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Discussion: Adventure Racing Census

in: Adventure Racing; General

Feb 28, 2017 8:51 PM # 
Posting this on behalf of Cy Sack at the AR Hub. He's conducting an Adventure Racing census -- as both a racer and an RD, I'm eager to see the results!
Mar 1, 2017 11:42 AM # 
thanks Abby! To all who are filling it out, thank you as well! The more entries we collect, the strong our data set will be and thus the better we can actually measure what's going right and what's going wrong. Participation directly impacts our sport, so if you've got some friends that race but aren't too active on AttackPoint or Facebook AR groups, please let them know about the survey!
Mar 2, 2017 3:37 PM # 
Just one thought about the survey - I like doing races of all lengths, but it forced me to choose just one length. So I chose 24+ hrs., because I like those the most. Not sure if there's a workaround, or if that will skew the data at all...
Mar 2, 2017 11:45 PM # 
yeah, I struggled with whether or not to make it only one choice vs. multiple. There are both options in the survey, depending on the question. The reason I went with only one choice for some questions is to force the individual to make a decision and select what their top preference was. Otherwise, we get a lot of "I like all of it" answers where people click all options. While some people do truly like all types of AR, it would de-value the survey because it couldn't provide clear insight. The end goal is to show this to all the RDs I can and say "here it is, the people have spoken. we need MORE 24 races" or "we need LESS ropes course". I don't know, I'm no survey professional, it was just me taking a stab at trying to force ourselves out of anecdotal discussions of what each racer likes and dislikes and be able to actually provide the community clear cut evidence that X,Y, and Z are good and A, B, and C are bad. Hopefully this is just the start and other folks talk up the cause. A good survey now beats a great survey later, right? :)
Mar 3, 2017 4:01 AM # 
Sure thing - didn't mean to sound critical! As I hope you know, I'm very supportive of your efforts (I shared the survey with our race's followers on FB and encouraged them to take it).

No need to change the current survey, but perhaps in the future, one workaround (available via SurveyMonkey) is to allow people to choose how interested (via 1-10 rankings) in races of the lengths you mention in the survey. In addition, I would say that "expedition" races of 72+ hours or longer could be a whole other category, broken out from the 24+ category.

For our particular situation here in Maine, (mini-breaking news here), we are looking to put on a 24-hour race in 2018 and we're deciding whether to break it away from our 10- and 3-hour races or to host them all simultaneously. The questions we're asking ourselves now include:
1) Are there separate groups of participants for all three races or is there overlap (and if so, how much?
2) Would we be cannibalizing our races if we held them all at the same time?
3) Would a 24-hour race require separate branding/marketing or can we combine marketing for it with our marketing for the middle-length and sprint-length races?

Eager to see if your survey can provide any insight into those Qs! Thanks again for your work on this!
Mar 3, 2017 2:12 PM # 
Agreed, I think most adventure racers prefer a mix of events. You'll have to be cautious about interpreting the answer to this question. While many racers might prefer longer events, that doesn't mean they can squeeze any more onto the calendar than they already do. So the survey result isn't necessarily a call to action for RDs.

On another note, I think Rootstock has a great strategy - not always including all AR disciplines in every event. Some venues - probably *most* venues - are better for some disciplines than others so why not have some AR events that focus on one or two disciplines?
Mar 3, 2017 2:52 PM # 
Thanks for the shout-out Bash!

We do enjoy a mix of more traditional multi-sport and single sport events. We think doing so has the potential to draw more new racers into the sport (orienteers who might be scared of mountain biking but who might be up for a slightly different style to racing; mountain bikers who don't like to run; a cool place for a paddle race rather than just any body of water that fits the course).

We have found such events also are attractive for training for larger events, and because they demand less gear and logistics they can be easier to commit to.

At our Crooked Compass Adventure Trek last year we had a field filled with adventure racers but with a few orienteers "new to adventure racing". This year, so far, we have relatively few adventure racers and a ton of orienteers!
Mar 27, 2017 12:39 PM # 
results are in!

This discussion thread is closed.