HOW DISTANCE IS MEASURED:
The Odyssey is a chip-timed, loop-style event. The more loops an athlete covers, the more they move up in the ranks. In other words, an athletes that covers 4 loops wins over an athlete that covers 3 loops. After distance, ranking is scored based on the time it took to cover the distance. In other words, an athlete that covers 4 loops in 1:49:12 wins over an athlete that covers 4 loops in 1:52:37. Only full-loops count. Therefore, pacing over the course of the event is crucial, and makes for a very strategic competition.
SHOES: Due to constant switching between the disciplines of running and swimming, athletes are required to wear shoes in the event. Yes, that means in the water as well. This event is largely inspired by the "swimrun" events that have become popular as of recent in Europe. Therefore there are many shoes on the market that work well for this application. They don't hold much water, produce little drag in the water, and drain quickly upon exit of the water. Please see our FAQ page for recommendations on footwear.
OPEN WATER SAFETY BUOYS: All athletes are required to wear an open water swim buoy for the entire race. Yes, that means you swim with it AND run with it. If you watch our little promo video on the homepage of this website, you'll see that this is very doable, and not too cumbersome. Due to the nature of this competition, and the constant switching between running and swimming disciplines, this safety buoy is an added safety measure in the case of any cramping or other safety concern while you are crossing the cove. These can be purchased from $10 to $35 dollars. Please see our FAQ page for recommendations on buoys, including a few different style options.
AID STATION USE:
There are two aid stations on the course. The first is at the halfway point of the run course, as you begin your return trip towards the cabin from the westward side of the farm. This will give athletes a chance to refuel with Gatorade and Water, as well as various "snack" options, including energy gel. The second aid station is at the main race staging area/starting line/finish line, which will feature water only. This is at the Cove Cabin, just before athletes return back to the cove for their swim. Also, at this aid station athletes will be able to leave a drop bags at numbered stations. Therefore, athletes may stop at this station as much or as little as they like, before heading back out into Cabin Cove.
Athletes are allowed one bag for gear/supplies/nutrition. After checking in athletes will be allowed to leave their gear at a numbered station in the race staging area. This bag will be accessible at the conclusion of every single loop, before athletes head back out on the swim. Athletes are asked to keep their equipment limited to the size of one duffel bag.
Please consider our qualification standards before signing up.
WITHDRAWAL FROM RACE:
Considering the limited amount of athletes allowed into The Odyssey, and to avoid the "reservation" of spots to secure a place on the starting line, we have a NO REFUND, NO DEFERRAL, NO TRANSFER policy. This is to maintain the competitive integrity of the event. If you are in the unfortunate situation of not being able to attend, please let us know of your withdrawal so we may at least accept someone else in from the waiting list.
One of the very cool aspects of this completely closed course is that we allow spectators EVERYWHERE. Please bring friends and family. They are welcome to join us at the starting/finish line, as well as anywhere on the course they'd like to cheer and spectate. There is a great view of the entire cove from all over the Mt. Hope Farm property, so watching the swim and run are both very easy. Also, family and friends are welcome to enjoy the post-race festivities.
This is a USAT event. Therefore, athletes must either be a USAT Member
(you can join here) OR secure a 1-day pass to race for $15 within the
registration process for The Odyssey. The option of a one-day pass will
be presented to athletes when they proceed with registration. Details
on one-day USAT passes are available here.
To be eligible for a "finisher' award at the Odyssey, athletes in the 2-hour race must finish at least 2 complete loops of the course. In the 4-hour race, athletes must complete 4 complete loops of the course.