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Discussion: Raid International Gaspesie

in: Adventure Racing; General

Sep 5, 2016 4:47 AM # 
I leave in the morning for the Raid. Going to try to make it Legendary. I'll be posting on the usual spots and leave it up to Bash to add the links here. The only team I know is Storm Racing. But I bet I meet a bunch of cool racers there.
Sep 5, 2016 7:52 AM # 

Say hello to the Irish guys for us Randy :)
Sep 5, 2016 12:56 PM # 
I don't remember seeing much live coverage for past events but I'll keep an eye on it. It's a stage race so there may be updates in the evenings.

Canadian team STORM Racing includes three Attackpointers (STORM, Browner and DoubleDown_on11) and Vince Trudelle.
Sep 6, 2016 9:06 PM # 
Have fun, I'll be cheering online this time.
Sep 6, 2016 9:12 PM # 
Should also be a good battle with:

# 301 Dynafit/
# 315 Raid Azimut / Espresso Sports
# 320 Estonian ACE Adventure
Sep 7, 2016 1:08 PM # 
1st Sleepmonsters article
Sep 7, 2016 1:08 PM # 
Live coverage site!
Sep 7, 2016 8:15 PM # 
Live on youtube tonight @18h30 for team presentation :
Sep 7, 2016 8:59 PM # 
Half of Storm Racing.
Sep 7, 2016 11:09 PM # 
Browner and STORM! :) Thanks, Randy.
Sep 8, 2016 1:43 PM # 
2nd Sleepmonsters article
Sep 8, 2016 6:07 PM # 
Yellowbrick tracking

The Prologue is underway! The leaders after CP5 in this short stage are Team Azimut/Espresso, which includes former Olympic cyclist Lyne Bessette, and Estonian ACE Adventure is in 2nd.

Storm Racing #343 looks to be in the top 25% of teams. It looks like they're biking.
Sep 8, 2016 6:31 PM # 
Do they bike to TR4 and then trek for CPs 11 through 7 (backwards?) to end up at TR3?
Sep 8, 2016 6:36 PM # 
I was just looking for some description of what they're doing today but I've been unsuccessful. I'm only guessing that they're biking. There are only CPs on the map - no "recommended line of travel". I can't find any option on the tracker map that I'm missing and the only info I see on Facebook is that the winning time for the Prologue is predicted to be 2.5 hrs. Anyone else found anything?

Btw there is no time difference from Ontario.
Sep 8, 2016 6:47 PM # 
I just noticed the map scale. They must be on foot. The distances for today's race course are quite short.
Sep 8, 2016 7:26 PM # 
Prologue... Run paddle bike run bike swim zip line trek bike trek
Sep 8, 2016 7:26 PM # 
Where did you get that from?
Sep 8, 2016 7:27 PM # 
P.S. Not doubting you - just thinking it would be helpful for the next 3 days!
Sep 8, 2016 7:45 PM # 
Received from DD11 in the middle of the night. So take it with a grain of salt.
Sep 8, 2016 7:47 PM # 
I was messaging with DD11 in the middle of the night too, but I forgot to ask. That boy needs to sleep the night before a race!
Sep 8, 2016 8:21 PM # 
Azimut Espresso won the Prologue.
Sep 8, 2016 9:42 PM # 
Do we know of a leaderboard anywhere? Maybe i am just missing it, but I can't seem to find one.
Sep 9, 2016 2:42 AM # 
Looks like they are just planning to post results at the end of each stage. Here are the prologue results.
Sep 9, 2016 2:53 AM # 
Here's what Team Storm Racing did today! (Via Randy)
Sep 9, 2016 3:04 AM # 
And here's what Sleepmonsters had to say about it.

"...a day of fun and quirky challenges, all combining into a tougher than expected opener for the race"

Also, heavy rain - but not cold.

And contrary to what it said on the RIG Facebook page this afternoon, the Estonians won the prologue. Maybe there were optional CPs or time credits/penalties?
Sep 9, 2016 3:41 AM # 
Randy's Prologue Video
Sep 9, 2016 4:02 AM # 
Randy's Prologue Photos - wet and muddy!
Sep 9, 2016 1:41 PM # 
Ok, so the CP locations are up on the Day 1 map, anyone know what the order of disciplines are?
Sep 9, 2016 1:50 PM # 
Bike Trek Paddle
Sep 9, 2016 3:37 PM # 
You forgot the caving descent to get their control cards before hopping on their bikes! Here are photos of today's start.
Sep 9, 2016 3:43 PM # 
Without any published info on the course or maps or disciplines, the tracking is mostly for safety, not for spectators. The organizers have said they will be quiet on Facebook today due to weak cell signal. So we only have trackers to watch - and maybe Randy, if he finds some cell signal! Unfortunately, both Storm Racing and Get Out There Magazine have tracker problems right now so all we can do from here is say, "Yay!" and "Go team go!"
Sep 9, 2016 5:45 PM # 
Sleepmonsters article describing the Day 1 start

Yay, Storm Racing is tracking again! They're at CP9 in the upper midpack.
Sep 10, 2016 2:46 AM # 
Day 1 Photos from Randy
Sep 10, 2016 2:49 AM # 
Here's the official video for the Prologue from the race organization.

Sep 10, 2016 4:21 AM # 
Sleepmonsters article on Day 1

Day 1 results are unofficial but it appears that the Estonians edged out Azimut/Espresso.

I noticed in a French language press release that Azimut/Espresso finished the Prologue first yesterday and were believed to be the winners until it was discovered that they'd missed a CP. The Estonians won the Prologue in the end.
Sep 10, 2016 4:29 AM # 
Day 1 Video

Sep 10, 2016 1:18 PM # 
Great job by Storm Racing on the first full day of racing! Their cumulative time including the Prologue puts them in 3rd Coed, 7th overall. Awesome!
Sep 10, 2016 2:35 PM # 
Another Day 1 video. We may not be able to watch the race as it plays out but at least we're getting good images at the end of the day.

Sep 10, 2016 3:52 PM # 
Some nicer weather on the morning of Day 2 - finally!

Sep 10, 2016 4:04 PM # 
Some photos of the Day 2 start
Sep 11, 2016 2:24 AM # 
Day 2 Sleepmonsters article

The Estonians are still leading the 300 km race over Azimut/Espresso but it remains very close. They aren't in the same category anyway - 2 Estonian guys vs. a 4-person mixed team.

Day 2 Photos from Sleepmonsters

Day 2 Photos from Randy with some very intense looks on the faces of Team Storm Racing. I almost feel that a Caption Contest is in order. ;)

Video of Team Storm Racing at Day 2 finish line, including a great interview with DoubleDown_on11.

Randy's Day 2 Summary Video

Sep 11, 2016 10:13 PM # 
Day 2 Results have been uploaded. Based on cumulative results, Storm Racing remained 3rd Coed and moved to 12th overall. Get Out There Magazine was 24th overall.

Here's another Day 2 summary video.

Randy's Day 3 Photos: They started before dawn today and the weather turned during the day.

Early morning Day 3 video from Randy

Day 3 video "before the rains and mountain biking began", to quote Randy

Today's Underwater Lobster Trap CP!

I think this jump off the dock was the way to get to the Lobster Trap and it was cancelled around noon due to a thunderstorm.

Final two Sleepmonsters articles - the Estonians won but they didn't win Day 3. Sounds like their cumulative lead over Azimut/Espresso ended up being around 5 minutes.

They're live streaming the awards at 7 p.m.
Sep 11, 2016 10:54 PM # 
Sleepmonsters Day 3 Photos
Sep 12, 2016 1:31 AM # 
Wow! just getting a chance to catch up. Looks like a great event and an awesome venue. I still have some articles to read and vids to watch, but congrats to all!!!
Sep 12, 2016 2:04 AM # 
There you are! ;) There's been terrific end-of-day coverage. Not enough info for dot watching but that's OK sometimes.

Storm Racing finish photo on Day 3
Sep 12, 2016 3:04 PM # 
Final cumulative results after Day 3:
1st and 1st 2-man team - Estonians
2nd overall and 1st Coed team - Aziumut/Espresso
3rd Coed team overall - Storm Racing
1st Coed team of two - Get Out There Magazine

Another great Day 3 summary video. This wasn't a race for people who like to stay dry!

For those who understand French, Radio Canada did a couple of stories.

Hope to hear soon from the Attackpointers who raced! They're probably enroute to Ontario today, all squeaky clean at last and totally exhausted.
Sep 12, 2016 5:28 PM # 
Here is my final video.
Sep 12, 2016 11:00 PM # 
Awesome shot of Team Storm Racing at the finish
Sep 13, 2016 8:20 PM # 
Excellent recap video from the race organization - 10 minutes.

RIG 2016 - RECAP from EnduranceAventure on Vimeo.

Sep 14, 2016 1:38 PM # 
That video is stunning.
Sep 14, 2016 4:18 PM # 
Yes awesome video. Everyone looks really happy and energized though - what kind of adventure race is that?!
Sep 14, 2016 4:21 PM # 
Stage race where they get to sleep a little each night!
Sep 17, 2016 10:32 PM # 
I'd love to hear from anyone who did RIG this about what they thought. How was the format? How does it compare to a 24hr? Or a 3-4 day expedition race?

Thinking about adding this to the calendar next year...
Sep 18, 2016 5:11 AM # 
Bronte, I will be having a couple of the racers on my podcast soon (when I get back from NORCHA) The winning time was around 22 hours. It is a top notch race with a lot of support from the locals.
Sep 19, 2016 4:48 PM # 
Finish line photos!
Sep 20, 2016 4:44 PM # 
I'll post my thoughts from competing in the race sometime in the next week. Overall I recommend it, but there are some logistical challenges that make coming from outside of driving distance a challenge, to include hiring a race support team member.
Sep 20, 2016 11:02 PM # 
Raid was a really well put together race.
(I am reasonably new to AR and have been racing for 3 years, but have put down alot of miles in that time. )

They did an excellent job of organizing the race and having staff at each required site fluently bilingual for those of us with 10 french words in their vocabulary.

Aside from the fantastic rain we had 3/4 days, we found ourselves in some of the most beautiful spaces in Gaspesie and I would encourage anyone to visit there even on vacation.

The day was shorten 20 min from race start, I believe due to a washed out area but we were not told why. However this did not harm any of us as that was a tough 20km course with some serious elevations to climb in that type of sprint format.
This is truly the day when all of your elements are tested from the standards to swimming, slidding, ziplining, climbing up a dam and then crawling through a manhole. There was nothing missed on this day.

I'm not sure if the group wants to see a break down of the remainder of the race but here is what we found

- Water features and running was fantastic, we were going to some of the most beautiful areas we have ever toured with lookouts over looking the range and rapics flipping half the teams.

-Bikes were either fast and quick gravel or rocky/shale filled ATV tracks. These were great fun, but I (personally) would love to see a bit more single track that the area I'm sure has to offer. Not a race spoiler in any way though

-The town was so supportive, from using their barn houses for check points to honking and waving as you rode past. They were fantastic and really uplifting at each time you crossed paths.

-Navigation was fairly straight forward, Some areas got a little technical as they were aged maps with the trails having overgrown and new roads laid this caused some confusion on course.

-Banquet meal, I hate to be negative but this was awful. I was so glad we ate before going as it was noodles that had sat long enough they dried out, turkey that was jerky and cooked dead steamed veggies.
If I highlighted anything to the race for improvement it would be our $25 finishing meal.

All in all, we fully intend to go back. My teammate suffered an unfortunate twisted ankle 5km into day 1 that had us slowing down to complete the race. But we still enjoyed it all.

The media crew did a fantastic job and the videos and pictures coming out are great.

Feel free to post any questions, I'm happy to answer as best as I can.

Dash does make an excellent point of the logistics for getting to and from the course, but nothing that can't be overcome with some generous friends and time.
Sep 28, 2016 8:40 PM # 
A few thoughts after some reflection.

- Extensive media presence. I've never seen so many photographers and videographers on the racecourse, and often in remote areas. Plus there are video clips online that day, and a TV show in the works. This was a great chance to get some fantastic photos of yourself or your team. If you have sponsors, this race is a great way to give them something worth putting on social media.
- Ropes, paddling, and "other" challenges. Epic zips/rappels down water falls, into gorges, and off cliffs down to the beach. Beautiful river paddles. We were fortunate with the ocean paddle, wind in the right direction and no serious waves. Swimming in mountain streams to pick up CPs, sliding down a dam, duck-walking through a man hole. I've been doing adventure races for about 10 years, and some of this was first-time for me.
- International race without the international time commitment. I flew direct to Bangor, Maine and drove the 6 hours to race HQ. Much easier than flying outside of North America. I enjoy racing with teams from other countries, and made friends with the Irish and Columbian teams when we raced close and chatted in the evenings. All of this without spending multiple days on each end catching flights and hoping your gear makes all the connects too. I was away 7 days to do the 4 day race, that's pretty good.
- Friendly locals. Huge support from the small community for this race. Countless bystanders waving, ringing bells, and honking horns as we rode/ran by during the event. The economy is somewhat depressed in this area due to the collapse of fisheries, so tourism is their focus and this race brings lots of attention to the area.
- Low entry cost for a 4 day stage race. If I recall correctly, it was around $500 or $600/person for the entry if you sign up early. Note there were many "hidden" cost for me due to logistics and racer assistant. But a great deal on the entry fee, especially with all the ropes sections.
- Lots of volunteers and helpers. They had an army. A RD's dream.
- Stage format. No sleep deprivation, and time to clean your self and your bike each day. We even had hot showers during one of the two camping nights. I was able to walk into work after returning, vs. taking additional time off to recover.

Things that could be better:
- Use a standard control flag please. Using a flat laminated piece of paper is not visible like a 3-D control flag. Several teams, including mine, flew right past some controls on the prologue as we were looking for the traditional 3-D control.
- Consider adjusting the rules rewarding teams for getting CPs, vs. using time penalties. I think this is pretty standard in US adventure racing, the team with the most controls wins, if there is a tie for total points then it comes down to finish time. The Raid used a time penalty for any missed controls (3 hours on days 1-3, I think 30 minutes on the prologue was what the rules said), leading to delays releasing the results, confusion on impacts of missing cut-off times, and skewed "total" race times for the slower teams. In my opinion, it is much simpler to use CP count for ranking and avoid those missed CP time penalties.
- In a stage race, please plan something each day to spread the teams out before hitting a bottleneck. Prologue and Day 3 were perfect, several km paddle worked fine. Day 1 was a 100m sprint to bikes with BOTH 300km and 150km racers attempting to fit down a hilly ATV trail. Day 2 had the 300km teams paddle across a 1km lake, then traverse a log-strewn stream portage. Just move back the start a few km and add a foot section, problem solved. True, the 1km lake paddle made for some great video footage, but the RD could have thrown in a short trek in between that and the portage to space teams out. Waiting 10 minutes at a stand still in a swarm of mosquitoes for the teams ahead to finally start moving was a low point, and the stop-go continued for the entire 2k portage.
- Mayhem on day 1 as teams missed some amazing ropes sections as their effort to clear the course and avoid multiple 3-hour penalties resulting in missing a key time cut off. Seeing the issue play out during that day as most teams got lost on an early foot section and hit the paddle later than expected, the RD extended the cut off during the race but not in time for all racers to know (many teams, mine included, had already departed on a long paddle). This lead to some heated discussions between teams and the race officials that evening. As the sole US team, Wendi and I kept a low profile and just waited to see the outcome. They applied some RD magic to figure out the times for the affected teams. Overall I'm grateful that more teams were able to get to the great ropes sections that day, but changing a time cut off during the race was not done in a way fair to all racers. Wendi and I made the original cut off, but strategically dropped about 4 points along the paddle (short treks) in order to get there. I still don't know how they came up with our time that day, but since we were non-competitive I've not asked for clarification.

Things that I wish I knew before signing up for the Raid:
- Don't pay by wire. I had a bad situation, and thought my entire race fee was gone in the banking system. My bank, USAA, said that it was sent and there was nothing they could do if the receiving bank and recipient said the didn't receive it. My e-mail replies from the RD were not helping. Finally, weeks after I sent my wire, the RD's bank was able to "locate" it. Even with a fee for paying by credit card, do it.
- Understand the logistics costs if you are flying to this race. We needed a 4 nights of hotel (about $75/night), and a rental car large enough to fit all of our race gear and camping gear and food (mini van was about $400-$500), AND our hired assistant ($400 Canadian, plus tip) her camping gear and her food, and the food she had purchased for us to eat at camp and transitions ($130 for two people). As it rained, that same rental had to stay relatively clean so I could return it without a cleaning fee. Packing it each day took mad tetris skills, and the tarp our assistant brought was vital to keeping the muddy bikes away from anything else in the van. I ended up having to wash the van and vacuum it and avoided a cleaning fee. Of course we had plane tickets and fees for shipping or flying with our bikes, as the RD was not able to locate a bike rental option close to the race HQ. And I needed a hotel room at Bangor on either end in order to make the flight times work ($100/night, closest major airports are all ~6 hour drive from race HQ). In short, this is an expensive race if you fly in and need to hire an assistant. If you can drive there, camp vs. hotel every night, and bring somebody to be your assistant it can be much less expensive.
- Learn some French get some Canadian dollars. This part of Canada does not accept US currency (generally, or at a 1-1 rate) and does not speak English as the primary language. We had to pay our assistant's fee up front in Canadian dollars ($400). And the locals were friendly and could understand if not speak English, but I'm sure they would have appreciated us making the attempt to use some French first.
- Gaspise is in US Eastern time zone, but New Brunswick is 1 hour ahead of that. And on the coast (as we were for race HQ and most stages), your cell phone will bounce between cell towers on both sides of the water resulting in your time changing frequently. That confused us at first.
- Canadian maple syrup is good on EVERYTHING. Especially bacon. I also enjoyed sliced apples dipped in syrup at transition points. Huge thanks to our French assistant, Anne! I should have known this much earlier in my life. Get Grade A Amber, yum.
- Have somebody in your group who can translate French. The race staff makes an excellent effort at translating, but there is always something that is left out or does not make the official translation intact. Again, our assistant was key here and gave us confidence that we were correctly understanding the race staff's instructions before the race, at transitions, and after the race. There was some Spanish translation provided too.

All I can think of for now...but that's plenty.

Overall a very fun time, and I would go again if I can find a teammate from the New England area who has a large vehicle!


This discussion thread is closed.