June 14-20, 2015
Now in our 10th year we are the longest running stage race in North America. We have a full medical staff of doctors specializing in expedition medicine and one of the most experienced base camp and aid station crews of any race.
Racers will run from Grand Junction, Colorado to the world famous Moab, Utah along the beautiful 148-mile Kokopelli trail. Distances will range from day to day between 9 and 50 miles. This is a grueling event that will challenge the most seasoned athletes yet it is designed so that less experienced ultrarunners can train for and successfully complete the course.
The entire length of the trail is stunningly beautiful with jagged canyons and breathtaking vistas and Desert R.A.T.S. racers experience every beautiful mile.
Racers will rendezvous in Moab, UT on Sunday, to receive their Expedition Journals with detailed course maps and final race instructions. Early on Monday, runners will be transported to the start line near Grand Junction and head off for the first of six days. Each day runners will be greeted at the finish line and directed to the tent city where they can mingle, access their gear, enjoy a hot meal provided by Gemini Events and rest up for the next day. While sleeping gear and supplies are forwarded to the tent city for runners, there is a 3000 cu. in. limit for each bag (so think before you pack) and all runners must carry a minimum amount of mandatory gear at all times over the course of the entire event. Each morning runners will rise for a light breakfast, also provided by Gemini Events, and an early morning start of the next stage from the site of the tent city.
Crews are encouraged to come out and cheer on runners and provide additional support at designated aid stations.
The 50-mile section is certainly the greatest challenge but runners have twenty hours to complete this section, leaving runners with the option to run light and fast or to carry more gear and rest as needed along the course.
Each night the tent city buzzes with excitement as the day’s results and overall standings are posted and the nightly meeting is held to make announcements.
Runners finishing the entire 148-mile course will arrive in Moab, UT with the satisfaction of having completed the ultimate adventure running race. That night all runners completing the entire course within the established rules will be presented with a finisher’s award at a memorable post-race party open for all runners and their families.
Desert R.A.T.S. will provide tents and meals for racers, including a hot meal at night. In the morning, breakfast will be provided prior to race start. During the day snack foods and sandwiches made the previous night by the racers will be available. Sleeping and overnight supplies will be transported to the finish line for the racers. Each racer is limited to one 3000 cu. in. bag which will be transported by Gemini Adventure officials. · Each leg must be completed in the time allowed. Cut-off times will be posted the night before each stage at the nightly meetings and will pertain to aid stations as well as the daily finish lines. These cut-off times are designed to ensure the safety of runners. · Daily outdoor camping will be at pre-selected sites. Gemini Events provides tents (6-8 persons per tent). Participants may use their free time to prepare their set up for the night and for medical care, if necessary.
· An Expedition Journal will be supplied to each competitor upon check in. This book will reveal the exact course and will include maps, course description, crew information and various points of interest along the course. This book must be carried with you at all times and must be presented upon demand.
· Each evening a briefing will be given relating to the next days’ stage by the organizers.
· Each entrant will receive “aid station” food at aid stations throughout the race. Any additional food may be supplied by racers or crew.
· Each competitor must carry required gear (see rules and regulations) and in all circumstances carry of a minimum of 1000 calories and 80 oz. of liquid per day i.e. enter each aid station with 1000 calories and leave each aid station with 80 oz. of water, we strongly urge that each racer have the capability to carry 140 oz. of liquid.
Desert R.A.T.S is limited to 50 entrants.
2. What is the competition?
Desert R.A.T.S. is a supported foot race, with several stages (running/walking), over a distance of about 148 miles (see course map and description). Each participant must carry his/her own pack containing food, water, safety equipment and other essential material (see gear requirements).
3. Race provisions
Desert R.A.T.S. will provide tents and meals for racers, including a hot meal at night. In the morning, breakfast will be provided prior to race start. During the day snack foods and sandwiches will be available. Sleeping and overnight supplies will be transported to the finish line for the racers. Each racer is limited to one 3000 cu. in. bag which will be transported by Gemini Events officials. Racers may bring their own tent but are then responsible for set-up and break-down.
Every entrant will be ranked. First place male and first place female will receive champion awards. 2nd – 5th place male and female awards will also be given. All non-placing finishers finishing the entire course within the cut-off times will receive a finisher’s award.
All racer’s finishing with a total of less than 30 hours will receive a sub 30 hour finisher’s award.
5. Gear checks
At the aid stations, an exact list of each participant’s equipment must be established i.e. compulsory items, food and personal belongings. The administrators are authorized at any time to make random checks of any participant’s packs (see required gear).
6. Bib numbers
During check-in, Gemini Events will provide each participant with a race number. This must be worn in plane view by the participants throughout the race and may be checked at any time by administrators. It is prohibited to cover the race numbers.
Each participant is obligated to ensure that his/her race numbers are clear, visible and in good condition and in the proper place. Each participant agrees to adhere strictly to this rule, subject to serious penalty in case of violation.
7. Space Reserved For Individual Sponsors
In addition to the official ID markings, the participants may use other body/clothing space for the use by individual sponsors (T-shirts, shorts, backpacks etc). However, Gemini Events reserves the right to prohibit an individual sponsor considered to be oversize or in direct competition with Gemini Events’ partners or sponsors.
8. Starting Order
All participants will start together at each stage. If, on the last stage, there is a close race between the first and second place, we will do a staggered start ensuring the first person to cross the finish line is the winner of the entire race.
9. Cut-off times
Each leg must be completed in the time allowed. Cut-off times will be posted the night before each stage at the nightly meetings and will pertain to aid stations as well as the daily finish lines. These cut-off times are designed to ensure the safety of runners.
10. Dropping out/missed cut-offs
In the event a competitor drops out of the race or misses a cut-off: it is imperative that he/she advise a Gemini Events official and returns their race numbers to an official of the race. A participant who does not comply with this rule will be penalized.
Several options are available to participants who withdraw from the race.
A participant who is in adequate physical condition but withdraws from official standing may elect to:
1. Be driven to the final finish line (subject to viability) and wait until the end of the race, with lodging and meals being at his/her own expense.
2. Be driven by Gemini Events every morning from the start of that day’s start point to the finish point of that day.
3. Racers may also continue along subsequent stages after dropping out of a stage. They will continue unofficially and their times will not be recorded.
Competitors who drop out and stay on the course will automatically be taken charge of by Gemini Events. No refund of unused days is made.
11. Expedition Stage
The “50 mile” stage in the only stage where night travel is permitted andrequires racers to carry glow sticks.
12. Aid Stations/Check Points
These are located throughout the course of each stage of the race. There are 0 to 4 aid stations per stage determined by the length of the stage. The participants must allow the race officials to record their time and agree to a gear/medical check.
13. Daily timing
The daily stage classification is done by adding the time used to run that stage of the race plus penalties, if applicable.
General ranking is done by adding times for each stage of the race.
14. Water Supply
Gemini Events is responsible for the supply of unlimited water for drinking purposes only. Water will be available at the start of the stage each morning. Each racer must supply his/her own drinking containers. Cups will not be supplied at aid stations. Each night’s camping area (except for the first night) will have opportunities for rinsing off in a river.
Daily outdoor camping will be at pre-selected sites. Gemini Events provide tents (6-8 persons per tent). Participants may bring their own tent but are then responsible for putting it up themselves.
16. Medical Assistance
A crew of medical doctors specializing in expedition medicine and heat related illnesses will be in attendance throughout the race and will use assistance vehicles throughout the course. Medical personnel will be available each day and will ensure that any participants who are suffering from physical ailments are brought back to the base camp. The medical team is allowed to remove race numbers and to scratch from the race any participant whom they feel physically unfit to continue the race at any time.
17. Ground Assistance
Gemini Events must remind all participants that the Desert RATS is a race through the desert where climatic and ground conditions can be extreme.
Crewing is permitted in designated areas only. Designated areas are defined as start lines, aid stations and finish lines. Camping and meal plan for crew members will be available on a first come first serve basis for a fee. It is the responsibility of the racer to make reservations for their crew along with their entry form. Some crewing expenses could be waived in exchange for volunteering on behalf of the race (contact race management for details). Crews are not allowed to remove racers from the race course or camping area. If a participant is supplied by persons at unauthorized areas during the race, he/she will be heavily penalized. Crews are also subject to all race regulations and all local, state and federal land management rules and regulations.
18. Weather and Terrain Conditions
Temperatures in June
Daytime: 95 F
Record high: 113 F
Night: 58 F
Record low: 37 F
The 148 mile (approx) course encounters a wide variety of terrain (sand, rocky desert, stony ground etc). In case of sand storms lowering visibility to zero, the racers must stop in their tracks and wait for instructions by the organizers.
Gemini Events reserves the right to modify the course and the length of the various stages as a result of unfavorable weather conditions or regulations in certain areas.
The participants of the Desert RATS must follow the course as marked by Bureau of Land Management. There are several natural landmarks which will also serve as additional points of reference.
20. Expedition Journal
An Expedition Journal will be supplied to each competitor upon check in. This book will reveal the exact course and will include maps, course description, crew information and various points of interest along the course. This book must be carried with you at all times and must be presented upon demand. A lost Expedition Journal will result in a time penalty.
Each evening a briefing will be given relating to the next days’ stage by the organizers.
21. Mandatory Equipment for Participants
Each entrant will receive “aid station” food a lunch sandwich at aid stations and dinner throughout the race. Any additional food may be supplied by racers or crew.
Each competitor must in all circumstances carry of a minimum of 1000 calories and 80 oz. of liquid per day i.e. enter each aid station with 1000 calories and leave each aid station with 80 oz. of water, otherwise he/she will be penalized.
We strongly urge that each racer have the capability to carry 140 oz. of liquid.
All racers must in all circumstances carry:
· One lightweight survival blanket
· Salt tablet/e-caps
· 2 luminous signal sticks (expedition stage only)
· Reflective mirror
· Small flashlight with spare batteries
· Knife with folding blade
· Disinfectant ointment (ointment or spray can)
· D cell Emergency strobe light or other emergency style strobe (if you have questions whether a certain light is considered “emergency” please contact the administration for verification)
Each participant will have to fulfill the above obligations during the administrative and technical controls in the race.
Nightly Supplies - These supplies are required but do not need to be carried each day. These items along with your other personal belongings (fitting into one 3000 cu in. bag, sleeping bag included) will be transported forward by Gemini Events for each racer.
· Sleeping Bag
· Sleeping Pad, Warm Clothing
· Eating Utensils (i.e. plates, spoon, fork, cup etc.)
Technical and administrative verification:
· If a participant does not submit proof of having all his/her compulsory equipment on hand, he/she will be penalized 1 hour in addition to the time it takes to gain possession of these materials. If this penalty puts the racer over the allotted time he/she will be eliminated from that stage and the official standings. If the materials can not be obtained the racers will be eliminated from the race.
Medical File: Gemini Events will not have medical personnel on hand to provide medical examinations at check-in.
Listing mandatory gear: Any participant who cannot account for one or more items of mandatory gear must notify Gemini events. Any participant who cannot justify at any gear check the lack of any personal belonging will be penalized.
Food: When spot checks are made, any competitor unable to present the minimum 1000 calories per day during the race will receive a 2 hour penalty.
Start of the race: If for any reason a participant is late to the start, he/she will be penalized by the amount of time of his/her lateness. If he/she is more than 30 minutes late, he/she will be eliminated from the race.
Cut-off times: Exceeding the maximum allowed time for a daily race will result in elimination from the race (see dropping out and appeals process)
Check points: Check in at each check point is mandatory. First infraction will be subject to 60 minutes penalty, second infraction will result in 120 minutes penalty and the third time elimination from the race.
Expedition Stage (approximately 50 mile stage): During this stage, when night time traveling is permitted, any use of distress signals without valid reason will be subject to a one hour penalty.
Leaving the trail: Under no circumstances are racers permitted to leave the trail. While penalties are not given for getting lost, a one hour penalty will be given for the first time a racer leaves a trail. If the racer leaves the trail again, they will be removed from the course and eliminated from the race.
Drugs: Any use of illicit drugs by a participant noted by the medical team will result in the elimination of that person from the race.
Ground Assistance: Any outside assistance is strictly prohibited. Assisting a participant with food or water outside of access points will result in a three hour penalty the first time and elimination from the race on the second occasion.
· The use of any transportation will result in elimination from the race.
Trash and the environment: Any trash found on the course will result in elimination from the race.
Every night there will be a staff meeting. Any race decision can be appealed and must be presented to the committee before the nightly meeting in order to be discussed that night. Upon discussion a decision will be made shortly thereafter. Appeals regarding missed cut-offs must be made before the nightly meeting in order to gain access to the following day’s stage.[jtab/]
Day 1: (20 miles) From Loma to Rabbit Valley this section is truly one of the most beautiful sections of the entire course. Amazing canyons and overlooks make this section a great way to start the race. An aid stations will be at approximately 6 miles and 13 miles into the section.
Day 2: (39 miles) From Rabbit Valley to Fish Ford you will get your first taste of how remote this trail could make you feel. A climb to the top of the mesa will add a nice steep half mile challenge in the middle of the day. Two aid stations and one water drop will be available, the first aid station is as you hit the Westwater pavement and the water drop is after the pavement ends four miles later. The next aid station is just as the road begins the long gradual descent toward Cisco Boat Landing.
Day 3: (9 miles) No aid stations will be available on the section between Fish Ford and Highway 128. As you enter the trail you will travel through remote rolling cow pastures and over slickrock, until you finally make the climb away from the river. Although there are many twists and turns, the footing is good and will make it a short, fast day and allow more time to anticipate the Expedition Stage to follow.
Days 4 and 5: (52 miles) This stage is what this race is all about. From mile nine to mile twenty four is the most remote section this trail has to offer and racers will have to watch the road signs carefully. After that, the trail widens and will be pleasant for anyone traveling in the dark. This is the only stage where racers will be allowed to travel in the dark therefore racers will have more required gear during this stage. Front runners will need to push the pace during this section because such a long stage could make or break a racers time. For those looking to finish, the cut-off times will be lenient. Cut-of times and aid stations will be at Dewey Bridge, Fisher Valley and Castle Valley Road.
Day 6: (26.2 miles) A wonderful finish to such an arduous race is a full marathon finishing at the Slickrock parking lot. Starting with the steep climb on pavement this section will allow beautiful views of the La Sal mountains and Fisher Valley to the east. A gradual downhill on jeep road brings you to the Slickrock trail parking lot and the finish line. The aid stations are as the Kokopelli’s trail leaves the pavement and on the short out and back on Porcupine Rim which racers will hit twice.
4:00pm-6:00pm registration/gear check (Gonzo Inn)
7:30pm pre-race meeting
Mon.:(breakfast and lunch will be on your own)
10:30 meet in front of Gonzo Inn
11:00am bus departs for start line (gear must be separated and you must be ready to run)
1:00pm RACE START!!!! (water and toilets will be available)
8:30pm evening announcements
7:30am start stage 2
8:30 evening announcements
8:00am start stage 3
7:00 evening announcements
7:00am start of stage 4
6:00pm hot food available
3:00am stage 4 cut-off
1:30pm optional run/hike/activities
8:00am start of stage 5
7:00pm post race party
Early (until January 1st)-$1650
Standard (until April 1)-$1800
Late (until June 1)-$2100
Desert R.A.T.S. Merchandise
Let us know if you would like to purchase a strobe from us and have we could have it waiting for you at check-in.
Individual entrants’ fee includes:
· Racer’s shirt
· Transportation from Moab to race start
· General ground assistance (tents, food and water at each stage)
· Food and water for the duration of the race
· Technical support
· Medical assistance
· Desert R.A.T.S. finisher’s memento
To register for the Desert RATS the applicant must submit the following documents:
· Completed registration forms
· Personal information form (This will be emailed to you after your registration has been accepted)
· A medical certificate to be completed by entrant’s physician (to be dated not more than 28 days prior to the race and brought to check-in)
· 2 passport size photos with entrant’s name on the back (to be brought to registration)
The following schedule outlines benefits of early registration and all deadlines.
Cancellations and requests for refunds must be made in writing in order to avoid any misunderstanding. Cancellation refunds will be made on the following basis.
·Cancellations prior to January 1 qualify for a refund of 80%.
·Cancellations between January 1 and April 1 qualify for a refund of 50%.
·Cancellations on or after April 1 do not qualify for refunds.