pack is. So think about a good way to hang your bike. We promise to make you look great in the photos.
Ok, there are a few things we are not telling you. Clearly. But we want you to come prepared. We have a lot of first time adventure racers coming out to this race, and to all the newbies, I say "WELCOME to the tribe of crazy people". I'll tell you that I too felt totally overwhelmed at the start line of my first race. We signed up on a whim, and were lost before the first checkpoint. But we never gave up, and somehow we finished (4 hours after the official cut-off). And in the 20 years since that race, I've explored the world through adventure racing. It is the best sport in the world as far as I am concerned. If you love it 1% as much as we at Bend Racing do - you'll have a great time.
To the veterans out there - you know what I am talking about. Thanks for coming back again and again. It is so nice to know we have people out there who understand us. Being crazy alone can get lonely...but a whole community of nut-so adventure racers around the Pacific Northwest makes me feel so lucky.
Ok - see you all Sunday. Any questions - email firstname.lastname@example.org