Registration for the 2017/2018 Across the Years will be opening this Friday, May 26th on Ultra Signup.
Last year we sent out a survey to all participants asking for 3 things they liked about the event and 3 suggestions for improvements. We take these very seriously and want to ensure that Across the Years continues to be a leader in multi-day events for quality and runner experience.
There are many things that we cannot change. The weather was the #1 most remarked upon item for improvement and while we also do not want to spend 6-days in the rain, etc this is not something over which we have much control. However, for anyone not participating in the 6-day and with a flexible travel schedule we want to issue the reminder that Across the Years allows participants to change the date of their race right up until the start. So if rain or bad weather is in the forecast you can move up or back the date of your race.
While weather is the most clear impasse we came to with the survey results, there were a few others in the “cannot” file. However, we are going to focus on what we ARE changing. We will be moving the warming tent with cots to the back dirt parking lot directly off the course so there is an option for a heated tent with a place to sleep for runners who wish to rent a cot in that tent. This way runners do not have to walk more than a few steps to find a warm place to sleep. The warming tent with tables and chairs (not for sleeping) will go back to being located right next to the medical tent and also will only be a step off the course. There will be charging stations in both warming tent options. The warming tent with cots will NOT have lighting as it is meant for sleep – we will setup a small table with handheld flashlights right inside the tent for navigation after dark.
Specified quiet hours will be in place. Music will be turned down at 8pm and will not be turned back up until 8am the following morning. Exception: We will absolutely still party and celebrate the New Year at midnight December 31 – January 1. Music will also be played during the day at the main aid station as well as the back gate (no longer dependent on a volunteer having music for the back gate).
The back gate tent will have water, soda and Gatorade (and any other electrolyte drink we have for the event) stocked at all times to ease congestion from the main aid station. There will not be any food back there, but getting a drink refill of your choice should become easier.
To note: there is now an option for a discounted reusable cup with registration. The UltrAspire reusable cup will help the event cut down on waste, and is easily folded in to a pocket and is good for both hot and cold liquids! This is not required, and the race WILL have cups available but we want to provide an option for those who want to join our fight to minimize waste.
We are going to work on the lighting on the course and better communication of our menu options (including an on-demand food menu: noting that on-demand food is dependent on volunteers not being busy getting out a main meal at the time as that will always take priority).
The other major change is our award ceremony(s). We will recognize performances from all days of the race for awards. Historically, Across the Years was a 24-48-72 hour race that ended on January 1st. When we added the 6-day we did not change the award ceremony date for the shorter races and did not officially recognize results from races that finished after 1st for awards. We are changing that this year and any race run on any day of the event is eligible for awards. This decreases confusion, allows runners more choices, and gives runners the recognition they deserve at a larger award ceremony on January 3rd. The ceremony will be held January 3rd at 11am (two hours after the completion of the race) inside the main ballpark stadium. Many runners have achieved huge feats, records, and personal bests – we want to truly take the time to recognize those results and partake in a post 6-day party with all of our Across the Years Family! We understand that some participants may fly in for the 24 hour race December 31-January 1 (example) and leave before the 3rd – we recognize this as a potential “issue” and we will incur the cost shipping an award if unable to attend the ceremony.
Bib and chip pickup hours will be extended with the no-pickup hours just being from 10pm-7am (the overnight hours).
We will have the water truck back also (not as needed this past year with the rain) but it addresses the dust management concerns from previous years.
If you made a suggestion but doesn’t see us listing a “fix” it isn’t because we didn’t listen to your concerns. Many “keep” items also found themselves on the “improve” list and we did our best to prioritize and make decisions based on the greater good and within our agreement with Camelback Ranch.