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  1. #1
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    Survey: What constitutes a good 24 hour race?

    I'm doing a little research for the B.T.F.H.R.A (Betterment of Twenty-Four Hour Racing Association). Specifically, I am seeking feedback on what makes a good and successful 24 hour race in your opinions?

    Sample questions:

    Is it the course? The prizes that are given? Real-time scoring? Location? Background music?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountainbikerut
    I'm doing a little research for the B.T.F.H.R.A (Betterment of Twenty-Four Hour Racing Association). Specifically, I am seeking feedback on what makes a good and successful 24 hour race in your opinions?

    Sample questions:

    Is it the course? The prizes that are given? Real-time scoring? Location? Background music?
    My opinion, which will probably differ from the hyper-competitive types:

    Good course, laid back atmosphere, camping near the start/finish, affordable entry fees, sufficient bathrooms, and a bike washing station if the course is messy.

    I could pretty much care less about prizes, real time scoring, big name riders or sponsors, etc.

    baker

  3. #3
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    Massive, huge ditto

    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    Good course, laid back atmosphere, camping near the start/finish, affordable entry fees, sufficient bathrooms, and a bike washing station if the course is messy.
    I will add to this only hot showers, which totally rock.
    If you are only as old as you feel, I'm 101

  4. #4
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    Everything they said....

    I would highlight
    *course type/length
    *affordable race entry fees
    *payout/prizes
    *camping available
    *convenient solo pit area
    *bathroom facilities
    *real-time scoring

    good music is also a plus, though there's not a lot of time to hang out and enjoy it. The BURN 24 used SIRIUS, which was cool.

  5. #5
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    Agree with everything above and I also like the real-time or some other electronic scoring that is dead, spot-on accurate. No matter how competitive (or,in my case, not competitive) you are, it sucks when somehow, lap times and/or # get confused- see the Cowbell Classic report Eddie did for a description.
    Mike

  6. #6
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    Starting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brown
    Agree with everything above and I also like the real-time or some other electronic scoring that is dead, spot-on accurate. No matter how competitive (or,in my case, not competitive) you are, it sucks when somehow, lap times and/or # get confused- see the Cowbell Classic report Eddie did for a description.
    Mike
    I wonder if there were any kind of way to stagger the start, even if only by a few minutes.
    Send the classes out in waves spread over a half hour or so?

    Having to walk the first five miles of a race because of the mass start is a drag.

    I guess I could quit complaining and work on my running sprint, but I'm just saying.....

    Also, at really muddy races, how about a reminder from the promoter that solo riders
    NEED the hose NOW. Mechanics for 5-person teams should put down the Q-tips and
    dental floss and let solo riders rinse their freeking chain off.

    Real time scoring is great.

    Pitting along the course is great, especially for those who race without support.

    And my favorite - Long courses are great.

    ZB
    Yeah, it's strange. But oh well.

  7. #7
    This place needs an enema
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    My $.04

    1) One big lap. If the course must do multiple laps, they should be ~6+ hours each.
    2) Reasonable entry fees. Promoters have a right to make living, but they don't need to pay off their mortgage at every race. The prize payout should be commensurate to the entry fee paid.
    3) No crews. Racing is as much a test of equipment and mechanical prep as it is of fitness.
    4) No spare bikes. See #3. If you break it, fix it on the spot. Can't fix it? With few exceptions, that probably means that you shoulda been using something more durable. This rule leads to people using responsible products, and it also leads to manufacturers building responsible products.

    Good thread.

    MC
    Last edited by mikesee; 07-08-2005 at 07:12 PM.

  8. #8
    life is a barrel o'fun
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    Ditto on the HOT showers. Please!!!!

    I like the course that was 8.5 miles, felt like I could do a couple at a time and give my team a break. But it was my first 24hr race a couple of weeks ago (Holiday Farm.)

    Speaking of which, *results* would be nice. When are they going to post them on the website??

    More booths with more stuff. Didn't appreciate how 24hrs of Adrenalin was looking to sell its own jerseys to participants for $80

    Bathroom access is key, for all the water I was drinking, I must've made 30 trips that weekend.
    "We sat outside the dentist, tooting a horn on the guy's bike."-overheard in the Underground

  9. #9
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    24 hour goodness

    What I look for in a 24 Hour race. I just finished solo race number 30 in Austria last month and have had time to reflect on what it takes to make me feel like I got my monies worth. Here are some snipits that help make a 24 hour race less painful:
    --cheap entries
    --No requiring volunteers for teams. This is the race organizers responsibility!!!
    --no late fees or penalities for registering when you have the time and money
    --free camping and parking
    --easy to follow rules
    --sturdy number plates
    --clean port-a-potties
    --medics on course as well as course marshalls
    --easy website to research and register on
    --shower stations
    --easy and open transitions ( I hate batons ) You don't need them w/ current technology
    --power wash area with plenty of stations
    --stuff going on at night to keep things moving ( activities, movies, etc)
    --accurate results throughout the entire race
    --spectators on the course cheering ( even at night )
    --secure neutral charging station
    --endless supply of fresh drinking water
    --quick results with a short and quick awards party


    I know that these ideas are hard to take care of, but some of these races cost quite a bit and the racer does not see enough for thier entry fee!

    See you on the dirt,

    Nat Ross

  10. #10
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    Great thread starter!

    for me, this is what I value in a good 24hr race:

    well marked course
    good solo pit area close to course/on course for the cats w/out support
    water and electrical accesibility close to course
    longish laps(1 hour-ish or more..mileage dependant on how technical it is)
    good organization/atmosphere..eg: 24hrs of 9 mile--raves 6 miles in the bush...how can ya beat that at 3 am?
    I'm sure i can think of a tonne more.....



    Patrick Humenny

  11. #11
    I'm how far behind?
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    Accurate and timely scoring.

    I'm still waiting on my position on a race from two weeks ago! At this race there was no way of knowing times, only lap numbers were posted, so all I know is as of 10am, four people were on the same lap as I was and only one was ahead of us. So that means I could have finished anywhere from 2nd to 5th! My crew is pretty sure that I got 2nd, but until I see that in writing (two weeks! WTF). I have a race report to post, I just want to see how I finished first.

    I agree with most of what MC said, I like course in which the laps are different-- like montezuma's revenge. I would allow different bikes if the course has one pit area (that all the laps incluede), but in the event of races like Kokopelli, GDR etc, the one bike rule makes perfect sense. I the race is cheap, the one bike rule is good. But if you have paid $200 plus to race, it would suck to have to quit on account of non repairable mechanical.

    Another suggestion, is that the venues should change frequently. Who wants to spend big bucks to go to Whistler for the 3rd year in a row to race the 24hoa WSC?? not me! After racing it twice, I can't justify spending the money to go do basically the same race again. One of the coolest things about doing races like this is the opportunity to race in different areas. I've raced in CO, UT, CA, WA, B.C., and AK, next year I'm going to Australia (part vacation, part racing).

    Just my opinions
    Fatter than most.

  12. #12
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    Don't nickel-and-dime the racers with petty fees --
    * No additional pit pass fees for your support team
    * No additional lift fees for your support team
    * No web development fee (especially when the web site is poorly done to begin with)

  13. #13
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    The recent sydney 24 was a good example of a well organised event.

    Some highlights.

    -Bands playing all different sorts of music all through the day and to about 11pm at night.

    -Hot showers and toilets.

    -Computers so at any time you could go and see your times/placing.

    - Movies playing(riding movies)

    -Lots of prize giveaways to all the people that would usually not stand a chance in winning(non pros).

    - Free camping(if you were a racer).

    - A variety of food to buy, and some nice stores.

    - Sweet course.

    Things that i was not happy about:

    - The toilet's had MASSIVE lines.

    - The way they recorded the timing. They need to do it electronicly and not by number plates.

    - I believe we had to pay for parking

    - A secure charging station. The generator was not strong enough and kept failing.

    - A better designed start. That SUCKED! It was walking speed for the whole lap!

    - Less sand... the whole course was sand. Sandy climbs really do suck after a sleepless night.


  14. #14
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    A good enduro race....

    A good enduro race is everything that TRANS-IOWA is.

    Just kidding....kind of. When I put Trans-Iowa together, I organized it with what I like to see at enduro events. A course/route that showcases the local terrain, a entry fee that is affordable to all racers, products and swag to make anyone happy.

    The most important to me when I go looking for events is the following...
    1. Entry fee (Please keep them at $100 or less!!!).
    2. Word of mouth from other racers
    3. Driving time.
    4. Course style.
    5. What I get for my money.
    6. On site venue...i.e. restrooms, stuff for pit crew to do to pass time.
    7. Will I have a good time.

    If you really want to see some well run enduro events for a heck of a price check out the WEMSeries in Wisconsin.

    That is my 2 cents.

  15. #15
    Shut up and ride
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    This year I have done:
    24 hours of Tucson
    24 hours of Adrenaline (Dalton, MA)

    And this weekend I am doing 24 hours of Pats Peak


    At the 24 hours of Adrenaline (Dalton, MA) I had a few issues:
    -course marshals were non existent
    -shortage of volunteers
    -time it took to get injured riders down off the mountain
    -running out of water/Gatorade at the check point/water station



    Stuff I would like to see at 24 races:
    --Affordable entries
    --free camping and parking for racers/volunteers
    --easy to follow rules
    --sturdy number plates
    --clean & enough port-a-potties
    --medical staff available w/access to the entire course
    --course marshalls
    --website w/info & registration
    --shower stations
    --bike wash area with plenty of stations
    --stuff going on at night to keep things moving ( activities, movies, etc)
    --accurate results throughout the entire race
    --secure neutral charging station
    --endless supply of fresh drinking water
    --quick results with a short and quick awards party
    --prerides starting at least 2 weeks before
    --Course length for avg rider = 60-75 minutes
    --no restrictions on using multiple bikes
    --crews are allowed
    --food vendors
    --decent prizes
    --a fun well marked course too!



    Thanks!

  16. #16
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    Question:

    Most respondents have listed affordable entry fees as one of their first wishes and then a plethora of additional amenities.

    How can those two things balance out?

    For me the, real question is getting your money's worth. If I pay 80 bucks for entry, I don't and shouldn't expect as much as I would get at $200 event. Yet, somehow, they do often end up the same.

    For me, a great example is the SM100. Yes, I paid 120 dollars to ride my bike and not even for 24 hours. But I also got 2 nights camping, cold but ample showers, flush toilets, food both nights and one morning, great checkpoints, great prizes, and BEER! That's about what I would spend on a weekend of that without the riding.

    So, which is more important- the size of the entry fee or the support I'm going to get. Personally, I'd rather pay a small entry fee (80-100), knowing I'm not going to get much support except a venue(with camping, please), insurance, a place to charge lights, and accurate time keeping. I'd be more than willing to coordinate all the rest of my support rather than ending up being dissatisfied with somebody else after I pay out 200 bucks.

    Just my relatively inexperienced opinion, Mike

  17. #17
    Shut up and ride
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    I just dont want to spend $200 and get just the basics, or not even the basics.

    These promoters need to be organized and efficient, have a good communication systems set up to help keep costs down.

    I didnt list mine in order of importance.........My main concern is safety.......the last race I did if it was racers stopping to help injured riders, and multiple times staying with them for well over an hour. One injured rider in paticular, I am pretty sure would have died if it wasnt for racers stopping to help him. (in that case it was a racer I know that stopped, and while he helped the injured rider stopped breathing numerous times)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountainbikerut
    I'm doing a little research for the B.T.F.H.R.A (Betterment of Twenty-Four Hour Racing Association). Specifically, I am seeking feedback on what makes a good and successful 24 hour race in your opinions?

    Sample questions:

    Is it the course? The prizes that are given? Real-time scoring? Location? Background music?

    Mostly, my attitude...

  19. #19
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    24 hour race

    What you don't need is:
    mandatory race volunteers
    web development fees when your site blows
    pasta lunch when the temp is 100F

    What you DO need:
    Park the motor homes with generators somewhere else! PLEASE
    Have accurate timing
    The movies and the free food and to the festival atomosphere I love.
    It is also fun to have sponsors who are psyched on the event. The guys at Mavic really helped me out!

    Thanks for asking. The 24 hr races are my favorite weekends of the year.

    Craig
    happy hour is over, and I need two more gears.

  20. #20
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    My list

    I've done the Canmore 24Hoa the last four years. Its the only race around here. Other promoters take note, the race sells out every year so there is enough interest to support another.

    Anyway things I would like to see done differently
    - The option to pay a slightly higher entry fee and not provide a volunteer
    - All inclusive pricing. Team members should not have to pay to park and racers should not have to pay extra for a licence. Web fees are ridiculous.
    - Security patrols to shut down rowdy parties. One group came three years ago with a gas powered blender and an unlimited supply of tequila. The noise of the party the night before the race kept a lot of people from doing their best the next day. Alternatively, offer a party only camping area.
    - Security at the neutral charging station.
    - More showers with lots of hot water.
    - More industry support in the expo area

    The good
    - Lots of camping with generator free areas
    - A good vibe
    - Staff who know their job
    - Mostly good course, The newer course with the high speed downhill was less fun than the older one without it.
    - Ample pre ride opportunities.

  21. #21
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    Thank you to all

    I liked to thank everyone who has participated in this thread thus far. Excellent points and most are commensurate with what we, the organizers of the 24 Hours of Soldier Hollow race, are trying to accomodate and would like to see at all the races we participate in. The idea to organize this race was #1: To have a race on some great terrain in the Northern Utah Wasatch mountains and #2: to get back to the grassroots of racing, cheaper fees, no parking charges, good music and most of all-a good vibe.

    I can tell you all that 90% of the mentions in this thread we be part of our race. Including $100 entry fee, $75 for solo with a % cash payout for 1st, 2nd, 3rd in both the 12 hour and 24 hour. Parking is free, showers and bathrooms are about a 100 yards away from the camping area and we will provide additional porto johns to avoid long lines. We have access to the sound system that was used for the 2002 nordic combined olympics which will give us the ability to announce as well as play music.

    Our main sponsor is a restaraunt/bar so you can rest assure that there will be some good food as well as beer. We are finalizing other vendors as well. Niterider will be providing the charging systems that will be plentiful and we run the power from the main clubhouse at Soldier Hollow. Water and fruit will be provided. Last year, at the top of the climb, we rotated volunteers with a fresh water jug so anyone who wanted a quick splash or to refill was accomodated (the solo riders took the most advantage of this). We will have 'real time' scoring and we will post results as soon as time permits (depending on the amount of entries we have)-no more than every hour but less if possible and believe me, they will be accurate because I've been on the other end of that stick!

    The course will be marked this weekend but it is pretty well outlined thanks to the crew at Soldier Hollow. We have created some sweet single track on both the uphill and the down and the race will start out on double track to hopefully avoid a bottle neck for about a mile. Our work on the course was well worth the effort for the results it produced.

    We are giving away an Ellsworth Frame to a lucky participant in addition to a Diamondback cruiser plus many more swag prizes.

    It is a work in progress to build the best atmosphere and a fun race with some good prizes at a relatively low cost to the racers but we are working hard at it. As for the course, it is approximately 13 miles long, about 7 climbing (not all at once) and 6 down. The top of the main climb runs along a ridge that gives you tremendous views of Timpanogos and the Wasatch (which gives me a bit more energy anytime I ride the course just to look up and gaze a bit).

    Last year's solo winner did 13 laps.

    Thank you again for all your input, all your suggestions are good and valid and we will try to incorporate as much as we can into this year's event, which by the way is September 10th and 11th.

    www.24hoursofsoldierhollow.com

    Chris

  22. #22
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    First impression

    Being a first time 24hr racer this past weekend my opinion may not carry the weight of someone who has raced more but the first impression is often the most important. I was at 24/9 with four other guys (first race for any of us). At 13.2 miles and an average lap time in the 1:11 range it was a great race. The singletrack rocked and I would also guess it was around 5-6 miles (Flower and #3 are awesome). I think this was the first time that electronic timing had been used so it had a few weak points that should not exist next year (It really sucks when you lose a lap electronically and the backup doesn't record it either). There was plenty of food, sponsors (not that I would buy anything at a race any way; that's why I go to my lbs), demos, medics, volunteers, officials, activities for every one, water (more hot water would have been nice at 1am), showers, bathrooms, camping spots, and a conveniently seperate solo camp (much respect for those freaks). The only things that needed improvement in my opinion were the accuracy of the website (times were completely wrong), there should be an express registration for those who registered electronically or have already filled out all of the paperwork, parking should be convenient if possible (not so at 9 mile), the electronic timing should be flawless, and the results should be posted frequently and as close to real time as possible (electronic timing gives you the ability to post within 15 minutes depending on your printer). All in all it was a great race put on by a great bunch of people and I plan on making it every year. As far as the "one bike rule" that has been mentioned I would say that if you are racing pro then ok, great but if you are there just to have fun and be a part of a good time then no, it is not a good idea. Ex. I was letting a guy get by on a stretch of singletrack when I picked up a stick and totally destroyed my rear derailleur (XTR not some cheapo component). Sadly it was not field reparable and personally I would not want someone with the physical capability to be held back by a similiar freak accident.

  23. #23
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    Efficacy

    I agree 100% with you.

    It is simply not good enough to run an endurance event without on the spot medical care being available. This care must come from qualified staff and be integrated into an intra and extra commincations net that mandates quick and affirmative response.

    Showers and toilet facilities - crucial as long as they are KEPT CLEAN.

    Scoring systems should be electronic ( and tested and proven before hand) real time and visible to all ( big screen).

    Can the freakin' race T - I want to front up for a race that's:

    - on a track that challenges and does not maim; if I want break neck technicality I will go race DH;
    - with clean and sufficient toilet and shower facilities;
    - with trained medical staff on hand;
    - with an accurate an accessible scoring system.

    These are fundamentals - they should not be a wish list.

    Quote Originally Posted by douglas
    I just dont want to spend $200 and get just the basics, or not even the basics.

    These promoters need to be organized and efficient, have a good communication systems set up to help keep costs down.

    I didnt list mine in order of importance.........My main concern is safety.......the last race I did if it was racers stopping to help injured riders, and multiple times staying with them for well over an hour. One injured rider in paticular, I am pretty sure would have died if it wasnt for racers stopping to help him. (in that case it was a racer I know that stopped, and while he helped the injured rider stopped breathing numerous times)

  24. #24
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    Some of these have already been mentioned:

    Great Features of a 24hr race:
    -- Online Registration
    -- Good website w/ easy to find DIRECTIONS, RULES and FAQ
    -- RAPID posting of lap results in an easy to read format -- whether you use "real time" tracking or not, it does no good if teams can't tell their relative positions vs. the rest of their class.
    -- Neutral Wrench Support -- one of the best things I've ever seen at races is when the LBS sets up their truck w/ their mechanics working at the races -- advice/maintenance always very cheap + cost of parts. This can make a huge difference for beginner teams, I can't say enough thanks to they guy who rebuilt my crankset after pre-riding my first 24hr course. Otherwise I would have had to w/draw from the race after a 6 hr drive...
    -- Route the course near where spectators can cheer -- always great to see cheering folks along a course!
    -- I second that fresh water call -- I hate going to races where there is no water supply...
    -- Plenty of TP for the portajons - plan for a service call if there is a large crowd and have the vendor come clean out the crappers for the 2nd half of the weekend.
    -- Lots of swag giveaways at the awards. Get your sponsors to give our their gear to participants (especially beginners who really could use the swag) instead of just the winners.
    -- Mandatory light checks for 2 lights -- I am so sick of those idiots on the trail w/ only one light -- carry a $25 backup friggin LED headlamp or something so you don't break an ankle or kill the rest of the folks who are still out there racing...
    -- Good bagel sponsor
    -- Coffee @ transition area rules
    -- Hot showers rule - even if they only start out hot...

    If you're setting up new 24hr races - we need more of them in the early spring and late fall -- there are lots of summer races out there...

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