There are 2 race categories:
Expedition Category – the full course (200-225k), typically with 2-3 ‘ultra’ days (longer than 26.5 miles)
Historically the longest stages have been on Days 2 and 5 but that can vary due to course design changes.
Adventure Category – a slightly shorter course (130-150k)
The Expedition route is twice as long as the Adventure route and may include more technical sections.
Pre-designated time cut-offs are placed at certain checkpoints on days where the distance is over 40k, although this will also depend on the terrain. This requires runners to strategise; to pace themselves, all of which adds to the challenge.
The cut offs are made in the interest of safety and to keep the conpetitive level high. Runners who begin to slow significantly run the risk of missing a cut off on a long day and being reassigned to the Adventure Category. There are cut off times on days 2, 3 and 4, but they are considered manageable.
Strong walkers have finished the race in the Expedition Category in previous races.
If you can walk / run at a consistent 4.5 km/hr pace, you can succeed in the Expedition Category.
You can drop down to the Adventure Category at any time. However, you cannot upgrade to the Expedition Category once the race has started.
If you race as part of your team you will also be ranked individually. Teams may consist of 3-6 individuals.
In teams of 4 or more, a team member may exercise the option of ‘sitting out’ a day, as only the top 3 times are factored into the team’s combined time each day. If a team member takes a rest day they will be unranked on the official leader board of that day.