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  1. #1
    Scott in Tucson
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    Arizona Trail 300 (X-post from Endurance Racing)

    Hi,

    I'm holding a 300 mile race on the Arizona Trail this spring. Those familiar with Southern Arizona trails will know that this is one brutal route. I could make it harder, but not by much. It starts April 14th, 2006 at 9am.

    Link to post in "Endurance Racing":

    Arizona Trail 300 - April 14th, 2006

    Race website:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race.php

    For locals familar with the trails, here is a blow by blow description of the route:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race-route.php


    Dig deep.

  2. #2
    Saucy Size Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Hi,

    I'm holding a 300 mile race on the Arizona Trail this spring. Those familiar with Southern Arizona trails will know that this is one brutal route. I could make it harder, but not by much. It starts April 14th, 2006 at 9am.

    Link to post in "Endurance Racing":

    Arizona Trail 300 - April 14th, 2006

    Race website:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race.php

    For locals familar with the trails, here is a blow by blow description of the route:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race-route.php


    Dig deep.
    This sounds frickin' incredible!

    Any idea what the course record might be? I'm guessing 2ish days (30 hours?) given good weather and support.

    p.
    Don't be that guy! Read the forum guidelines.

  3. #3
    Scott in Tucson
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    No record yet

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    This sounds frickin' incredible!

    Any idea what the course record might be? I'm guessing 2ish days (30 hours?) given good weather and support.

    p.
    No support -- everyone is on their own. So that means more water, food and clothes.

    I'll be impressed if anyone can finish around 72 hours. I think the first year it's going to be about finishing it more than anything else. It's a hard route.

    But I really don't know how fast it can be done. Only one way to find out!

  4. #4
    Saucy Size Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    No support -- everyone is on their own. So that means more water, food and clothes.

    I'll be impressed if anyone can finish around 72 hours. I think the first year it's going to be about finishing it more than anything else. It's a hard route.

    But I really don't know how fast it can be done. Only one way to find out!
    Certainly makes the Soul Ride look like a nice warmup. Are you capping signups?

    Any other information you can post about the race would be helpful. Sorry if it's redundant with whatever you've posted in Endurance.

    p.
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  5. #5
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    Certainly makes the Soul Ride look like a nice warmup. Are you capping signups?

    Any other information you can post about the race would be helpful. Sorry if it's redundant with whatever you've posted in Endurance.

    p.

    No cap. Currently I'm hoping that I won't be the only one who shows up!

    Here is some more info on the race:


    I'm putting on a brand new race, the Arizona Trail 300, this spring. It follows suit with the Kokopelli, Grand Loop and Great Divide Races. No entry fee, no prizes, no support and plenty of awesome backcountry mountain biking.

    This is a point to point ~300 mile time trial on the Arizona Trail (AZT). The start is near the Mexican Border and the finish is Superior, AZ. In between there is everything from 9000 foot alpine riding to low Sonoran desert singletrack. There will be significant stretches of hike-a-bike. I really can’t stress this enough. If you can’t stand to push your bike, you need to look elsewhere.

    I have not done the Grand Loop Race, but my hunch is that they are at least comparable and given the high percentage of singletrack, the AZT 300 is perhaps harder/slower. Ask me in late June and I should have a firm answer. Without a doubt, AZT 300 will be a good early season shakedown for Kokopelli and GLR.

    My guess is that it can be done in 3 days, but it might take as many as 5. There's only one way to find out and that's to head on out to Tucson this spring and give it a try. The start is April 14th, 2006 at 9am. We'll have a shuttle available from Tucson to the start line (roughly 1.5 hours away).

    The website has more info, a route description and some pics:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race.php

    Sorry about the late notice on the date. Some of us can’t think beyond calendar year boundaries.

    Feel free to ask questions here in this forum, so others can learn too.

    Thanks.

    Scott Morris
    smorris@topofusion.com

  6. #6
    Saucy Size Moderator
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    Any pre-caching stuff along the route? Is Superior the only known source of water along the way?

    Without any sort of support, yeah, I'm now seeing it as a 4-ish day race.

    p.
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  7. #7
    Scott in Tucson
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    Water

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    Any pre-caching stuff along the route? Is Superior the only known source of water along the way?

    Without any sort of support, yeah, I'm now seeing it as a 4-ish day race.

    p.
    Pre-caching is not allowed.

    However, there are quite a few places to find water on the route:

    Patagonia
    Smithsonian Visitors Center (Mt. Hopkins Road)
    Colossal Cave Mtn Park (snack stand)
    Eastside of Tucson
    Summerhaven
    Oracle

    Plus any creeks and springs that may be running, depending on if we get any rain this winter.
    Last edited by Krein; 01-02-2006 at 09:12 PM.

  8. #8
    Occidental Tourist
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    Very cool Scott.
    I wish I could play but my planned departure is actually the the day after (my bday and my bday present to myself - the azt).
    and no way I could hang with some of the folks I anticipate will participate.
    Keep up the good work.
    Maybe in 07.
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  9. #9
    Old Fart at Play
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    You're a very sick man!!

    Seek help immediately!
    "... displays the social skills of a barrel cactus." - TNC

  10. #10
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titus Maximus
    Seek help immediately!
    Does this mean you're in?

    The help I need can only be found on the trail.

  11. #11
    Old Fart at Play
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    Seriously,

    I'm just jealous that I'm not young and foolish enough to take up the challenge. I've ridden almost all of the route, just not all at once. Good luck with it.
    "... displays the social skills of a barrel cactus." - TNC

  12. #12
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    I occasionally do the first part(50 mi. +/-) of this ride(Canello Hills east & west, starting from Sierra Vista)as a one way shuttle, and Canello east is a beeyatch! If I started this race, I probably wouldn't make it past the Velvet Elvis in Patagonia!
    You COULD do it on a geared bike, but I wouldn't reccomend it!

    Derailleurs are for failures!

  13. #13
    Scott in Tucson
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    I posted a detailed GPS file of the AZT 300 route. It's at:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race-route.php

    Current estimated stats:

    318.25 miles
    45,577 feet of climbing
    48,860 feet of descending

  14. #14
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark
    I occasionally do the first part(50 mi. +/-) of this ride(Canello Hills east & west, starting from Sierra Vista)as a one way shuttle, and Canello east is a beeyatch! If I started this race, I probably wouldn't make it past the Velvet Elvis in Patagonia!
    Yup, the ride from Parker to Patagonia is a beast. I suspect there will be some people doing just what you describe -- calling it quits at the Velvet Elvis. Possibly myself!!

    The start time is early enough that everyone should at least make it to Patagonia by sundown, and then be faced with the decision of continuing the madness....

  15. #15
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    Trail condition question

    Haven't done any of the trails of this route, but yesterday did the azt descent from Roger's trough to FR 650 - so the section of the azt just N of the finish of the race route. I found this section of trail fairly, uh, prickly: http://teamhealthfx.com/blogs/dave_h...01/08/338.aspx. Cat claw everywhere crossing the trail...is this typical for the race route? Curious what those in the know do to prevent looking (and feeling) like coming out on the losing end of a cougar fight.
    Dave

    Anything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.

    2 Epic

  16. #16
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    Haven't done any of the trails of this route, but yesterday did the azt descent from Roger's trough to FR 650 - so the section of the azt just N of the finish of the race route. I found this section of trail fairly, uh, prickly: http://teamhealthfx.com/blogs/dave_h...01/08/338.aspx. Cat claw everywhere crossing the trail...is this typical for the race route? Curious what those in the know do to prevent looking (and feeling) like coming out on the losing end of a cougar fight.
    Trail conditions on the route vary. Overgrowth and fighting through it is part of life on the AZT. Many sections (like the one you rode) just don't get enough use. Others sections are wide open and buffed.

    The first part of the race usually has a fair amount of overgrowth including white thorn and cat claw. I wouldn't say it's everywhere, but depending on tolerance level (everyone's is different) it can be bad. Elephant Head is usually not bad, and then it's fairly clear in and around Tucson. The backside Mt. Lemmon trails can be ripe with catclaw and other nasties. I don't think any of it is bad enough to destroy skin as in your picture (I think that was more from a crash, right?).

    In general, yes, overgrowth and getting scratched should be expected. I don't think it's bad enough that it would deter anyone from the race by itself. It's just one part of the bigger challenge a back-country event like this presents. Things like no support, carrying all your gear, trail finding, and hike-a-bike to name a few.

    Thanks for the ride report on Montana Mountain. I enjoyed it.

  17. #17
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    Curious what those in the know do to prevent looking (and feeling) like coming out on the losing end of a cougar fight.
    Here's an impromptu solution I came up with last spring while contemplating heading north from Superior:




    The result was fair to middlin'. We did not go to Montana Mountain due to the 30 miles of wilderness the AZT goes through from there. We went part way up 650, then diverted to begin a 'route' through Haunted Canyon and, eventually Gunsight Gap.

    I don't have a good solution except to ride when it's cold enough to minimize exposed skin. Even a light shirt or knee warmers make a huge difference.

  18. #18
    Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
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    Thanks Scott

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    In general, yes, overgrowth and getting scratched should be expected. I don't think it's bad enough that it would deter anyone from the race by itself. It's just one part of the bigger challenge a back-country event like this presents. Things like no support, carrying all your gear, trail finding, and hike-a-bike to name a few.

    Thanks for the ride report on Montana Mountain. I enjoyed it.
    I was more than a little awed at your AZT TT write up and performance...glad you enjoyed the ride report. Thanks also for the impromtu leg guard pic - funny to see such creativity for the same section of trail!

    I'm quite interested in the event. To be honest, it probably isn't in the cards as that would leave me baked heading into the race season...already overtraining being down here in the winter sunshine But who knows...thinking about it.
    Dave

    Anything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.

    2 Epic

  19. #19
    President Skroob
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    Race

    Will maps be made available, or will you tell us how to obtain them? Will you give us a clue how to get water/food along the route?

    I would love to understand what it takes to do the GDR, but have had nothing around to really get exposure to that type of race.

    Also, for those who are definitely doing it, what type of bikes are you guys using. I already have a Stumpjumper FSR, but am looking at getting a Soma Juice or Niner Bikes Sir 9 for this type of racing. How many of you plan on using clipless? The race says a lot of hike-a-bike, how many are foregoing clipless for platforms so the transition is faster.

  20. #20
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by GueroAZ
    Will maps be made available, or will you tell us how to obtain them? Will you give us a clue how to get water/food along the route?
    I will be making cue sheets marked with mileages. Plus I will have GPS data out so that people can follow that and/or print out their own maps to bring along. "The Map" covers a large portion of the course, also.

    Yep, food and water locations will be divulged to the best of my knowledge. Above in the thread there is a list of major water locations. There's no problem, really, until you hit Oracle where there is a long stretch without water.

    Food shouldn't be a problem since the route goes through towns like Patagonia, Tucson and Oracle.

    Quote Originally Posted by GueroAZ
    I would love to understand what it takes to do the GDR, but have had nothing around to really get exposure to that type of race.
    Cool. Keep in mind that while the format is similar, the race course is almost nothing like the GDR. This is a singletrack, all-mountain type of event. The GDR is primarily dirt/gravel/county roads.

    Quote Originally Posted by GueroAZ
    Also, for those who are definitely doing it, what type of bikes are you guys using. I already have a Stumpjumper FSR, but am looking at getting a Soma Juice or Niner Bikes Sir 9 for this type of racing. How many of you plan on using clipless? The race says a lot of hike-a-bike, how many are foregoing clipless for platforms so the transition is faster.
    This type of racing is so new that I expect a variety of bike types, gear and strategies. That's one of the cool things about it -- no one is an expert (certainly not me) at this type of event, so there is a large unknown element. There's no formula to follow.

    Personally, I'll be riding a 29" hardtail with clipless. I'm not worried about time transitioning between riding/walking. It's more the extended sections of hike-a-bike that people need to be warned about. There is also the very real possibility that sections that are normally rideable become hike-a-bike after 24+ hours on the bike carrying more gear than any of us are used to riding with.

  21. #21
    Old Fart at Play
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    Arizona Trail Association

    Another source of trail info is the Arizona Trail Association, the fine folks responsible for the building and maintainence of the Trail. They have produced a series of passage maps of the trail, http://www.aztrail.org/passages/at_passages.html which are available for sale. It looks to me like you would need about 11 passage maps to cover the course, which would be a sizable investment. I (and others, no doubt) have urged them to make the maps available online, but so far only GPS track and waypoint data have been made available, and only to members (membership starts at $20). A source for downloadable USGS topo maps of Arizona is: http://aria.arizona.edu/search/ With a mapping program, the map data, and the track data, you should be able to construct printable maps of the trail sections, though I have yet to test this assumption. Scott is much more knowledgable in this area than I am. Whether this data is more or less useful than what Scott is making available, I do not know. I suspect, however that Scott's GPS data would be more useful, as it comes from hands on (or wheels on) experience with the actual course. Unless you are very familiar with all the sections of this course, I would highly recommend the use of a GPS. It could save a lot of fustration and time in what will undoubtably be an extremely taxing and time consuming experience.
    "... displays the social skills of a barrel cactus." - TNC

  22. #22
    Occidental Tourist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titus Maximus
    Another source of trail info is the Arizona Trail Association, the fine folks responsible for the building and maintainence of the Trail. They have produced a series of passage maps of the trail, http://www.aztrail.org/passages/at_passages.html which are available for sale. It looks to me like you would need about 11 passage maps to cover the course, which would be a sizable investment. I (and others, no doubt) have urged them to make the maps available online, but so far only GPS track and waypoint data have been made available, and only to members (membership starts at $20). A source for downloadable USGS topo maps of Arizona is: http://aria.arizona.edu/search/ With a mapping program, the map data, and the track data, you should be able to construct printable maps of the trail sections, though I have yet to test this assumption. Scott is much more knowledgable in this area than I am. Whether this data is more or less useful than what Scott is making available, I do not know. I suspect, however that Scott's GPS data would be more useful, as it comes from hands on (or wheels on) experience with the actual course. Unless you are very familiar with all the sections of this course, I would highly recommend the use of a GPS. It could save a lot of fustration and time in what will undoubtably be an extremely taxing and time consuming experience.
    Just remember that the race route is different in that it bypasses the wilderness section in the Santa Ritas by popping uover to the west side of the Santa Ritas towards elephant head so the AZTrail Org won't have that info.
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  23. #23
    Old Fart at Play
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    Quite so

    Quote Originally Posted by YuriB
    Just remember that the race route is different in that it bypasses the wilderness section in the Santa Ritas by popping uover to the west side of the Santa Ritas towards elephant head so the AZTrail Org won't have that info.
    Good overview topo maps of the Santa Rita, Rincon and Santa Catalina (and Chiracahuas) "sky islands" have been produced by the Southern Arizona Hiking Club and can be purchased here:
    http://www.summithut.com/catalog/rem.../49/pfid/2081/
    "... displays the social skills of a barrel cactus." - TNC

  24. #24
    Scott in Tucson
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    Update

    Exactly three weeks until the start of the AZT 300!

    A few items:

    * I have been out riding parts of the course, and the recent rains have really shaped things up.

    * The route is 95% finalized. I am working on the cue sheets and supplemental maps. I will email again when they are available. For those familiar with the route, Canada del Oro and upper Mt. Lemmon stuff is out. The AZT association is recommending that even thru-hikers avoid this section. I rode it recently, but the trail is very difficult to follow and in bad shape. Otherwise, the course is as explained (and mapped) on the website:

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt/race-route.php

    * There is going to be a pre-race meeting on Thursday, April 14th at 5 pm. The meeting will be at Old Chicago Pizza (2960 N. Campbell Ave in Tucson). Attendance is optional.

    * GPS is highly recommended for following the route.

    * If you would like help finding a ride to the start line, let me know ASAP.

    * Race start is 9am sharp from the AZT trailhead at Parker Canyon Lake. See you there.

  25. #25
    Scott in Tucson
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    Results for the AZT 300 are up, See:

    Arizona Trail 300 Results

    or the race web site at

    http://www.topofusion.com/azt.php

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