Race rule book
1. START AND FINISH
- In even years:
- The mass start takes place in the easternmost suitable location in Slovakia.
- The finish is in the westernmost suitable location in the Czech Republic.
- We will announce well ahead of the start how the finish will be organized.
- There is no time limit for the race.
- In odd years:
- The mass start takes place in the westernmost suitable location in the Czech Republic.
- The finish is in the easternmost suitable location in Slovakia.
- We will announce well ahead of the start how the finish will be organized.
- There is no time limit for the race.
- Approximately in the middle of the race route, there will be a Short Finish. Participants can decide if they want to take the short or long route during the race, based on their current mood, condition, and general state.
2. LENGTH OF THE RACE
The precise length of the race will be announced after the exact route has been planned, but the approximate length is 1,000 miles (about 1,600 km).
- The race is open to mountain bikers, runners, hikers, kick-scooter riders, and all other athletes who are willing to conquer the route under their own power.
- At the afterparty – only for participants and volunteers of last year’s race.
- Online through a registration form available from midnight January 1st.
- Participants must be at least 18 years of age on the day of the race start.
4. PICKING UP YOUR RACE NUMBER
Before the start, every participant must complete the sign-on process (“race-day registration”) which takes place as follows:
- In odd years, it occurs in the Sokolovna building in Hranice u Aše (CZ).
- In even years, it takes place in the Sokolovna building in Nová Sedlice (SK).
- The race-day registration includes:
- picking up your race number and the contact details card,
- picking up your tracker,
- weighing and body fat measurement,
- taking your picture.
- The race-day registration includes:
The race-day registration opens on Saturday evening and closes one hour before the start.
Race talks with the participants will start under the start arch at least one hour before the start, where we will also check the mandatory equipment.
5. RACE ROUTE
- Northern Route:
- The route will take you through the interior of Slovakia and in the Czech Republic through the mountain ranges along the Northern border with Poland and Germany; you will ride on forest tracks and trails, gravel paths, forest roadways, dirt tracks, and tarmac country lanes and roads, subject to the conditions, regulations, laws, and geographical possibilities.
- Southern Route:
- The route will take you through the interior of Slovakia and in the Czech Republic along the Southern border with Austria and Germany; you will ride on forest tracks and trails, gravel paths, forest roadways, dirt tracks, and tarmac country lanes and roads, subject to the conditions, regulations, laws, and geographical possibilities.
- Exception for the Hikers/Runners category: There are fixed points on the official race route that hikers and runners must pass through. They may choose their own route between those points.
- The approximate race route will be published at the latest on the day the registration opens. It is still possible that it may change. The precise route will be ready and sent out (only to registered participants) at least one week before the start. The precise route is not public.
6. MARKING OR OTHER ROUTE IDENTIFICATION
- The race route is fixed but unmarked. The approximate route will be available on the internet, and the precise route will be sent electronically to participants in GPX format (for GPS devices) at the latest one week before the start.
7. MANDATORY EQUIPMENT
Participants must carry a “last aid” package that includes the following:
- a good compass – mechanical and in working order;
- a whistle;
- a knife;
- a mirror (for sun-flash signalling), with a diameter of at least 8 cm (or the shorter side min. 8 cm);
- high-strength cord (e.g., to pull up your bike on a steep hillside, to secure yourself during river crossings, etc.), min. length 4 m;
- a gasoline-soaked piece of cloth in a sealed container (to start a fire rapidly in case of need) or another aggressive water-resistant fire lighter (in a water-tight packaging);
- matches and striking surface, or lighter (in a water-tight packaging);
- disinfectant for wounds;
- pepper spray against animals;
- sleeping bag;
- emergency blanket (isothermal foil);
- cycling helmet (mandatory for cyclists and scooter riders);
- GPS device (navigation);
- TRACKER (the organizer will provide trackers to the participants, and the participants have to keep them running throughout the race);
- a working, charged, and constantly switched-on mobile phone.
Note: All items in the “Last Aid Package” must be in full working order!
We recommend to take a map.
Participants must have the mandatory equipment with them throughout the whole race and can be checked anytime at the start, during the race, and at the finish. Failure to present the mandatory equipment will result in a time penalty or disqualification, depending on the severity of the violation.
Participants must wear their helmet on their head and fastened at all times while riding; otherwise, they will be disqualified.
There are no rules for any other equipment - participants can decide for themselves what they need to "survive" the race. Participants should equip themselves to endure all kinds of weather without aid, sleep anywhere and anytime in case of need, perform basic bike repairs etc., and get to the race finish or inhabited places.
During the race, participants may replenish or extend their optional equipment (purchase or send it in parcels beforehand to the official restock places, i.e., the checkpoints listed below or to post offices en route) or dispose of any unnecessary equipment. It is not allowed to place or hide any stashes or parcels onto the route beforehand.
8. MOVING ON THE ROUTE
Participants must adhere to the following rules:
- They have to complete the defined route from start to finish under their own power. Participants are not permitted to take shortcuts.
- They are not allowed to leave any litter behind, nor bury it, and must take all items back to civilization with them.
- If bivouacking, they must return everything to its original state. It is strictly forbidden to put up tents and light fires outside of designated areas (official campsites) in national parks (“NP”), protected landscape areas (“CHKO”), and national nature reserves (“NPR”). It is also forbidden to put up tents and light fires in forested areas outside of designated campsites, and to light fires within 50m of the edges of woods.
- Participants mustn’t endanger or harass others on the route, including fellow participants and other users. This includes reckless riding (esp. in descents), inappropriate behaviour, or other actions that could cause harm.
- Participants must follow all rules and regulations, as well as traffic laws and regulations, of the regions they are crossing. Participants are not allowed to bivouac and ride/hike in certain mountain areas in Slovakia (which will be specified in the race instructions before the race) from one hour before sunset to one hour after sunrise.
- They should behave in a courteous manner towards other participants and users of the route and help anyone in need of assistance or experiencing problems.
Failure to follow these rules may result in a time penalty, disqualification, and/or a financial penalty if the authorities impose a fine upon the organizer.
9. LEAVING THE ROUTE
Participants are allowed to leave the route. “Leaving the route” means:
- Deviating from the route for any reason, whether intentionally (such as buying food, sleeping off-route, seeking mechanical or other help etc.) or unintentionally (such as getting lost).
- Staying on the route, but not moving under one’s own power (e.g. when someone gives you a lift due to some problem and follows the official race route).
After leaving the route, participants do not have to move under their own power and may use other means of transportation.
Whenever they leave the route (intentionally, out of necessity, or unintentionally), participants have to return to the point where they left the route or did not move along the route under their own power, and continue from this point.
Failure to follow these rules may result in disqualification.
10. CHECK POINTS – HELP AND SUPPORT BY THE ORGANIZER
The race organizer may provide primitive support facilities at designated checkpoints along the route (approximately three checkpoints in total). These checkpoints (CP 1, CP 2, and CP 3) are open non-stop and located in a cottage, tent, simple shelter, or similar structure. Checkpoints are open for a limited amount of time, but if a checkpoint is closed when participants arrive, they are still permitted to continue with the race as long as they follow the rules. They just will not receive any help. If a checkpoint is closed, participants must send an SMS to the organizer with their position, information about whether they are proceeding with the race, and a brief message about their condition.
Each checkpoint provides the following services:
- Participants can usually rest and sleep here.
- Refreshments in the form of food and drinks may be available, but participants cannot rely on this.
- Basic tools may be available to repair bikes, but participants cannot rely on this.
- Participants can prepare small parcels (maximum size of 10 x 10 x 10 cm) with batteries and/or power banks which will be sent to the checkpoints in advance.
- The facilities available at each checkpoint may differ.
- The exact positions of the checkpoints will be included in the .gpx route files that participants receive.
Upon arrival at each checkpoint, participants must sign in on the prepared blackboard. Then they can receive help from the organizers – while the checkpoint is in operation, it will be granted to all. Before leaving the checkpoint, participants must sign out; then they can continue with the race.
For athletes on the short route (500 miles finish), the same rules apply. If a participant decides not to continue with the race, their arrival time will be counted as their finish time. Once a participant signs out to continue with the race, they cannot return and end the race as a 500 Miles Finisher.
11. ADVANCE SELF-SUPPORT FOR PARTICIPANTS
- At checkpoints CP1 and CP3:
- Participants, participants can prepare their own support parcels for the checkpoints. The organizers will send small parcels with batteries/power banks directly from the start to all checkpoints. The parcels must have the participant's name and number and the target checkpoint written on them. If the parcel is not picked up, the organizer will not send it back. These parcels must be no more than 10 x 10 x 10 cm and can only contain batteries (power banks).
- At the FINISH 500 (CP2), FINISH 1000, and FINISH 2020 checkpoints:
- Participants can send their own parcels with spare clothes, spare parts for their bikes (but not whole bikes), food, etc. The addresses for both finish checkpoints will be published in time before the start. The parcels must have a return address written on them. The organizers cannot be held liable if the parcel does not arrive or is not returned.
Participants can also send parcels to post offices along the route and pick them up when they pass by.
Participants are not obligated to prepare any parcels ahead of time.
12. SUPPORT AND AID BY THIRD PARTIES
Participants are not allowed to have a support team or support person; all planned aid and support during the race on-route and off-route is forbidden. If there are problems or issues, the participants have to help themselves, or they can accept any random help from bystanders. (“Random help” is defined as help that has not been agreed in advance; participants can make use of means, possibilities and people who happen to be at the place where the participant encountered the problem.)
Organizers, photographers, and cameramen of the race are not considered “random people” on the route and are not allowed to help the participants in any way. The only exception is the checkpoints, where the organizers provide the same help to all participants. This rule does not apply in case of injuries or situations where the life or health of the participant might be in danger.
If anyone would like to provide any of the participants with planned help and support, this may only happen with the approval of the organizer. They must officially offer the same help and support to all other participants as well. All participants have to be informed in time and in advance that this help is available.
Calling friends for help: If a participant encounters a problem, they are not allowed to ask for and accept help from family members and friends (as well as “friends”, fans, and followers on social media) to avoid disadvantaging others who would not have this option in a similar situation. This rule does not apply in case of injuries or situations where the life or health of the participant might be in danger.
Calling strangers for help: The participants can use their mobile phone (to call or use the internet, but not social media) or other communication channels (local phone box, e-mail, internet, etc.) to resolve their problem and get external help from “strangers” using their organizational skills (call a taxi, call a local bike shop and have the shop’s mechanic come to help, etc.). However, they must not break the third and fourth paragraphs of this article.
Contacting family and friends: The participant can contact their friends and family anytime during the race to inform them about their state, the race, etc. However, they are not allowed to gain information from them that would help in the course of the race (finding the closest bike shop, getting phone numbers, weather forecasts, finding/booking hotels, etc.).
(Simply put, the entire purpose of Section 12 is to ensure that all participants have equal conditions and that no one is given an advantage. It should be fair for those who pass by their own home or have many acquaintances, as well as for foreigners who do not know anyone in the Czech Republic.
The race should be about each individual, about nature, and about what the route brings to them. It should be about personal contact with people when dealing with any situation and about genuine functioning in a real environment. Always ask yourself whether any other participant could do the same thing at the same time and in the same place and receive the same help from the same random person.
1000miles is a race under one's own power. This doesn't just mean using one's own strength to pedal and complete the route, but also using one's own strength to solve all troubles and problems that arise, without the help of acquaintances, relatives, Facebook or other social networks, or other technological advances. It's more challenging, but it's also where the beauty lies.)
13. HOW TO RIDE
During the race, participants determine themselves how long they will ride or walk, when to rest and sleep, and when to stock up on food and other necessities. There are no rules regarding breaks, etc.
14. SLEEPING, BREAKS, EATING DURING THE RACE
The organizers do not provide accommodation, rest areas, or refreshments, except for the official facilities at the checkpoints. Participants decide where and when to sleep and rest, and they can use any available options on and off the route, from sleeping "under the open sky" to staying in hotels. The same rules apply to eating.
15. PARTICIPANT CHECKS
There are fixed checkpoints at official facilities where participants will record their arrival and departure dates and times on paper.
There can be random and moving checks at any time to ensure that participants follow the rules and regulations of the race.
Electronic controls, such as trackers and GPS devices, are used to verify that participants have followed the route and haven't used other means of transportation. At the finish line, participants must provide a record of their traveled route for downloading and verification by the organizer. The record must be complete and sufficiently detailed to allow for the evaluation of the participant's movement during the race (both on and off-route). The minimum acceptable 'density' of the position record is every 100 meters (depending on the device's settings). The record can be made with a GPS navigation system, a watch, a mobile phone, or any other similar device. The exact type or model of the device is not defined by the organizer.
Participants who fail to provide the .gpx record or cannot locate it on their device will be disqualified. Participants will also be disqualified if part of their route is missing, or they did not follow the route precisely. If the GPS device breaks or stops working, the participant can join another participant and use their record, but they must inform the organizer that they are moving together.
Each participant receives a GPS tracker at the start of the race and must keep it charged and switched on for the whole race. The GPS trackers are used to monitor the participants' movements during the race, to check that they follow the route and the race rules (e.g. that they are not in forbidden zones at night), for safety reasons in case contact with them is lost, and for rescue missions in difficult terrain etc. For a small fee, participants can obtain a link before the start of the race, so their family can track their position during the race.
16. STATUS MESSAGES
Participants must send an SMS text message (or call in exceptional circumstances) in a predefined form at least once a day (in the evening between 6 PM and 8 PM; at other times according to their possibilities). The message must contain the following information: name, race number, the participant's position, and a very brief description of their mental and physical state, as well as the state of their bike, how they are doing, what happened during the day (if something extraordinary happened in the last 24 hours), and plans for the immediate future, such as "I'll ride through the night" or "I will sleep for 4 hours in this little shelter and will then proceed."
These status messages will be used to check on the participants and determine and publish the current ranking of participants live on the race website.
If a participant repeatedly fails to send their status in the given time window, they may receive a time penalty.
17. WITHDRAWAL FROM THE RACE
If a participant decides to withdraw from the race, they must inform the organizer where and when they are leaving or have left the route and may state a reason for giving up. They can also send a message for other participants or fans, which will be published on the race website on the SMS messages page.
18. PENALTIES AND DISQUALIFICATION
Participants who violate the race rules and regulations may be subject to penalties or disqualification, depending on the severity of the offense. If a participant's violation results in a fine imposed on the organizer by state or other authorities, the participant is required to reimburse the organizer for the fine. The following are reasons for immediate disqualification:
- Failure to wear a helmet or wearing an improperly fastened helmet while riding
- Littering and leaving of rubbish behind
- Missing mandatory equipment items
- Using prohibited (targeted or planned) assistance
- Using shortcuts intentionally and repeatedly
19. RESULTS OF PARTICIPANTS AND RANKING
The race is a non-stop event with no breaks or stages. Therefore, the total time spent between the start and finish will be used for ranking and determining the finish time, regardless of time spent moving, resting, sleeping, repairing bikes, etc. Participant’s ranking will be based on their arrival time at the finish line.
20. PRIZES AND CATEGORIES
There are no prizes awarded for completing the short or long routes. Every participant who finishes either route will receive a free T-shirt with “Finisher 500,” “Finisher 1000,” or “Finisher 2020” printed on it. If a participant decides to take a longer route during the race and does not complete it, they will not receive a T-shirt for the shorter route.
The race is open to anyone who completes the respective route under their own power. The following are the official categories: mountain bike, tandem bike, kick-scooter, hiker/runner.
Sub-categories are determined by age and gender, with age categories being “under 50” and “over 50” based on age at the start of the race.
Winners of each category and age group for the 1000-mile route will receive a “Winner 1000” T-shirt. The overall winner of the 1000-mile route will receive an “Absolute Winner 1000” T-shirt. Winners of each category and age group for the 2020-mile route will receive a “Winner 2020” T-shirt. The overall winner of the 2020-mile route will receive an “Absolute Winner 2020” T-shirt. Participants who complete the 500-mile route and do not continue will receive a “Finisher 500” T-shirt.