You will score checkpoint visits by texting us the answer to the question on your scorecard. Checkpoint visits will be instantly tabulated, and scores available upon the teams' return. If you'd rather not use the cellphone for any reason, you can instead circle answers on the paper scorecard. More details are here...
This is the map that was used for this year's Mission Street Scramble. The map for Excelsior Street Scramble will look very similar:
The Street Scramble Experience
Street Scramble races can be enjoyed by anyone who (a) can travel under their own power for 90 minutes—walking, running, biking, or moving in a wheelchair; (b) can follow a street map; and (c) likes to explore.
(Strollers and power wheelchairs are OK for those who need them. If you can't read a map, you can be on a team with someone who can.)
When you arrive at a Street Scramble event, you will check in (most events don't sell out and allow onsite registration). Then, an hour before the start time, you will receive a map with thirty (or so) checkpoint locations circled. Each circle has a number between 10 and 99. The point value of the checkpoint is equal to its number rounded down to the tens; for example, Checkpoint 35 is worth 30 points; Checkpoint 12 is worth 10 points. The back of your map will have a description of a feature to be found at each checkpoint, such as "Statue" or "Pier". You will also receive a scorecard with the same information as on the back of your map; use this scorecard if you are not using electronic scoring.
You (together with your team, if you have a team) will then plan which checkpoints you will try to visit, and in what order. You can visit as many or as few checkpoints as you want, and in any order. Your team will need to stay together at all times. You can change your plan as you go along, but it's very helpful to at least start with some kind of plan.
About 20 minutes before the start there will be a pre-Scramble-race briefing, at which the event director will review rules and safety. There will be a countdown to the start, after which you will head out to visit checkpoints. Again, your team must stay together at all times. Checkpoints are found at the precise centers of the circles on the map. When you arrive at a checkpoint location, look for the feature described on the back of your map.
At most locations, you will need to answer a simple multiple-choice question, found on the back of your map and on your scorecard, to prove you were there. Example:
35 Statue, NE side: What is the last word on the plaque?
If you are not using the electronic scoring system, circle the correct answer on your scorecard and proceed to another checkpoint. Also write down the time of your checkpoint visit.
We offer two electronic ways to record your checkpoint visits. One option is available at all events and all checkpoints, and involves sending us, the organizers, a text message with your answer to the question on the back of the map. For example, suppose you are Team 1191 and the correct answer to the question at Checkpoint 35 is (a), "Arts". You will send, to the phone number we provide at registration, a message with the text
and you will get back a confirmation message that says
Team 1191 Checkpoint 35 Answer A at 10:31:23.
The other electronic option will only be available at some events and at select checkpoints that are at locations of participating businesses, and only to those entrants who have a smartphone capable of recognizing QR codes, and the necessary phone app. Simply snap a picture of the code and get on your way!
To participate in the 90 minute division, you must return to the event center within 90 minutes. To participate in the 3 hour option, return within 3 hours. You can decide which option you want while you're out there. Returning on time requires planning!
Our maps run the gamut from specially surveyed and produced city and wilderness maps to improved USGS topographic maps, and sometimes include off-the-shelf (off-the-screen?) maps. We use information from a variety of sources. Our maps only have a few street names on them, and often no street names at all—so it will be important for you to keep track of where you are on the map.
It is perfectly fine to utilize other maps you may bring, or to look at a map on your smartphone. You can also use the phone's GPS; any GPS units, altimeters, and pedometers are all fair game—but please don't get so distracted by the gadgets as to lose track of vehicle traffic!
When you return, you will turn in your scorecard; if you used electronic scoring, your score will be ready and waiting for you. (In case your phone turns out to be less sweat-resistant than you thought, we can handle answers that are partially submitted electronically and partially handwritten.) All team members must finish together at the same time; your official finish time is when the last team member arrives at the finish line. It is important to be on time because you will lose points for each minute you are late. We will keep your scorecard, but you get to take your map home with you. If your answers are handwritten, we will tally your score while you enjoy refreshments, included in your entry fee. After refreshments, awards will be given out for those with the highest scores in different divisions and categories.
As a minimum, we will award the best men, women, and mixed teams in the following categories: Juniors (each team member must be 20 years of age or younger on 31 December 2013), Masters (40 or older on 31 December 2013), and Open. Awards will also be given to the best family teams; a family team is one that has anyone 20 years of age or younger, and also someone 21 years of age or older.
Entry and Registration
The first 50 teams to enter get technical-fabric T shirts with the Street Scramble design. That's right, a complimentary shirt for each and every team member! Please select the shirt size during the registration process. These shirts can be obtained at the event only if we do not sell out, or if there are cancellations. If you would rather not have another shirt—even as cool as this—we offer a discount.
Pre-registration is open. Team members may enter together (be entered by the same person), or separately. If you would like to go with a team, but don't know your teammates' names yet, you can enter yourself and other members can join the team at a later time.
As with all events by Get Lost!!, fees for teams, including families, are capped. Three, four, or five people enter at the team price; each team member gets a map. The fees are:
Fine print: Each team member of the first 50 teams that enter must be entered by the last entry deadline in order to be guaranteed a shirt in her/his size. Because of the lead time involved in printing the shirts, it is not possible for us to provide shirts to late-entering participants.
More fine print: Team member additions after the deadline increase the price, so as to account for the extra cost associated with providing supplies and insurance to the participants at the last moment. Team member substitutions are always free.
The maximum team size at Street Scramble is 5 people. We have found that it becomes increasingly difficult for larger teams to stay together throughout the event, which is required by the rules. If you aren't sure how many of your friends will show up, you are welcome to enter everyone on the same team and then split the team if more than 5 people do show up. By participating as multiple teams, your group will quite possibly be eligible for more awards!
On top of these prices, we offer the following discounts:
The BAOC discount only applies to individuals, not teams. That is, a registration for two people who are both BAOC members will cost less than the team price. A three-person team is always best off taking the team deal.
These discounts are taken and combined automatically by the registration system. Make sure to indicate the team association, individual participant's club membership, and the correct (or at least approximately correct) ages for the team members.
We accept credit cards online through Google Checkout, and cash, checks, and credit cards on site.
1. Directions and Parking
There is some parking in the lot off University Street; if it is full, park on University or on Wayland. Public transit works.
Registration and check-in will be in Picnic Area 5 by McNab Lake.
Safety is our first priority. All cyclists must wear a helmet and stop at all stop signs and red lights.
There are only certain places in which you can cross Interstate 280 and U.S. Highway 101, both freeways. These places should be obvious on your map; some are accented with red-triangle access signs. In addition to streets that cross, there are two pedestrian/bike bridges that are valid and scenic crossing points. If it's unclear from the map as to where you can cross, please just ask us before the start!
The Bayshore Blvd./Potrero Ave./Cezar Chavez St./Highway 101 interchange, and the Alemany Blvd./San Bruno Ave./Bayshore Blvd./Industrial St./Highway 101/Interstate 280 interchange, in particular, are entangled spaghetti soups of ramps that go every which way, and are particularly hard to interpret on the map. There's no absolute need to go through either one of these areas on this course, and choosing one of them as a place to cross will slow you down. We suggest taking nearby pedestrian/bike bridges. If you do want to explore one of these areas, the gist is that you can cross under the freeways (there are sidewalks and marked bike lanes), but you have to be careful not to get on freeway ramps; traffic will also be coming at you from several directions in these two areas, and most drivers won't be expecting you.
There can be a lot of car and bicycle traffic; please be careful and cross at dedicated pedestrian crossings. Be especially mindful of turning Muni buses; drivers sometimes can't see a quickly moving pedestrian off to their side.
We strongly encourage you to wear a Street Scramble safety vest to enhance your visibility. You can borrow one from us at no charge.
The course includes Bayview-Hunters Point; most of the Bayview checkpoints are located in lesser-known parks and on the shoreline. We think that it's about as safe in the Bayview on a Saturday morning as it is in some of the other parts of San Francisco covered by Street Scramble and Night & Day Challenge. It is a long excursion to the shoreline, so plan your route accordingly.
3. Urban Adventure Hunt series 2012/2013
This event is the twelfth and final one one in the series. Here is last year's announcement, but in brief, it works this way: Each Street Scramble event is worth a maximum of 1000 points, and Mill Valley and Santa Cruz Street Scramble events, with their 7-hour competition, are worth 1600 points. We will add together the points from the 12 events that are scheduled between late June of 2012 and late May of 2013. If your team participates in the 90-minute division, we will multiply its points by 1.5; if it is in the 7 hours, there is no penalty, enjoy all the extra points that a long run or ride in the city entails! In order for event scores to count for the series, your team should keep the same name, compete in the same age/gender category, and maintain at least one common member for the Street Scramble events it participates in.
Prizes: In each category (foot and bike; Open, Masters, and Juniors; Men, Women, and Mixed; and Family), there is a single first-place award to the best team, and it is a free entry to San Francisco Night & Day Challenge in 2013. A team has to participate in at least three Street Scramble events in order to be eligible for the award. But furthermore, we'll combine your points from the Street Scramble events and SFND, and a few very lucky—or fast—teams will win an expense-paid trip to the Seattle Night & Day, which occurs about two months after SFND!! We will showcase one or two categories for this award.
Series standings after Santa Cruz Street Scramble are available.
4. Event rules
Each team must stay together throughout the event. It is not allowed to split up to cover more ground. The finish time is taken when the last team member crosses the finish line.
Travel under your own power only. It is not allowed to take Muni, BART, or cabs.
It is not allowed to look up answers to checkpoint questions without actually going to the checkpoint; in particular, you cannot use Street View, Panoramio, or the likes. Using Street View would be just like driving past everyone in a car at a running race! You can, however, use the map on your smartphone, and GPS. You are welcome to use any and all maps of the area you may bring. We also plan to provide an electronic map of the course for use on smartphones.
Please stay off private property.
All checkpoints are immediately reachable on bike. A number of them are on dirt roads and paths. There are many stairs in Bernal Heights; on them, you will have to carry your bike, but you can also go around on the streets. A road bike is an advantage over a mountain bike for this event, but be prepared for some rough going, or for wheeling the bike if it can't withstand off-pavement.
6. The map
The map for this event is at 1:20,000 scale with 20 ft. (6.10 m) contours. This map is the second step on the path towards Get Lost!!'s future urban-map standard... which means it's most of the way where we want it to be. Most of the data for this map, a part of the comprehensive Greater San Francisco map, is from San Francisco GIS. The elevation contours are exceedindly precise. We took some time to classify the streets according to their nature and width (regular street/narrow driveway/unpaved/stairs/wide street/divided arterial).
The map is rendered in six fill colors for various areas. These colors are light purple (most of the map), light grey, dark grey, brown, light green, and white, and they mean the following:
Light purple fill is for developed areas, mostly private property, where you shouldn't go unless you are on a mapped street or path through it. Sometimes you can physically get through these areas without problems, but there are posted no-trespassing signs, or else people clearly don't expect you to go through. Detail is rarely shown inside these areas.
In particular, if there are streets that visibly do not connect and the gap between them is purple, it means you cannot get through that area, either physically or legally. There's probably a house or a fence in the way. You should not plan on shortcuts through the purple being valid route options. We accent some of the ways you can't go with purple crosses, but it's your responsibility to stay off private property.
An area as large as this cannot be mapped perfectly—the first time, and perhaps ever. Access details change daily. It is entirely possible that the map will lead you somewhere you shouldn't be. The course of action we expect you to take in this situation is to retrace your steps back to public property. Please do not force your way through. Staying on public property helps us focus on bringing you excellent events, instead of dealing with property owners and authorities. Your cooperation is key to success of Street Scramble and to our ability to create future exciting events.
Light grey fill is for developed areas, most of them public property, some of them private, that you can get through. These are typically school and college campuses, apartment complexes, shopping areas, and municipal building areas. Larger buildings are shown inside these areas—but not all buildings. We plan to show most of the obstacles to movement in these areas, such as high fences, but most fences aren't on this edition of the map. So, it's best not to expect to be able to get through the grey, but keep your eyes open for shortcuts and you may be pleasantly surprised. There are typically no good ways for bikes to get through the grey, but sometimes there are.
Dark grey is large buildings. You usually can't get through them, but sometimes you can. Passages through buildings are shown with light grey.
Brown is for parking lots and office parks, that is areas that are mostly paved. Some of the large office buildings in these areas aren't yet shown; they eventually will be. You are allowed to go through these areas.
Green is for forested parks. You are allowed to pass through all green and white areas; whether you can physically do so is another story. On this course, all parks into which you can reasonably go are passable, and few have impassable fences across them. If you see a fence, chances are very high that there's an open gate less than a half-block away.
White is for open (treeless) undeveloped areas, such as many of the parks.
At this Street Scramble, we continue the tradition. An electronic map of the 34 checkpoints will be available at map issue time, one hour before the start. You are welcome to download this map on your smartphone, and use it however you wish.
7. Course notes
The course has been designed entirely by Vladimir Gusiatnikov. There are 34 checkpoints worth the usual 1000 points. Ten of the checkpoints are in Bayview-Hunters Point, 5 in the Excelsior, 5 in Portola, 4 in Bernal Heights, 4 in Mission Terrace/Outer Mission, 4 in Visitacion Valley, and 2 in Crocker-Amazon.
The optimum actual distance to travel in order to get all checkpoints is 46.2 km, with ample climb. This calculation assumes taking stairs and narrower dirt paths, shortcutting through open areas where possible and legal; cyclists will most likely favor longer routes. We believe it is possible for very fit cyclists to get to all checkpoints on bike within 3 hours under ideal conditions, no traffic slowdowns or equipment malfunctions, and navigating perfectly; no foot teams should expect to come close to being able to collect all checkpoints.
The late penalty is 10 points for each minute, or fraction thereof. Remember, you can switch from the 90 minute division to the 3 hour division at any time, even while you are on the course.
Signs, murals, and other checkpoint-worthy attractions in a busy city change daily. Although most of the checkpoints were scouted a week or less before the event, it is possible that some of the questions no longer apply. In this case, answer the question as well as you can, and take a picture of the site if you have a camera; if the checkpoint site description has changed and you can prove you have been in the correct location, we will give you credit for the checkpoint.
8. Cellphone scoring
Cellphone scoring will be offered for this event, and here's a short tutorial.
Our receiving phone number is +1 503 567 8924. (It spells out LOST X24. Hope you aren't.)
Start with registering your team's cell phone number. You can send us answers from more than one cell phone. We don't pull the phone number information from your registration, so this step must be done for at least one phone. From this phone, send us a text message that says T followed by your team number. You will find out your team number at check-in, or if you would like to complete this step early, e-mail us and we'll let you know your team number. For example, if your team number is 142, text
You will receive a short confirmatory message. It may take a few seconds for the system to issue a confirmation to each of your commands and answers, sometimes up to about half a minute, more if your phone moves in and out of coverage.
After you have registered your team number, you're clear to head out on the course! One of the neat features is the ability to retrieve checkpoint questions and answer choices as you go. Just say Q? followed by the checkpoint number, like this:
And now to the most important part—sending us answers to checkpoint questions! Just send us the checkpoint number and the answer choice, in this order or answer first, with or without a space; the answer (as all commands) is case-insensitive. For each answer, you get a short confirmatory message.
Please take care in answering the questions. Sometimes, teams give a literal answer, for example if the answer choices are (A) 1; (B) 2; (C) 3, a team can text 2. This answer will not count as a wrong answer and the system will simply ask you to try again. Only the first valid answer choice counts. If you send in a wrong answer choice, for example if the correct answer is B and you say A, the mistake cannot be corrected.
You can find out how many checkpoints you have visited, and how many points they are worth, by texting S?. This score is not graded; that is, the points are calculated without take into account whether your answers are correct or not.
The full command set is
Q? R? S? T/T? U W?
We already went over most of those. The remaining commands are: R? tells you how long your team has been on the course; T? replies with your team number on record; U is used to unsubsribe the phone number; and W? lets you know which ones you got wrong.
The system is currently on Eastern time. We may or may not be able to fix that before the event. Finally, if you encounter an error message, please let us know after the event.
Please do not send praise, comments, blame, bug reports, missing checkpoint notes, or status updates to this number—they are all quite welcome, but use +1 971 998 0321 instead. They will all be read and acted upon.
We will not be using QR codes at this event.
9. Pen-and-paper scoring
When you mark your answer, please also make sure to write down the time you visited each checkpoint. Doing this is not mandatory, but allows for some entertaining post-event route analysis. Your finish time will be taken when you hand in your score sheet.
We maintain a discussion board for all our events on Attackpoint. Popular among adventure-sports athletes in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries, the site is the one to go to for the latest adventure-running news, schedules, discussion, and gossip.
Forum for the Excelsior Street Scramble.
We also post updates to our Facebook pages:
Facebook event for the Excelsior Street Scramble.