2012 update: We will use 4 waves in 2012, and intend to spread out the mid-pack bubble among multiple waves to avoid trail congestion. The original post from 2011 is below:
The 2011 event will introduce chip timing to this race. (The specific details of how to use it are below.) This upgrade was necessary because of the huge demand for the event coupled with the limited capacity of the trail itself. We sold out last year on August 31st, over a month before the race went off.
The chips will allow us to start runners in two waves, to alleviate concerns over trail crowding. If you have too many runners at the same pace hitting the same narrow parts of the trail at the same time, it spoils much of the fun of racing through the woods.
We believe, based on our past experience, trail improvements last year by a local scout troop, and mathematical analysis, that the trail can handle a start field of 400. So we are targeting a maximum field of 750, with a two-wave start.
Runners will not be seeded in the waves based solely on time. Because that would defeat the purpose of starting in waves. Putting all the 8-10 minute milers into one group, for example, would result in the same bulge of runners hitting the narrow parts of the trail together.
So the real speedsters will start in the first wave, since the overall 1-2-3 awards are based on crossing the finish line first (age group awards are by chip-timing). And the most casual of our runners will be in the second wave. But the bulk of the runners will be evenly distributed between the waves. This means that there will be some runners in Wave Two that are faster than Wave One, but not a lot faster. The idea is that, while some in Wave Two will overtake some in Wave One, it won’t start to happen until the first field has spread out a bit over the first four miles or so.
The chips, provided by Super Race Systems, will be embedded in the bibs themselves to alleviate concerns over catching a shoe-based D-ring in a branch or a Championchip that gets mud-covered.
Both the start and finish areas can easily accommodate the increased crowds that we anticipate. And there should be ample parking in two lots and on the side streets, as you can see on our parking plan.
The ultimate objective is to give runners the same “small race” feel that we have had in the past, but allow more people to do it. We had great reviews last year, and we intend to get them again.
Below are some important instructions to follow in order to ensure your chip “reads” and you get an accurate time.:
- The timing device for this year’s race is the ChronoTrack B-tag.
- The timing “chip” is on your bib number.
- The race bib must be clearly visible on the FRONT of the torso
- The race bib is unaltered and unmodified (Do not fold or wrinkle or you risk breaking the chip)
- Race bib is pinned in all four corners
- Race bib is not covered (jackets, runner belts, water bottles, etc.)
The B-tag is a single-use bib tag. You do not need to turn it in after you finish.