More info from the race organizer Kip Kolesch --
2008 Croom Crusher Modified Rogaine Format
Typical AR vs. Modified Rogaine Format
In a typical adventure race, immediately after the start, the field of teams begins to spread out, with fastest & most experienced teams at the front, and the newer or slower teams at the back. Often the “back of the pack” never sees the leaders (and vice versa) until they cross the finish line. Usually it takes the “back of the pack” twice as long as the leaders to complete the same course. At the finish, the leaders often have to sit and wait for the awards ceremony, while the tail end of the teams are hoping there is still a crowd to cheer for them (and food) waiting when they cross. To keep teams from getting too far spread out, often races put in “alternate courses” (cutting off sections of the course after a certain time cut-off). Most racers don’t like getting put on the “alternate course” – they feel like they are “missing out” on the full course.
The beauty of the “modified rogaine” format is that ALL RACERS complete the same Mandatory Course, racers see other teams (both the fastest and the slowest) throughout the race, and everyone gets to the finish line at about the same time, leading to a big and fun post-race party.
How does it work?
The 2008 Croom Crusher has several Foot, Bike, and Paddle Mandatory Checkpoints (CPs) that all racers must collect within an 8 hour time limit. It will take roughly the same amount of time to collect the CPs on each of the three main disciplines (foot, bike, paddle). The CPs can be collected in any order, by any route the racers choose (following “Rules of Travel”). There is no marked or specified route (but see “Newbie Notes” below). Therefore, strong navigation skills are essential.
We anticipate it will take the fastest teams four hours to collect the mandatory CPs; the newer teams will likely take 7-8 hours to collect them all.
In addition to the mandatory CPs, there are numerous Bonus CPs (BCPs) along the foot, paddle, and bike sections (worth roughly equal number of points for each discipline). The challenge is to collect as many BCPs (in addition to the mandatory CPs) within the 8 hour time limit. The winner is the team with all CPs and the most BCPs. Ties are broken by fastest time for same number of BCPs. We anticipate the top 2-3 teams will collect ALL BCPs. Any team missing mandatory CPs will automatically be ranked below all other teams, regardless of how many BCPs you have.
Maps and Instructions
We will hand out maps and instructions on Saturday morning. You will have approximately one hour after the pre-race meeting to review them before the start. As you review your maps & instructions, you may wish to decide on your routes and highlight them on your maps. That is the time to do some strategizing.
Foot vs. Bike. Vs. Paddle CP and BCP
Foot points can only be collected on the foot section; bike points can only be collected on the bike; paddle points can only be collected on the paddle. We will have punchcards for each section. There will be a “punch” and flag at each CP and BCP. Stamp your punchcard in the appropriate spot on your card. You may visit the same location on different sections (example: same point on foot as on bike) but you only have one punchcard at a time, so only get credit for one point at a time. Once you complete a section (and turn in that punchcard), you CAN NOT go back.
There are roughly equal number of CP and BCP available on paddle, bike, and foot.
Some BCPs may have higher point values. Higher value BCP are harder to get—they either are a greater distance to travel, require more difficult navigation, or both. It is up to you to decide whether it is worth the extra effort to go after the higher point value BCPs
You may be doing some disciplines more than once (there may be more than one section of each).
Each team’s strategy will be based on their skill, speed, and experience. New teams may wish to go for mandatory CP only (highly recommended). Top teams may want to go for all of them. Mid-pack teams have choices to make. Beginner or intermediate teams may want to only try for BCPs that appear to be at a very distinct map feature, have a good "attack point," or a very descriptive clue. Some teams nock off as many BCPs as they can at the beginning--when their minds and bodies are fresh. Others, are more conservative--getting only BCPs that are closer to the mandatory CPs, then checking their time near the end of the race, and collecting as many BCPs as they can with the time they have remaining. You always want to make sure you have enough time to return to the finish within in the time limit.
Again, there is no marked route. Look at the various options – consider whether it is better to take a trail (which may be twisty), a forest road (which may be very sandy), or cross-country (which may have thick brush). You may want to make some decisions “on the fly”. While we suggest you select a route when reviewing maps and instructions prior to the start, and highlighting a route on your map, be ready to adapt. For instance if you had selected and highlighted a route down a forest road, but then the road is 4” deep sugar sand, but the woods on either side are wide open, consider changing your route and going cross-country! You may also want to choose a route (prior to the race or once out on the course) that suits your abilities. Trail/road travel can often be more reassuring for beginners or for experienced teams that may have a tired teammate or equipment problems.
Watch the Clock!! Budget your Time!! You have approximately 2 ½ hours for each of the paddle, foot, and bike sections (with ½ hour for transitions and special tests). If your team is planning to collect BCPs, you may wish to “budget” more time for a discipline where you are stronger/faster and collect BCPs during that discipline. Just be sure to leave enough time to collect all the mandatory CPs for your weaker discipline. Mid-pack teams (not going after all BCP) may wish to tackle your weakest discipline first (to get it out of the way). You may also wish to by-pass any BCPs close to the finish line/TA, and save those for last – if you have extra time at the end, grab them on your way to the finish line. If you are short on time, skip them and make the 8 hour cut-off.
For any out-and-back sections of the course, pay attention to how long the “out” takes, so you can estimate how long the “back” will take (and you can leave yourself enough time for the back). Be sure to also take into account things like headwind and/or current. If you’re “out” took 20 min into a headwind, it should be faster on the way back with a tailwind, but consider that you will be more tired too.
But don’t miss the time cut-off!! The penalty for being late (longer than 8 hour time limit) will be harsh! Expect to lose a BCP for each minute that you are late. It is not worth it to miss the 8 hour cut-off to go after additional BCP! Penalties will be announced on race day.
There will be several places along the course where you can get more water (approx every 2 – 3 hours). However, the only place to re-supply food is at the main TA (Nobleton Canoe Outpost) which you will most likely be passing through once during the race (of course you can pass through as often as you like – it depends on your route choice and strategy). Plan accordingly – bring enough food and water for your needs.
Because some racers may be brand new, and still learning the ins-and-outs of AR, the intense strategy and route selection may be a little overwhelming. Therefore we have an option for you!! Each team will receive a sealed envelope at the start of the race. In this envelope is a map of all of the Mandatory CPs. A “Suggested Route” to collect all CPs has been highlighted. This may not be the best or fastest route (because there are many, many possible options), but it is a relatively easy to follow route that will take you to all of the CPs and back to finish. All teams should be able to complete this route within the 8 hour time limit. IF YOU NEED A LITTLE EXTRA HELP with route choice and strategy, open the envelope and follow the marked route. If you wish to select your own route, DO NOT OPEN the envelope. Any team which crosses the finish line with a SEALED ENVELOPE will receive ONE BONUS POINT. (so if you use our “suggested route”, you will not earn a point. If you don’t use our route, you will earn a point).
If you want to get more comfortable with this format, we suggest you go to a local park (Croom if you are close), get a good map of the area, and arbitrarily select some points on that map. Now give yourself a time limit to collect them all. Practice selecting a route, following the route, and paying attention to the clock. It doesn’t matter if you are way off on your time – the idea is to practice paying attention.
An Advanced Navigation Clinic is being held Sunday, September 14 at the Oak Ridge Equestrian area at 8am.
Advanced Navigation with Map and Compass
Sunday, September 14
Oak Ridge Equestrian Area
Join adventure racer and outdoor writer Kip Koelsch for this advanced course on map and compass navigation. We’ll start with a quick review of basic map and compass skills and then work on reconciling maps, reading terrain features, back-plotting, navigating without a compass, and route finding and route planning. The emphasis will be on “guided” exercises in the field. Our final exercise will be unguided navigation on a more advanced orienteering course. Bring your compass and your sense of adventure! 8am-1pm
* For this class: review of orienteering-style maps, lots of practice and some tips on Rogaine-style racing for the upcoming Croom Crusher Adventure Race.
$20 WeCeFAR Members
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We will also hold a mini-navigation primer on Friday September 26, 7 pm at Nobleton Canoe Outpost. This mini primer is geared more toward Crumblers, who do not need strong navigation skills. We do NOT recommend Crushers wait until this mini-primer to develop their navigation skills. We may review the rogaine format at the mini-primer if there is interest, but it will not be as in-depth as the Advanced Navigation Clinic