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Discussion: results, photos, maps, fly-by

in: 2019 Alpine Shop Castlewood 8hr Adventure Race (Dec 7, 2019 - Manchester, MO, US)

Dec 10, 2019 5:11 PM # 
everything you wanted to know about the race is posted here:
Dec 11, 2019 3:11 PM # 
Congrats on what looks like another great edition!

If you ever have the time and inclination, I think it would be a great help if you could write a how-to or overview of how you put this race together, market it, attract sponsors, execute your race, etc.

To me, this and the Rib Mountain Challenge are the best examples in the U.S. of adventure racing attracting new people into the sport. They would be great models to replicate or learn from!
Dec 18, 2019 1:12 PM # 
oh dang. i could go on. i think the most positive contributor to our size is the reputation in the area, and an area full of single-sport athletes who don’t mind trying something new on a team full of friends.

STL is a major metro with lots of infrastructure for trail running and MTB. there are races for each sport every weekend. AR is a fun mash-up and since it’s in December, we don’t cram into anyone’s typical training plan or overlap other large events.

second positive contributor are the classes. even if someone doesn’t actually sign up, attend in person, or watch the recordings, there is the safety blanket of “oh i get 6 free classes included in my registration fee” so it makes it easier to pull the trigger (i’m speculating). each year, Erl and i expect attendance to decline but it has stayed steady all 3 years we’ve offered the AR101 (series of 4 indoor, 90min classes each with different topics) and grown for AR201 (2 outdoor training days with a map and controls).

our course was tougher than typical this year and i was really worried our beginners (86/300 rookie racers) would be turned off by that. but, actually i’ve gotten very positive informal feedback so far (formal email survey has been sent but not compiled yet).

another major advantage is we have a canoe outfitter (Bass River Resorts) with a virtually unlimited supply of canoes so we could accept 600 racers and still have boats for everyone. of course we would never do that (300 is our max for RD mental health and race course physical space).
Dec 18, 2019 1:19 PM # 
we do very minimal marketing. a couple emails to announce registration, to our list of about 1,000 previous racers and to Alpine Shop’s list of many thousand customers. a Facebook event page. a race website that we just upgraded this year.

Erl and i scout and design the course. we have great resources for maps with SLOC having an o-map of mostly every part in the area. i’ve learned a lot from MyTopo and use their Terrain Navigator Pro to create custom USGS maps with accurate trail overlays and other useful info. this year i worked with Spike of Orienteer Kansas to create a map of an old park where the o-map was super outdated - that was really fun -and the map turned out great.

fortunately Alpine Shop handles the race sponsorship. we e partnered with Osprey Packs most years to provide prizes, in addition to Alpine Shop gift cards and other products from our brands. I would say this is the area we have most room to grow, since it’s always hard for me to ask for sponsorship.

one thing that’s also important is the media team. we have had a steady group of talented photographers and last year added Legendary to the mix for video. we post the photos (often in the thousands) on Facebook within 24 hours of the race. we also post results within 24 hours. that is really important to racers!

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