I've gotten so many email requests for this that I've decided (belatedly, I know - bear with me, I'm just not that smart) to post it here.
Heya. It’s been a month or so since we’ve self-promoted, so we figured that you were all overdue for a long email from us that let you waste another 10 minutes of your work week. Information is starting to coalesce for next year’s Breck Epic and we wanted to make sure that we maintained some sort of shared consciousness with all of you whereby we could incorporate your feedback (or at least maintain the pretense of doing so) for as long as possible prior to getting all rigid and inflexible.
In this newsletter you’ll find info on how the solo categories will be administrated, what the actual race categories will be, some new info on pricing, yet another reminder that Breck Epic Blogger’s Grant applications are now being accepted and a blatantly self-serving plug about sponsorship and media inquiries. A big thanks to all who’ve stayed tuned and offered encouragement over the past month. It’s been a weird one, but in the immortal words of HST, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” Me? I got sweatbands and everything.
Breck Epic Categories:
Categories. Here you go. These aren't finalized and I'm willing to listen to what you guys think, but I think that this will be pretty close to the final product. You can email me your thoughts or you can let your discontent fester inside you like a little pill of bitterness. Totally your call. If you want to sound off, you can email me (addy below) or you can get a conversation going on MTBR.com in the Endurance forum. On to the categories…
Open Men Duo
Open Women Duo
Open Mixed Duo
100+ Duo (added 11/21/08)
Singlespeed Duo (must be 5 teams to establish category...this actually applies to all categories)
Solo Men Open
Solo Women Open
Solo Men 40+ (added 12/04/08)
There's not really an established blueprint for the solo thing in this type of racing, but our sense is that you need to be a pro or expert level rider for us to allow you to race solo. Even this gives us a little pause, but you guys need some finite guidelines to begin planning. My gut tells me that anyone racing/riding below that level is going to meet the cut-off buzzsaw by day two…and that’ll suck for you. And for us. Bottom line, if you hold an Expert or above license (let's use that terminology instead of the new categories that they're instituting for the coming year) then you'll be allowed to race solo. If you're a Sport guy or girl you'll need to submit some substantiation to be considered for solo (you've held your own in La Ruta, you've summited K2 without supplemental O2, you've cannibalized your fellow plane crash survivors in order to survive, et cetera.) Also, everyone who races solo needs to pinky swear that you'll be really, really careful out there.
"Sport?" "Expert?" If you're among the underground crew that views these categories as facile tools of the man, then my guess is that you've been operating outside of the USAC firewall. The fact that there may be some unabombers out there isn't really a surprise, especially when you consider that most of you are actually looking forward to being nailed to this particular tree of pain. Nonetheless, categorize you we must, so if you don't hold a USAC license that proves that you're an Expert or above, then you'll need to justify your inclusion in the solo category should you wish to participate in those categories. You'll all get the requisite forms and info on the next vomitous mass of dogma that we email out. Not on our email list? Think about getting on it. Your address is safe with us. Email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Time Cuts: (added 11/24/08)
They’ll be generous, but they will be enforced. Like the BC Bike Race, if you miss the cut you’ll be out of the race, but you WILL be allowed to ride in the remaining stages.
I've gone on record with the statement that the BE's pricing will be driven by value. I stand by that statement. With that said, this is our first swing at this and even though our group has A LOT of experience producing races, we still need to make sure that our budget projection rests somewhere within the realm of reality. Translation: I don't have it figured out yet, and if I screw it up then there won’t be a Breck Epic in 2010.
Despite that, we still need to begin accepting reservations for the event, so here's what I propose: we'll begin accepting refundable deposits by the end of November. The deposit amount has yet to be determined, but it'll be manageable. By January 1 we'll set our official pricing structure and everyone who’s laid down their deposit will be given the opportunity to say “looks great, sign me up,” at which point the balance of your race fee will be split into two non-refundable payments for which you will be invoiced. If the fee looks a little steep for you when we announce final pricing we’ll happily refund your deposit.
Couple of quick qualifiers here:
1. Once you’ve accepted the fee structure your payments become non-refundable. In the interest of not being a bunch of self-serving dicks, they will be transferrable. You can eBay ‘em, Craigslist ‘em or even raffle ‘em off to a barful of disoriented boozers.
2. If you’ve submitted a Breck Epic Blogger’s Grant application or are intending to, you must still submit a deposit. Should you win the contest your deposit will be refunded within 7 days of its conclusion.
3. If you hold a sport license (or don’t hold a USAC license at all) you’ll still be allowed to place your deposit, but you’ll get a note from us within a few days and we’ll have a few questions for you to help us establish your bona fides. We're looking into other options in lieu of USAC. Stay tuned.
A final note about pricing: it’ll be broken out in a couple of different ways. There’ll be a basic plan that covers camping, food and race entry. There’ll also be a couple of differentiated plans that allow for the fact that many of you may make other arrangements for lodging, meals, et cetera. Your final payments will be determined by which plan you sign up for.
Love it? Hate it? My back is strong. Bring it on: email@example.com.
Sponsorship and Media Inquiries:
Our sponsorship packets for 2009 are now available. Give us a shout and let us get something together that’s specifically targeted for your brand. If you toil in the 4th estate and are interested in receiving pre-race and daily copy from one of the winners of the blogger’s contest drop us a line and we’ll get you more information. If you’d like some general background about the race please visit our blogsite, http://www.breckepic.blogspot.com/. Until we go live with BreckEpic.com the blog will host all relevant info. If at any point in this email your found yourself saying, “WTF is he talking about?” a quick visit to the blog might be in order.
If you’ve been playing along then you know that along with the $10,000 cash purse we’re also offering a way for sponsored teams to increase the size of the treasure chest. Teams riding in the Industry Cup are required to donate merchandise from their sponsors that will then be raffled off throughout the week. The auction will be open to the public and will take place on eBay. All proceeds from the Industry Cup auction will be awarded to the on the podium who’ve donated goods.
We’ll also be in haymaking season here in Summit County as far as destination mountain bike tourists go, so we’re asking all of our friends in the industry that have rolling demo programs to consider bringing them out to the Epic for the week. We’ve a generous media buy allocated in support of this aspect of our program. Please contact us to reserve some of our lusciously flat asphalt.
About the Breck Epic and The Greenspeed Project
The BE is a 6-day ultra-endurance mountain bike stage race to be contested in the sprawling trail network surrounding Breckenridge, CO in early July, 2009. As a race its mission is to showcase the incredible work that visionary land managers here have accomplished by pairing an ambitious and shared vision with a ‘let’s roll our sleeves up and get this thing done together’ mentality. It is one of a small few such races in US, and certainly among the most difficult. The Breck Epic is among a small portfolio of events produced by the newly established Greenspeed Project. The Greenspeed Project’s mission is to fund open space, trails and backcountry initiatives through the medium of slightly left-of-center events. If you’d like to find out more we’ll happily fire a mind-bullet your way stuffed with an ungodly amount of sleep-inducing propaganda. No need to send us a note, we’ll know. We can also email it.