Checkpoint Tracker Race Report

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Yesterday I posted the results of the Checkpoint Tracker National Championship adventure race which was run in Moab, Utah last weekend, crowning Team Odyssey Adventure Racing-IMONPoint.org as the winners. Today, the Gear Junkie has written a post race wrap-up that gives us a few more details of what went down, including a bit of controversy over an interpretation of the rules that led to two teams crossing the finish line first, but not making their way on to the podium.

According to the story, Teams Osprey Packs and YogaSlackers crossed the finish line in first and second place respectively, but were both assessed a six hour time penalty because they read the meaning of a rule one way, and even checked in with a race volunteer for clarification, when in actuality it was meant to be something else. As a result, the teams took an alternate route through an orienteering section of the course, and were hit with the penalty, dropping them to 7th and 10th place.

Despite this unfortunate incident however, it seems that nearly everyone had good things to say about the event, which was 120 miles in length and packed a ton of adventure into a short time span. There were some course design choices that led to bottlenecks, but for the most part it seems to have been run very smoothly.

As someone who has sat in on race juries and had to weigh the options for whether or not to assess penalties, I can tell you that this was probably not an easy decision for the race organizers to make. Especially considering the direct impact it has on the standings. In the case of the juries that I’ve been a part of, we always tried to make the penalty fit the infraction, and if possible have it impact the results as minimally as we could. In this case, the race jury must have seen the infraction as being quite large, as a six hour penalty is significant in a race with a 28 hour cut-off. It’s unfortunate that it had to bounce these teams down the leaderboard as far as it did.

Kraig Becker

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