Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Trans Iowa v13: Registration Tweaks

Here's the new header
Trans Iowa v13 is happening on April 29th-30th, 2017. I've been working behind the scenes on several things concerning the event. There is a rough sketch for a course laid out already. I have secret spies already scouting out certain sections for me to ferret out the best roads. Recon is planned for October, likely mid-month. I just finished up the latest header for the event, (seen at left here), and I have been giving a lot of thought to registration this year.

There is only one thing that will remain the same about registration and that is the Rookie registration. They will still be vying for 40 spots via a lottery. Just like last year, if you remember. Veteran and Finisher registrations will look entirely different. here's what I am thinking about.....

The Numbers: As of Trans Iowa v12, there were 454 starters of Trans Iowa. Think about that! That's one quarter of the number of starters in 12 years than the DK200 started this past Spring! Trans Iowa is small, hard to get into, and nothing like most "big" gravel events. If you ever meet someone that has ridden in a Trans Iowa, they are a relatively rare individual. Anyway...

In order to keep Trans Iowa manageable in terms of numbers for me, I need to start placing more limitations on who can get in and how. It is just a fact of the numbers here folks. Think about this- There were 47 finishers just last year alone. If all of them decided to come back, that's over 1/3rd of the field limit right there. Obviously, I have to change the way I've done registration in the past to keep the numbers of eligible riders manageable and do it in the most fair way possible.

I'll be looking for more stuff like this for T.I.v13 soon
Then I think about how there are several individuals who support Trans Iowa, show up year after year, and of these folks, many have never finished a Trans Iowa, but would never miss another one either. Call them crazy, or super fans, or maybe just addicted to the challenge, I don't care.  I feel like these folks deserve something for their demonstrated loyalty and dedication to my crazy efforts. So, I felt moved to make a change to reflect my recognition of their coming out here to Iowa every late April.

Conversely, there are a lot of one timers, or folks that have not attended Trans Iowa due to death, life changes, or lack of desire for several years. Will they ever want to come back and do another Trans Iowa? (Well, besides those that have died, of course.)  Maybe, but why plan on that? So, in order to cut down on the number of potential "veterans" I have an idea for those who have demonstrated no inclination to return to Trans Iowa for several years, but with a way to come back if they want to.

So, for instance, concerning the "regular attenders", there are 21 people who have done Trans Iowa six times or more. Of those, two are confirmed volunteers for T.I.v13, and a couple are past winners, who already get automatic entry. I haven't ferreted out exact numbers, but I figure maybe upwards of 17 folks are "active" on this list. I am going to offer them entry to T.I.v13 the old fashioned way. (Notice- I didn't say exactly how or that registration is even opened up yet, so unless you want to get on my s#@t list, don't ask me about registration yet.) The Winners will also have their traditional entry granted to them with one caveat. I'll get to that in the next paragraph.

Some folks, as I say, are never going to do this event again. So, if I see that you haven't been back to Trans Iowa since v7, which accounts for approximately 140 folks, I'm going to put you in to an "inactive" state concerning future registrations and I'll make a list that everyone can check with those names on it. If anyone on that list wants back in a Trans Iowa, I'm going to treat that entry differently by doing a lottery drawing which will be detailed later as to how it will fit into the total of 120. Yes, this will include folks who have won Trans Iowa but have never come back again in years. Sorry, but I have to draw lines somewhere and these folks don't seem interested anymore.

Trans Iowa "super fans", like Cornbread here, will get in if they want to this time. He's been in 9 TI's!
That still leaves a fair chunk of people that are Vets. Folks that have finished Trans Iowa and have done it but haven't finished. There are way more than 40 of you folks, and I have to be fair to the event and to those wanting in. I hinted at this last year, but this year with the amount of finishers we had, I have to instigate the lottery drawing for Vets and Finishers as well as the Rookies. There is no other way to do it that is fair to everyone that wants in.

If I do not get whatever number of slots filled that I deem are available, well obviously everyone gets in, but I'm betting I get way more cards than available roster spots. That said, I need to determine just how many spots will be available to get. Here's the plan as of now.....

When I give the word, I am going to post the list of eligible past winners and "super fans" of Trans Iowa who will be allowed an entry just by sending in a post card. This will happen far in advance of the Rookie Lottery and Veterans Lottery, which will include both vets and finishers in it. The "eligible"Vets and Finishers list will be posted in advance of any post card sending, and the "non-active" TI list will be posted as well. The Veterans Lottery will be drawn first, and if there are any empty spots, and if there are any entries from the "non-active list", I will fill them with non-actives that send in cards by a drawing if there are more entries than spots left available. Confusing? Don't worry because the Veterans lottery will fill all available spots easily, in my opinion. I'm just covering my bases "just in case".

So, if I do get interest from a non-active past Trans Iowa rider, and as I think, the Vets fill out their allotment, the non-active's cards will be thrown in with the Rookies and drawn after the Veteran's Lottery is over. Sound harsh? Well, again.......most of these folks have shown me they are not interested in coming back by their past actions. I get it, so as for me, I am not too worried about this aspect of the registration.

Finally, I am still granting Volunteer Exemptions, and I know of two for this upcoming T.I. If you want to exercise your volunteer gained right to get in to Trans Iowa, please let me know. As always, these entrees do not count against the 120 limit.

That's the plan so far, but it isn't written in stone just yet. Got any quibbles, comments, or thoughts on how you would do this, feel free to hit the comments with that or e-mail me at Speak now or forever hold your peace, cause I am making a final judgment on this in two weeks or less. I have to get this registration train going soon.


Ari said...

Thank you for all your efforts and sacrifices. We all realize how much work and time it takes to organize an event of such magnitude. Thank you very much!!! Ari

IMG said...

Registration is always the least fun headache to deal with! Good job keeping the race how you want it and the size you want it!