Sunday, December 21, 2014

Trans Iowa V11: A Look At The Rules Part 14

T.I.V2 was a game changer
Last year I did a historical overview of each Trans Iowa up to T.I.V9. This year I am going to revisit something that I feel many folks have overlooked for a long time; The "Race Rules".

Last week I talked about how the cue sheet thing evolved in Rule# 14 HERE. This week I am going to hit on a subject that the rules had to be added to to cover correctly, and why that was. In fact it happened twice, if I recall correctly, that the rules were added to. Anyway, here are Rules # 15 & 16:

15: This event will happen regardless of rain, sleet, snow, drought, wind, rabbit infestation, etc. You get the idea.
16: Weather Related Stoppage and Time Cut Off Rule: In case of severe weather during the event, we will do the folowing things so you can act accordingly. Remember: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF!! If the sky is falling, or you see Dorothy's house go spinning by your head, you should take appropriate actions to protect yourself. We will not be responsible for ill advised heroics in inclement weather. Be smart, or be pig fodder! This is only given out so that you as an event participant will know what our actions will be in regards to keeping tabs on your progress and what will be done with prizing.

Weather related cancellation of the event will be enforced at the checkpoints. All participants will be directed as to where and when any prizing will be distributed at checkpoints by our volunteers. If you pull out before a checkpoint, you will need to contact the Event Director to find out if the event is being terminated. Results will not be tabulated if we have to stop the event. If cut off times to a checkpoint are not met by any event participant then the event will be terminated and all will be considered as DNF's.

Prizing will be distributed by raffle to the remaining participants in the event at the time of stoppage or when it becomes clear that the cut off times will not be met. Must be present to win. Decisions of the event's directors is final. 

Yes- that is a lot of reading! However; it was all necessary to cover the "wild card of Trans Iowa", The Weather. It didn't take long for us to have to amend the rules for Trans Iowa due to weather related issues!

Riders have to use their best judgement when it comes to the weather.
 Jeff Kerkove was no stranger to riding in poor weather conditions and this extended to events he partook of a well as training. He was adamant from the beginning that we would do Trans Iowa no matter the weather. Rule #15 reflects his attitude on that and is written in his typical style. 24 hour racing sort of reflected that kind of attitude as well, that is until a few events ran into really severe weather and caused all sorts of mayhem with regard to policy. Trans Iowa was no different in that regard, albeit we were eased into our changes somewhat. 

Trans Iowa V2 certainly was a "game changer" when it came to how we would have the rules set up. At that event, no one was on pace to make the checkpoint cut off time in Algona, Iowa that year. So, as I recall, Jeff called me and said we should call the event at Algona, and that I should announce that on Trans Iowa Radio, which at that time was an audio blog service posted to my personal blog. In other words, some riders got the message, many did not. 

That caused some disgruntled responses from a few riders that year. Jeff decided that, based on our conversations, we should amend the rules and add one that dealt with how we distributed the prizing in the event that the race wasn't doable or cut short. That's when Rule #16 became Rule #17 and we inserted a new Rule #16 to take its place. In the beginning, Rule #16 dealt with prizing, mostly, and was originally a version of paragraphs two and three of the current rule. Jeff allowed me to write the rule, and it served us well up until after T.I.V6. 

Trans Iowa V6 was greatly affected by bad weather. Image by A Andonopoulous.
 In that event, we suffered severe lightning strikes at different points in the event, and later on, a 30mph wind with heavy rains. The conditions were exceptionally bad. Not to mention scary!

So right after that one, I dug into Rule #16, added the first paragraph, and amended the second one. Things were kind of quiet on the weather front for T.I.V7, 8, and 9, but in last Spring's event, the intentions of the rule came into play once again. 

With riders already past the second checkpoint, the severe weather that blew through in the middle of the night forced several riders to take action to protect them selves. With plenty of abandoned barns and homes in the country these days, riders found shelter and rode out the worst parts of the night. Some called in the cavalry, and a few were mostly unaffected depending upon just where they were during the night. This was Rule #16 being put into play perfectly. 

 Next Week: More on navigation......

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