Last Minute ReRoute on the TR³ October 27, 2010Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Events, Just Stuff.
Tags: duathlon, Legacy Trail, PMBA, Race Director, TopoFusion, TR3 Mountain Bike Duathlon
Earlier this week when I posted the overall results of the 2010 TR³ Mountain Bike Duathlon, I mentioned that I had to scramble to do a last minute reroute on the mountain biking leg. Here is the scoop.
For months, I had meticulously planned the 3 different legs of the TR³. When a race director has limited trails and space for an event like this, planning is of the utmost importance. How fast is a fast racer going to cover this leg? How fast is the slowest racer going to? When 2 different legs have to use part of the same trail, this becomes a potential debaucle.
After getting it all worked out. I had race maps printed, including an enlargement that was mounted on foam core so racer could see it easily at check-in. There was also a map with profile available online.
Then the rains came. And then some more rain, and then on the Friday, the day before the race, even more rain.
There is one particular section of the planned course called the Legacy Trail that the bike leg was going to use twice in the 11 mile leg. This particular trail turns to black sticky death-mud when it is extremely saturated. Not only that, but the City of Prescott had signs posted at both ends of it asking “riders” (more on this later) to stay off the trail during wet conditions.
So on Friday night just before dark, I was out at the event site, and made the decision to change the bike route in order to: A – Keep racers from having to push their gunked-up bikes through death mud, and B – Maintain a good relationship with the City and other trail users.
The deal with the “riders” comment from before is that the City had originally posted signs asking equestrians to stay off the trail during wet conditions. Well, apparently this didn’t fly with the local equestrian groups, and they raised hell with the City to get them to include mountain bikes……thus the signs were changed to say “riders.”
Ok, back to the re-route dilemma.
After spending hours using my fabulous mapping software Topofusion, I was able to come up with a 2-lap bike course that was within 3 hundredths of a mile of the same distance as the abandoned 1-lap leg, and to my amazement, it was within 3 total vertical climbing feet as well.
This only left getting out there early in the morning and getting it re-marked correctly (thanks Michael!), explaining it to my awesome volunteer crew from PMBA, and then telling all the racers at the pre-race meeting that the course they had been studying online and pre-riding the weeks before was now something else entirely!
The racers took it stride, and overall it did not cause any problems.