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Question for enduro racers: One day vs Multi day

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8/29/2016 11:15 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/29/2016 11:19 AM

Generic question for the resident Vital enduro racers out there: What format do you prefer? One day enduro vs multi day enduro.

I ask this question hoping regional event promoters will take notice. Considering 95% of racers have full time jobs, I find the multi-day format to be time prohibitive and honestly not as fun as the single day format. Realize, I'm focusing on the regional level events here, not the EWS level - (at the EWS level, all the top contenders ride their bike for a living - multi day is fine!)

Personally, I'd take 3 quality stages, all raced on Sunday over 6+ mediocre stages raced over the entire weekend. In the single day format I can, in theory, take no days off from work, have a fun weekend racing at a lower entry fee. The multi-day format generally requires 2 days off from work unless I want to race blind, not to mention higher entry fee costs.

Honestly, I love racing, but $200+ entry fees and dedication of most vacation days are making it harder and harder to justify.

Any thoughts?


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8/29/2016 11:18 AM

I agree- more 1 day events please!

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8/29/2016 1:20 PM

I'm all for 1 day events. I'm a Monday-Friday worker who takes vacation time to try and get at least one practice lap though all the stages. This year at the Snowmass EWS I know I wasn't alone racing day 1 blind due to Stages 2 & 3 only being open for practice on Thursday. (Although I agree, EWS should be longer, with more 1 day regional events)

Then there is the cost side of things. Muli-day events usually cost me $500+ per race after the entry fee, lodging, and food are accounted for. Next season I'll be looking for more 1 day events that are closer to the $100 range. Locally, that puts me racing DH next year and not enduro.

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8/29/2016 1:31 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/29/2016 1:48 PM

This brings me to another question/point: Why are we still using timing systems that were born in the pre GPS era? What is wrong with the organizer putting together a series whereby everyone has to use a bottom rung Garmin (or similar) at minimum? Just a thought...

Again, EWS or even National level events this won't cut it. But for grassroots and regional stuff, why not? This would mitigate costs substantially (for the organizer). It also might open up more opportunities for bike parks to run races for next to no money. Finally, it would allow a guy like me to run an enduro (on DH specific trails) in a similar fashion to the Colorado Trail Race (no entry fee, no prize money)

Obviously I think racing is cool, but all the "flair" around it often times isn't needed. Less is more. Simple. Keep it fun.

Anyone remember the Thunder Valley slalom series? More of this. Less "sorry mom I can't come home for Christmas cause I spent all my money and time off racing".



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8/29/2016 2:21 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

This brings me to another question/point: Why are we still using timing systems that were born in the pre GPS era? What is wrong with the organizer putting together a series whereby everyone has to use a bottom rung Garmin (or similar) at minimum? Just a thought...

Again, EWS or even National level events this won't cut it. But for grassroots and regional stuff, why not? This would mitigate costs substantially (for the organizer). It also might open up more opportunities for bike parks to run races for next to no money. Finally, it would allow a guy like me to run an enduro (on DH specific trails) in a similar fashion to the Colorado Trail Race (no entry fee, no prize money)

Obviously I think racing is cool, but all the "flair" around it often times isn't needed. Less is more. Simple. Keep it fun.

Anyone remember the Thunder Valley slalom series? More of this. Less "sorry mom I can't come home for Christmas cause I spent all my money and time off racing".



A garmin, or any other GPS, is no where near accurate enough for race timing. And if the tracks are in the woods, then really forget it.
If you just want to "Strava Race" your bros for free, you can do it right now!

The easiest, most fool proof way I have seen is what they used @ Ashland this year.
Moto hare scramble type timing where they print off your start time on a sticker, then after you cross the line print another sticker with the finish time. Super easy, super mellow.
Do some quick math and you know your times right after you finish up to 3 decimal places.

Or use the cool transponders they use for EWS/TransProvence, but way more cash needed.

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8/29/2016 2:28 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/29/2016 2:32 PM

jeff.brines wrote:

This brings me to another question/point: Why are we still using timing systems that were born in the pre GPS era? What is wrong with the organizer putting together a series whereby everyone has to use a bottom rung Garmin (or similar) at minimum? Just a thought...

Again, EWS or even National level events this won't cut it. But for grassroots and regional stuff, why not? This would mitigate costs substantially (for the organizer). It also might open up more opportunities for bike parks to run races for next to no money. Finally, it would allow a guy like me to run an enduro (on DH specific trails) in a similar fashion to the Colorado Trail Race (no entry fee, no prize money)

Obviously I think racing is cool, but all the "flair" around it often times isn't needed. Less is more. Simple. Keep it fun.

Anyone remember the Thunder Valley slalom series? More of this. Less "sorry mom I can't come home for Christmas cause I spent all my money and time off racing".



dirty booger wrote:

A garmin, or any other GPS, is no where near accurate enough for race timing. And if the tracks are in the woods, then really forget it.
If you just want to "Strava Race" your bros for free, you can do it right now!

The easiest, most fool proof way I have seen is what they used @ Ashland this year.
Moto hare scramble type timing where they print off your start time on a sticker, then after you cross the line print another sticker with the finish time. Super easy, super mellow.
Do some quick math and you know your times right after you finish up to 3 decimal places.

Or use the cool transponders they use for EWS/TransProvence, but way more cash needed.

Thanks on this. I figured a Garmin would be close enough for a "funduro" (+/- one second). Maybe not something worth traveling more than 2-3 hours for but yeah..."good enough". The Montana Enduro Series uses chips where you have to actually stop by the timer and have him "beep" your wristband. There is obviously 1-2 second margin for error with this...

EDIT: Apologies on the thread derail, still more curious about what format people prefer....

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8/29/2016 5:05 PM

dirty booger wrote:

A garmin, or any other GPS, is no where near accurate enough for race timing. And if the tracks are in the woods, then really forget it.
If you just want to "Strava Race" your bros for free, you can do it right now!

The easiest, most fool proof way I have seen is what they used @ Ashland this year.
Moto hare scramble type timing where they print off your start time on a sticker, then after you cross the line print another sticker with the finish time. Super easy, super mellow.
Do some quick math and you know your times right after you finish up to 3 decimal places.

Or use the cool transponders they use for EWS/TransProvence, but way more cash needed.

do you have a link/more info on the timing they used? Is it just (basically) two clocks with printers?

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8/29/2016 5:49 PM

I am all for 1 day events but dumbing them down to small levels of climbing and all downhill only stages is lame IMO. Make a short course for the desk jockeys that can't handle a little pain. That all being said I like the idea of multi events as well... people just need some options.

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8/29/2016 8:06 PM

Our Australian National Enduro series has practice Friday/Saturday and racing Sunday. Seems to work pretty well. They normally cram like 4-5 stages in. The serious guys do Friday and weekend warriors still get a solid weekend of racing. Sometimes they even run shuttles on the Saturday if there's no lift access.

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8/29/2016 8:09 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/29/2016 8:10 PM

The superior format is not only a one day race but a one run race. One where the racers have a day or two to prepare on the track used, and can then race to their fullest potential for one good timed race. It's safer, it's more intense racing, and you don't need a fucking fanny pack. Tracks should be of an intense nature such that the bikes themselves are highly specific to this format.

And a truck takes you to the top so you have the energy to truly perform at your best.


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8/29/2016 8:14 PM

kidwoo wrote:

The superior format is not only a one day race but a one run race. One where the racers have a day or two to prepare on the track used, and can then race to their fullest potential for one good timed race. It's safer, it's more intense racing, and you don't need a fucking fanny pack. Tracks should be of an intense nature such that the bikes themselves are highly specific to this format.

And a truck takes you to the top so you have the energy to truly perform at your best.


Ha! I knew it was coming...

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8/29/2016 8:18 PM

The current format for enduro races nearly led me to slit my wrists.

The current format is usually this: Drag your ass out to whatever a race promoter wants to say is 'enduro' which means some trail they like riding. Then you practice that along with lots of other people on that course and three or four others, and celebrate 'winning at life' after that. Then you do it again the next day, say the same thing, and leave the 'race course' tattered, beat and a bit wider than before.

Lets just do less of that, and make it one day. Even better, don't tell anyone what the course is before that morning, so it is more fair for everyone, and people traveling don't feel like they are already behind. Maybe the extra day could be left for the promoter to clean up everything and do some trail maintenance on the trails that were used, so the whole community that normally rides the trails for 'fun' has a good taste in their mouths.

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I'm hungry.

8/30/2016 4:58 AM

One day events are certainly easier on the weekend warriors, however multi-day events in big mountain locations are more exciting to the hardcore racers. So basically both are okay by me. I generally am a volunteer these days allowing me to ride the course without getting into a lather over a race. devil
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8/30/2016 8:16 AM

Mulit day events can still exist, and the single day event doesn't have to be easy. Nothing is better than finishing a long day on the bike where you had to push yourself.

I would actually prefer a race where no pre-riding is allowed. Sure, there will be people who know the trails due to being locals, but they won't know every trail in a race series. To me, this is what enduro should be. A true test of how well you can read and ride the terrain in front of you.

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8/30/2016 8:21 AM

hbelly13 wrote: One day events are certainly easier on the weekend warriors, however multi-day events in big mountain locations are more exciting to the hardcore racers. So basically both are okay by me. I generally am a volunteer these days allowing me to ride the course without getting into a lather over a race. devil

I hear this a lot second hand but am yet to meet any of these racers. wink

Seriously, I get that there are certain races born out of multi day radness (transprovence, some EWS level stuff) but again, at the local to regional level, it just seems to make for a rushed weekend whereby everybody is more stressed about racing something blind/nearly blind.

Back in my DH racing days, practice was the most fun. Those who want to take it seriously can still take an extra day to really get thing dialed and practice the shit out of the courses - play with lines, have fun dialing in their race runs. Fitness still plays into the single day events (you can still have a "big" single day event).

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8/30/2016 8:25 AM

tylerb wrote:

Mulit day events can still exist, and the single day event doesn't have to be easy. Nothing is better than finishing a long day on the bike where you had to push yourself.

I would actually prefer a race where no pre-riding is allowed. Sure, there will be people who know the trails due to being locals, but they won't know every trail in a race series. To me, this is what enduro should be. A true test of how well you can read and ride the terrain in front of you.

I don't agree with the whole racing blind thing. For instance, if an enduro were to be run in Jackson, I'd have a huge advantage, even if the trails chosen were more esoteric. Local advantage (or just showing up way in advance and riding as much as you can) offers too big of an advantage.

I think the best "blind" racing I've ever heard of was how they've run enduros in France. Tape a raw course down the side of the mountain utilizing existing trail in spots they absolutely have to - otherwise, its new race course. Everyone gets one inspection run in the morning followed by a race run.

That's as fair of racing as you'll get while still keeping things safe.

Racing blind is a surefire way for people to get hurt. To be honest, I'd race blind at a smaller even with less-than-gnarly trails but outside of that I would probably hang it up if thats the direction things went. Riding fast on a trail I've never ridden doesn't add up to me.

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8/30/2016 8:38 AM

jeff.brines wrote:

I don't agree with the whole racing blind thing. For instance, if an enduro were to be run in Jackson, I'd have a huge advantage, even if the trails chosen were more esoteric. Local advantage (or just showing up way in advance and riding as much as you can) offers too big of an advantage.

I think the best "blind" racing I've ever heard of was how they've run enduros in France. Tape a raw course down the side of the mountain utilizing existing trail in spots they absolutely have to - otherwise, its new race course. Everyone gets one inspection run in the morning followed by a race run.

That's as fair of racing as you'll get while still keeping things safe.

Racing blind is a surefire way for people to get hurt. To be honest, I'd race blind at a smaller even with less-than-gnarly trails but outside of that I would probably hang it up if thats the direction things went. Riding fast on a trail I've never ridden doesn't add up to me.

I think at the World Cup and EWS pro levels the racing should be blind. It is art form to masterfully read a trail and choose lines. At most, a pre-ride video would be sent to all participants, but that's it. devil
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8/30/2016 1:25 PM

for anyone that has a regular job and races as a hobby, or not at the professional level, its always easier to do a 1 day event instead of 2 or 3 days

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8/30/2016 1:45 PM

leondelmonte wrote:

for anyone that has a regular job and races as a hobby, or not at the professional level, its always easier to do a 1 day event instead of 2 or 3 days

Just FYI, the "regular job" thing applies to most of the pro field. Some may not have a job, but likely that's due to extreme sacrifice during the other months, not due to actually getting paid much, if at all...

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8/30/2016 2:12 PM

leondelmonte wrote:

for anyone that has a regular job and races as a hobby, or not at the professional level, its always easier to do a 1 day event instead of 2 or 3 days

jeff.brines wrote:

Just FYI, the "regular job" thing applies to most of the pro field. Some may not have a job, but likely that's due to extreme sacrifice during the other months, not due to actually getting paid much, if at all...

like I said anyone that races as a hobby, I am not saying Pros dont have jobs, but when you decide to race as a pro, there are more sacrifices and commitment to make races on a consistant bases to get the results.
Now if you as a race organizer want to have the best participant attendance happen, a 1 day race for non pro-level races, or amateur will give you the best attendance as you dont have to commit all weekend to it

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8/30/2016 2:45 PM

leondelmonte wrote:

like I said anyone that races as a hobby, I am not saying Pros dont have jobs, but when you decide to race as a pro, there are more sacrifices and commitment to make races on a consistant bases to get the results.
Now if you as a race organizer want to have the best participant attendance happen, a 1 day race for non pro-level races, or amateur will give you the best attendance as you dont have to commit all weekend to it

I see your point but this side of the EWS, a race is going to be all inclusive (pros/ams racing the same event). Hell, even the EWS is sort of inclusive of all - but that's not my point.

Top level events, sure, run whatever you think will determine the "best enduro racer". But as a guy who does this as a hobby, (as you are implying) the local, state and even regional events should stick with the one day format. Again, I argue it makes it *more* fair for the entire field (locals and non locals, guys with the week off and guys with no time off) as learning 3-4 stages is a lot more digestable in a day or two than learning 6-7.

Now I'm talking in circles...

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8/30/2016 3:39 PM

In general, I prefer 1 day formats due to the vacation time issue mentioned. Otherwise, people with more time off get an advantage by showing up to practice on Thursday, easy practice on Friday, and then they're more fresh for racing.

However, it's still fun to do a big multi day race once per year as well. For me, that's Monarch Crest, where the courses are released many months in advance with the hopes that everybody can get out to pre-run it.

More important than both of those for me is general organization. Some races run very smoothly and it's awesome, whereas some end up eating up a bunch of practice time trying to find transfers, stages, or worse.

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8/31/2016 5:58 AM

1 day

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8/31/2016 11:44 AM

A bit off topic, but in general (for both multi-day and single day events) how easy is it for a first time racer to try? No idea the level of racing, level of trails, etc. But I love pushing myself on the bike and would love to try racing. Live in Colorado so my guess is the skill level is pretty high. Do people race enduro for the fun of it knowing they may not be fast?

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8/31/2016 12:52 PM

lagocza wrote:

A bit off topic, but in general (for both multi-day and single day events) how easy is it for a first time racer to try? No idea the level of racing, level of trails, etc. But I love pushing myself on the bike and would love to try racing. Live in Colorado so my guess is the skill level is pretty high. Do people race enduro for the fun of it knowing they may not be fast?

Absolutely! We all started somewhere...

If you can ride most any trail, you can race an enduro. It absolutely is not an "elite only" type of sport, in fact, was kind of born out of the opposite... (everyone can go out and have fun ont he bike)

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