We have been experimenting with different race formats all season and leading up to this race we've decided to break the mold and let you, the racers, in on the secret before going off on one of the hardest challenges of the year.
We are very happy to be back at the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area
for the Nocturnal Challenge AR this year. This place has a lot of land to cover and we want you to visit as much as you can. But don't expect it to be easy to get in and out of.
From being out there in the past week, we can tell you that it is wet out there. The bike trails are still very rideable but can be rough at spots with some big puddles. And when you're off on foot, especially during those bushwhacks, you will encounter those puddles and wetlands as well. Basically, don't expect to keep those feet dry. Prepare how ever you want for that.
On to the race format. As you Elite racers know we have definitely played around with different formats this year to keep you guessing and add to your adventure. We expect this race to be one of the most challenging yet. In fact, we post the odds of a team clearing it as slim going in (doesn't mean it won't happen so take that as a challenge).
As always with all of our races, the team with the most points in the fastest time will be the winner. But since we feel this race may be a bit hard to finish within the time constraints, it will take on more of a true rogaine course
where some points will be weighted as more valuable based on difficulty
. Strategy will be paramount and key to winning this race.
The other big format change for the Elite teams is they will be on their own for most of the race. Usually you go off on a discipline and check in with us before heading out on the next. Not this time. At the race start you will be handed all the materials you need (punchcards, maps, etc.) to complete the first 9 hours of this race. You choose your adventure in this one and your only responsibility is to return to the Start/Finish by 03:00am
(9 hours in). That is a hard cutoff and time penalties
will be assessed as if it were the race finish. Meaning if you get there after 03:30 you will be considered OT and at the bottom of the leaderboard.
After the nine hour portion the Elite will have to go off on the Sport Foot and Sport Bike courses to complete their course. All the same time penalties are in play after that regarding the final 06:00am finish.
Sport teams should know that their course will be difficult as well and may have weighted CPs too. You will still check in at the Start/Finish after every discipline. You will still draw a marble to decide your starting discipline. However, nobody will start on Boat. You will either start on Foot or Bike and follow the logo normally from there.
We hope everyone enjoys the way we put on the race this time. It is going to be dark and wet and difficult at times so we want you to know that going in. If you feel like you are off to a bad start or have a bad hiccup somewhere in the middle don't give up because there is no way to know if everyone else didn't make worse mistakes.
Please just make sure you are prepared with enough light power. The moon will provide no help and it will be difficult at times to navigate through the Tosohatchee in the darkness. Bring extra lights, batteries or whatever you need to see out there.
Remember to trust your compass and like always remember to have fun!
We're excited about this one and are really looking forward to seeing how it unfolds. We'll see you guys out there for another challenging event for 2012.