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  1. #51
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by trail717
    Once a racer does decide to quit the race, for whatever reason, at whatever location, it make any difference how this then ex-racer decides to exit the course? As long as this ex-racer has choices on how/when they exit why does it matter how they choose to do so? Why is it ok to stick out your thumb if you are at a store but not on the road leading to the store?
    That's a fair point to bring up. I can agree that in principle there is nothing wrong with thumbing to the next town if you are dropping from the race--assuming that you have enough food/water/strength to do it on your own.

    I propose that once the race is quit the only remaining responsibility to that particular event is to ensure the event organizer knows you got off the course ok. I think How said ex-racer gets to where ever they get to next is immaterial to everyone but them.
    I don't agree with this because it can conflict with what has been said throughout this thread. If you take what you propose at face value then I can skip filtering water because I know the route is traveled by 4x4 vehicles to bail me out. I may just make it. If I don't make it then by your rule I just say "I'm out of the race" and then I can rely on others to bail me out.

    Obviously there is a difference of intent. But the only way to be SURE that you could have made it is to actually make it.

    Cliff Walker dropped out of the AZT 300 with major fatigue and stomach cramps. He called my house to let me (through my GF) know he was out. He declined all offers of a ride back to his car (which was at my house) and proved to himself that he could get out of the situation himself. My hope is that people in these events would be this kind of person.

    Anyone else have thoughts on this?

    (Note: No one would be out of water at cisco, think about it)
    True enough, but irrelevant, I think.
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  2. #52
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    Edited for foolishly propagating a flame.
    Last edited by Morlahach; 02-15-2007 at 12:12 PM.

  3. #53
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    Never, go beyond what you would do solo, is perhaps the best rule of thumb in these cases. (As stated above).

    Even very experienced mountaineers will fall into this trap, (Mt Everest tradegies).

    I have backed off many epics, for many reasons. Some of my friends haven't and are no longer here. (One mountain 7 times.)

    I believe all of those friends would have liked a rescue but not at the expense of another.

  4. #54
    Caveman
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    Jeff,
    I agree with you fully, just pick a different mountain than Everest...
    (some are not very experienced mountineers)

    The mountaineer approach to simply bag it and walk away is well transposed to winter bike races.

  5. #55
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    Morlahach
    are you trying to pick a fight here?
    It seems that everyone else has understood the general message that mike was trying to convey, you seem to be the only one trying to turn this thread into an argument rather than a discussion.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by KavuRider
    Morlahach
    are you trying to pick a fight here?
    It seems that everyone else has understood the general message that mike was trying to convey, you seem to be the only one trying to turn this thread into an argument rather than a discussion.
    I may very well have a chip on my shoulder. Bringing something up a year later would seem to demonstrate I held a grudge, no?

    IMO Mike comes off as very "agree with me or you are an idiot". This bugs me, and I guess I went a little far trying to show him wrong.

  7. #57
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    Okay pick say Annapurna.

    I was however refering to some of the idiot moves the guides made.

  8. #58
    Time to go farther
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    This thread is good, I almost hesitate to add to it for fear of not being able to type excactly what I mean but I suppose it's too late for that.

    Self supported means rely only on yourself to stay safe. As I'm pretty sure a few people pointed out, all you have to do is pretend you're the only one on the course with no contact with the outside world and act accordingly. It's that simple. Would you huck off that 6 foot drop if no one was around to help you? No? Then maybe you should walk it. The same rule applys about hydration, nutrition and hypothermia but the decision is less in your face than staring off a small cliff in the middle of the trail.

    Will there be unexpected accidents like broken bones from crashing? Without a doubt that will sometimes happen even when you are riding with the "only person out here" mindset. In those cases that cell/sat phone, other racers, SAR or nice other people that happen to come across you are a life saver, sometimes literally. But you should still have a plan on how to get yourself out. Those situations should be extreme exceptions and last resorts.

    I've also been on the helping end of a hypothermic, injured or otherwise disabled rider in several cases and I won't hesitate to do it again even if that person has missed the signs and now needs help. They made a mistake and hopefully they will learn from it. That doesn't mean they need to die so that others can learn from it too. All of us are reading these Arrowhead blogs and hopefully adding this to our knowledge banks. From there you just have to enjoy getting laughed at by your coworkers for sleeping in the backyard on the coldest nights of the year and riding when it's below zero and snowing so that you can learn your limits close to home and not in a race.

    Well I better shut up now.
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  9. #59
    Rusting Steel
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    To me, it just seems Mike is starting a conversation that has me re-assessing some of my upcoming efforts, and that is a good thing. He's pointed out the consequenses of lack of preparation, be it the gear chosen or the mental aptitude to know when to pull the plug.

    Several of us have been performing "death marches" testing our gear and fortitude for the upcoming Trans Iowa event. We've had a few successes that left me feeling probably a little too confident. Luckily we had one that was a miserable failure and a good solid wake up kick to the crotch. Luckily no lives were threatened and the only injuries were to our egos. From that failure, true learning has taken place; I have a better understanding of my limit vs hardheadedness, as well as better choice in gear.

    We have a third coming up Friday, it'll be cold, overnight, and lonely. But thanks to Mike's conversation, I think I'll be even more prepared for it than I initially thought. If not, the back up plan is to follow Mike's wheel at TIv3 because I know he'll have everything I'll need. That does count as preparation doesn't it?

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny5
    Luckily we had one that was a miserable failure and a good solid wake up kick to the crotch. Luckily no lives were threatened and the only injuries were to our egos. From that failure, true learning has taken place; I have a better understanding of my limit vs hardheadedness, as well as better choice in gear.
    Great point. Last year I trained and raced without almost any failures and I felt awesome. This winter I've had to learn how to pull the plug on more than one occasion. The decision is far less satisfying but much more important in hindsight. The trail will always be there tomorrow, make the right decisions and you can be too.

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  11. #61
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    [QUOTE=Johnny5]To me, it just seems Mike is starting a conversation that has me re-assessing some of my upcoming efforts, and that is a good thing. He's pointed out the consequenses of lack of preparation, be it the gear chosen or the mental aptitude to know when to pull the plug.

    Thats exactly the same way ive been thinking and the point of the 1st post.Please Mike dont bother posting on his thread any longer.Go lace a wheel or weigh some fuel,you have made yourself clear here to those of us graced with more then half a brain cell.

  12. #62
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    More on the Arrowhead

    Navy guy here... thanks to Charlie for the help getting this posted.

    This posting was delayed because I've had to wait for my MTBR account to be activated-- I've watched these forums for years but never felt compelled to say anything. Now it's time.

    Some might take my comments as personal. I don't mean them to be and hope we can all have a beer one day in peace and love of our sport. What's intended is to offer an attitude adjustment on something that we should be celebrating-- our mutual love of challenges on two wheels. Put away the attitudes. Please remember this. It doesn't help anyone and it hurts our sport.

    Here's several years of pent-up angst comin' at ya...

    This has been an interesting and frustrating thread. There's a lot of BS being tossed around by people out of school, regardless of experience level. I truly honestly and deeply respect each person's experience but I'm not willing to take your word about this event if you weren't there. That's speculation and it's rarely accurate.


    What would be more productive would be threads that address how to prepare for these kinds of events in meaningful ways. Take a look around and you'll see there's little to nothing solid out there that's available on some really key dimensions (pretty much all of them actually- and I know about the icebike forums, etc.). So anyone doing this for their first time had to do a lot on their own because you can't know what to ask if you've never been there. Why can't we stop acting as if this is some mystical pursuit only worthy of a few souls possessed of superhuman gifts? And why shouldn't someone be able to go buy a bike that makes it more likely they'll succeed? That logic means we'd still be riding huffys on bike paths instead of, well, take your pick of mountain bikes... having a bike was truly only a few percent of the preparation required for this event.


    OK, the race...

    Bottom line? If you weren't there, you missed the event of a lifetime. Period.

    I'm working on one of those infamous lawyer-geek stories that I suppose might piss a few more race-geeks off, but maybe this time it'll come from experience instead of marketing. We'll see what you think when the time comes.


    Here's a take from another guy who was there with Charlie. My story-- I dropped at mile 90 because experience told me that it was time to come back another time. You can read about why on the race blog if you care to. But don't judge people when you weren't there, or frankly even if you were--

    A funny thing about experience-- it takes it to have it. Mike C are you going to tell us that you were perfectly prepared for every event you've ever done? I wouldn't believe it for a second. How can anyone say that people who lack experience shouldn't go to a race? Let's hear the plan for how they get it then-- and I can tell you that every single person who toed the line believed they were ready or they wouldn't have been there. There were no illusions about how hard this would be. It was freaking cold up there. The snow conditions were ridiculously hard. Even the most experienced people on that course learned things, a lot of things, of that I have no doubt. Compare the finishing times between this and last year.

    But here's the deal-- Things happen in races. Equipment breaks, people make unusual choices under pressure that they themselves don't understand in retrospect, and conditions possess a force all their own to influence everything. This is my hobby, and I have over 20 years' racing experience, up to no-kidding international levels and events much longer than AH135, and my training for this event included three months of weekly rides in excess of ten hours at near-zero temps, and I still have six pages of post-event notes on what I did right wrong or otherwise. Here's a more powerful example-- Lance Armstrong got dehydrated and nearly lost a Tour (my God how could that have happened when he had an ARMY of help?). There's a simple factor out there called "stuff happens" and that's why we run the race instead of just hooking ourselves up to some machine that measures tangibles and declares a winner without ever setting foot outside a lab. Races are finished and won by unpredictables and intangibles.

    I like the ideas of doing these things on your own. I told Pierre and others that before and during the race. I still feel that way. But I also know we're doing something that isn't worth dying for. That would be dumb.

    I've had a very long discussion since the race with the organizers about the support aspects and dimensions and I can tell you that while I totally share the sentiments about needing to be prepared to be completely alone and unafraid, mistakes and bad luck are real, and so is the simple fact that there is no race in the world worth losing lives or body parts simply for the sake of someone's ego that says 'gee, that was tough for them, too bad, they should've been able to help themselves out there.' That's just stupid when we have the ability to help. It's the only reason people don't help more above the death zone in climbing-- because they can't. Who's going to call the family and say, 'hey, you know it's too bad and all but gosh, um, we just didn't think it was right to save them out there when they had something go wrong.' Don't be a self-righteous person who declares your manhood on those terms. If you don't need the support, you won't use it. And no one will think less of you for its presence.

    Let me offer this-- Don't judge the people who had problems-- you weren't in their shoes and know squat about the factors that led to their challenges. Every one of us had different challenges to overcome in identical conditions. I saw some people who in hindsight weren't fully prepared, but no one could predict for sure who those people were and it sorted itself out. Every person on the course had water and food problems and made curious decisions about how to handle them-- every single one. Period. Ask Pierre. Remember the first time you really bonked? You didn't know it until way later. There you go. It happens.


    The people who risked their lives to help? They all volunteered to do it before they knew anything was or would be wrong. They were happy to be there not put off or put out-- they were satisfied in doing things to help, and I know that because they're talking about next year. One of them was my brother who had no previous exposure to these events, but he has incredible experience outdoors in those conditions-- he wished he'd been ready to do even more. Because he enjoyed being a part of it all. Oh by the way-- this was the only year they had to actually use emergency assistance, and it worked. That's what matters in the end-- that we can sit here in our armchairs and talk about it-- but what would we have said if there was no help out there and someone died? I've finished races in bad shape too, broken bones included, but there's a real difference-- the environmental conditions weren't threatening my life-- does someone deserve death because they had some bad luck? Let's not forget that dimension-- and let me tell you the conditions-- snow and weather both-- this year drove the luck dimension in spades. There was no pattern to broken gear problems across the racers. It was just luck.

    I'm not at all advocating anyone being able to walk up and toe the line, relying on a safety net for their bad planning, but remember there's a selection process for these events and it's run by people who know what it takes. They learned some things too. Watch next year's process.


    And last time I checked, the race director decides on the rules and what's good form or not. If you don't like their choices, then run your own race. We won't miss you for a second. I'm not defined by your perceptions of what's valid. To be brutally honest, I don't even care what you think. I'm not doing these to impress anyone or prove anything. I'm out there because I like it. I hope that's your only motivation too, because I'd much rather be there with folks like that than those willing to win at someone else's expense. I'm in it for the adventure not the credit or the trophy. OK, so I want the desk ornament. But it's only a symbol of the work it took to get it.


    That guy with the toes? They'll all be OK. No one is losing anything-- he's back home and at work again, albeit with some recovery time ahead.


    My fingers still tingle from a couple of events that contributed to my decision to stop, but I'll be back because I learned an infinite amount about myself, others, being better-prepared, and overcoming challenges. That's exactly why I went. I still struggle with my decision to drop. But I know that it was right. And that's Mike's point, and I hear him loud and clear-- I didn't want to be a burden on the trail-- but at the same time, I don't look down on others who I lost time helping. They learned a lot too. Ease up and stop taking yourself so seriously. This is just a bike race not American Idol after all... there was no money at stake here.


    I shared an amazing experience with amazing people. And as I said in my blog, I didn't see myself losing time when people needed my help-- I saw myself gaining experience. That's why I was there. And that's why I'll go back. Winning wasn't the point to me-- learning more about myself and a hobby that I love was the point. And I did. Finishing would have been great, and it was a goal, but it wasn't the only goal. Everyone out there succeeded by trying in my book. Stop trying to discredit their willingness to put themselves to the test.

    -Don Gabrielson

  13. #63
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    finally

    Thank you for saying the most honest thing on this thread.I was really hoping a participant would truly speak up and not worry about bruising some "gurus" ego.

    Dallas "I'd also like to point out that John Stamstad is an ultrarunner now." Sigurdur

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieFarrow

    A funny thing about experience-- it takes it to have it. Mike C are you going to tell us that you were perfectly prepared for every event you've ever done? I wouldn't believe it for a second. How can anyone say that people who lack experience shouldn't go to a race?
    Don, I find it difficult to understand how you can, in good faith, take this from the words given. This is a debate, to which you honestly (if it seems to me erroneously) contributed.

    Cheers.

  15. #65
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    Don, I find it difficult to understand how you can, in good faith, take this from the words given. This is a debate, to which you honestly (if it seems to me erroneously) contributed.

    Cheers.
    Dave, what you wrote is what I was thinking as I read much of Don's post. Then I realized that his post was delayed in making it here.

    This thread isn't about the Arrowhead. It's not about Mike Curiak. That's already been covered (for far too long). To Don's credit, these points may not have been emphasized before he wrote what he did. It feels like Don is responding only to Mike's initial post, to me.

    Don, thanks for the heartfelt, if late, response. I hope you understand we are only trying to discuss and learn. As Mike said already, we're not trying to point fingers and we have all made mistakes and learned from them. Try not to take things too personally.

    Quote Originally Posted by dallas
    Dallas "I'd also like to point out that John Stamstad is an ultrarunner now." Sigurdur
    And what is significant about that?
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  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein

    And what is significant about that?
    Because running is cooler.




    (Note: I'm running a 50k trail race Saturday, and am really really uncool. My sense of humor also sucks.)

  17. #67
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    Generally agree with you butÖ.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein

    I propose that once the race is quit the only remaining responsibility to that particular event is to ensure the event organizer knows you got off the course ok. I think How said ex-racer gets to where ever they get to next is immaterial to everyone but them.
    I don't agree with this because it can conflict with what has been said throughout this thread. If you take what you propose at face value then I can skip filtering water because I know the route is traveled by 4x4 vehicles to bail me out. I may just make it. If I don't make it then by your rule I just say "I'm out of the race" and then I can rely on others to bail me out.
    Did not mean to (and donít think I did) imply this anywhere in my full post or specifically by saying:
    I propose that once the race is quit the only remaining responsibility to that particular event is to ensure the event organizer knows you got off the course ok. I think How said ex-racer gets to where ever they get to next is immaterial to everyone but them.

    Obviously there is a difference of intent. But the only way to be SURE that you could have made it is to actually make it.

    Cliff Walker dropped out of the AZT 300 with major fatigue and stomach cramps. He called my house to let me (through my GF) know he was out. He declined all offers of a ride back to his car (which was at my house) and proved to himself that he could get out of the situation himself. My hope is that people in these events would be this kind of person.
    If your example of what Cliff did to exit the AZT 300 was important to him thatís great, for him, but why is it so important to you or anyone else how he got back to his car?. He let you know he was out, thatís the important part. Do you believe only those willing to perform to your particular standard are worthy to do the event or am I mis-reading something here?

    (Note: No one would be out of water at cisco, think about it)
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  18. #68
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by trail717
    Did not mean to (and donít think I did) imply this anywhere in my full post or specifically by saying:
    I propose that once the race is quit the only remaining responsibility to that particular event is to ensure the event organizer knows you got off the course ok. I think How said ex-racer gets to where ever they get to next is immaterial to everyone but them.
    Sorry to have pulled your quote out of context. Given what you wrote before, I know we are on the same page about not relying on others and I know that was not what you were suggesting here.

    Quote Originally Posted by trail717
    If your example of what Cliff did to exit the AZT 300 was important to him thatís great, for him, but why is it so important to you or anyone else how he got back to his car?. He let you know he was out, thatís the important part. Do you believe only those willing to perform to your particular standard are worthy to do the event or am I mis-reading something here?
    It wasn't an expression of any standard that I have, certainly not for entry into my event. It's just that I would think that the type of person who enters a self-sufficient event would be someone who does not like burdening others unless there is a good reason.

    I'm not trying to define some hard and fast rule that you can only thumb a ride while "in town." Truth be told, Cliff was essentially in town when he called. But he was ~15 miles from his car, and rather than burden others, he sucked it up and rode it out. If he had been 200 miles from his car and 2 miles from the next town, yeah, he would have thumbed a ride.

    I really don't know exactly what to say on this one. Obviously the logisitics of many of these races are going to require leaning on someone for transporation if you DNF. As long as your situation is under control, I see no problem with this. What "under control" means is not exactly clear, though.

    I guess I have to be explicitly clear here (for some of our readers) that if the situation is not under control, you sure as heck better seek help. By discussing this we're just trying to prevent situations from getting out of control in the first place. I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't seek help or help others just because they let their situation get out of hand. My point is that telling yourself that it's "not OK" to accept a ride dehydrated and out of water is a significant change of viewpoint, and one that might save people's lives if someone isn't there when they need them to be. Doesn't mean that they shouldn't actually take a ride if they do find themselves there.

    Thoughts?

    Not to me, but it was personal
    OK. I just meant that I chose a bad example. Fill in the blank with some other hot place that doesn't have water. Sounds like I may have unintentionally struck a chord...?
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  19. #69
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    its a pity that seems to be prevalent in mtbr at the moment that discussion so very often gets turned to animosity...

    bad!

    interesting discussion...

    not sure if anyone has raised the effects of certain conditions on decision making..hypothermia can easily creep up unannounced and affec decision making...not sure if this adds anything, and im not sure how you safely prepare for that! if only to *try* and make sure it doesnt happen...

    it seems that to carefully extend yourself is the only way forward..?

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmsigurdur

    "I'd also like to point out that John Stamstad is an ultrarunner now."
    Dang, that was what I was thinking about doing when I couldn't figure out what to do next. Now I'm going to have to skip that and go right to trans-oceanic rowing.

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  21. #71
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    Thoughts on DNF-ing and more

    (all quotes from Krein's post)

    I really don't know exactly what to say on this one. Obviously the logisitics of many of these races are going to require leaning on someone for transporation if you DNF. As long as your situation is under control, I see no problem with this. What "under control" means is not exactly clear, though.
    What Jeff and I insist on at Trans Iowa is that you have someone available to pick you up if and when you decide to DNF. Obviously in Iowa, that's a whole different story than say, the AZT or other remote event, but it lays the responsibility on someone who previous to the event decides to take responsibility for someone in the event. To that end, it seems that the volunteers for the Arrowhead 135 were taking on a similar responsibility, knowing full well that they might be getting in harms way if they needed to extricate an event participant.

    I think it all depends upon what level of self sufficiency is required at any particular event. Obviously at the Arrowhead you had the volunteers there to aid in getting folks off the course if the need arose. If this was fore knowledge for the event participants, then this colors the whole "exit strategy" for the event participant a bit differently than, say if they knew going in there were no event volunteers to sweep the course, no?

    Perhaps as a promoter it would be a wise thing to detail out possible exit points, strategies for bailing out, etc. ? Especially for the more remote events.

    I guess I have to be explicitly clear here (for some of our readers) that if the situation is not under control, you sure as heck better seek help. By discussing this we're just trying to prevent situations from getting out of control in the first place. I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't seek help or help others just because they let their situation get out of hand. My point is that telling yourself that it's "not OK" to accept a ride dehydrated and out of water is a significant change of viewpoint, and one that might save people's lives if someone isn't there when they need them to be. Doesn't mean that they shouldn't actually take a ride if they do find themselves there.
    Very well put! I agree. This seems to me to be the question, though. At what point does an event participant determine that things have gone to a point that is "not under control" and when is the rule of their own self government overidden due to the severity of their situation.

    I am afraid that is the point that will be unanswered sufficiently due to the myriad different situations that might arise in any given event. To that end, it seems easy to say, "don't let it get that far in the first place", but things can and do happen so very quickly that this can not always work. At best it's a guideline that will certainly be a wise thing to attain to for anyone looking for these types of challenges

    And really, isn't it that "chance" that something might happen, that "unknown factor" that drives alot of us out there in the first place? It's a balancing act and there isn't going to be any easy solutions

    This is a good discussion. I think it should be required reading for anyone thinking of undertaking these self supported- ultra distance- wilderness type events. (Sorry, but didn't someone say "Curiak Rules Events at one point?) I wonder if this thread couldn't be edited for the "on topic" posts to be saved somewhere? Just a thought.
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  22. #72
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    Lots and lots of words here. My two cents: There is a distinct difference between a "self supported race" and the race directors stepping in to pull racers who are in trouble or are in danger of getting into trouble. And who better to know if they're in trouble than those who were out there (in the case of Arrowhead). To say that they should buck up and forge on, when clearly lives were in danger, is irresponsible. If nothing else, a race director owes it to the racers (and to themselves) to have that safety net, even if the race is "self supported".

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elle Elle
    Lots and lots of words here. My two cents: There is a distinct difference between a "self supported race" and the race directors stepping in to pull racers who are in trouble or are in danger of getting into trouble.
    Agreed, I think this thread is aiming more at the self supported style.


    And who better to know if they're in trouble than those who were out there (in the case of Arrowhead).
    Maybe, maybe not. Reading the reports it's clear that upon reflection some of the racers saw where they were in trouble where it seems that they weren't so aware of it in the thick of it. This thread seems to be saying, "try to be more careful in this regard". It might save alot of trouble in the future.

    To say that they should buck up and forge on, when clearly lives were in danger, is irresponsible.
    Statements of this sort keep popping up in this thread and I do not believe anyone is trying to say this. It's been said over and over again, try not to let it get to the point where lives are in danger. I think this is the key to the original point.

    If nothing else, a race director owes it to the racers (and to themselves) to have that safety net, even if the race is "self supported".
    Here's where I disagree with you. If the race is clearly stated from the onset as a "no support" style event, and that the event promoters are not providing services, then the onus is on the person that takes up the challenge to take care of themselves. Again, a point that seems to be continually missed here.
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    Well we have 70+ posts now basically saying the same thing.

    With some people agreeing, and others disagreeing on the gray areas of self-support.

    Lets the make the logical next step for people promoting enduro races via blogs etc. Promoters have varying levels of organization, inviting people to their races, having open entry, having sponsors, prizes, holding entry lotteries, etc. At what point does this feel-good enduro trend become a liability for those organizing races. At some point according to murphy's law, someone will show up and get hurt. What happens next?

    How much organizing does a promoter need to do to become liable for people's safety. I do not know. It may be something Promoters may want to think about when holding an underground (ie no permits, medics, accountability, insurance etc.) "race". I am not trying to be a downer but sometimes you have to cover your ass proactively rather and reactively.

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    I dislike getting into these discussions about these underground-type events. I've been a part of a few, but my main racing experiance has been adventure racing for the past 8-9 years. I see a conflict of interests between organizers of these grass-roots type races, and the racers safety. In many instances I see it as "I want to host a race, but I don't want to be responsible for anything that goes wrong in my race" type thinking. It's not proactive for the racers safety when you know something will go wrong. It's a cop-out.


    Bottom Line: If you decide to do one of these unsupported, grass-roots type races, prepare for the worst. Basically there is no one really "running things". The race officials usually make sure no one cheats, there is a cut-off time, that there is a specified course and start / finish line. No support means whatever money you paid doesn't buy you anything, but a pre-determined path to follow and some bragging rites. If you expect anything more out of these grass-roots type events or their organizers, you will be sorry. Your money is in their pockets now.

    So if you are comfortable with that, by all means go for it. Don't ***** and moan when things go bad. Just find a more suitable race...

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    Whatever...

    "prepare for the worst....money is in their pockets now."

    Hence my reasoning behind not liking the fact that the Arrowhead is being used as a platform on this thread.
    C

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieFarrow
    "prepare for the worst....money is in their pockets now."

    Hence my reasoning behind not liking the fact that the Arrowhead is being used as a platform on this thread.
    C

    Sincere congrats for your accomplishments Charlie.

    But I'm not sure you've been paying attention. For the last day and a half this thread has morphed into DNF protocol rather than the origional intent; Preperation.

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    no harm no foul

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Dave, what you wrote is what I was thinking as I read much of Don's post. Then I realized that his post was delayed in making it here.

    This thread isn't about the Arrowhead. It's not about Mike Curiak. That's already been covered (for far too long). To Don's credit, these points may not have been emphasized before he wrote what he did. It feels like Don is responding only to Mike's initial post, to me.

    Don, thanks for the heartfelt, if late, response. I hope you understand we are only trying to discuss and learn. As Mike said already, we're not trying to point fingers and we have all made mistakes and learned from them. Try not to take things too personally.



    And what is significant about that?
    What would John do?
    I just brought it up because I saw someone on the GDR race thread (John's idea from what I heard him say in an interview on wikipedia) had it posted on his handle bar. It then made me think of a jest runners make about biking saying "soon you'll loose your training wheels".
    Now I don't want people freaking out because I don't mean anything harmful by it I just thought it was funny that's all.I still love my bike and the opportunities it gives me.

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  29. #79
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    Keywords: integrity, morality, respect, responsibility, compassion and honesty

    As one of the organizers and competitors in the upcoming Colorado Trail Race, this thread has really got me thinking. A lot.

    Self-supported racing has a way of bringing the integrity and honesty of one's character to the forefront. This style of racing really forces you to be honest with yourself. I'm going to use two examples of the character of people that I want racing, and that I want to race against, in these type of events. (disclaimer: I do not know Steve or Cliff personally)

    Cliff Walker - Chose to pull the plug on the AZT300 and got himself out without leaning on other racers for support, even though he was suffering from major fatigue and stomach cramps. I want to race against Cliff, because he is prepared and knows when to make the decision to call it quits before getting in too deep. I know that if I have to rescue him, it will be because he is in serious dire straits.

    Steve Fassbinder - In last year's KTR, when coming upon Travis Macy (who had just wrecked and broken his collar bone), Steve assessed Travis' situation and immediately abandoned any personal goals he had of the KTR in order to get Travis out of there. I want to race against Steve, because I know that if I get into serious dire straits, he will sacrifice his goals, possibly endangering himself, to get me out of there.

    These two seemingly simple examples illustrate integrity, morality, respect, responsibility and compassion from both viewpoints - the rescuer and potential rescuee. This is the same character that I (and I'm sure everyone here) strives to achieve -- and it's not easy. Especially in a racing/competitive environment where bailing someone out may not only endanger your safety, but also requires you to sacrifice your own goals. If your personal sacrifice allows you to save someone's life/legs/toes/etc, and you are repaid with their wholehearted thanks and respect, it can mean much, much more than your original goal.

    However, if your sacrifice is due to someone else's unpreparedness or negligence, it can leave a bad taste in your mouth. This can be compounded if you feel you are being taken advantage of and/or given no thanks and respect in return for your personal sacrifice. It works the other way around too -- if by being rescued, you are forcing someone else to abandon their personal goals, and perhaps risk their life as well, you better repay them with some sincere thanks and respect!

    In our ever-increasing society of entitlement, self-supported racing offers us the chance to not only see what we're mentally & physically capable of, but also to learn about the integrity and honesty of our own character, and to earn the mutual respect of others striving for these same personal goals. For this style of racing to prosper, it is unquestionably mandatory that everyone is on the exact same page regarding safety and expectations. In essence, this is not a hobby or a pastime -- it is a way of life.

    Stefan Griebel
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  30. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmsigurdur
    What would John do?

    Dallas "I'm getting ready for a 150 mile SUPPORTED trail run and am cool with that." Sigurdur
    Right on, Dallas. Wasn't trying to be confrontational, just wondering what your point was.

    Runners are infinitely tougher than cyclists, we all know that. My GF is a semi-elite marathon runner, and she lets me know how much harder running is than cycling all the time.
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    Stephan, I agree.

    And I am sure most of us do. But what if the person how gets lost, hurt, or worse does not? My main question is: Is the promoter help responsible for racers a "underground race." Will the defense of "well, I said so in my blog." work in a court of law? Just something to think about.

    I am thinking about putting on an enduro the day after the Laramie enduro in Fort Fun all of DBB through blue sky, horsetooth, michuax, foothills trail pineridge to CR. But I probably will not becasue I do not want to be liability for all of the people to whom I gave a map.

  32. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan_G
    In our ever-increasing society of entitlement, self-supported racing offers us the chance to not only see what we're mentally & physically capable of, but also to learn about the integrity and honesty of our own character, and to earn the mutual respect of others striving for these same personal goals. For this style of racing to prosper, it is unquestionably mandatory that everyone is on the exact same page regarding safety and expectations. In essence, this is not a hobby or a pastime -- it is a way of life.
    Hear, hear! You make some great points about integrity, which is a large part of these events -- the truly self supported ones. Thanks for the thoughts Stefan. It's good to know you're at the helm of the CTR.
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  33. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by twelve_volt_man
    And I am sure most of us do. But what if the person how gets lost, hurt, or worse does not? My main question is: Is the promoter help responsible for racers a "underground race." Will the defense of "well, I said so in my blog." work in a court of law? Just something to think about.
    Right. What was said about Murphy's law is true. It's only a matter of time before someone runs into trouble in one of these "non-official" events and raises hell for the "promoter."

    It would be nice to think it's not going to happen--that the distance, rules and severity of these events will prevent those kind of people from entering. But it's a possibility each promoter needs to think about. We need to realize there is a risk and accept that risk.

    I'm not a lawyer, and have no idea what constitutes an 'event' for liability purposes. The absence of entry fees, prizes, sponsorship or support of any kind certainly helps your case, but I would not bank my life savings on it.
    Last edited by Krein; 02-16-2007 at 03:36 PM.
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  34. #84
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    Yep, whatever...

    Quote Originally Posted by DocAltie
    I dislike getting into these discussions about these underground-type events.
    Then why did you post and add only negativity?
    Quote Originally Posted by DocAltie
    Bottom Line: If you decide to do one of these unsupported, grass-roots type races, prepare for the worst. Basically there is no one really "running things". The race officials usually make sure no one cheats, there is a cut-off time, that there is a specified course and start / finish line. No support means whatever money you paid doesn't buy you anything, but a pre-determined path to follow and some bragging rites. If you expect anything more out of these grass-roots type events or their organizers, you will be sorry. Your money is in their pockets now.
    [sarcastic on]
    Yes! Please don't expect anything more out of these type of events! Satisfaction, sense of accomplishment, growth, learning, personal triumph, mutual respect from other racers, camradarie... All of this is meaningless, especially when the entry fee is modest or nonexistent. A race is really only worth doing if it costs an exorbitant amount of money, there are race organizers around every corner to rescue you if you fall, and the top 3 finishers get loads of money from the 100's of others that paid huge race fees to the generous and altruistic race directors and insurance companies.
    [sarcastic off]

    But seriously Doc, I can't believe that you (or anyone) really feels this way.
    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. -TJ

  35. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Perhaps as a promoter it would be a wise thing to detail out possible exit points, strategies for bailing out, etc. ? Especially for the more remote events.
    Depends on what kind of event you are running, but generally I think racers are responsible for their own map work. You need to know a lot about the course itself, and you need to know even more about the bailouts. That's the racer's responsibility.

    Of course if someone asks me about bail out strategies I'll be happy to help out. But I don't want someone to just take a list of bailout locations and then consider that aspect of their preparation complete.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    I am afraid that is the point that will be unanswered sufficiently due to the myriad different situations that might arise in any given event.
    Agreed, there's no way to answer it definitively. That's ok...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    This is a good discussion. I think it should be required reading for anyone thinking of undertaking these self supported- ultra distance- wilderness type events. (Sorry, but didn't someone say "Curiak Rules Events at one point?) I wonder if this thread couldn't be edited for the "on topic" posts to be saved somewhere? Just a thought.
    Yep, I'm going to recommend anyone who participates in the AZT 300 read this thread. Food for thought...
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  36. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by edemtbs



    Mike it looks like Jim made another wise decision at Arrowhead this year:



    Ed E
    Thanks Ed,

    My $.02. I showed up with gear that was tested at the coldest of -17, which is the coldest I could find up in summit co. prior to the race. It also did not stay -17 for the entire ride, only the first hour. I quickly realized that I was out of my comfort zone, and don't get me wrong, some of my best rides have been out of my comfort zone. I've even paid the price on more than one occasion. I had a pretty cold night on the trail once when I severly underpacked and thought that my bivy sack along with a pair of tights would be sufficient.

    In this case, I could have easily of continued on down the trail and relied on the snowmobile support to bail me out if I got in trouble, but I opted to bail at a highway where I could easily catch a ride. The arrowhead was billed as a non support event, but in fact it was the most supported, unsupported event that I have ever attended. I think the support definately bailed some folks out and I'm sure they are greatful for that. Some folks ran into some pretty bad dehydration when there was plenty of water around (all in snow). They had stoves, just opted to not use them. If they were truly on their own, I'm sure each and everyone of them would have stopped at a shelter (there was one about every ten miles) and melted some snow. About halfway there was a cabin with food and water for all participants. Many participants stopped and stayed the night in a cabin, staying in a cabin at those temperatures was not a bad idea, but most carried the mandatory gear that would have allowed them to stay outside. They may not have been comfortable in a -20 bag, but when combined with a bivy and some of the extra clothes they had they would have survived. If I return to this event, I'm going to do it on my own without support. That means not stopping at the store 40 miles into the event and not accepting the grilled cheese and soup at the half way point. Nothing against those who do, I just feel I need to only rely on myself. That is a personal decision.

    Don't get me wrong, this is a great event, it is just not an unsupported event. I definately did not have the anxiety attack that I had about starting the Grand Loop Race. I knew there would be someone out there looking for me if I got lost or could not go further. It was scary cold out there and the potential for actually dying was pretty real. I still have some weird skin above my lip from having to leave it exposed because otherwise my balaclavas were freezing to me and prohibiting me from eating and drinking.


    Mike brings up some good points, when I embark on some of these events, I tend to take the conservative approach. I would rather bail and head back with my tail between my legs than end up needing to be rescued. Sure I have more stories on how I wish I had did this or that than I would like to admit. I often admit to showing up to events not quite in top form. I'm one of those working joes who trains when they can between the demands of a 50 hour a week job and a family.

    Mike has a dedication to the unsupported way of racing that I greatly admire and I find myself agreeing with him more often than not. I have participated in three of Mike's events with three DNFs. Did I ever reley on outside support-- well that is a tough one, on one occasion, after pulling out of the event I rode until I got cell phone service and called in a friend who was vacationing in the area to pick me up. I say I did not take any outside support since I stopped racing and rode off course to get reception. On the other two occasions I rode back to a vehicle and drove myself home.

    Bottome line is that I will continue to participate in these type of events, but I will participate with great caution. I will bail again to live to ride another day. I will feel guilty about bailing, but I will know I made the right decision. But when I do complete an event on my own, it will be the sweetest accomplishment of my racing career. Sweeter than the 20 plus solo 24 hour events I have completed.

    For those of you thinking about these type of events-- they are way different than a solo 12 or 24 hour event. There is way more mental prep required, which is exactly why I participate in them. Anyone could probably ride a 10 mile loop for 24 hours when they get to stop each lap and get waited on by support.

    Mike-- Thanks for creating this genre-- I know you were not the first, but you have been by far the biggest supporter of these type of events. And thanks for supporting my habit with both gear and and guidance.

    Jim
    Fatter than most.

  37. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by alizbee
    I don't think the merit of the race or it's organizers has ever been in question here.
    The organization at this event was awsome. Better than races that cost 3 times the amount. I agree with alizbee that it was never in question. I think this event is great, had it been a few or ten degrees warmer, I'm sure that many more would have finished this event. Even very experienced racers ran into trouble in this event. I'm the type that needs to do a few to figure them out before success. Charlie-- no one is feeling this event should not be held, just maybe it should not be billed at non supported. BTW, congratulations on your finish-- I particularly enjoyed your write up even though I was on a clown bike. Heck, I'm just glad I saved Moots #1 from sitting in a storage facility for the rest of it's life. I probably should have gotten over the romance with the bike and just ridden my 29er.

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  38. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan_G
    As one of the organizers and competitors in the upcoming Colorado Trail Race, this thread has really got me thinking. A lot.
    Stefan,

    Hopefully this thread will have get some people thinking before your race. See you in July, this one is definately on my schedule. Even giving up another shot at the GLR for this one.

    jim
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    This was meant to be a discussion, but some.....

    Quote Originally Posted by DocAltie
    Bottom Line: If you decide to do one of these unsupported, grass-roots type races, prepare for the worst.
    Exactly MCs point from the beginning.

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  40. #90
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    Consensus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Sorry to have pulled your quote out of context. Given what you wrote before, I know we are on the same page about not relying on others and I know that was not what you were suggesting here.



    It wasn't an expression of any standard that I have, certainly not for entry into my event. It's just that I would think that the type of person who enters a self-sufficient event would be someone who does not like burdening others unless there is a good reason.

    I'm not trying to define some hard and fast rule that you can only thumb a ride while "in town." Truth be told, Cliff was essentially in town when he called. But he was ~15 miles from his car, and rather than burden others, he sucked it up and rode it out. If he had been 200 miles from his car and 2 miles from the next town, yeah, he would have thumbed a ride.

    I really don't know exactly what to say on this one. Obviously the logisitics of many of these races are going to require leaning on someone for transporation if you DNF. As long as your situation is under control, I see no problem with this. What "under control" means is not exactly clear, though.

    I guess I have to be explicitly clear here (for some of our readers) that if the situation is not under control, you sure as heck better seek help. By discussing this we're just trying to prevent situations from getting out of control in the first place. I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't seek help or help others just because they let their situation get out of hand. My point is that telling yourself that it's "not OK" to accept a ride dehydrated and out of water is a significant change of viewpoint, and one that might save people's lives if someone isn't there when they need them to be. Doesn't mean that they shouldn't actually take a ride if they do find themselves there.

    Thoughts?
    Have been out of forum land for a couple of days, sorry to any who think I have been off topic. I did re-read mikesee’s first post and think discussing when and how you pull the plug is germane.


    And actually I did think about this particular point we have been discussing most of the day as I was just driving down the highway to Big Bend TX for a little 100k and during some of said 100k. (fully supported event, very fun, but just not the same)

    Here is what I came up with:

    To be in ethical/honorable compliance with the “rules” of the type of self-supported events I am talking about:
    Your original plan/intent must be to start and finish fully mobile and accept no outside aid (except where aid is clearly allowed, ie: allowed re-supply point in a multi-day etc etc).

    Also you do not plan ahead of time to gain an unfair advantage by relying on any background safety-net or other participants help (ie: save a little weight by leaving out the water filter because you know you could bum some water if you absolutely have to etc etc)

    I still sort of think if you do choose, for any reason, to exit the event and have retained enough mobility to do so safely, with out any outside help then by default you have fulfilled the minimum for “rule compliance” to the event. Now what the individual does from this point forward is no longer governed by the event rules but I would say by what makes the most sense to the “still clear thinking” but exiting individual.


    OK. I just meant that I chose a bad example. Fill in the blank with some other hot place that doesn't have water. Sounds like I may have unintentionally struck a chord...?
    Ah yes that unintended power cord

    Maybe I just want to believe I was “in compliance” in 06 with mikesee’s KTR rules when I exited the race at Cisco Landing. I now see I was not 100%

    Cisco Landing Example
    I exited the KTR, my 1st try at this type of event, at CL because I (mistakenly) thought I had reached my limit and felt it wise to pull the plug. I still had the necessary supplies to continue, and after about 30 min of sit time by the cool river I realized I could have continued, or even rode back to Hwy 128/ Moab (side note: my mistake was a good personal learning experience about rest, real limits and not pulling the plug without first doing some deep reflection) But alas I had accepted an offered ice cold drink within the first min of “quitting” so 40 min later there was little motivation to continue as I had disqualified myself. If I rode forward or back to Moab it would have proven I retained my independent mobility but would have inconvenienced my Wife. She was driving down from a wedding in Salt Lake City to collect me in Loma, going forward may have risked real loss of full mobility and/or worried my wife sick with the unplanned for longer wait and going back to Moab would have forced her to backtrack (not very smart to my way of thinking as she was somewhat reluctant about the whole unsupported thing).
    What I did do was to accept an offer to get a message to my wife’s cell phone to meet me at Cisco Landing. In retrospect with more experience I would have handled this particular situation differently, this is how you learn. But at no time had I lost my full mobility or put myself in a situation where I had no choice but to lean on others.
    But on the other hand I did lean on others, somewhat for personal convenience, I was tired, poor baby, but also a key part of my ‘how to best exit thinking” was to reassure my wife and save her worry and time in the most expedient manner available. So maybe I'm just rationalizing and making excuses.

    While not a "life & death" discussion this thread has made me think deeper about my plans for several up-coming events, maybe even my 1st multi-day. And in his “tells it like he sees it” style I think that’s part of what mikesee’s original post was meant to do.

    PS: We did stop by Loma and tell Mike I was off the route
    Last edited by trail717; 02-17-2007 at 09:00 PM.
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  41. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by trail717

    Ah yes that unintended power cord
    Power cord, or (rockin') power chord?

    Didn't mean to single anyone out...

    Quote Originally Posted by trail717
    Maybe I just want to believe I was ďin complianceĒ in 06 with mikeseeís KTR rules when I exited the race at Cisco Landing. I now see I was not 100%
    It's important to learn and think about past situations, but don't beat yourself up about it. It is a process for everyone. I stayed at a friend's house when I did the 7 day AZT TT, and I'd never do that again in a "racing" atmosphere. Even Mike had a wheel speed-delivered by his GF during his first (failed) GDR attempt.

    Sounds like you're on the right course (like the rest of us, hopefully), and that's what is important.
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    Navy guy here again, finally got my own account activated-- to all, I have appreciated the discussion here, I truly admire each of your accomplishments, and hope that we all benefit from the thoughts of the collective experience--

    Stefan G, your last comments echo my views and I completely agree about the need to be flexible out there-- judgment is what matters and sometimes you don't know how bad off you can be until someone else rings your bell or lends a hand-- but the ultimate goal should always be to avoid that situation and I applaud the folks who get there-- the hard knocks of experience will create better judgment for anyone, which sometimes includes the judgment not to do a style of event that's beyond their willingness or capability to overcome.

    With some luck, these threads will help new solo ultra racers ask themselves some important questions about their preparation and capability-- to me, the real question is how to get more information to people on what it takes, and how to get some events where the skillsets can grow into what's needed for success as opposed to what's in many cases a quantum leap into these events.

    Thanks to all for some important, hard discussions. I learned from them, and hope to meet many of you on the trails some day.

    Don Gabrielson

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    Stefan, I would differ in one way from your last comments though-- there is a style difference between my pursuit of adventures when I'm going solo, as part of a team, or when I'm just living my daily life-- being a lone ranger does not make for a successful life--

    I do these events to challenge and expand my personal limits, not to earn someone else's (put a word here)-- I'm here because of my sense of self, not to define it, and I know many others with that view. I do see and feel the connection in terms of lifestyle, but ultra racing is not what defines my life-- it's the other way around I think-- so maybe you're right about lifestyle in that sense? Maybe I agree with you more than I realized at first.

    If, ultimately, I earn someone else's (put a word here), that's nice and it feels good, but that only comes as a consequence of their judgment of my skills, preparation, and choices on their terms-- not on mine. It feels good, but it doesn't change my life. That's a subtle but key point in my view-- it defines what each of us seek in why we pursue these challenges. It's an important, hard question to ask ourselves I think-- why are we doing this?

    Ultimately, we have to remember that each of our perspectives matter, that none of us have a corner on the market of truth, and the ethos in these events are very important, and definitely to be respected, but not as a definition of someone's worthiness-- because ultimately, the real winners will always follow the rules of the event as well as their own. The rest takes care of itself when the time comes.


    OK my quota of words on MTBR has probably been used up for several more years. Thanks again for everyone's thoughts on this deep and interesting subject.

    See you out there. I'll be the one with extra tools when you need them... ;-)

  44. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan_G
    Then why did you post and add only negativity?

    *** Because, as I stated, the people that "manage" these types of events want to have it both ways as much as some novice racers expecting help just around the corner. I can sit on my keyboard here and point virtual fingers at any of the people the run these events. It doesn't help because most just don't care. They want others to reinforce their thoughts, not give them new ideas.

    And the bottom line is still: Don't f-ing do the race if you don't like it.


    [sarcastic on]
    Yes! Please don't expect anything more out of these type of events! Satisfaction, sense of accomplishment, growth, learning, personal triumph, mutual respect from other racers, camradarie... All of this is meaningless, especially when the entry fee is modest or nonexistent. A race is really only worth doing if it costs an exorbitant amount of money, there are race organizers around every corner to rescue you if you fall, and the top 3 finishers get loads of money from the 100's of others that paid huge race fees to the generous and altruistic race directors and insurance companies.
    [sarcastic off]

    But seriously Doc, I can't believe that you (or anyone) really feels this way.
    *** Well you read wayyy too much into my one post. But you are going to take it however you want to. I love my team. Most of the events we go to are ran very well. I personally don't get involved with "grass-roots" races unless I have people racing with me I know, so we can bail each other out... keep an eye on each other.

  45. #95
    Really I am that slow
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    Word!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan_G
    As one of the organizers and competitors in the upcoming Colorado Trail Race, this thread has really got me thinking. A lot.

    Self-supported racing has a way of bringing the integrity and honesty of one's character to the forefront. This style of racing really forces you to be honest with yourself. I'm going to use two examples of the character of people that I want racing, and that I want to race against, in these type of events. (disclaimer: I do not know Steve or Cliff personally)

    Cliff Walker - Chose to pull the plug on the AZT300 and got himself out without leaning on other racers for support, even though he was suffering from major fatigue and stomach cramps. I want to race against Cliff, because he is prepared and knows when to make the decision to call it quits before getting in too deep. I know that if I have to rescue him, it will be because he is in serious dire straits.

    Steve Fassbinder - In last year's KTR, when coming upon Travis Macy (who had just wrecked and broken his collar bone), Steve assessed Travis' situation and immediately abandoned any personal goals he had of the KTR in order to get Travis out of there. I want to race against Steve, because I know that if I get into serious dire straits, he will sacrifice his goals, possibly endangering himself, to get me out of there.

    These two seemingly simple examples illustrate integrity, morality, respect, responsibility and compassion from both viewpoints - the rescuer and potential rescuee. This is the same character that I (and I'm sure everyone here) strives to achieve -- and it's not easy. Especially in a racing/competitive environment where bailing someone out may not only endanger your safety, but also requires you to sacrifice your own goals. If your personal sacrifice allows you to save someone's life/legs/toes/etc, and you are repaid with their wholehearted thanks and respect, it can mean much, much more than your original goal.

    However, if your sacrifice is due to someone else's unpreparedness or negligence, it can leave a bad taste in your mouth. This can be compounded if you feel you are being taken advantage of and/or given no thanks and respect in return for your personal sacrifice. It works the other way around too -- if by being rescued, you are forcing someone else to abandon their personal goals, and perhaps risk their life as well, you better repay them with some sincere thanks and respect!

    In our ever-increasing society of entitlement, self-supported racing offers us the chance to not only see what we're mentally & physically capable of, but also to learn about the integrity and honesty of our own character, and to earn the mutual respect of others striving for these same personal goals. For this style of racing to prosper, it is unquestionably mandatory that everyone is on the exact same page regarding safety and expectations. In essence, this is not a hobby or a pastime -- it is a way of life.

    Stefan Griebel
    SO well put!
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  46. #96
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    Hi, guys--

    There has been some great discussion here abou the meaning of self-support in endurance events. Thanks in part to Mikesee and his passionate debate, we at the ArrowheadUltra have been doing a lot of thinking about that topic as well.
    We wish Mikesee success and a great (truly self-supported) ride to Nome.

    We find it is a fine balancing act between providing the risk/excitement demanded by the participants and spectators and the safety concerns of the event organizers, local community and family members... (probably somewhat akin to what a ringmaster must feel for its circus performers).

    We originally intended to make the Arrowhead follow the spirt of the original Alaska Iditasport, but we are finding that difficult in the state of Minnesota. People do not seem to be quite ready for a true self-supported event, yet.

    I hope this is not spamming, but since you have been discussing our event in this forum, some people suggested we start our own little forum. So we are announcing the launch of a message board specific to the ArrowheadUltra.com at the following link. Since our event involves more than biking, such as running and skiing, we thought it would be more appropriate for our participants and fans to have their own forum for such discussions.

    http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/mb/arrowheadultra

    We have the new forum on trial for a few days, so we would appreciate your testing it and giving us some feedback. We hope you will visit it from time to time as we will continue to do in the MTBR forum.



    best regards,

    Arrowhead Ultra

  47. #97
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    As someone who dreams of entering races like the these in the future, I have found this thread most informative and want to thank all of you for giving me much to think about.

    However, after reading Trail717's post about his KTR DNF, I'm left puzzled by what it was that people thought he should have done differently.

    What I did do was to accept an offer to get a message to my wife’s cell phone to meet me at Cisco Landing. In retrospect with more experience I would have handled this particular situation differently, this is how you learn. But at no time had I lost my full mobility or put myself in a situation where I had no choice but to lean on others.
    But on the other hand I did lean on others, somewhat for personal convenience, I was tired, poor baby, but also a key part of my ‘how to best exit thinking” was to reassure my wife and save her worry and time in the most expedient manner available. So maybe I'm just rationalizing and making excuses.
    Yes, in his own words, it sounds like he perhaps pulled the plug too quickly and maybe reached for help too suddenly, but -- and I want to make it clear that I'm essentially asking for a rules clarification here as a newbie -- once you make the decision to pull the plug, exit the race, and take the DNF, what is it that you are exactly supposed to do? Was he supposed to pedal all the way back to Moab on the highway?

    It almost sound as if those who finish the race are allowed a drive home with their friend/spouse who was waiting at the finish, but those who DNF have to pedal nearly 2x the distance and drag themselves back to the start line under their own power. Is it really frowned upon to alert the person who is waiting at the finish for you that you're not going to be arriving? I know that if my wife was waiting in Loma and I DNF'd at Cisco Landing and doubted my ability to pedal the highway shoulder the rest of the way, I would also look for a cellphone to let her know what's up. It's a courtesy between husband and wife.

    Or is having someone at the finish waiting to drive us home also not part of the spirit of the event? I understand and appreciate that the idea of these events is to strip away the safety nets of society. And like many of you, that is what attracts me to this concept. But I'm having a hard time figuring out from this thread where the rules of the event end. I know nobody wants a bunch of unprepared folks coming out and simply playing by the rules up until the going gets tough then whipping out the cellphone and calling for mom to pick them up. But once the decision to DNF is reached, when is it allowed (if ever) to go about simply getting home and not inconveniencing the wonderful people who agree to chaufer us around and wait?

    Using Trail717 as an example, what exactly should he have done differently. Was buying a drink at the Cisco store acceptable? What about pedaling to the store and using the payphone to message his wife? Was his only acceptable option to pedal the highway and/or trail to Loma and report his DNF in person? What if his body was simply "done" and he, for one reason or another, could not go on? Was the only option to sleep and rest and then keep moving?

    I'm not asking to add any sort of fuel to what has been occasionally a fiery debate.

    I'm asking because I appreciate other people's rules and want to know EXACTLY what would be expected of me if I was to ever enter one such event.

  48. #98
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    In response to EnduroDoug:

    Good question and yes, it's not entirely clear from event to event what constitutes a "clean" DNF, for lack of a better working term for this.

    I will say that from the standpoint of the event I help promote and put on, (Trans Iowa), we strongly suggest that all participants have a "significant other/ support person" as part of a bail out strategy. We also require that the event coordinator be notified immediately upon the decison to quit. In addition to that, we also employ time limits at certain points on the course that if unreached by a participant in time result in an automatic DNF.

    This all helps us to "scratch" folks who either DNF by calling in or by time limitations so we know who is still in the running for the finish. In response to your question, it means nothing at all to the event once either one of these two DNF possibilities is applied to a person. After that point, the event is over for them. So, you see from our standpoint, if a person in the event accepts a ride from anyone, or any outside assistance, they are DNF'ed and the event is done for them.

    I think what the original intent of Mike's post was that an event volunteer or other individual should not have to risk life and limb due to the poor preparation and decision making of an event participant in these self supported /self reliance type of events. If you follow the events proper DNF policy and can extricate yourself from the course unassisted because you realized you were headed into a situation that was beyond what you were ready for or could handle as equipped, then that is an "ideal" to be strived for. Not a hard and fast rule, as some here seem to have read into this, but something to be aware of. Of course, anything can and does happen out there beyond our controls that negates this "ideal", but it's still a wise thing to strive for.

    That's my interpretation of this. It's not "a rule", but a process of wisdom really.
    Riden' an Smilin'
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  49. #99
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    Thanks Guitar Ted. I understand what you you said and appreciate your spelling it out, my confusion came in with Trail717's post which seemed almost apologetic, as if he was scolded by someone for going about his DNF in the way he did. He certainly didn't have another person risk life/limb to help him and it appears to me that he already took himself out of the race before accepting outside assistance, not necessarily a DQ situation (although I'm sure some ice cream would have been a welcome sight) but just a man who had too much and was now in the process of finding a way home.

    So I guess my question pertains more to the decision to step off the course and "quit". Is there an ideal way to do this as well?

  50. #100
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    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by alizbee
    Everyone helping is not self-supported.
    I was there (Arrowhead) as well (running). I helped a few other racers who were having issues with equipment. Does that make it not self-supported? If it was against the rules for racers to help racers, then count me out since that is utterly against the spirit of the wilderness.

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