Start getting ready for your upcoming Xplore Urban Adventure Race now using the Pre-Race Briefing information below! Please read through it carefully and let us know if you have any questions so you and your team are ready to have an incredible experience when you hit the pavement! You will also receive a Final Race Briefing a few days before your race.
During last year's off-season our team redesigned much of our racing model to make your experience even better, and build Xplore into the best Urban Adventure Race over the next few years. We've collaborated with partners across the country to create a hi-tech experience that's socially engaging, active, strategic, and fun for more people! If you are used to racing in the more "traditional" race models then this will be a new experience for you. Please read below to learn more about what to expect.
We're excited to be partnered with "The Experience Network" app, called Bonfyre, for our Xplore mobile app racing experience. This app will provide a way to socially engage with all teams competing in your race, both before the start, and post-race. It will also enable your team to communicate directly, and privately, with our Race Headquarters, get your pictures and videos verified in real-time, and answer any questions you may have, even days before the race, and throughout the entire experience.
To prepare for the race you'll need to download the Bonfyre app (free) on any and all devices you plan to race with.
You can click on the buttons below from your mobile device to download the app. Then please go to our App website by clicking HERE and use the tips we've provided to become proficient with the app before race day. It's a very simple and intuitive app, but given the fact that your mind and body will be amped up on race day it can only help to be a pro with it before you hit the pavement.
When creating a Bonfyre account, please use the same email address that you provided when registering for the race. In the days leading up to your race we will be automatically adding 2 race Bonfyres to that account (1 for all teams, and 1 for only racers on your team) and you will be given more info on how to join them in a Pre-Race Briefing sent out the week of the race.
What To Expect
Unlike other races, there's no designated start line so strategy comes into play even before the race begins. Teams can start anywhere they believe is the most strategic for them. Near a transit stop, in their hotel room with maps laid out, on a street corner ready to run, etc.
Most scavenger hunt type races will give you a paper clue sheet when the race starts with all the locations to get to, or challenges to complete. Our clues will be on a hidden website. To get "access" to that website you'll need to find something in the city (which we call "The Access") right as the race starts .
Right at 12pm we'll send you the Final Access Clue via your Team Bonfyre. As an example the Final Access Clue might say something like "The Access is what the sign on the corner of 21st and Market St says." You then find that sign and use what it says to create the website address where your clues are. Use the Access (which will be either a word or a number) and make it the extension of the XperienceAdventures.com website. For example, the Access may be a sign that says "Danger" and your clues are then found at www.XperienceAdventures.com/danger
You do not need to send the answer to our Race HQ and you do not need to take a picture at the Access location. Just figure it out, type the address into the browser on your devices and start solving the clues!
During The Race:
Once you have access to the clue website you will most likely work on solving the clues to figure out the checkpoint locations and the challenges you need to complete.
You must complete 9 out of the 10 checkpoints. Checkpoint #10 is mandatory (cannot be your skip), and will need to be completed last, otherwise checkpoints can be completed in any order throughout the race.
The two big components of Urban Racing strategy usually come down to "which checkpoint should we skip" and "what's the fastest and most efficient method of travel and route to get from one checkpoint to another". Some checkpoints will be further away but may be easier to complete once there, and others may be closer or something you can do along the way but could be harder to complete. These are all things you'll probably be constantly thinking about throughout the day.
Teams need to stay together throughout the race from one checkpoint to another and each team member (and their body markings when possible) should be visible in every submission unless otherwise noted.
The only time team members are typically able to split up momentarily is if you all get to a checkpoint and it requires you to search for something. For example, you all get to a sculpture garden and you need to find a specific statue. You can split up within the garden to find the statue and then will need to regroup to take the picture.
During the race your team is only allowed to travel on your own physical ability (legs, wheelchair, stroller, etc) or on public transportation such as Buses, Light Rail, Subway, Tram/Trolley, etc.
You are not allowed to take private, personal, or community "shared" transportation including Taxi, Bikes, Pedicab, Horse-Drawn Carriage, Sight-Seeing Tours, Private Vehicle, Skateboards, Rollerblades, BikeShare and CarShare programs, etc. Any use of these will most likely be documented by another team or an undercover staff member and you will be immediately disqualified from the race.
Our Race HQ will be verifying all of your checkpoints remotely, and in real-time. As you complete a checkpoint on the course you will submit your picture or video through the Team Bonfyre (which is a group that is private and only consists of our HQ and your team members) and we will respond almost instantly letting you know if it's verified, or if something else is needed in order to complete it correctly.
We will be keeping track of the number of checkpoints every team has completed throughout the race, in real-time.
It is a good idea though to be keeping track for yourself so you know which checkpoints you've completed and which ones you still need to complete. Once you've completed 8 total you will head to the checkpoint listed as Checkpoint #10 on your clue website and we will send you a very brief instruction on what to do there. This location will be the Finish Line for the entire race, and sending instructions on what to do there after you've completed 8 total will prevent any teams from trying to complete it earlier in the race and then just submit it at the end.
After The Race:
Because Xplore is a mobile race, the Finish Line in most cities will be Checkpoint #10, and your finishing position will be determined by how quickly you complete that checkpoint and submit your picture or video. Our Race HQ will respond almost instantly with your finishing position and time. The Top 3 teams will receive prize money (see prize section below), the Top 10 teams will be recognized on our website with their team picture for the entire season, and the Top 25 teams will receive points towards our leaderboard and the chase for the X-Prize (a season-long growing cash prize)!
Once you receive your finishing position it's time to celebrate a great day, a tough workout, and fun times with friends. We encourage you to hang out at the Finish Line venue (typically a popular brewery, sports bar, or restaurant that we've partnered with) and meet other fun teams. In some cities drink or food specials may be available for Xplore racers!
Please be aware that depending on the city we may or may not have staff at the after-race venue. We love to party, but managing the race in real-time from our HQ may prevent us from also having staff hanging out at the post-race venue. The Finish Line venue is meant to provide a fun way for all teams to come together and share stories about their adventure, get some great food and drinks, and plan your next race!
How To Display Your Bib Number
When you registered, you assigned yourself a 3-digit race bib number which you will use to identify yourself on race day. If you forget what number you assigned yourself you can log into your Eventbrite account and click on "View Order" and then scroll down to see the number you chose. If you can't find it for some reason you can let us know by commenting in your Team Bonfyre in the week leading up to Race Day and we'll confirm it for you.
For race day identification we are now using the preferred method of most triathlons and adventure races called "Body Marking". Body Marking, or having your bib number displayed on yourself, is a durable, safe, and effective way to let everyone around you know you're in the middle of a fun and competitive race through the city, without having to wear a paper bib and safety pins. To learn more about our move to Body Marking check out our blog post about it HERE.
There are endless types of durable markers that will do the job, from the standard Sharpie found in your junk drawer, to those specifically for races like this, found at running stores and sporting goods locations.
No matter what option you go with, all are safe and can be removed after the race using a variety of methods. Some simple ways of removing your body markings are detailed HERE.
Here's how to "Body Mark" yourself on race day:
1. Simply write the word "XPLORE" somewhere highly visible on your body or exterior layer of clothing.
2. Write the 3-digit Race Bib Number that you registered with, somewhere highly visible on your body or exterior layer of clothing.
* The word "XPLORE" and your 3-digit Race Bib Number need to be visible at all times, clearly written, and large enough that you can easily be identified by on-course volunteers, partnering businesses, and our remote Race HQ.
* If you prefer to not write on your body you can simply write the two required pieces of information on any exterior layer of clothing, headbands, hats, costumes, etc. Be creative and have fun looking like the true adventure racer you are!
Prizes, Recognition, And The Leaderboard
The top 3 finishing teams will win monetary prizes, as well as swag from our awesome sponsors such as ENERGYbits! Our prize structure for the top 3 teams is an increasing purse based on the number of registered racers. We believe the more teams you beat the more money you should win. Because of this unique model, the potential prize money will vary, and it won't officially be known until registration closes. The official amounts will be included in your Final Briefing, which will arrive via email within 48 hours of Race Day. Official company checks will be mailed to the top 3 finishing teams on the first business day after the race and will arrive directly to them within a few days.
Teams that finish in the Top 25 will receive points toward the season-long leaderboard. This is the only leaderboard of it's kind in the Urban Adventure Racing industry and is featured prominently on our website HERE. More importantly, you will be in the hunt for the X-Prize, which is a growing cash prize (based on total registered racers throughout the entire season) that gets awarded to the team at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the 2015 season! Last year, Andy Almonte (Captain) and his team called "The Nads" took home the coveted prize and the title of Xplore Champion. Throughout the 2014 season The Nads took home over $4,000 worth of prize money and a ton of awesome swag!
The team that takes home the title of Xplore Champion will receive the X-Prize, will have an end of the season interview featured on our website and social networks, and will have the pride in knowing they were better than hundreds of other teams across the country!