Planned marking improvements for 2013

Here’s a look at the trail markers that we’ve developed that will be reusable for future years.  They are made of highly reflective bird repellent/scare tape attached to a clothespin.  This tape is highly reflective of sunlight and headlamps, it’s like a freaking disco ball.  It is much more durable than surveyor tape and should last for years and years.  RD’s: I bought a few different products and here is the best bang for your buck that I found (only $5.95 for a 500ft roll.)

For additional night time visibility (instead of glowsticks), all of our markers on sections of trail that might be encountered at night will have an LED “trailie” attached to the clothespin.  I don’t think a night has gone by since the race that I haven’t lost sleep over not distributing and using these for the 2012 race (among other things such as the overnight meals that didn’t get delivered to the aid stations, directional signs that weren’t put up in time, LED balloons that we didn’t get around to, etc.)  We didn’t develop the “trailie” idea until a week or so before the race and decided to stick to the standard of surveyor’s tape and glowsticks since we already had a plan in place and had enough to worry about so close to crunch time.  The prototypes that we made ended up lasting about 3 weeks before the battery died, so we can set them up several days before the race if necessary.

In addition to improved markers, we will have our logo signs with directional arrows posted throughout the course that will match each junction described in our small portable trail map/course description handout (included in the pre-race bags.)  We will also mark slickrock sections with a stencil of our logo using a water based removable paint so you don’t accidentally follow the wrong dots on Gooseberry. We’ll also be running Gooseberry earlier in the day this year so that nobody is up there in that maze overnight.

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4 responses to “Planned marking improvements for 2013

  1. My “trailie” is still glowing … killer idea!

  2. Danny Widerburg

    You Guys are making other race directors look really bad ! I love all the thought you guys have put into the issues that people came across !

  3. Wow, that is a sweet looking marker. Nice work!

    What about coming up with a dog-tag, or label of some sort that can go on the clothespin? I am just thinking of ways to discourage vandals (mostly of the well intentioned type) from removing the markers. If there was a tag with the race dates, contact info, and an assurance that markers would be removed after a certain day. Just maybe that would keep some people from removing them. That, or a lo-jack device so we could track them down after the fact…

    Maybe use zip-ties instead of clothespin? That would complicate the removal, but might be worth thinking about.

    Regardless, fantastic job putting that together. Best innovation/advancement in marking I’ve ever seen.

    • Thanks Chris. Love the label/logo idea for each marker with info. for other trail users. We had a 4 mile section get taken down last year before the race started and had to re-mark it. I think that we’ll stick with clothespins after how much time I spent taking down course markings this year. They seem to be working pretty well at other races and are so much quicker to remove.

      The bird tape must be attached to a clothespin or something similar, because it is not elastic like surveyor tape so it doesn’t hold to bushes or branches as easily when tied directly.

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