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November 19, 2016 - Add Comment

Choosing A Distance And A Cutoff

Short Version:

  1. Estimate your average speed based on:
    1. Your results last year
    2. The results of someone comparable to you from last year
  2. Choose a wave with an average speed slower than yours (1-2 kph allowance recommended).

Full Version:

Choosing a Distance
Trail 2017 just got harder. Or easier, if you prefer.

After lengthening the course to 40 km with hard core riders in mind, we realized it may be too hard for some. So we added an earlier finish line on top of Nursery, which served as last year's cutoff point.

Which distance is for you? Read on:

40 km: Same as last year plus a second black diamond
Another 5 km was added to last year's distance by resurrecting the fabled Roxas descent, an old school legend that has fallen into disuse. Rocky, steep, loose, and rutted, it was the original black diamond of Maarat, every bit as challenging, if shorter, than the Trail 1000 black diamond finale.

Adding a second black diamond to last year's race makes Trail 2017 more epic for those who've got the skills and endurance to handle it, but more dangerous for those who can't. To separate the two, you or someone comparable to you must have finished last year's race in 3:45 or better, or you will be cut off. If you can't do 9 kph over steep, technical singletrack comfortably, the 40 km isn't for you. Don't worry, most riders can't, and 30% of last year's racers couldn't either.

30 km: Same as last year, finish moved to cutoff on top of Nursery climb
For everyone else, there's the 30 km distance. We added a second finish line on top of the Nursery climb which served as last year's cutoff point (and this year's cutoff for the 40 km).

While still timed, note that this is more a challenge than a race - a place to get your feet wet for those starting out. As such, although results will be available, no awarding will be conducted. There will, however, be a finisher's medal.

Choosing a Cutoff
As last year, you select your average speed by selecting your cutoff. This was introduced to discourage racers from starting in faster waves than they could keep up with, resulting in congestion when the following wave catches up.

While this was an improvement on previous years, 20-40% continued to still overestimate their speed by an average of 2 km, resulting in them being cut off on top of Nursery and contributing to traffic on the single track. Not cool.

Please select your cutoff carefully this year by looking through your results or those of someone comparable to you. Err on the side of caution, giving a 1-2 kph allowance. Faster cutoffs will result in faster finishing time if you don't get cut off, but remember that if you aren't fast enough to start in front, you can't win anyway. So better be able to race comfortably and save yourself the embarassment of a cutoff. Practically all of last year's winners came from the fastest cutoff waves.

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