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Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.

Nikos Kazantzakis

Section D: Pre-Race

D-1 Posting Information

The location and open times of checkpoints, and the clues for the controls, will be posted in time for captains to effectively plan their route. This will be a minimum of 48 hours before the captain's paperwork is to be handed in to the Race Marshall.

Ideally this information is posted by Monday evening before the race. Note: the times of any of the following may be modified depending on school schedules and the chaos that is endemic to all boarding schools. Captains should have reasonable time to study their route, ask staff questions, and discuss the route with their team before turning in a plan.

Visiting teams: We will try to get you information by the Friday prior to the race so that you can use the weekend for planning. You are honor bound not to scout the actual race.

D-2 Route Planning

Captains will choose a route, turning in a map with the path they intend to follow, highlighting the controls they intend to visit. This map will have time marks about an hour apart showing where the team intends to be at the end of each hour. See also E-4

By turning in a map, we know that they have actually studied the map, and we have an idea of what they were going to try to do if we have to go out and look for them.

Photocopies of the captain’s own map can be used.

D-3 Route Paperwork Deadlines

Captains will turn in two copies of their route plans to the Race Marshal before supper on the day before the race (Thursday evening at 5 p.m.). If the deadline is missed, the team will be penalized 50 points. If the route plan is not completed and handed in by 10 p.m. an additional 50 points will be assessed. This rule may be waived or modified by the Race Marshall for non-SJSA teams or if the information was posted late.

Two copies gives one to the Race Marshall, one to the leader with the team, and one to the captain. The deadlines are an attempt to make the captains turn in route plans in time so that the Race Marshall can prepare his record sheets. It also frees captains for team preps during the evening.

Prior to this rule, there was always at least one team that turned in a route minutes before departure. Putting this rule in place resulted in nearly all paperwork being complete the night before. It also results is better planning.

Obviously this rule needs to be modified if the program is implemented outside a boarding school. We ran a race per week, so the schedule had to be compressed.

D-4 Modifications for Changes in Weather

In the event of very cold or wet weather, the Race Marshall may add one or more additional checkpoints, or may remove certain controls from the race. The Race Marshall may ask the captains to refile their route in light of the changes. There is no penalty for these changes.

Usually this situation would arise for very high wind-chill days, or on very wet snow days. In conditions of high wind-chill, the Race Marshall will want to check teams more frequently, and the controls that are very difficult to get to or that involve standing around (double stunts, double puzzles) may be removed just to make it less likely that someone gets frostbite waiting around. Under wet conditions, teams tend to move a lot more slowly, and roads become much more attractive as routes than do fields.

In passing: Winter activities are limited largely by the equipment you have. In the last days of the school we shut down the outdoor program at -30 C. This is about right for an overcast day, or a day with more than 5 km/hr of wind for our standard equipment. As temperatures decline, the margins between "I'm fine" and "I'm cold" is smaller, activity has to be more closely monitored.

In general: Training. If the temps are more than 10-15 degrees colder than anything you have experienced this season, modify your program. Mods can include:

After doing outdoor stuff for 30 years, I'm still caught not dressed right by the first really cold day of the season. Fortunately, I always carry extra clothing.

D-5 Time Synchronization

The captain is responsible for finding out what Race Marshall Standard Time is.

Captains aren’t allowed to say, “My watch said we reached that checkpoint with 3 minutes to spare, and you say we don’t get the bonus…” Traditionally the dining room clock is used as the standard.

D-6 Race Start and Checkout

On race day, captains with check out with the Race Marshall, using the normal winter safety regulations and checklists. Safety checks may be done before gate open time. Teams may not leave until gate-open.

This encourages organization. A slow team can take 2 hours to get out the door. A fast team can do this easily in an hour. By limiting it to 1 hour after wake-up, we ensure that there is sufficient time to eat, and we discourage teams from getting up before wake-up.