Monday, October 23, 2006

Level Of Difficulty: Less or More?

There is a great thread on mtbr's Endurance Forum about what should or shouldn't be done to allow more people to participate in more events. This is a subject that has been debated upon for quite sometime and one that gets brought up consistently by folks when talking about Trans Iowa. Since I am one of the promoters of Trans Iowa, I'll focus in on this discussion from that perspective.

From my point of view it seems that most of the comments having anything to do with the subject at hand are requests for larger field limits, requests for "support", and requests for easier courses/ rules. We ( Jeff Kerkove and I) have stuck to our guns and not changed much from the basic format that we started out with.

For the record, we believe in a tough challenge that not all can handle. We believe that this provides a most rewarding experience if you do finish, or overcome the challenge. This "reward" is personal, and worth more than trophies, schwag, or money. The sheer fact that not all can finish makes the finishing worth more than the things I mentioned. It's what defines a challenge. Anything that allows everyone to finish is something less than that, and I for one, am not interested in that.

So, it boils down to this, I think. Have an event that everyone can finish, within reason, and have your competition within that format. It's then about who is best/ fastest/ strongest. There can be only one person/ team that can claim that honor. The rest are losers.

Or, you can have an event that is about something deeper than that. A challenge: you not only have other individual competitors, but you have the course itself, the weather, time, and yourself to overcome. An event that, even if you do not finish it, can take you beyond your own limits to a new place you may have thought not possible. If that's not winning, if that's not worth more than money, prizes, or even recognition, then I'm in the wrong game.

Maybe it's hard to get a grasp on this until you take on such a challenge. Maybe I'm not able to convey the "certain something" that motivates folks to take on these ultra-challenges. I'm not sure, but there.............that's my take on it.

What's yours?

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