Saturday, April 17, 2010

Trans Iowa Thoughts: The Countdown! 1!

<===Better have a good bail out plan or you might become an an indentured servant on an Iowa pig farm!

Your Fair Warning!! Okay folks, one more nail biting week until Trans Iowa V6! We're excited to get this underway, but I have a few admonishments to make, which will be reiterated at the Pre-Race Meat-Up, just to make sure.

The nature of the course we use now is a "big assed loop", as Jeff Kerkove put it once a few years back. Due to the nature of how things lay out, you folks will be getting in deeper and deeper as you progress from one checkpoint to another this time around. This comes into play as you consider your bail out options. Especially if you were silly enough to come without a support person. I know a lot of you are planning to do this solo, so here's what you need to put into your "thinkrerer".

Further and Further From Home: The nature of this loop leads you further and further away from Grinnell as you progress into the event. It really is a big loop without a good bail out option for solo riders the further you get into this. In fact, you won't start back towards Grinnell until you are truly about half way into the mileage. Think about that for a minute: You are 150 miles into T.I.V6 and you are cooked and have no support person? That's going to be a long trek back to Grinnell over hilly roads no matter how you slice it. Maybe you are willing to deal with that, but trust me, it won't be very easy. What's more, the furthest point out comes after Checkpoint #2. So keep that in mind as well.

Nobody Knows, So Don't Ask! In an effort to squelch the outside support I observed and heard about last year, We have set up my checkpoint volunteers so that Checkpoint #1 folks do not know where Checkpoint #2 is, Checkpoint #2 people do not know where Checkpoint #3 is, and therefore, they can not tell anyone where the riders are going to next. This shouldn't be any problem at all except for control freaks. Here's the deal. Checkpoint people are not going to tell you anything about the course because they won't know. If you feel, as a support person, family member, or racer that you need to know, prepare to have your ducks in a row, because we will not be letting this info out unless it is for a dang good reason. (Most of the time, it isn't necessary at all, so you probably shouldn't bother)

This is why we have set up the Barn. You go there for your updates. We will be phoning in all pertinent data to our finishline volunteers there who will disseminate the info to all of you. We won't be putting out audio updates this year. This was totally misinterpreted as a "lifeline of personal info" on all race participants, which I never intended it to be, said several times that it never was intended to be that, but was consistently viewed as such dispite all of that. It was made to be a big pain in my arse every year I did it, and last year was the worst. If I ever do it again, I won't even tell anyone, but I probably won't do it. Again, hang out at The Barn. Have a good time, and find out what you "need to know". That's all I have to say about that.

What if your guy/gal DNF's? Well, first off, they better have a cell phone and they better call you with it. Their cue sheets will lead you to them, and if that is an issue, we will be available to answer any questions for riders DNF'ing, (they are to report to us anyway), and we can decipher exactly how you should proceed to extricate them from the course from a directions point of view if necessary. But the bottom line is as always: You are responsible for You. We are not going to bail you out, come get you, or bring you aid. You are on your own excursion and are taking part in T.I.V6 at your own risk.

That's why you'd better be taking this whole bail out option plan seriously. If you come alone, you are putting yourself at a great disadvantage should you need to DNF. Think about that for a minute.

The Weather: The wildcard of the event. Right now they are predicting that a big storm is to hit California at the beginning of the week which will progress across the country and end up here by, yep! You guessed it! Saturday morning. Saturday the winds are forecast to be gusty from the Southeast, continue that way into the evening, and then switch out of the Southwest by Sunday morning. Rain chances increase as the event continues. Hours of rain Saturday = 2 hours, Saturday night = 5hrs, and Sunday = 5hrs.

Of course, that's a week out and this can/will all change. For better or worse, I don't know at this point, but if this comes true, Trans Iowa V6 will go down as epic beyond words. Would anyone even finish? That's definitely a possibility with that forecast, and if we were to get a crazy thunderstorm, it would shut us down. Here is the skinny on bad weather straight from the T.I. site for your reference;

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 directors is final.
So in the case of this Trans Iowa, we would most likely repair to The Barn, distribute some goodies, and party. Now you know.
See ya in a week. Look for another update on Wednesday and Thursday.

1 comment:

john said...

Geesh - I just about peed myself just reading this - I wonder what Mike and the rest of your racers are feeling.
Mark, Good luck to you and all your staff.