Xplore The Fair - Sunday September 7th, 2014
With race day approaching quickly this briefing will cover a large amount of information. Please read through it carefully and let us know if you have any questions so you and your team are fully prepared and ready to have an incredible experience when you hit the fairgrounds!
What To Expect Between Now And Race Day:
1. If You Haven't Yet, You Need To Join The RACE BONFYRE And Your TEAM BONFYRE And Become A Pro At Using The App
These two Bonfyre groups will be the main form of communication between your team and our Race HQ. If you have not yet downloaded the app go to our app website by clicking HERE and get it now. If you did not receive, or you need us to resend, your two Bonfyre invite links please contact our team at XTeam@XperienceAdventures.com and we will get them to you. Then read carefully through our app website and use the tips we've provided to become a pro at using the app before you hit the pavement. It's a very simple and intuitive app but if you aren't sure how to comment and submit pictures and video into your Team Bonfyre before the race begins it will slow your team down greatly.
2. Print your Fair Admission Tickets at home
You will be receiving an email from firstname.lastname@example.org within 48 hours of the race that will include your Fair Admission tickets. You will need to print your tickets at home and bring them with you to the Fair in order to get into the fairgrounds and participate in the race! To print your tickets you can click on the blue button within the email. If you have any trouble printing your tickets or it is within 24 hours of your race start time and you haven't received the email please contact Beth Brooks from the Fair Foundation at email@example.com or 253-841-5105.
3. Join Race Day Texting Service
You will be receiving a text message from our Race HQ (Headquarters) in the near future that will ask you to join our race texting service. This will be a temporary list you will join for the race only and we will remove you from it after the weekend. It will solely be used as a way to communicate efficiently with you as needed. For example, if there are weather or safety concerns in the fairgrounds, or if the Bonfyre App is down for some reason and we need a backup technology in place.
Once you receive the text, you'll need to respond "YES" in order to join the list. You will then receive an automated text welcoming you to the service which you don't need to respond to.
* If you don't receive the text for some reason it's not a problem. As long as one person on your team joins then your team will be in good shape. We will not use it for any clues, just in case of emergency.
4. Marking Yourself With Your Assigned 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 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 and effective way to let everyone around you know you're in the middle of a fun and competitive race through the Fair, without having to wear a paper bib and safety pins.
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 Fair and Race staff, 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!
What To Expect On Race Day:
1. Getting to The Fair
For information on how to get to the Fair, please visit http://www.thefair.com/plan-your-trip/. There you will find public transportation options, including information on the Fair Express Bus with service from Lakewood Towne Center, Tacoma Community College and South Hill Mall; the Kiwanis Fair Shuttle; and the Puyallup Connector. You will also find a map of the Fair parking lots ($12/car). There is limited street parking in the area, as well as a number of private lots (prices vary depending on proximity).
2. What To Pack For The Race
In the interest of public safety and enjoyment of the Fair, the Washington State Fair will be conducting random bag checks during the Fair at all public gates prior to entering the facility.
Please be prepared for Bag Checks when arriving at the Fair.
To expedite your entry:
-When arriving at the gate, have your ticket in hand and be prepared to open any bag you are bringing to the Fair so it can be visually inspected.
-Personal items that will be visually inspected include all purses, back packs, diaper bags, boxes, bags and containers. Any item that appears to contain a prohibited item will be subject to further search prior to allowing entry.
The following items will not be allowed at the Washington State Fair,
· Weapons of any kind, including knives and all firearms
· Alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs
· Open/unsealed beverage containers
· Any item that is deemed by the Safety Inspection Staff and/or Fair management to be dangerous.
Please do not bring these items to the Fair or you will be denied entry. Items cannot be left at the gates for storage. Items not permitted on the facility must be taken back to guests’ vehicles or put in the garbage receptacles. Any Illegal items including illegal drugs will be turned over to the Puyallup Police Department.
The fairgrounds cover over 160 acres of running room so depending on the route you end up taking throughout the day, a team that finishes the race will have probably covered a few miles. You should be aware of the weather conditions and temperatures (see our weather section below for an updated forecast) and plan accordingly with clothing, water, snacks, sunscreen, and any personal items you'll need for potentially a few hours of racing.
Xplore is a high-tech race, where teams will be required to take pictures and/or video with a mobile device, utilize the internet, mobile apps, text messaging, and possibly email during the race if needed. Make sure at least one of your team members (and hopefully more) will have a device that can utilize these functions. It is strongly recommended that team members bring, and possibly race with, the power cord for your mobile device. In any of our races you can expect to use a lot of your device's power throughout the course of the race, and having a charger may be the difference between being able to finish the race, or running out of power somewhere along the way.
A map of the Fair (which is available on the Fair website www.TheFair.com, on their mobile app, or on site at the fairgrounds), pen or pencil, something to take notes on, and a good understanding of where everything is located around the fairgrounds will give your team a huge advantage. You should probably carry your ID for emergency purposes but we will not need it as long as you properly registered. You should also have some cash on you during the race for any water or snacks you choose to buy along the way, or in case a checkpoint requires your team to purchase a small item or admission onto rides.
Wild costumes or matching team outfits are always encouraged and are guaranteed to improve team comradery! Most importantly, bring a sense of adventure, and plan to walk away with more great memories than you came with.
Weather (updated regularly by our team leading up to the race)
The conditions for Sunday's Xplore The Fair race will be warm and sunny. It will be important to drink lots of fluids not only on race day, but also on Saturday so that you're well hydrated leading up to the race. If the clouds hold off then the sun will make it feel even warmer than the actual temperature. Race time temperatures are expected to be in the mid 80's. Because of the warm conditions we encourage you to pace yourself throughout the day and take as many breaks as needed in any of the air conditioned spaces throughout the Fair. We suggest keeping some extra clothes in your car or your bag in case you get sweaty, dirty, or wet during the race and want to wear something dry while hanging out at the Fair once it's over. For more details click on the button below.
Racing through a fairgrounds can be dangerous. There are countless risks, but being smart, abiding by as many rules as possible, and making your safety and the safety of those around you your top priority, will help minimize the risks and ensure you have a fun and enjoyable experience. Here are some guidelines for having a safe race:
People- in most situations you will be moving faster than those around you so be kind and mindful of others throughout the race. Be aware of strollers, small children and babes in arms; be careful not to jostle other fairgoers as you race through the grounds. We want you and all the fine folks visiting the Washington State Fair to have a great time on Sunday.
Landscape- watch where you are going, the pavement and fairgrounds are often uneven and obstacles such as curbs, signs, and stairs will quickly bring you down (especially if you're using your phone, looking around for a checkpoint, etc)
Weather- the conditions can change in an instant so be prepared in advance and be prepared to adjust your plans if the weather creates an unsafe situation. The race will rarely be postponed or cancelled due to weather before or during the race so make safety your top priority and seek shelter, take a break, or wait it out if needed, and live to run another day. If we notice a possibly dangerous weather situation developing we will do our best to notify your team via the Bonfyre or texting service.
Health- the race will be highly physical so be sure to hydrate sufficiently and eat properly in the days leading up to the race, while you're racing, and as you recover. If you need a break during the race, take it, as long of a break as you need. If you feel like you're having a medical emergency, get injured, or become ill please take the necessary steps to seek professional medical assistance at the Fair, or dialing 911 if needed.
2. As The Start Of The Race Approaches
Post pictures and video of your team getting pumped up and ready to race in the Race Bonfyre! It's a social and fun way of seeing the teams you'll be racing against, and hanging out with after you cross the finish line! We'll also be sharing a lot of the content via our own social networks and putting it on our website so have some fun!
Leading up to the start we'll be posting in the Race Bonfyre at various increments to let you know any last minute info and giving you an official countdown to the start!
3. The Race Begins!!
Right at the start of the race we will send out the Access Clue via your Team Bonfyre. It will include a location within the fairgrounds you'll need to get to and an objective to complete in order to "access" your entire race website and clues.
Once the race begins all of your correspondences and submissions should be done through your TEAM BONFYRE. This is very important since the Team Bonfyre only includes racers on your own team and our Race HQ.
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. Read each clue carefully and complete each checkpoint accurately based on the description.
You must complete 13 out of the 15 checkpoints, so you can skip any 2 checkpoints or challenges you want. Checkpoint #15 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 Adventure Race strategy usually come down to "which checkpoint should we skip" and "what's the fastest and most efficient 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.
Each checkpoint has a set of validation points below the clue that we will confirm for every submission. For example, if the clue were written as "Take a picture of your entire team jumping in the air in front of the large Elephant mural" the validation points that we'll check off for your submission might be:
- 1 picture, all team members visible
- Entire team is jumping in the air
- Large Elephant mural is clearly visible in the background
We've found that racers appreciate these validation points so they can quickly and easily reference what is needed in the submission in order for it to be verified by our HQ. If you review them right as you arrive at a checkpoint or just before completing the challenge you will likely do everything needed for the submission and you will save your team a ton of time throughout the course of the race.
Submit your completed clues to our Race Headquarters throughout the race via your TEAM BONFYRE and we will notify you quickly of the status using this simple response:
VERIFIED = everything is completed correctly
These codes will also be posted on your clue website so you can quickly reference them if needed. If you receive a "Not Verified" or some other response from Race HQ you'll need to review the clue and make sure you're at the correct location and you've covered everything listed in the validation points
Our HQ will review your submission almost instantly. You should see your response very quickly but you do not need to wait around for it, especially if you are confident that you completed the checkpoint correctly. There is typically no limit to the number of submissions you can send HQ in order to get it verified, unless otherwise noted for a specific clue.
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 Grandstand and you need to find a specific landmark. You can split up within the Grandstand to find the landmark 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). You are not allowed to utilize any Fair related transportation such as a golf carts, bikes, 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.
If you have a race-related question during the race you can submit it through your Team Bonfyre. We will do everything we can to respond quickly and provide you with the information you need as long as it doesn't impact your ability to solve the clue. If you've read this far in the briefing you deserve a clue for your race, checkpoint number seven will involve winnie the pooh's pink buddy.
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 12 total you will head to the checkpoint listed as Checkpoint #15 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 12 total will prevent any teams from trying to complete it earlier in the race and then just submit it at the end.
It has become a tradition that at somepoint during the race you will most likely be required to "Flash The X". This is a simple pose where you cross your forearms in front of your body to form an "X". We cannot say if, or when, this will be required in your race but you should be aware of the term and know the pose if it's required of you.
4. After The Race
It's time to celebrate a great day, a tough workout, and fun times with friends, by heading back out onto the fairgrounds and experiencing it at a much slower pace. Get some great Fair food, ride some amusements and enjoy everything the Fair has to offer! If you are one of the top finishing teams our staff will present you with prize packs or give you more information on how to get them
Prizes and Recognition
The top 3 finishing teams will win monetary and Fair-related prizes! Below are the current prizes for your race:
$100 cash; 20 rides; $50 Food Bucks; Vision Dome passes (5); Extreme Scream rides (5); your choice of a unique Fair experience (more info at the Finish Line); and your team photo on the Fair's Facebook and Instagram pages
$75 cash; 10 rides; Vision Dome passes (5); Extreme Scream rides (5)
$50 cash; Vision Dome passes (5)
Other prizes for this race include:
An exclusive partnership with the soon to be released movie called "Dolphin Tale 2"
All Racers: Have the opportunity to get advanced screening tickets to the Dolphin Tale 2 movie (while supplies last). You will receive an email from the movie rep in the days following the race on how to reserve your pass. Passes and seating are typically on a first come first serve basis so be sure to reserve your spot once you receive the invite.
There may also be some promotional movie-related items on site at the Finish, while supplies last. These may include shirts, bracelets and posters.
Here's the official trailer for the movie:
The Foundation You're Supporting By Racing...
Thank you for supporting the Washington State Fair Foundation with your registration for the
XPLORE the Fair Adventure Race!
With the help of our donors, the Foundation funds the Traveling Farm’s visits to local schools, fulfills college dreams by providing scholarships, preserves the Fair’s 100+ year history, and so much more.
Though the Washington State Fair is a non‐profit itself and invests any gains back in to is property and programming, its operating budget can’t keep pace with aging facilities and the need to sustain tradition while producing innovative programming each spring and fall. As a fundraising entity, the Washington State Fair Foundation funds programs and projects like this:
*Scholarship Program – more than $80,000 in scholarship awards were distributed to students heading to college this fall, helping make a college education more accessible for nearly 40 young people.
*Traveling Farm – visiting more than 50 elementary schools each year, our Traveling Farm introduces children to agriculture, teaches them how their food gets from farm to table, and provides a hands‐on experience with farm animals.
*Voices of the Fair Documentary – capturing over 100 years of living history, this enchanting documentary played in the Fair Museum in 2013, and is now available for purchase on our website.
*Piglet Palace – this donor‐funded barn was built in 2013 and houses birthing sows during the Washington State Fair. In 2013, fair guests experienced the live birth of two litters of piglets.
*Classic Coaster Park – debuting this year, Classic Coaster Park is a donor‐funded green space in the midway that has a lush lawn, two water features, a peak‐a‐boo fence for little ones to enjoy as well as seating.
*Benches – 17 benches have been added to the fairgrounds since 2012. Our bench program offers a lasting legacy for our donors and much needed seating for fair guests. The generosity of our donors extends our mission to support the Washington State Fair’s Educational Programs, and helps preserve and improve the Fair for generations to come.
For more information about our special events and programs, please visit our website HERE.
And Finally.... Some Things To Be Aware Of
We have carefully scouted and vetted every checkpoint in this race, however the Fair is a constantly changing beast, so if a checkpoint is inaccessible or you're not able to complete the requirements for any reason let us know right away via your Team Bonfyre and we will adjust the requirements if needed and verify accordingly.
Our new mobile racing model is somewhat dependent on the functionality of a number of technology platforms. We do have backup plans in place for every possible scenario we can think of, but we won't go over all of them in the briefing and take up your time unless they become necessary. Just be aware that it will most likely consist of a combination of platforms and social networks in order to submit your clues. We expect the race and all of our technology to be very smooth and provide you with an incredible experience but we just wanted to include this information in the briefing in case we need to implement a backup plan for any reason.
Have fun! Get active! Experience the Fair in a unique way! And take some really great pictures and video so you can remember this for a long time to come!
That's what it's all about!
If you have any questions at all please don't hesitate to contact us via your Team Bonfyre or by email at XTeam@XperienceAdventures.com