EPIC IN PLACE – 2020
EPIC IN PLACE – TOGETHER. BUT APART(er).
RESULTS SUBMISSION – updated 5/17/20
Upon registration, all participants receive instructions on how to submit results via web or text. You simply type in your mileage (mandatory) and time (optional) by clicking “Submit Results” and then “Add Activity” (this will be in the lefthand box and will allow you to select a date). The box on the right will automatically tally your mileage and time (if you’re tracking time). You don’t need Strava, Zwift, MayMyRide, Sufferfest or any other app…or even a device, really. If you know that your ride was 13.2 miles long, just enter that. To enter another day or ride, simply click “Add Activity again. Make sense? Cool. Here’s the RESULTS SUBMISSION LINK.
RESULTS UPLOAD UPDATE: Mar 15, 6:30PM MDT: our usual approach of a little slap and tickle isn’t getting us to the user experience that we want all of you to have. The RunSignUp team are on it and we’ll have a better/more intuitive results upload function on Monday that will include an option to input vertical gain. Participants will be allowed to backdate those submissions to the date that they entered. Thanks!
WEAVING through the vast and interconnected high alpine trail network surrounding the historic Victorian mining town of Breckenridge, Colorado, the Breck Epic MTB Stage Race is among the world’s purest, most authentic mountain bike experiences.
A bucket-list race for discerning riders, Epic is the embodiment of human-powered accomplishment. Punctuated with perverse and prolonged moments of painful, de-oxygenated joy, each immediately followed by extended stretches of dog-hanging-its-head-hanging-out-the-window glee. Because what goes up must also come down.
Still saucy and irreverent after 12 incredible years, Epic remains uncompromisingly committed to the experience of our riders. We have incredible courses, obsessive organization, fanatically good-natured service, premium partners and swag and merchandise that’s a grade above the norm.
Our 12th year looks very much like our first; launched during the worldwide recession of 2009, the winds of chaos are once again swirling.
COVID-19 has forced us to consider the wisdom of placing our 600 competitors, 2000 supporters and 250 staffers and volunteers in tight quarters for 6 days in a row. On May 11, 2020 we made the difficult decision to postpone our 2020 event to the following year.
Accompanying this looming global crisis, is a low-grade yet consistent mental malaise brought about by social distancing fatigue. The all-but-total cord-cutting demanded by the rules that govern our new existence places ‘togetherness’ out of reach when the need for community has never been greater.
Compared to 12 years ago, we have different tools at our disposal. We also have different sources of inspiration. The world and all of its technological wonders are literally at our fingertips. We’re limited only by the boundaries of our own imagination and our willingness to work diligently. The depth of our conviction (and some possibly misplaced optimism!) leads us to believe that we wring lemonade from the lemons that the universe has so snarkily white elephant-ed us.
WHAT WE (riders) NEED
When all is said and done, despite our iPhones, our heated car seats, our fresh-Mex burritos and our SICK BIKES (dude…bikes have NEVER been better), we’re just primates. We need companionship. We need the other monkeys to laugh when we slip on a banana peel. And we need still yet other monkeys to help us get back on our feet. We need connectedness.
This is what events like Breck Epic provide. Community. A shared experience. Togetherness. This is what 2020 has taken away.
Taking a cue from the rolling game of Call of Duty that’s been continuously playing in the background at Breck Epic World Domination HQ over the past 8 weeks, we built “EPIC IN PLACE”, a Breck Epic themed achievement-based challenge ecosystem that rewards remote participants for unlocking a wide range of “in game” accomplishments.
We’re using inspiration (*cough-cough) from other virtual events and reimagining and improving upon their work to broaden its appeal to cyclists. Everyone who registers gets a t-shirt and a digital number plate. And maybe a medal upon completion. Definitely an attaboy/girl. Along the way, every rider will also earn and unlock rewards (both digital and softgoods) to enrich the Epic in Place experience.
We’re building Epic in Place as a summer-long online event where the road, gravel and MTB crowd can all connect through a shared tough, but whimsical experience. With high value and high reward for participants, Epic in Place leverages (perverts?) a globally recognized symbol of mildly anti-establishment immaturity (Breck Epic) and amplifies its voice by using the collective the power of its fans and followers and those of its partners.
The premise is simple; ride 549 miles and 71,117′ of vertical. Why these numbers and NOT Breck Epic distances? Well, they’re symbolic. Also, Epic in this case is actually too short – a traditional on-the-ground Epic is meant to be ridden in just 6 days. These longer metrics are instead the rough distance and vertical of the legendary Colorado Trail (the part that’s accessible by bike, at least). We use the CT on several days of Epic. It is glorious. And its caretakers (The Colorado Trail Foundation) are wonderful. You’ll have the option to donate to them during the registration process.
These numbers are roughly TWICE the length and elevation of The Breck Epic. It’s a long haul. We’re technically trying to be more inclusive and construct a bigger tent here, but we feel that the challenge needs to have some teeth. Because half of livin’ is dreaming big and Epic is all about pushing boundaries. The upside? You’ve got until September 30 to punch it out!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Simple. Riders register and are assigned a unique digital bib and upload link. Their link allows them to upload mileage, time and vertical daily, every other day, weekly or whenever the eff the want, really. We track time, miles and vertical (time and vert are optional), then communicate individual challenges and rewards as we concoct them. Along the way we encourage participants to ride with friends, to share their accomplishments socially and to battle this pandemic with health, activity and connectedness.
We ship swag (such as an entrant tee or a hypothetical achievement award) or send digital badges of achievement as you tick milestones and accomplishments off your list. We’ll simultaneously be developing strategies for our partner and affiliate brands, helping them and their athletes connect with riders and build community throughout the summer.
Look for “led” stage rides from some of our pro athlete partners throughout the summer. We’ll host these as group rides on Strava. All registered riders will receive notifications about how to engage and ride our stages “in place.” We’ll also host a *real* virtual Epic from Aug 16-21. Again, all Epic in Place registrants will receive a personal invite.
WHAT DO RIDERS RECEIVE?
Every participant receives an “Epic in Place” tee shirt (shipping to US and Canada only) and a personalized digital Epic in Place number plate. You’ll also be able to earn digital awards in recognition of achievements…and maybe even a little swag along the way from our amazing partners (or even our own warehouse). Upon completion, you’ll get a SECOND tee that subtly touts your accomplishment and labels you as an official “Epic in Place” finisher.
IS IT COMPETITIVE?
No. Epic in Place is social. Collaborative. Fun. The Virtual Epic part (included in your registration) is kinda competitive, but there are a number of ways to interpret that (all of them correct.)
Results are self-reported and expected to be reported with complete honesty. When you cheat, you only cheat yourself. Oh yeah…and the rest of us, too. We ALL know RULE #1 of Breck Epic (“Don’t be a dick.”) We expect you to follow that rule along with the integrity and decency that it implies.
IS THERE A CHARITY COMPONENT?
Yes. Aligning with a specific sponsored rider (by using their unique registration code) during the registration process automatically triggers a $10 donation to their bank account. We’ve also partnered with our affiliates – aligning with ANY of them (by using their registration code) triggers a $10 donation to the charity of their designation.
ARE REFERRAL REWARDS ACTIVATED?
Yes yes y’all. Every rider will be issued a personal referral code in their confirmation email. Refer 5 riders, have them use YOUR code, and you’ll get $20 back. Not sure how this works with comp entries (we comped all 2020 Breck Epic riders, for example). We’ll find out. Together (but apart.) The essence of water is wetness. At least that’s what Derek Zoolander says.
CAN I REPORT TRAINER/ZWIFT/COMMUTER MILES?
Hell yeah you can. In keeping with the spirit of Epic’s MTB soul, we ask that everyone remember that this is a mountain bike race. You can’t replace the real thing, but we can collectively make a few nods towards the discipline. Here’s what we suggest;
- Trainer, indoor, Peloton or ZWIFT miles should be reported as a 1-to-1 ratio
- MTB miles on dirt should be reported as 1-to-1
- MTB miles on pavement or gravel should be reported as 2-to-3 (2 miles reported for every 3 miles ridden)
- Road and gravel miles should be reported as 1-to-2 (1 mile reported for every 2 miles ridden)
- Vertical meters or feet gained should be reported as a 1-1 ratio no matter HOW they were gained (we’re not monsters)
CAN I RECORD MILES I RODE BEFORE SIGNING UP?
Nope. Your miles start the day that you register.
WHAT DO I WIN?
A t-shirt. Guaranteed. Then another when you complete the challenge. And maybe lots of new friends. And if you’re lucky, entrance to Valhalla (that’s a long way down the road, but let’s all get on with the business of living instead of the business of dying, ok? If you believe the vikings, your ancestors are watching…and keeping score).
Also (and this important); even attempting to ride 500 miles (MTB) in three months will leave you fitter, happier, faster, leaner and in a better mental place than most of us are in right now. You win just by playing. And there are bragging rights at stake for total mileage.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES?
Great question. We’re still setting those up and figuring out the nuts and bolts of how to track them. The Zwift, Wahoo, Garmin, SufferFest, BeCool, MapMyRide and Strava folks are busy as balls right now. At least this pandemic was good for somebody. We’re in the process of navigating specific integrations and will communicate those to all registered riders as they fall into place. We’ll definitely have milestone rewards for mileage, vertical, swear jar contributions, etc.
WHAT ABOUT CATEGORIES?
Well, since this is a virtual challenge and we don’t have to dink around with awards ceremonies, we can fire the category cannon, right? Some of you have been asking for this for years. So go nutz.
- Junior Men 12 and Under, Junior Women 12 and Under
- Junior Men 13-15, Junior Women 13-15
- Junior Men 16-18, Junior Women 16-18
- PRO MEN, PRO WOMEN
- LEGEND PRO MEN (40+), LEGEND PROM WOMEN (40+)
- SINGLESPEED MEN, SINGLESPEED WOMEN
- CLYDESDALE MEN (190lb+), ATHENA WOMEN (145lb+)
- MEN 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+
- WOMEN 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+
WILL THERE BE A REAL (VIRTUAL) EPIC WITH A CASH PURSE FOR PROS IN AUGUST?
There will be a virtual Epic during race week. Cash purse? Dunno yet. Working on it!
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I BANG OUT 549 miles and 71,117K?
In the words of John Amos from American Flyers, “Once you’ve got it up, keep it up, dawg!” That last part was from Larry Grossman. Let’s see how many miles and vertical feet you can punch out between now and September 31!
IN CLOSING (it was bound to happen)
The universe gave us all lemons this year. So let’s make some lemonade. Epic takes place every year during the 3rd week of August (well, except this year). That’s not going away. But EPIC-ness? That takes places daily. The moments during a ride where you opt for an extra loop. The steeeeep climb that you cleaned for the first time. The day you finally accept someone else’s invitation to ride together. The feeling of being unbelievably and happily shattered after a huge back-of-beyond ride. The in-fucking-sane RIGHTEOUSNESS of eating as much ice cream as you want because you’re so deep into caloric deficit that you could literally snort cheez-wiz for a week and still lose weight.
Everybody has an inner Thor. Or Wonder Woman. Or in our case, Deadpool (because: swear-ey). The virus has given us all a smackdown. It’s up to YOU whether you get back off the mat or not.
Lez ride –