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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)
    True enough, but irrelevant, I think.
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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
    Harmonius Wrench
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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.

  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
    Harmonius Wrench
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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.

  24. #74
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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.

  25. #75
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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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