Race Rules & Mandatory Equipment

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Failure to follow one or more of these rules of engagement may result in a time penalty or disqualification.

1. No littering - Sensitive Alpine Environment. The alpine environs of the Grande Cache area are both sensitive and diverse in animal and plant life, this combined with the frequent high winds in the area dictate that a no littering rule be imposed. Full aid stations will be equipped with a garbage bin, which Death Racers are required to use. You must either put your garbage in the bin or carry it with you until you reach a garbage bin. There are no exceptions to this rule. The pristine wilderness that you are traveling through needs to be preserved and respected. Violators will be penalized, disqualified and/or fined. Crews and spectators are also bound by this no littering rule. If you see someone else’s careless mess please pick it up and pack it out.

2. No shortcuts that provide a time advantage; racers must follow the trail as indicated.

3. During the highway sections, racers may not run on the pavement of the Highway, you must stay in the ditch and follow the quad track. Racers may only cross the highway at designated marshaled locations when safe to do so. Watch for traffic, the highway is not closed.

4. You may not stash gear, food or water along the course.

5. You must wear all race numbers provided so it is visible and unaltered.

6. You must wear ID bracelet provided - to act as a hospital bracelet in the event of an emergency.

7. Dropping out - any competitor that drops out of the race must notify the nearest race course marshal at the earliest opportunity, and surrender their coin (and timing stick) Do not drop out of the race without telling race officials; otherwise, we will send someone to look for you. There is nothing worse than having a frantic search for a lost racer take place while that person is having a beer in one of the patios downtown. If you drop out then please tell us.

8. Race officials may remove any racer from the race course if, in their opinion, it is unsafe for the racer to proceed (e.g. In cases of hypothermia, dehydration, frostbite or other debilitating injury or dangerous wildlife on the trail) or if you are past the cut-off time for the next station.

9. All Racers must check-in with the timing station at the start of their relay legs. Make sure to arrive at the relay exchange point in plenty of time to do so. Every year at least 3 (sometimes more) teammates show up late to a very choked relay racer who has run their heart out and has been waiting to exchange their coin with them for as much as a half hour.

10. All racers must show their Death Race coin at the relay exchange zones, and the summit of each mountain if requested by race marshals. In Greek mythology, Charon is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the river Styx (that divides the world of the living from the world of the dead). A coin is used to pay Charon for passage. This coin must be carried at all times by soloists and the runner for each leg and given to the grim reaper at the river for access to the boat. Runners who lose their coin will not be permitted access to the boat resulting in a DNF.

11. Upon reaching the summit of Hamel you must check in at the Forestry cabin with race volunteers. You will then be instructed to run along the spine of Hamel and retrieve your summit flag at the cliff bluffs above Hell's Canyon. You must return to the Forestry cabin with your summit flag as proof of having attained the turnaround point. Details to follow on race day at the race briefing Friday night.

12. You may not loiter at the Hamel Forestry cabin for any reason other than to check-in with race marshals and to turn in your summit flag. Seeking the shelter of the cabin for any period of time will disqualify a racer. The Hamel Hut is intended as an emergency shelter only for rescue purposes.

13. Death Racers on the course may help other Death Racers.  

14. Crews and race officials may render assistance to racers only at aid stations. Assistance outside of aid stations will result in disqualification. Remember part of adventure racing is self-sufficiency; you must get yourself from aid station to aid station under your own power, although other racers on the course may assist you without penalty.

15. Aid Station food is only for racers on the course.

16. Pacing or accompaniment of racers is prohibited unless it is by another racer on the course.

17. ABSOLUTELY NO PARKING ON THE HIGHWAY. Vehicles will be towed and/or fined by RCMP that will be strictly enforcing this rule. Race Parking Pass is required for entry to transition areas and strictly enforced. Obey all parking rules and Parking Marshals.

18. Clear lens eye protection for the night section of the race must be worn. The night portion of the race (leg 5) goes through dense forest; eye protection is a must – you will need it. Any runners leaving the Beaver Dam aid station (at HWY 40) after 9:50 pm must wear clear, or light amber eye protection, and a headlamp/flashlight in order to continue. Any Runners leaving the Hamel Aid Station (start of leg 4) after 5 pm will require a headlamp.

19. Any runners leaving the Hell’s Gate River crossing after 9:50 pm also must wear clear, or light amber eye protection, and a headlamp/flashlight in order to continue. Usable daylight hours in early summer are from 5:30 am to 10:45 pm.

20. All cut-off times must be respected, if you didn’t make a cut off time you are in over your head; we’ll see you next year (see section on cutoff times). Surrender your timing stick and coin to race officials.  For Leg Cut off Times please refer to Course Info & Maps

21. It has become necessary for us to impose a minimum equipment list for all racers, in order to save themselves from their own stupidity (see mandatory equipment list). The summit of a mountain is no place for a tank top and shorts yet you would be surprised how many people race this way. All racers must carry the mandatory equipment listed below. You may be ingenious in how you choose your equipment, but all your equipment must be functional (you may choose another piece of gear other than that specified as long as the new gear is of greater value and has the intended use of the specified/mandatory gear covered to a greater extent - i.e. if an insulated headband is mandatory you may choose instead to carry a toque, but earmuffs will not be satisfactory as this does not cover the intended use of the mandatory equipment to a greater extent. We will do random checks to enforce this rule and if we have to save your butt because you don't have the mandatory equipment, you will bear the cost of the rescue (helicopter ride is $1000/hr, and ground rescue is $250/hr). The mandatory equipment is only a minimal list of equipment you must carry or wear. We also have a recommended equipment list that will help you with gear selection, which is left to your own discretion.

Runners in ANY category without these items will receive a DQ

  • Hydration (Water or Electrolyte Solution - All runners)
  • Wind and water resistant/proof jacket (All runners)
  • Fingered gloves (All runners)
  • Insulated headband or insulated hat, or hooded jacket. (All runners)
  • Headlamp or flashlight if you will be running during the night. (Night runners*)
  • One set of extra batteries for the headlamp. (Night runners*)
  • One extra light bulb or LED lamp for the headlamp. (Night runners*)
  • Clear or light amber eye protection if you will be running during the night. (Night runners*)
  • Cell phone - if you are in trouble, you will be able to notify your crew from most parts of course. (All runners)

* These items required for anyone starting leg 4 after 5 pm, or if you will be leaving the Beaver Dam aid station or Hell’s gates river crossing after 9:50 pm. For your own safety, you will not be allowed to continue without these essential items after the 9:50 pm cut-off time.

Recommended Equipment
(If you choose not to carry these items with you, it is recommended your crew has them at each aid station.)

  • Moleskin, Band-Aids and/or duct tape
  • Fanny pack or small backpack
  • Hydration system (large reservoir) and/or two to three large water bottles
  • High-energy food and drink
  • Long lasting waterproof and sweat proof Sunscreen & lip balm (at 6000 to 7000ft the skin burns easily even when cloudy)
  • Vaseline
  • Sunglasses (anti-fog with good ventilation lens work best)
  • Rain Gear
  • Use a layering system for your clothing
  • Extra running shoes & socks
  • Bear Bangers and/or Bear Spray

Electronic Timing System
The timing system consists of a finger timing SI card (small plastic finger “stick”) device that is inserted at each timing station. When successfully inserted into the station (punched in), the station box will beep and flash to confirm the acceptance of your entry and will record your time on both the timing station and on your SI Card (stick). Make sure that you wait for 2 consecutive beeps BEFORE removing your stick. Results are then given directly to the central timing database and will be uploaded to our website and available for near-instant viewing under our race results tab for tracking. The SportIdent system has vastly improved the accuracy of all timing results and will track racers all the way through the course and will also easily allow us to spot potential cheaters that fail to register at any timing station and improve the safety aspects of the race as missing racers will quickly be identified.

Timing system rules
a) The timing device must be carried with the racer at all times and passed to each succeeding relay team member at the relay exchange locations.

b) The racer must register at each site on the course wherever there is a timing station present (some timing stations will be publicized and others will be secretly placed on the trail to intercept potential cheaters – they are all well marked).

c) Failure to register at any timing station will result in a time penalty or disqualification.

d) The individual timing device must be returned to death race officials upon completion of the race. If your SI Card is not returned your timing results will not be posted. Make sure you return your timing stick to Central Command or a race official if you are dropping out of the race. There is a $100 charge for lost timing sticks, you must return your timing stick to receive an official finishing time.

e) Warning - you may only insert your timing stick once into any check station. Listen for two beeps/two flashes then remove your timing stick from the check station. Additional beeps are just wasting your time.