From the Director of Pain
October 10, 2019
Here we go again. Eleven months to prepare. Everyone is predicting a sellout – most people expecting it within an hour or two. If you happen to miss out it’s going to be hard to argue you didn’t see it coming. So if you have #unfinishedbusiness, are #freshmeat, or are returning to #bucklechase or improve on your past time we advise you reserve your spot Friday night at 8:00PM Eastern Standard Time.
You will want to read the following information very carefully.
ALL events will register here: https://www.bikereg.com/marji-gesick
We will not use ultrasignup.com moving forward. No fault of theirs, they were great to work with. It comes down to operational efficiency. We never expected people would switch from the run to the bike, or the bike to the run, but they did and it made things very complicated. Live and learn. One registration site – get some.
The cap. Like relationships, it’s complicated. Bike events are capped at 666. We’ll allow 120 runners into the field. There are sponsor commitments, NUE Champion commitments, amongst other things only a race promoter can understand. The goal is to keep max registration numbers around 2019 levels. Marji Gesick is not a money grab; we value the experience above all-else. You might even notice we did not increase prices this year – for an event that is already under priced in the endurance realm. We cannot guarantee it won’t increase in the future – as we are getting pressure from groups and individuals who want to charge us where charges did not exist in the past. We’re doing our best to provide the highest level of entertainment at the best value while maintaining the financial stability of our 501(c)3.
Waitlists. We provide them as a convenience. In the event you miss the cut it’s your way to express interest in entering the event. If you have an entry to sell, the waitlists provide a quick list of candidates who might want to buy it. It also allows us to easily move people into the event from the admin panel when a sponsored rider needs to get in, etc. Marji Gesick Talk is a group on Facebook and a great place to buy and sell entries. We will not manage the waitlists or transactions between racers.
Transfers. You can register now, and transfer between categories or get entirely out of the event until August 2, 2020. We shared a story about a guy named Jimmy on Facebook this week – if you missed it you should read it. It tells a tale about Jimmy sending a friend to packet pickup to pose as him and ride in the event. Jimmy appeared to still be on course at 8:00am Sunday morning, so we got ahold of him, and found out he was at home in bed. Meanwhile his friend was out there and we had no way to contact him – know if he was ok – or if he had quit and gone home. Don’t be this person. The ramifications of selfish acts are often unrealized until it is too late. Be advised the August 2, 2020 cut-off is a hard cut-off.
Uncapped field for women. We did not cap the field for women last year, a successful move that resulted in nearly 30% of the fifty-mile field being women. We would like to see that number grow this year. It will only grow if we gain significant support from women when registration opens. Action inspires action, and conversely inaction inspires the same. If the goal is to beat last year’s numbers – sign up! We’ll keep the women’s field open as long as we can but be advised there might come a point we need to close them in order to avoid exceeding our max registration goal. Again, Marji is all about the experience. We do not envision a day ever where thousands of people are racing on a given day.
Out & Back. What a hoot. Complete badassery. Now we have to wait five-years to do it all again. We want to stay true to our roots, what makes Marji the Marji and the original events; therefore, the O&B will only run once every five years. If you have #unfinishedbusiness, you have some time to get ready.
Marji Camp. First off, your Marji Camp registration does not include an entry into the race. It is only good for camp. Second, your camp entry fee does cover camp, camping at Rippling River Resort, some meals, probably some beer, coaching from Marji vets, and evening talks about everything from how to tackle the course to gear. Don’t take our word for it; ask those who attended if it was valuable.
Cut-off Etiquette and an Update. The Jackson Mine Park cut-off will remain the same – you must leave by 2:00AM Sunday morning. New this year: We have to establish a finish line cut-off at 9:00AM. Between 2:00-9:00AM this gives racers seven-hours to travel the final 15 miles. Finishing it 9:00AM will put you at 25+ hours. Out of respect for the city of Ishpeming, its residents, and our volunteers, we feel it is appropriate to ask you #findyourlimits within a 25+ hours timeframe.
Buckle Cut-off: Please note the following changes!
100-Mile Run: 28 hours
100-Mile Duathlon: 22 hours
We reserve the right to change buckle times without notice as the course changes or may change due to unforeseen circumstances.
The Use of Pacers: Effective in 2020 we will no longer allow pacers. This is an effort to align all events under the same ethos of self/community support. Our biggest concern with continuing to allow pacers is the potential use of a pacer as a “mule.” It is impossible to police, nor do we have any interest in policing it. We feel confident this should level the playing field for runners who choose to take the Danny Hill Challenge. Use of a pacer will result in disqualification.
Community Supported: We’re revising our statement on the level of support offered at the Marji Gesick, but our expectation of racers is not changing. You should come to Marquette County expecting to be and prepared to be self-supported. Any aid offered or received on-course during the event should be considered luck. GPS will continue to be required, road rules will continue to apply, and we will continue to expect you to show up for what might be the biggest challenge of your life. At the same time, we want to acknowledge and thank our community for the tireless efforts they have given to complete strangers. Cheering, and at times jeering, but ultimately keeping some of you going strong to the finish line. It continues to be a shining reminder of the good we find in each other.
To close. Marji Gesick is a production of the 906 Adventure Team, a 501(c)3 non-profit located in Marquette County, Michigan. We are committed to creating experiences and introducing you to people who inspire you to become the best version of yourself through outdoor adventure. We currently produce three widely recognized events: Polar Roll (February), The Crusher (July), and Marji Gesick (September). Each event has a unique flavor and offers you an opportunity to #findyourlimits, #crushorbecrushed, and much more.
The events help us sustain financial viability in addition to project-based grants we receive to enrich our community and connect Upper Peninsula youth with the outdoors. To date (2019) we have worked with 350 youth across three U.P. communities through after-school bike clubs and Adventure Bike Club. We also work with Superior Fitness during the winter months to provide middle-high school students an opportunity to learn and understand the benefits of strength training on athletic performance and overall health.
It is not uncommon for adult competitors to race alongside 906 kids, and is not uncommon for those kids to finish! During the Polar Roll this year, nearly 100% of the middle-high school kids who started finished a brutal winter event while 80% of the field quit. A few short weeks ago at the Marji Gesick, 87% of the kids finished while 60% of the field texted #quitter. We believe the influence of adventure, emphasis on developing character through struggle, and a continually evolving level of resiliency and independence is what kids are lacking today – and we want to find a way to keep reaching more of them.
Since 2015, we’ve given back more than $110,000 to the trail-builders of RAMBA, NTN, Sisu Dirt Crews, WinMan and the DCNT.
You can help us by supporting the events, our youth programs, and the organization.
Director of Adventure, 906 Adventure Team
Director of Pain, Marji Gesick