The not so great:
- This might just be for us since we got fatigued a little faster with the camper on, but we felt that we needed a break from the aggressive trails. We didn't want no-trail days, but rather we wanted to mix up the days with hard trails and then more scenic trails. We did Schaefer at the end of the week, but maybe that would be a cool Tuesday or Wednesday run? I think it's important to not burn people out. On the flip side, we had people driving from all over the country to be at the meet who had a huge investment in this trip, so if they want to stick to the hardcore stuff I think they get a strong say themselves.
- As already discussed, having a signup for the people who want to do harder or longer trails would be good. Prior planning of overnight gear would be beneficial, although I think everyone enjoyed the impromptu trail Mac n'Cheese with hot dogs this year
(thank you Kristoff, Laura and David)
- Keep the online voting for trails. That was nice, everyone got a say. Being there a week also means we aren't doing the same two trails every year, there's always time for something different.
- Dare I say... Sponsor?
Trails worked out kind of good, but Monday was a mess. We based the order on attendance numbers. Everyone that signed up stated what days they would be there. And it at first appeared like the people with the most skill and the smallest group would be on Monday. And a few of use with the most skill wanted to do the Trifecta. That seemed appropriate.
Big mistake and not having an alternative. We should have re-evaluated the group then and there and only either done the Loop or chose another trail, as the group ended up not being as experienced.
Then, the trails were supposed to be, hard, easy, hard, easy. Well, lo our surprise at how tore up Top of the World was. Especially the "EASY" side. Holy crap.
So the big two or maybe 3 trails that are defining for Moab are Hell's Revenge and Top of the World. Those are the big ticket items for EJS which we kind of modeled after. I feel like Hell's Revenge is probably the trail that will just happen every year. Especially for new people.
Fins & Things is short, but a great intro and was supposed to be the slick rock trail we did on Tuesday. Of course, most of us were stuck on Golden Spike still. So that would have been a much easier shorter day, followed by the longer Top of the World.
Sadly not enough people voted on the trails. For next year, we will have the trails and details up online before sign up. So folks can not only register but vote on trails and sign up for trails they want to do.
I'm thinking of making the "After Party" thing a legit thing. For folks who can stay longer. Maybe that would be the time for an overnighter and the more challenging stuff. Me and Mike H ran Goldbar Rim and Golden Spike out to the crack and back on Wednesday 3 days after the event, and kept doing stuff.
A big challenge that we did learn though is that most of the trail rating are written for Jeepers and small SUV's. Things like Tip over Challenge and Wipe Out Hill are things where Jeepers flip and tumble and we just drive up and down them like they're nothing. I think this also translates to trail times.
The larger the group, the more stopping as experienced on Monday. When one person has to spot 11 people through an obstacle, the group keeps stopping, and sometimes for 20-30 mins at a time. This slows the whole group down. We got better as the event went on. But I think the solution we used on Steel Bender will serve better next year. Where we broke into smaller groups with a spotter in each group. We'll also try to get people to volunteer to be spotters.
A lot to think and plan.
I am glad to hear someone liked the campsite. I think almost everyone camped with us, except for a few. And free camping really makes it more afforable for people to come to the event. I was concerned that our spot was pretty far from town and our Rally Points. But that's the best we can really do for free camping near Moab with some privacy. So we might go there again next year if we can't find something better. I want to scout some things out.