Racer Updates

Racer Update #2
October 5, 2011

Team List

We can’t wait for Saturday to get here, can you? It looks like we’ll have perfect weather with splashes of fall color. In addition to a whirlwind tour of ArtPrize venues, much of it in out-of-the-way locales, you’ll escape the ArtPrize bustle on your bike, enjoying some great road riding and some pretty challenging mountain biking for those that want to take it on (others can drop their bikes and run those trails).

We have nearly DOUBLE the number of challenges from the July race and 25 percent more CPs to try to spread you out a bit more so you aren’t just playing follow the leader (however, with more than 700 racers that’s nearly impossible). The course is longer too. About 7-8 miles on-foot and 18-19 miles of biking. So just watch the time and make sure you’re back in four hours.

We will offer $4,000 of prizes to the top five teams in each division, plus more than $1,000 in raffle, best costume, and other prizes.

You need to read more than this email to get all the race details. You can find them at http://grurbanadventurerace.com/october-race-info/. PLEASE read the What to Expect, Required Gear, and Rules pages.  It will save you and us a lot of unnecessary explanations and headaches.

Early check-in, Founders Brewery: Friday from 5-8 pm (note change in time)
Same-day check-in and bike drop-off, Founders back lot: Saturday, arrive between 6:15 am-6:45 am
Race briefing: 7:30 am to 8:00 am
Race start (wave): 8:30 am co-ed, 8:35 am female/female, and 8:40 am
Race cutoff: 12:30 pm co-ed, 12:35 pm female/female, or 12:40 pm male/male
Lunch: 11:30 am – 3:00 pm
Post-race grill-out/party with prizes & giveaways: as soon as possible after finish

We highly recommend early check-in on Friday. It’s from 5-8 pm in the front parking lot at Founder Brewery at 235 Grandville. You’ll need your team number. That’s it. Only one person per team needs to be there, and we’ll allow you to pick up bags for your friends too as long as you have their team numbers. We’ll get you your team bag which contains your shirts, passport (don’t lose this!), bib (on your hydration pack/back) and bike numbers, and sponsor literature. Make sure your passport number, bib number and bike number all match. Then just come by Saturday morning around 7, get your number on the bike, and put it in the corral.

Once Friday evening check-in is done, we ask that you do not scout the course. You should be getting some sleep, eh? Anyone found scouting the course during the night or just prior to the race will receive a forty checkpoint penalty. Ouch.

Whether or not you did early check-in on Friday evening, please go right from parking to the bike corral just south of Founders backlot, behind Wolverine Printing. Just on the other side of Bartlett next to the Pacific Pride gas station. If you registered on Friday evening, attach your bike number tag to your bike prior to dropping your bike at the bike corral. You’re ready. If you check in Saturday morning, please arrive between 6:16 and 6:45 am and once your bike is in the corral, check in behind Founders. Then return to your bike to place your bike number tag on it. Leave bike shoes or other gear with your bike (or car if it’s near) if you plan to do the on-foot section first.

After your bike is in the corral and check-in is complete, you can put your racer number on your shirt or backpack, fill up your hydration system, hit the restrooms, and check out the sponsors’ booths. Have your pen/pencil with you for taking notes and perhaps a highlighter and clipboard for marking your course on the map after the pre-race meeting. You can store them under your bike or in your car. We will staff the bike corral with volunteers but you may certainly lock your bike. After the race, please bring your bikes back to your car before or right after the post-race awards so we can get the corral taken down and finally get some sleep. Thanks!

Parking around Founders should be pretty easy early Saturday. Bartlett on the south side of Founders will be closed but Williams, Finney and surrounding streets should be free for early teams. The lot between Charlie’s Crab and FedEx office, on the SW corner of Fulton and Market, is available starting at 6:00 am for a discounted $5, thanks to the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.Enter on Market just north of the Market/US-131 ramps and Charlie’s Crab restaurant.  Hop on your bike and you’ll be at Founders in under two minutes.

Please check the required gear list and make sure you have everything. We WILL have a gear check this race. Please don’t forget two pens/pencils per team, 40 oz capacity for water or electrolyte drink that EACH person will need on the bike AND run (for safety and performance), and a charged cell phone.

The mountain bike sections will not have volunteers stationed there the entire time so if you choose to drop your bike and run these trails and are concerned about having it stolen,feel free to bring a lock. There are plenty of trees nearby.

You should throw in some camp chairs or something else for your rump. There is no seating in the lot and very little grass.

Please note on www.facebook.com/grUrbanAdventureRace.com if you would like a vegetarian sandwich for lunch.

A climbing wall, bounce house and slide will be provided courtesy of Christian Adventures for your family and friends to enjoy while you are racing or for you after the race if you have the energy. Family and friends can also take a copy of the maps and race instructions and follow you around, cheering (or jeering) you on.

Some of you haven’t seen the waiver. It was a part of registration so your teammate likely signed both waivers electronically. We’ve included it below so you have full disclosure. We will say this multiple times: biking in traffic while looking at a map is a high-risk activity. PLEASE come with a frame of mind that safety is more important than shaving a minute or two off by racing at a reckless speed and ignoring traffic laws. Usually you’ll fly right by a flag anyway so it will just have the opposite effect.

If you have general questions, please ask them on www.facebook.com/grUrbanAdventureRace. For individual questions, email me at mark@grUrbanAdventureRace.com.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday or Saturday!

Michigan Adventure Racing

Racer Update #1
September 8, 2011

Greetings racers,

We’re about a month away from the Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race: ArtPrize Edition. We hope the race is good motivation for getting out on foot and bike! We have some interesting things cooking for this second race. It certainly will have an ArtPrize flavor without going too artsy fartsy on you left-brainers. And we’ve read through your comments from the post-race survey of the July race to make this race is even better. We’ll have more challenges, more checkpoints and, yes, more Portajohns.

We’re grateful for your interest in the race. If you count the July race and current registrations, we have 1300 participants in adventure races in two months. Based on a brief Internet scan, West Michigan may have more adventure racers this summer than any place in the U.S. or the world for that matter. That’s awesome. Says a lot about our community. And how sweaty you are.

Take a second to thank our great sponsors by stopping by their stores or joining their Facebook page and adding a comment. Or rolling some dice, since our title sponsor for this race is the Gun Lake Casino. Our other sponsors are: Chicago Drive/Kentwood/Holland Cycling and Fitness, MAC/East Hills/Orchard Hills, Ada Bike Shop, Apex Outdoor Gear, Celebration! Cinema, Delta Subaru, Founders Brewing Co., The Grand Rapids Press, MLive.com, Rapid Growth Media, TerraTrikes, The Gilmore Collection, Gazelle Sports, and Celebration! Banquets & Catering. Special shout out to Clear Channel/WSNX, Grand Rapids Social Diary, The Rapidian and Fox 17 for great promotional support. Apologies if we missed anyone. It’s a huge team effort.

The basics are below, but it’s important that you also read through all of the pages under Race Info on the race site even if competed in July or even if you are following Facebook, as there are several recent changes only noted here or on the site.

Check-in and Race Day Timeline
Early check-in is on Friday evening, October 7, at Founder Brewing Co., likely from 6-9 pm. We highly recommend you get checked in Friday night if you are in the area. It makes Saturday morning easy for you (and us!) and you can sleep in a little.

Same-day check-in is cool though. You should arrive between 6:15 am and 7:00 am behind Founders. Those who checked in Friday can show up between 7:00 and 7:15.

Parking. $5 discounted parking is available again in the lot at the southwest corner of Fulton and Market/Monroe between Charlie’s Crab and FedEx Office. Open for racers at 6 am. Thanks to the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel for the discount.

Race briefing will occur at 7:30 and should be done by 8:00 so you have time to plot your course before the 8:30 co-ed team start. Two-person females go off at 8:37 and two-person males at 8:45.

Lunch will be provided by Celebration! Catering, likely from 11:30-2:00 or so.

Post-race awards and raffle will kick off around 1:15 pm.

Lodging. Discounted hotels are now listed under Race Info. Some hotels are booking up due to ArtPrize so grab a room now. Hotwire and PriceLine are good options as well if you are not particular about a specific hotel chain. A lot of racers made a weekend of it last time. Might be a great idea with ArtPrize wrapping up Sunday.

Mandatory Gear
Please note recent changes to mandatory gear:

  • $10 per team. Bring $4-$6 per team for a very cool charity challenge that is worth two checkpoints and a few bucks for emergency food/water.
  • One old shirt or rag per team (if we tell you why, it will ruin the fun!)
  • Road, mountain, cyclocross, hybrid and recumbent are approved bike styles. Ultra-fast triathlon-style bikes and tandem bikes will not be allowed. Each racer needs a bike. We will have some trails that will not be easily rideable by road bikes or recumbents (you might need to ditch bikes and run a section) but most riding will be on pavement… we hope to change this in 2012/2013. See www.wMMBA.org or search for “Grand Loop” online.

Best Costume Contest
October 8 is not exactly Halloween but close enough – and it’s ArtPrize anyway. If you’d like to get creative, go crazy. The winner, eligible if you complete the entire race in your garb, will receive a $25 gift certificate to a local store for food or gear. And your photo plastered all over social media land.

Volunteers Needed
It takes a lot of help to put on these races. If you know of someone who would like to be part of the action without being in the action, please have them email us at volunteer@grUrbanAdventureRace.com. Free lunch and long sleeve performance shirt!

We would also encourage you to invite friends and family to watch the race. We will have a spectator map so they can check out some of the fun challenges.

Adventure Racing 101 Clinics
We are holding two clinics for those of you who want to learn more about adventuring racing, prepare for the October 8 race, and practice with a compass and map (although using a compass for the urban race is not critical). Tonight’s clinic is full but there is plenty of room in the September 28 clinic. RSVP to info@apexoutdoorgear.com. Clinics are at 6:30 p.m. and should last just over an hour. Bring a compass if you have one, but Apex will have loaners. Bring paper and pen if you want to take notes or you can download the presentation/notes on the race website. 20% off race gear that night and 15% up to the event with proof of registration.

Emergency Bike Repair Clinic
Kentwood Cycling will hold an emergency bike repair clinic on Monday, September 19, at 6:30. It will be held at Kentwood Cycling on East Paris at 28th ST. Fixing flats, adjusting brakes, just the basics if you encounter a problem during the race. No need to bring a bike. Perhaps a pad of paper and pen for taking notes. Nice discounts to racers on select bike gear. No need to RSVP.

Future Races
We expect to hold 4-5 races next year, including a winter race in February and a night race, along with 2-3 of our standard urban adventure races. You may see an additional race or two with a different race format as well. We’re excited and hope you are too!

This race is brought to you by Michigan Adventure Racing LLC. MAR is Brian Fox, Nate Phelps, Greg VanTol, Mark VanTongeren, and Matt Veltkamp.

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