2021 Hard Fall Racer Update #1

Hard Fall racer update #1:

Lots of news to share, so we’ll get straight to the good stuff:

  1. Check-in/finish location:
    1. The St. Johnsbury School – 257 Western Ave, St Johnsbury, VT 05819
  2. Schedule updates:
    1. Check-in will now take place race morning, starting at 7AM. Race instructions and maps (or at least some of the maps) will be handed out after your entire team checks in.
    2. Race start has been pushed back slightly to 10AM, though you will be transported by bus to a secret start location, so be ready by 9AM still. Expect that masks will be mandatory for the drive.
  3. Discounted lodging:
    1. The Comfort Inn and Suites in St. Johnsbury is about 1.5 miles from the check-in/finish.
    2. If you call to book and mention “GMARA”, you can get a reduced rate of $199/night with a 1 night minimum if arriving on Friday (while availability permits).
  4. Updated bike policy:
    1. The Hard Fall FAQ posted on the site had specifically disallowed road and cyclocross bikes – then we got questions about gravel bikes and figured it may be time to re-evaluate the policy.
    2. The update is as follows: “Our courses typically feature all sorts of terrain, including technical trails, forest roads, paved roads, and even hike-a-bike sections. We want people to be safe and that means at minimum, no road bikes or road bike tires. If you show up with a road bike or skinny/slick road type tires, we won’t be letting you race. While we STRONGLY encourage bikes with front suspension, gravel or cyclocross bikes are now also fair game (though your arms and backside might not appreciate the decision).
  5. Gear transport
    1. For each team we will be transporting (1) paddle bag, and (1) gear bin. Paddle bags must contain ONLY PFD’s and paddles. Please no bladders full of water, extra food, etc (that’s what the gear bin is for!)
    2. Gear bin’s must be the 27 gallon, yellow top type like this one from lowes. Home Depot, Walmart etc all carry the same one.
  6. Boats and paddles
    1. We expect 3 and 4 person teams will be in canoes (1 boat for 3 person teams, 2 boats for 4 person teams), and 2 person teams will be in tandem kayaks. This may change if we run into supply shortages in the canoe category.
    2. Teams may choose to bring their own paddles and pfd’s, or use the race supplied options. (Basic style pfd, racers in canoes would get canoe paddles, and kayakers would get kayak paddles)
  7. Zoom Q&A “Racing for Rookies”:
    1. Not sure what to expect race morning? Looking for tips and tricks to make your first adventure race go more smoothly? Then join us for our “Racing for Rookies Q&A”
    2. This will be held mid September, exact date and time still TBD
  8. Zoom final Q&A for all racers:
    1. We will have a call in the week leading up to the race to answer all of your final questions, exact date and time still TBD.

Lastly, we’re going to leave the comments open for this post on the website, if you have questions as the race approaches please leave them there.

5 responses to “2021 Hard Fall Racer Update #1”

  1. Tom Martin says:

    Please leave additional questions in this comments section

  2. Brian says:

    Will you be allowing Garmin devices to be worn that are set to Adventure Race mode during the race?

    • Tom Martin says:

      Hi Brian,
      As long as you check in at race finish so we can verify it remained in AR mode for the duration of the race, we have no objecion

  3. Jeff Archibald says:

    Hello, My understanding is that GMARA will provide PFD’s and paddles, but we can bring our own if we want. Either way we will need to bring a gear/paddle bag to hold the PFDs and paddles. Is that correct?

    • Tom Martin says:

      Hi Jeff, great question! If you are using the provided pfd’s/paddles, you do NOT need to bring a paddle bag, we will be transporting those items in giant pile form. Also worth noting is that the ONLY gear allowed in a team’s paddle bag are PFD’s and paddles, so you won’t be at a disadvantage to a team who has a paddle bag (ie paddle bags are not allowed to be filled with food/water/clothes etc).