1) Thank you so much again for all the work and effort. For those of us that do come out, the work is obvious and the experience is exactly what we signed up for.
2) Numbers. The sanctioned 24hr NA Champs had 40 people in the 24 hour, and 10 in the 8 hour. You had 17 in the 24hr and 31 in the 8hr. Almost the same number of total participants.
Things they had going for them: Champs designation, stunning terrain
Things you had going: Early date announcement, more central location.
I dont know what the answer is, just observations. I also dont understand why MarkVTs crowd does not come down for it.
In my mind timing is key, but in my opinion this race was perfectly timed. No overlap with other navigation races that I knew of (OK - masters nationals in NH, but I think we are literally the only 2 people that would consider both). Peak fall weather. End of season, so good time to get that last hurray in. Yet winter races (march) seem to get really good numbers? Boredom/lack of options? We had too many options last winter, we were traveling almost every weekend, and we aim to pare down this year (NR still on our list :)). Why did the 8 hour not get better turn out, its only 2 more than 6hr with 3x turnout?
3) Pace: We now know our limit (at least for current fitness, which is slightly less than we wanted it to be). In our mind, 3 mph, a steady walk seems so achievable. But in reality it is darn hard to keep up for that long, with some fight, and TAs, and the aches and pains you are bound to get at some point. Also not sure how you do your measuring, but i think it was about 15% low, for whats its worth. Still, the course was clearable, as evidenced by Lattanzi, so I think you did a spot on job.
4) Profit: I do think MarkVT has it figured out. Even though he clearly gets some good returns on his AR, the cash cow seems to be the MTB and trail races. Can you find a way to add those into your schedule with minimal work and more profit? I understand profit isnt the main motivator, but if it could make the longer stuff more viable, would that be enough?
PS. Yes I do want to be a RD, but i think I would stick to 6 hrs :D. the gears are turning in my head, but we'll see if it every actually happens.
NSF pulled at times triple digit attendance, in single digit °C temps, in the middle of nowhere! If I could bottle up what they did right...is it really the six hour format? Hardier folks outside of the metro D?
I do remain surprised by how few from GR go east of Lansing. If it's kind of fun over there, it could be fun this way, and the drive's no worse than his northern events.
I am perplexed by the marketing conundrums of the above.
Also, Belle Isle + Amazing Race challenges = 500 people
Glad you had a good time and stuck thru to the end. It was nice for me to see you guys race together, so that you got to experience some of what Sydney did last year, being the course was slightly different, but still the same in some parts.
I think numbers were down slightly due to it was Detroit Marathon Weekend. Plus it seems folks just might have some other priorities this year. I may have just been too optimistic, and that yeah 6 hour seems to be that sweet spot. But yes I have some ideas to do different types of races, we might see that next year. Hopefully we are gaining some word of mouth at least.
As for distance, just google earth. But yes it's always going to be short just because of drawing tangents compared to actual trail curves that add distance. I think at my last iteration I measured out 63 miles, again crudely. I purposely told you guys 60+ and not the real distance, because I knew it would depend on several factors, pace, route choice & error. Mark did about 71 miles, but he also added quite a bit of distance both due to error and route choice. At least 2-3 miles worth. When he signed up I added a mile or so, just because I was worried you guys might finish it sub 20. That was really my goal to keep you out there at least 20, knowing that keeping up a 3mph with half the race at night was unlikely, but fast folks at the top make me nervous, as evidenced by Voit's performance. So I would put optimal distance would have been somewhere north of 65 miles but less than 70 definitely. Perhaps Jens can load into his machine and spit out the real number, with a little bit of work, and report back.
Machine's no good for this type of event, works better for generating a straightline number. Also needs repair as I don't know if PP changed or what but I was having trouble extracting things. A project for the future....Combine the auto point generator I worked up, have that create PP points, tweak in purple pen, then get the best distance....
Now that I think about it, one of my classes did sort of a cost function thing, so if I was really clever, I could have it calculate actual best routes by figuring out trail vs green vs steep etc, then use THOSE distances....
But the numbers are all arbitrary anyway, as long as they work. Eg, I measure 12 miles at an NSF race by scalex; I will probably have 15-18 actual but that 2 mph of scalex per hour is the right target. Seems like you have it figured out pretty well based on results!