BEAR Updates
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Pre-Race Instructions
Bayard C.A.

The BEAR Updates Page

updated: 9/13/13

Get ready...

The BEAR is coming on 10/13/2013

Leading up to the weekend of The BEAR Adventure Race, general updates will periodically be posted on this page. In addition, answers to racers' questions that should be seen by all, will be posted here for all participants to view.   If you have questions, please see The BEAR Questions page

Weather Watch:   Forecast is for mild temperatures and a low possibility of scattered showers... a typical, safe prediction in NE Florida



Results and some photos for The BEAR are online now -- click here.

bulletThe BEAR AR is taking place on Sunday, October 13, 2013 --  over Columbus Day weekend. 
bulletTeams may enter the Main Transition/Start area beginning at 6:30am on race day -- do not try to enter prior to 6:30am.
bulletResults, descriptions, and photos for The BEAR are online -- click here for past BEAR Results page.
bulletOur location for The BEAR is  Bayard Conservation Area, located about 12-15 miles south of Jacksonville, FL and close to Green Cove Springs, FL. For directions to this new race site, please see our BEAR Directions page.  For a Bayard location link to a Mapquest map, CLICK HERE
bulletAbout two to three days prior to The BEAR, Print out a copy of The BEAR Pre-Race Instructions -- click here for these instructions.
bulletEach Team member will need to have completed and bring along a waiver form. To conserve time at Check-in, please be sure to bring the completed Waivers for each member of your Team.
bullet Teams may register online until the Thursday night before the race -- and you can register by mail by sending in a printout of our entry form if it reaches us at least four days before race day.  Your Team can also register in person at the Team Check-in before The BEAR, beginning about 6:30am on Race Day, though you must email us (and attach the completed entry form) not later than four days prior to race day, to let us know that you intend to register at the Check-in, so that we can have logistics prepared to include your Team. Prior to Check-in, print out and complete the entry form and a waiver form to bring to Check-in with you.  If you have questions about registering, contact Jakson by email or call (904) 373-8411 to get the details and let us know you want to race.
bulletThere are openings for Teams, so that we do not need to limit entries. You may register by mail, online (see above), or in person at the Check-In on the morning of Race Day. If your team plans to register in person on the morning of the race, PLEASE email the Race Director or call Jakson at (904) 373-8411 with full info about your team, to allow us to plan the logistics to include your team, too. There is a late fee for teams waiting until the day before the Race to register.
bulletFor maps of Bayard CA on our site, click here and print out copies for your Team.
bulletTeam Check-in will be held from 6:45am until 20 minutes prior to the start on the morning of the race - at the Race Site. Be sure to bring completed waivers.  Plan to start THE BEAR & THE CUB at 7:30am. There is NO registration, check-in, or team meeting on Saturday afternoon or evening this year.
bullet Mandatory Meeting -- will start 15 minutes prior to the start on Race Day, at the race site. All Team members are required to attend the Mandatory Meeting to receive a safety briefing and race Start instructions.
bulletParking spaces may be limited so it is a good idea to encourage car pooling within your team. When you drive into the race site area, drive to the left and find a spot near the tree line to park your vehicle. After parking, bring your boat(s) to the Main Transition (MT) area, then place your bikes and other gear inside the designated MT.
bullet The BEAR allows 4-person, 3-person, and 2-person Teams to compete in the full BEAR event. In The BEAR (10-hour) race, 3-person and 4-person teams compete in the same division.   In the shorter event, The BEAR CUB Sprint, only 2-person Teams and solo athletes will be allowed.
bulletLOST A TEAMMATE OR LOOKING FOR ONE? Someone may be looking, too, so check out the listings on our BEAR Teammates page -- click here.
bulletWaterproof document cases or pouches are MANDATORY at all times -- at least one per Team for maps, instructions, Check-in Records or Markers -- Important: Hefty bags and Zip-Loc bags have proven insufficient. These may present leaks and allow water to get to your maps or instructions, in some cases, dissolving them. Be sure to have a secure waterproof map case and keep your instructions and maps dry. There will only be one of each set of instructions per Team, so don't lose yours...
bulletCarabiners and the 6' - 10' Rope - These can be of your choice, but should be safely able to support the weight of your heaviest teammate, if suspended by them in the air. This is for your safety, so don't skimp.
bulletSails -- the use of a sail is not permitted during the Paddle Stages. It is intended that all movement is human-powered during The BEAR. 
bulletThe Team Swim -- it is not (and never has been) an actual swim. Don't think of it as you would the swim in a triathlon -- it is not at all like that. In the past, it has often been like a "deep wade." Teammates must stay close together. While you and your Team will get wet, Teams should be safely together and carry or wear at least one life jacket per team (more are allowed). In this stage, many teams seldom have their feet off the bottom, except when jumping larger waves.
bulletIn this year, required Paddle Stages in The BEAR could be held on the St Johns River, in or around Bayard Conservation Area.  Teams should be prepared to navigate on any waters. If open water conditions are much too dangerous, we have other options and have planned for alternate stages.
bulletCanoes or Kayaks -- Teams may use either canoes or kayaks -- or both -- or any combination of the canoes and kayaks.  Racers are allowed to bring more than one kind of "boat" for The BEAR and BEAR CUB Sprint. (There will be room for them at the Main Transition area.) Yes, a multi-person team is allowed to use one (or two or more) canoe or kayak -- or a Team could have a separate type of boat for each team member. Canoes or any types of kayaks will be allowed. Your choice should be appropriate for your Team and its skill level, as well as safe and proper for the likely conditions. Keep in mind that the St Johns River has some tidal current and can have whitecaps and steep waves if the wind is strong.  
bulletKayak Portage - Be sure to consider the likelihood of a portage during the Paddle Stage. According to the BEAR Rules, Teams are allowed to use a wheeled kayak/canoe carrier, though all wheeled equipment must be taken with the Kayak or Canoe at all times and cannot be picked up or left along the course. This means transporting the wheeled gear while paddling. Teams will be disqualified for dragging kayaks/canoes on the ground. Bayard CA is situated along the St Johns River.. Keep this geography in mind when planning for the Paddle stages. Paddle stages may include travel to and along any of these areas. You may still be able to rent a great kayak carrier from our kayak rental outfitters -- contact them for availability and details.  If you wish to own one, we have found some inexpensive boat carriers: One at (item # RT47937 for $59)and one at (item # 492-180, for about $60), which are good prices and will be money well-spent. You can also reach L.L. Bean by phone at (800)221-4221, and R.E.I. at (800)426-4840. An excellent carrier is also available from Carolina Caddy for about $80, at . Campmor also has a good kayak/canoe cart -- click here to see it.
bulletStill looking for kayaks?  We suggest that you contact Nautical Escapes, Kayak Amelia, and Up the Creek Xpeditions & Outfitters in St. Marys, GA -- outfitters that can provide kayaks and gear for the race. They still have a selection of sea kayaks and sea kayak tandems, many of which are very suitable for racing. Check our Kayak Rental page for more details. Contact phone for Kayak Amelia is (904) 251-0016; for Up the Creek, the contact info is: (912) 882-0911-- -- If you need other boat rental options, you may want to try a Google search for "kayaks Jacksonville, FL" 
bulletAccommodations -- Please see the BEAR Lodging page for some suggestions. 
bulletMandatory Equipment -- The BEAR Essentials page lists all gear that is mandatory and is specific about which items must be with the Team at all times. It also list items that are required for each Teammate. For example, if the list states: " Spare bike inner tube -- MANDATORY at all times - one per Team member" that means that each member of the Team is required to have a spare bike inner tube on his/her person at all times. If the list states: "Bike repair kit -- MANDATORY at all times - at least one per Team," then that means that a Team must have at least one bike repair kit with the Team at all times. (I realize this seemed clear to some Teams, but others have been asking about it.)
bulletBike Helmets -- In the interest of overall Team safety, The BEAR Essentials list has been updated to include bike helmets as an item that must be carried (or worn) by racers at all times. See changes to the BEAR Essentials at and while you are at it, be sure to familiarize your Team with The BEAR Rules.
bulletTime Limits and Cut-off Times -- starting in 2007, there has been a 10-hour deadline for finishing The BEAR. This is due to rules for use of the property. There will also be an intermediate cut-off, in which Teams must reach a pre-determined Check Point to officially continue racing in The BEAR. There is a 5-hour deadline for finishing The BEAR Cub Sprint Adventure Race.
bulletHydration -- There will be several opportunities along the race course, where Teams will be able to get some water or sports/energy drinks at the Main Transition. However, Teams should plan to carry enough fluids (and foods) to be self-sufficient for 4-6 hours at a time if not returning to the Main Transition. Take advantage of any opportunity to "fill up" your bottles or fluid bladders when passing through the Main Transition -- fluid replacement opportunities will be extremely limited (if available at all) at other locations on the race course.
bulletBug Repellant -- we have encountered parts of the course for The BEAR that sometimes have serious bug populations -- and they seem to like human companionship. We suggest that you carry your favorite bug repellant with you.
bulletSun Block -- we recommend that each Teammate carry plenty of sun block and lip balm.  Watch out for each other and re-apply sun block often in our Florida sunshine.
bulletYou will want to include lights as part of your optional gear for the race, since The BEAR starts early. If you are in the Jacksonville, FL area, you can find good lights at Army-Navy Outdoors. Both R.E.I. and L.L. Bean have good selections online. Bike shops are also a good option for lights for your bikes.
bulletRacing Categories and Awards -- There will be 4-person and 2-person Teams racing in The BEAR, so the awards categories are: 4-Person Coed; 4-Person Male; 4-Person Female; 2-Person Coed; 2-Person Male; and 2-Person Female. There will also be medal awards in the new 5-hour version of The BEAR CUB Sprint. (The Military/Public Safety discounts do not designate additional racing categories, though The BEAR wanted to provide special incentive for military, fire, rescue, police, sheriff, lifeguard, and similar public safety personnel. Teams who entered with the Military/Public Safety discount get to race in the above categories.)
bulletThe Race Course -- Though there will be a Main Transition (MT) area and Teams will return to it and have access to it from time to time, it is best if Teams think of this as a wilderness race in which you move from point-to-point without encountering your gear, except as the Race Instructions permit.  Teams can and will be directed away from the MT for hours at a time, so it is important to plan fluids and fuel accordingly. 
bulletFree Advice -- Be sure to pace yourselves and plan on carrying plenty of fluids. Your Team will also want to replace energy, as well as electrolytes, so bring sports gels and electrolyte replacements such as Hammer Gel and Endurolyte, found at and good sports stores. Read over the BEAR Essentials; think about what is required in any race instructions you receive on the course. This race is about managing your resources (not just going fast at the beginning).  The BEAR is a fairly long race -- the cut-off is 10 hours and the race can be hot and long; make sure you and your Teammates are ready to be racing for a full day. Don't forget that the Mystery Events are meant to break up some of the "usual" disciplines, so enjoy them. Be good to your teammates and your Team will be good to you. That nervousness you may be feeling is just excess energy you have not yet turned toward a positive purpose. Plan to have a good time and don't forget: that is why you are racing in The BEAR.
bulletCancellation Policy: Much of the cost of providing an adventure race is spent long before you arrive at the race site. In fact, most of our costs need to be paid in advance and are not recoverable. Typically, we go forward with an adventure race "rain or shine." If severe weather conditions or other issues out of our control (such as hurricane or the closing of the race site by order of the local government), we will postpone and reschedule the race. The race organizers are not responsible for such changes in schedule, and will credit any paid entries toward the rescheduled race date. There are no refunds or partial refunds for changes made within a week of the event by individuals or members of a Team, that are not caused by the race organizers. If a written cancellation of registration is received by race management more than 21 days in advance of the event date, full credit will be available. If participant's cancellation notice is received 21 days or less (before the race), a 50% credit will be applied; if notice is 10 days or less, a 25% credit; less than 120 hours notice, or no notice ("no shows") will receive no credit. Any such credit is good for 180 days from the date of the scheduled event toward entry/registration in another similar Performance Multisports event. Refunds are not available.
bulletWeather predictions -- Since predictions for weather are still imperfect and are often uncertain, we will be going ahead with plans for The BEAR, unless (or until) we find that a hurricane is definitely going to hit this area. In the event of a hurricane, any change or postponement in the race will be posted on this BEAR Updates page. Meanwhile, we must think positively and continue with our preparations for your race on the Sunday of Columbus Day weekend. Stay positive and be ready to race. After all, The BEAR is an adventure race.
bulletIn case of emergency or if you cannot find the race location: call Race Director, Jakson Badenhoop, at (904) 373-8411

We're looking forward to seeing you and your Team for the Team Check-in and Pre-Race Briefing -- and for The BEAR Adventure Race!

The BEAR Results and photos from last year are online -- 

Click here to see the finisher results. 

There will be new updates posted here from time to time. To get the most recent information and changes, 

be sure to return to this page periodically in the days leading up to The BEAR Adventure Race.

Quantities limited -- Reserve your Team's Hats -- order them now!

The BEAR logo embroidered on the front of each hat!

Official BEAR Gearhead Hat -- 

Thanks to a special arrangement with LAVA GEAR Adventure Clothing

The BEAR Gearhead hat -- high-tech, fast-drying from Lava Gear with The  BEAR logo -- available for our racers to purchase for use in the The BEAR Adventure Race or as souvenirs of the experience and accomplishment.  The BEAR Gearhead Hat has a reflective band for your nighttime adventures, adjustable back strap with center-release buckle, mesh side panes for ventilation. It is made of tan super-tough 4-ply taslan nylon and "bomb-proof" poly mesh.

The BEAR Gearhead Hats will be available at the Team Check-in and Team Meeting the day before the race and at the Race Admin area and at the Awards party after Teams finish. Cost for this great hat is only $25. We will be happy to ship yours to you -- just add $4.50 for the first hat and $3.00 for each additional hat. You can order by mail just by sending your check and the address for shipping your hats. Reserve some for yourself, your team, and your supporters by writing to us -- click here and let us know.

Return to BEAR Info page

Go to BEAR Essentials page

Go to Kayak Rentals page

Go to BEAR Directions page


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