Thursday, May 6, 2010

One down, 20-something to go...

Season Kickoff and Update
Start System
In the minds of some, the new Christmas tree is a major change but a more careful inspection reveals little has changed. Contrary to what you may have believed, touching the High-Rise Pack was never allowed. The major difference now is that competitors no longer have to depress a pressure switch with their hands. Instead, you stand on the 3’ long pad. We’ve taken out the human element of the start. Every race starts the same way, to the same count. As soon as both competitors are on the pads, the computer automatically stages the race and the lights start the count down. Check out the video posted on our website for more details.
The 2010 Tour
Scheduling an event these days has been a challenge, to use a familiar word. This is a complicated process, made more complicated by the shortage of local sponsorship. In an ideal world, we’d have a national sponsor that would fill-in the void, supporting the shortfall for every venue. This would allow us to post a whole year’s schedule well in advance. Coordinating more than 30 active requests takes hundreds of telephone calls and almost 2,000 staff hours. So, until we can find a new national sponsor, we ask for your understanding and patience.
The Official Firefighter Combat Challenge Forum
We realize that we’ve not spent a lot of effort on our Forum, but this is going to change. Brandon Cunningham will monitor the Training category. Jackie Riedel is the staff liaison and will ensure that everyone’s questions are answered. It’s incredibly easy to use- one mouse click from the homepage. Create a user name/account and in a day, you can be posting. We’re very easy to contact- outside of the forum as well. We pride ourselves in being responsive- returning telephone calls or answering email as soon as possible.
Good To Go (G2G) Program
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and we certainly wouldn’t warrant that there’s only one way to prepare for the Challenge. We want to make everyone’s first event a success. It’s amazing what a few hours of hands-on training, under the tutelage of the likes of a David Bowmen can do for your first attempt. In a perfect world, we’d prefer to see everyone do a Tandem first before attempting a solo run.
The Keiser
It’s an established fact that the coefficient of friction of the Keiser sled changes with temperature. For this reason, every effort is made to establish a N-S orientation to keep both sides of the course in the sun. Like every sport other than say- bowling and pool, weather is a factor- and I’ve written on this topic numerous times before. Over the winter, we explored the use of heating elements that would keep the tray at a constant temperature, or at least at some standards number of degrees above ambient when temperatures were below 70°F. What we learned is that 110v is not going to work because we’re an all-weather event and electrocution is not an option. So, we’re going to have to explore the use of 12v as an alternative. In the meantime, as a multi-season, outdoor event, the elements will be a factor. Sorry.
Rules & Protocols
We’ve been fielding a few phone calls about the boot rule. This is not a change- only in enforcement. Regrettably, we have been lax and will be no longer. With the addition of the Over 50 Relay category, Jostens will provide Championship Rings, but rings for the Tandems will be dropped to offset the costs.