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Discussion: USARA

in: Adventure Racing; General

Oct 13, 2016 8:39 PM # 
Anyone providing updates from USARA?
Oct 13, 2016 11:33 PM # 
Well, I was supposed to be down there racing on a second Rootstock team with abiperk. Sadly, had to back out a few weeks back. That said, USARA might have some FB info and I think there is a good chance Doug Judson will be posting stuff on the Tecnu page. Rev3 helped with course design, so they might have some reporting as well.

Typically, no tracking outside of social media updates.

As for predictions, I think it's impossible to vote against AMK. The racers have won three in a row, and they seem to have elevated their game even higher this year, so I'll go with them to repeat.

After that, I think it's up in the air between a few teams. Tecnu should be in the mix with a past National champion navving. Will be interesting to see the return of Jon Brown to AR. And MIndy is super strong, so that will be a tough team to edge out.

WEDALI might just storm back after a couple years away to finish top three. They've had a great year in their first full year back.

I may be biased, but I like our own Rootstock team as well. Drisc is an animal and I believe can race at an elite level now. He and Katie F were on the team that finished second last year at Nationals in a field that I believe was one of the deepest int he last ten years, and they are racing with our teammate Brian Reiss who is a super experienced and good racer himself. So, I do like their chances.

I'm going to say some combo of these four teams as the top three, but I also really like Alpine Shop, Rib Mountain, CP0, Bushwhacker, maybe Got Wind. It's a bit of a crap shoot from there. A whole bunch of really solid teams who could all sneak into that 5-10 range.

If forced, I'll take AMK to win. Wedali, Tecnu, Rootstock and my darkorse for top 5....Rib, not necessarily in that order!
Oct 14, 2016 1:26 AM # 
One of these days I'll figure out how to post a pic, until then here is the clue sheet for the race:
Oct 14, 2016 6:19 AM # 
Thanks, Work4justice!
Oct 14, 2016 10:14 AM # 
yeah WEDALI!! weather here in augusta is meal ideal for race spectators, maybe a touch hot for racers. course overview includes 10 segments so 9 TAs. yikes! we start w a trekking Prolog loop on a disc golf course w no mandatory gear. then a lake paddle loop. then a bike to Mistletoe SP on what have been described as "old school" trails so maybe pretty rugged? trek in Mistletoe and bike back to the start. then a trekking loop near the start line at Wildwood SP. then ride the Bartram trail to a dam. then a trekking loop on South Carolina. then a river paddle down Savannah river to the finish line. then, wait for it, an "urban" biking loop back to the finish line and done!
Oct 14, 2016 6:51 PM # 
Looks like a battle with AMK and Technu, with many hot on their heels...early yet!

(Go ShrekFeet and the Michigan Racing Addicts Team! And Silky, always gooooo Silky!)
Oct 15, 2016 11:30 AM # 
Nice work, broots, on your predictions - almost perfect!


1. AMK
2. Tecnu
4. Rootstock
5/6. CP Zero (one Masters)
7. Rib (6th divisionally)
8. Bushwhacker (with Rocky33 coming back from a tough injury!)

Happy Mutant/Main Nerve snuck in there, too, as an all-male team.

Congrats to everyone who raced (and is still racing) this weekend -- super fun to follow, wish we'd been down there!
Oct 19, 2016 3:05 PM # 
Great predictions, broots! Strong Machine hoped to spoil the party, but we're happy with our result :) Missed you big-time!
Oct 20, 2016 1:44 AM # 
Thanks Strong Machine! I should have put some money on those picks in Vegas. I hear there was some big money exchanging hands. I would now be able to replace my mountain bike...which was just stolen...check your email...
Oct 20, 2016 2:12 PM # 
Did they announce the 2017 location? Thanks
Oct 20, 2016 2:32 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Excited to announce the 2017 USARA Adventure Race National Championship will be directed by Goals ARA and hosted by Split Rock Resort on Lake Harmony in the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania. See you there!

It's pinned right now, so hopefully at the top:
Oct 20, 2016 6:29 PM # 
Cool - thanks!
Oct 25, 2016 3:56 PM # 
Question for all you out there in AP-land...
This year's USARA Nationals closely followed the Rev3 Bartram Wildwood Epic 26-hr race from Nov 2015 (you can see the maps from that race here:

What is the general consensus on re-using a course?

This isn't intended to be a criticism - we had a great time at this year's Nationals. Just wondering what people think.
Oct 25, 2016 4:28 PM # 
It can be difficult to avoid some repetition of course components when a race takes place in the same region as a previous race. Maybe an entire course could be re-used at a time when there has been a near-complete change in the racer population, e.g. Primal Quest 2015 used a very similar course to their 2003 course, and they announced it in advance. Some racers liked the idea of retracing an iconic route while others steered clear.

I don't know how closely the USARA course resembled last November's race but for a national championship, I'd prefer a course that was largely different from any race in the same area over the past 5 years or so. Without any firsthand knowledge, I'd guess the organizers figured they could do a great job of managing an event where they'd already worked out all the details and logistics, and I've heard it went really well so their strategy worked. Some races have a tradition of using similar areas and CPs in different years, so this isn't that unusual.
Oct 26, 2016 5:29 PM # 
If a course is in the same area as a previous race then as a returning racer I would expect the courses to be completely different. Some RD's are better at this than others. I have seen courses with control locations identical from year to year which is somewhat surprising given the terrain they had to work with. There may be reasons for this behind the scene however, i.e. Permitting.
Oct 27, 2016 12:32 AM # 
Cali Cowboy:
I am hoping next year's Cowboy tough re-uses 100% of the last 4 years' courses. ;)

But seriously it's not very cool. Especially for hosting Nationals. I get it if a local's only type 12 hour race reuses CPs or routes. But The lay out of last year's course is erieily identical to what we did this year. Last year had 8 legs. This year we had 10 and our first 7 legs were the same thing as the first 7 legs from last year!.

Of course from an individual adventure experience none of this mattered to us since we had never been to this area before. But from a competitive experience it could have sucked if one was new to the area and beaten by teams that were very familiar with the course.

Peter Jolles did the 2015 race. Their teams (CP0 and CP0 Masters) finished 5&6 this year and beat out Rib Mountain and Bushwhacker by only ~30 mins!

The lack on information on the map for the final bike leg would probably be my chief complaint with the race. We poked around quite a bit to find the final 2 CPs, and we knew Tecnu wasn't far behind. I told the team that if Brian had raced on this canal trail before, it would be hard to compete with them. Fortunately it didn't work out that way.

My 2nd complaint would be the fact that we returned to the Start area 4 times.

All in all I enjoyed the race and give it a thumbs up. We loved the long paddle legs. They also created some navigation on the paddles which isn't always the case. The single track riding was really fun and fast. There was a necessary (at least I thought so, but i heard a rumor that SpaceMonkey took roads around) bike-whack to connect the route. The treks had little to no road (paved or dirt) and were mostly off trail with CPs placed on subtle 1-2 contour features. We got to finish in under 18 hours. Racing for 30 hours to clear a course is light years harder to recover from than finishing at 2:30AM, showering, eating at WH, and getting to bed all before the sun comes up. :)

Now I am thinking about 2017 Nationals in the Poconos. I have never raced there, but I know GOALS puts on a bunch of races. Any thoughts on the virginity of the 2017 course?

OK enough procrastinating from me. My bike just returned from GA and I need to clean it and get it over to my mechanic before I have to pack it up and fly to Australia with it on Monday.
Oct 27, 2016 1:18 AM # 
GOALS has run a number of 24-hour races in the Poconos, but not in the past 5+ years, and not in the immediate vicinity of the announced location. That's not to say that the same area couldn't be used in a point-to-point event, but I'd be a little bit surprised if it is (broots seems to think it's more likely).
Oct 27, 2016 4:12 PM # 
Lambo Shih Tzu kids, but unless I misunderstood, Mark Harris said on his recent appearance on TA1 that Rev3 was planning to reuse portions of past CBT courses for next year's ARWS World Championship.

Although I am all for a US team winning Worlds on home turf, the fact that Rev3 ran a near-copycat race for the high-profile USARAs this year does give me pause for concern that teams that have raced previous CBTs will have a sizable advantage over teams that haven't.
Oct 27, 2016 5:18 PM # 
I know from talking to Troy and USARA some time ago about designing Nationals that he ideally wants new land or at least land that hasn't been raced in a few years. I wasn't there this year nor have I seen maps of the races in question, so can't comment on what happened this year. Not sure what happened in the race design process, but I know it's something USARA takes seriously and wants to avoid.

This discussion thread is closed.