FAQ - GVRAT 2021
Frequently Desired Answers – Lazarus Lake
Why are FAQ always in the form of a list? Does that make it any easier to find what you are looking for? Does that make it any less likely that the One Percenters are going to write and ask the same question that was already answered? Will that discourage people who have questions from asking them on Facebook, where the answer (even if right) is not official, and therefore unreliable? And why does the wind always blow gale force in the winter, when it is bitterly cold, and then in the sweltering heat of midsummer we can’t even get a tiny breeze?
But, I digress. Probably you are not here to read my questions. What you are looking for are answers…. Which bring up another Question. Why is it called Frequently Asked Questions, when people aren’t going there to find questions, they want answers? So, let’s do this thing right:
Frequently Desired Answers for the 2021 GVRAT
- 40,734,144 inches. That is the answer to the question what is the actual distance of the race. Once again, we petitioned the state to either move the border, or reroute some highways so that the distance would be exact. And once again they blew us off as if that were not a reasonable request. So, it is what it is. It is not the GVRAAT (Great Virtual Race Almost Across Tennessee). And now you know how far you have to go in order to get that buckal.
- Intentional miles, done on foot, in the form of a workout. That is the answer to the question as to what you should enter for your daily log to the GVRAT. Remember, the contest is to find the time and the means to cover an additional 1000 km of distance within 4 months…. The contest to figure out how many different things you can add to your mileage is a different event.
- Only if you are a lettercarrier who does their route on foot. That is the answer to the question, can you count the distance you cover at work. Actually, we could decide it on a case by case basis, but the only one we could think of was a letter carrier. In order to translate the miles to the GVRAT, you need a job that entails walking a single, measurable distance. Walking around “all the time” on your job does not count. And don’t even get me started on the accuracy of trying to measure that with any of the commercially available devices. If you tell me you will measure the length of the hall with a ruler and keep a tally sheet, you will only succeed in getting me really irritated.
- Hell NO! That is the answer to the questions: Mowing the yard? Playing golf? Getting a beer out of the fridge while watching sports on TV? Please reference answer 2 (Remember, the contest is to find the time and the means to cover an additional 1000 km of distance within 4 months…. The contest to figure out how many different things you can add to your mileage is a different event), and answer 3 (If you tell me you will measure the length of the hall with a ruler and keep a tally sheet, you will only succeed in getting me really irritated.)
- The time zone you are in. This answers the difficult question of what time zone to enter your miles for. Every runner will enter miles for the day it is where they are. This means New Zealand runners will start entering on May 1 while everyone else is still on April 30. Hour by hour, each new time zone will start the race. I feel certain that some new Zealanders will be out running right after midnight on May 1, just to get ahead of everyone else. (Kiwis are like that). If you travel, or even move around the world, you will still enter your miles on the day it is where you are.
- Once a day, when the day is over everywhere! That answers the question as to when the standings are updated. The standing will update every day at 0 UTC. I think that is about 0700 where I live. This way the standings will compare every runner in the world based on the exact same number of full days. When you enter your miles. If you have already entered for the day after the last post, you will be able to check that your miles are there by looking at your individual results on the entry page. Runners in New Zealand will almost always have the next day unposted, since every day starts there. If you happen to be on Howland Island, your entries will post exactly at midnight, since every day ends there.
- 24 hours; from midnight to midnight. This answers your question; How long is a day?… What? You think everyone knows that? Well, I am here to tell you that many don’t. When they did runs that extended beyond a single day (like most 100 mile races) they would enter all the miles on a single day. Maybe the day they started. Maybe the day they finished. What they could not grasp was putting the miles on the day they ran them…. So, if you start a 100 miler on Saturday morning at 0600 and run it in 20 hours, finishing at 0200 on Sunday morning; Part of the miles were run on Saturday, and part of them were run on Sunday. Enter them that way! And, before you even think about saying; “I don’t know the exact breakdown”, whatever your best guess is, it is more accurate than putting all the miles on one day!!
- Every Day! This is the answer to the question how often you should enter your miles. You don’t have time? It takes only seconds…. You just spent hours doing the miles, how dumb does it sound to say you don’t have 20 seconds more to enter your miles? You are not dumb, why would you want to sound that way? Since none of us are perfect, and we will sometimes slip, there will be a three day window for you to enter your miles. If you plan to just enter a huge number every week or two, don’t even bother to start. Bogus entries will lead to disqualification (and no buckal for you!)
- We will work with you. This answers the question; what if you are attempting an FKT across Antarctica or going on a mission trip to vaccinate goats in Somalia and won’t have access to internet? Well, the odds are incredibly high that you will have access to internet at least every third day. At the worst, you can usually make arrangements to text a confederate to enter your miles for you. But, if you are in a real pinch, we will work with you. Last year, with almost 20,000 entrants, we had to help people out twice. Look at it as a challenge to prove you are not among the least resourceful 1/100th of a percent! (and yes, vaccinating goats in Somalia is a real thing)
- Ask tech support. This is the answer to the question; what if you cannot seem to make an entry, your miles are messed up, you still show at 99% even though you are sure you have entered 40,220,928 inches already, or any other technical questions. I know you thought the answer was to ask the experts on Facebook, but that is actually not a very reliable way to find out anything. Better to write your question on a scrap of paper, stick it in the toe of an old sock, and bury it under a persimmon tree. The persimmon tree will never give you a wrong answer.