We have just finished a review and pre-run of the course and have been working with various agencies and organizations to ensure that you have the safest and most memorable adventure experience when you are in Wyoming in less than three weeks. We also have been working extensively with the local media and community, and there is a tremendous buzz around the race. Wyoming is waiting for you.
We are continuing to refine the race plan and are down to coordinating final details. We still expect changes (probably right up to race day and even into the event), so please make sure you keep up with racer emails. We will continue to update the Cowboy Tough web page at cowboytoughwy.com and also post information out to the Rev3 Adventure Facebook page, so check back there to always have the most current information.
We are switching up the format this year and will no longer have End Of Day transitions with enforced dark zones. We have worked to design the course so that you can race straight through. We do have two dark zones for safety reasons, which will be outlined in the rules of travel. We will also have cut-off times, meaning you are either short-coursed or are no longer allowed to keep going on the course if you fall too far behind. If you have been training appropriately, this should not be an issue.
Distances previously posted have been changed slightly after the pre-run. You’ll have some long biking sections on a mix of gravel and paved roads and some great trekking through some amazing back country. And of course we have a memorable paddle section on a very fast-flowing river still swollen with snowmelt.
The ropes section, although not technical, offers some amazing scenery and is part of a rugged backcountry orienteering course. We have an optional ascent on the ropes section that will earn you an additional point.
For the start you will be riding out of Casper on bike as a large group for the first 7 miles with a lead vehicle and rolling intersection closures as you head out of town. After that the race is on as you travel through all the transition areas and checkpoints. You can grab optional checkpoints along the way.
Strategy will play a big part in who ends up taking home the win. As always, the main battle will not only be against fatigue but also Mother Nature and the winds of Wyoming, which can turn a simple ride or open-water paddle into a grueling slog within seconds.
We will not distribute your maps and race packets unless we have all forms and payments from all team members at check-in. We will need the Medical History Form, Rev3 Adventure General Liability Waiver, and USARA waiver completed along with $8 for USARA membership fees or proof of USARA membership. If a team member is arriving late, make sure you get their forms and fees from them before you show up to packet pickup.
Liability waiver and photo release
USARA one-day membership and USARA release form
Medical history form
Maps and Plotting
Checkpoints that require plotting will all be on maps with scales at 1:24,000 and 1:63,360 with UTM grid markings along the edge of the map. Maps will have UTM grid lines so you don’t have to check that long steel ruler through airport security. Primary maps will be on waterproof paper. You also will receive supplemental maps of varying scales. All Transition Points will be pre-plotted. Most, if not all, other checkpoints will require plotting using UTMs. All UTM coordinates for all points will be provided during check-in. You will know all your course options before you start, allowing you to plan your route carefully with no surprises.
All boats and paddle gear will be provided (one canoe per two team members). Boats are Mad River Adventure 16’ Canoes and are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the put-in. Personal paddles and PFDs are allowed and will be transported for you. If you need us to supply you with paddles (single blade) and PFDs, please send me an email so we can make sure we have the right resources available. Non-4 person coed teams are allowed to bring their own boats (please let me know if you plan to do this). The boating section will be on both running (Class I or less) and flat water. Boats and all associated gear will be transported during the race. All boats coming from outside Wyoming will have to go through an AIS inspection during check-in, but it is ideal to have them checked at the state line if at all possible.
There are two portage sections at TA04. The first is just under a mile and is mandatory for all teams. The second portage is also at TA04 but is only required if you plan on extending your paddle section. This portage is around 2 miles. All portage sections are on paved roads.
This year’s ropes section consists of a rappel and an optional ascent. The ascent will earn an additional point. The ascent and rappel are classed as easy with little exposure and will be on a slab. If you want to try doing an ascent during a race, here’s your chance. We will have three lines set up for each discipline. Teams will be assigned one line on a first-come, first-served basis. Our expectations are that you are proficient and have experience rappelling and, if you choose to do it, ascending. We will be performing a skills and gear test during check-in to make sure you know how to put on your harness securely, connect your rappel device to a rope, and then maneuver into a rappel position and control descent. If it has been a while since you last rappelled, please take some time in the next few weeks to familiarize yourself with your gear and rappelling technique. SROM will be there for safety and ropes management. They are not there to provide instruction. You will have the option to skip the ropes section.
We will be providing helmets for the ropes section so you will not need to transport that item during the race. You will need to provide mandatory gear for rappelling and ascending as per the mandatory gear list. If ascending, you must use two mechanical ascenders–one secured to your harness, the other for foot loops or a chest/waist harness.
Transition Gear Bins
You are allowed one gear bin per team member. You have the option of using the 35-gallon Action Packer or a 27-gal HDX tote (black with yellow lid). They will be available at various transitions. You will have access to your gear bins at least every 24 hours, indicated in the rules of travel. You will need to label your gear bins A and B. (Labels will be provided.) Also review the course notes in this email to see where you will have access to gear bins to help you plan.
Your bike will be transported twice during the race. This year we will be transporting bikes in box trucks. (We will not be using the mobile TA as in previous years.) Your bikes will be loaded and unloaded by our support staff. The staff will take upmost care to ensure your bike is not damaged, but with that said, if you have any concerns regarding your bike, please feel free to use a bike box per ARWS standards. If using a box, you will need to assemble and disassemble your bike to fit in the box. A bike box is not mandatory.
This year’s course takes us through some extremely remote and challenging terrain in areas that have very limited access. Accidents and incidents that happen in these areas will be very difficult for us to manage. We rely on all teams to make sure they race within their abilities and know when it is safe to take risks. I will highlight specific areas during the pre-race brief that pose a particular concern for us.
Rattlesnakes love Wyoming as much as we do. You should be alert for them on all sections of the race. I have also encountered black bears and mountain lions on stages of the course. Bear spray is highly recommended.
During the race you will constantly hear us reminding you about rehydration and nutrition. Expect high temperatures and very dry conditions on some sections. Transition areas usually have a water source. These may be through potable water sources or water that will need purification. Bring enough water purification tablets/equipment to treat water for the entire race. We expect most of our medical incidents to be heat and dehydration related. It is up to you to make sure that these incidents are few and far between.
During July the winds are expected to die down somewhat. They generally blow west to east and can at times gust up to 80 miles per hour. This becomes a concern when riding on open roads, paddling open water, and being on exposed ridges and in wooded areas. We do have alternate routes planned in the event that we determine high winds create conditions that are too dangerous for open water paddle sections. Once again, this is something that you need to be aware of when planning routes and when you are racing.
Some sections of the race will have you riding on highways. The roads are moderately traveled and have wide shoulders. You need to ensure that your lighting system is bright and highly visible both from the front and rear and is capable of running for up to 12 hours. You have three nights to get through, so bring replacement batteries for each leg of the race. We will have charging facilities at some of the transition areas for you to charge lights. Helmets must have reflective tape on the back and your packs should have some form of reflective material or tape on it to make it as visible at night as possible.
We will provide each team with a Yellow Brick satellite tracker. With this device we will be able to pinpoint your location on the course. The trackers also allow you to send a distress call if someone is seriously injured and needs evacuation. The trackers will be distributed the evening before the race start.
You will be passing through some environmental areas, and we have assured all the agencies and landowners whose land we will be crossing that the adventure racing community is fully invested in protecting the environment and that our racers are a caring bunch when it comes to all things to do with nature. In certain areas you will use particular routes of travel, and you must ensure that gates are closed to help with environmental protection. Please ensure that you follow any volunteer directions and rules of travel to ensure we keep the adventure racing community name in good stead.
At any time you will not be permitted to have open fires unless there is an extreme emergency or medical situation (hypothermia) that warrants one. You may use camp stoves in the end-of-day TA areas.
Mandatory Gear List
Please refer to the mandatory gear list here. This list is the minimal gear required. You will need lots of other items to make it through the event successfully. I highly recommend insect repellent, bear spray, and sun protection. I also recommend packing a DNF kit. This is a change of clothes you can wear in the event you have to leave the course. Unless you have a serious medical condition, if you drop from the event, you will be incorporated into the support crew. We will not be in a situation to transport people back to Casper while the event is in progress. The DNF clothes will come in handy if this, and we hope it does not, happens.
If you are interested in joining in some of the other Cowboy Tough Adventure Week events, come out to Curt Gowdy on July 9th for the Sierra Trading Post Tenderfoot Adventure Race and then to Casper on July 10th for the Casper Strong, a 12-hour adventure race. We can’t think of a better way to get acclimatized for the Cameco Cowboy Tough. As a participant in Cowboy Tough, you get free entry to these events. Send me an email if you are interested in participating in one or both, and I will send you a code to sign up. More information can be found at cowboytoughwy.com.
If you have not already done so, we recommend booking a room at the Ramkota Hotel. This is the host hotel and where the pre-race meeting and post-race banquet will be held. Our block of rooms is filling up rapidly. To receive the discounted CCT team rate of $84.00, you must call to reserve (307) 266-6000). Let them know you are racing the Cameco Cowboy Tough and mention code “TEAM.”
You can ship your bikes and gear to the host hotel in Casper. They are prepared to accept and keep it secure until you arrive. We recommend timing your shipping so that it has to be stored by the hotel for the minimum time possible until your arrive and pick it up.
800 N Poplar
Casper, WY, 82601
Roster and Team Bios
Please review the race roster here and let me know if there are additional changes or updates that need to be made. We would also like to get a brief team bio from everyone and a picture of each racer. If each of the team captains can assemble this information and forward it to me, that would be appreciated.
We also have a few teams either looking to add a team member or move to other teams. If you know of other racers interested in being part of this amazing race or you still have a slot to fill on your roster, please let me know as soon as possible.
Post Race Banquet and Awards Ceremony
Awards will be held at 5pm at the Ramkota Hotel. Please let us know if you will plan on attending by clicking an option below:
Awards Ceremony RSVP
2016 Cameco Cowboy Tough Closing Ceremony and Awards
Best Western Ramkota Hotel
Sunday, July 17, 2016
5:00 PM — 7:00 PM MDT