Preview: 2013 Atomic AR

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The 2013 Atomic AR is right around the corner and after finalizing the course it looks like everybody is in for a wonderful challenge. Those of you in the 30 hour Elite and 5 hour Sport will have different expectations after pre-race meetings but at the end of the event we anticipate you will feel very accomplished.
 
Please note the the Start/Finish will not be in downtown Blue Ridge like originally reported. The new Start/Finish will be held off of Dry Branch Rd. just like last year (map). The downtown placement really limited our options to create a Sport race that is less urban and more truer to our backwoods feel.
 
The races themselves will be dramatically different than a year ago even though the Start/Finish will be the same. Hopefully this will include great weather however please check the forcast prior and properly prepair. 
 
In the Elite race, you will meet up at the Start/Finish and go through proper check-in and pre-race procedures. Check-in begins at 6:00am and runs until 7:30am but we suggest you arrive as early as possible. This will us allow ample time to stage gear for transport and make certain the start of the race runs smoothly. For any questions about Gear please read over the Gear List page.
 
At check-in, you will receive the maps and instructions for the race. This will include when you will have access to your gear and where water will be provided along the course. After the pre-race meeting, teams will load buses and be transported to the actual Elite race starting point. It will be much later in the race before teams make it back to the Main TA.
 
The race is setup to be a bit of an Expedition where you will work your way back to the Main TA. For the majority of this time you will be on lands that were not part of last year's race. We can best describe this part of the course as beautiful and pretty remote at times.
 
The moving water paddle will take place during daylight hours. While some of you may manage to stay dry, plan as if you will capsize at least once. That includes securing the contents of your boat to the boat itself so they don't go floating down the river without you.
 
Into the night hours expect to be on a trek section that will really put your navigational skills to the test. Control placement will not be strictly top to bottom and much of your travel will be off trail. Being able to read the maps topographically to determine your location will be extremely helpful here.
 
The lead elite teams are expected to arrive back at the Main TA in the early hours Sunday morning although the majority of teams will be well after sunrise. From there it is just a matter of polishing off a lake paddle and trek section before the race is over.
 
Speaking of the Sport race, boy do we have a challenge for you. If you race with us often, you know a few times a year we say this: "We don't expect anybody to clear the entire course."
 
Of course we want you to prove us wrong and it wouldn't be too shocking if your team did. However, the point is this race will not be a clear sprint to the end. Since the team that ends up winning may not clear the course, pre-race and in-race strategy could ultimately be the difference maker.
 
Sport teams will start the race on either bike or on foot which will be determined at check-in. So the field will be split in two groups throughout the race and all over the map. You will not know how the other group is doing and it may be hard to tell how well the teams in your group are actually doing so it is best to race your own race and make decisions based on getting as many CPs within the 5 hour window.
 
The Main TA and surrounding lands may be the same but expect a completely different take from the Sport race a year ago. Teams that did this race last year shouldn't have much of an advantage over newcomers.
 
That is our race preview for the 2013 Atomic Adventure Race. We are definitely looking forward to seeing how this plays out as the competition is there. The 30 hour champions from last year, Team Bright Byte, will be there defending their crown like true prize fighters. They were the only team to clear the course a year ago so they must be the early favorites going in. But once the race gets going it really is up for grabs.
 
By the way the Elite and Sport races are both Sanctioned by the USARA with the Elite race also being sanctioned by NAARS. Join the national ranking by registering your team. Also remember all participants without USARA License Card must pay $8 fee at check in.
 
Post race food will be served from 14:30 to 15:30 for all participants, with awards at 15:30.
 
Thank you for racing with us and we'll see you in Blue Ridge!

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