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 the 2012 Los Gatos Street Scramble:
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 (some events don't sell out and allow onsite registration). Then, a half 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. You will also receive a scorecard with a description of a feature to be found at each checkpoint, such as "Statue of woman" or "Public pier".
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 scorecard.
At most locations, you will need to answer a simple multiple-choice question, found on your scorecard, to prove you were there. Example:
35 Statue of woman: What is the last word on the plaque next to the statue?
If you are not using the electronic scoring system, circle the correct answer on the scorecard and proceed to another checkpoint. Also write down the time of your checkpoint visit.
The other electronic option is available at all checkpoints, and involves sending us, the organizers, a text message with your answer to the question on the scorecard. For example, suppose you are Team 191 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 191 Checkpoint 35 Answer A at 10:31:23.
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!
We make our maps using information from a number of sources. The map will not have any street names on it, 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.) 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.
If you have further questions, you may be able to find answers to them on the Equipment and Detailed Rules pages.
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.
The design shown is not the actual 2013 shirt design. The 2013 design will be similar, but distinct enough that you won't regret obtaining a shirt if you already have a 2011 or 2012 Street Scramble T shirt.
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:
Please add $10.00 if you would like us to manually tally a handwritten score sheet for your team.
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
Coming from the north or the south on Highway 17, take the E Los Gatos exit. Go east to the end of Saratoga–Los Gatos Road and then two blocks south (right turn) on Los Gatos Boulevard. The History Club will be on your right. There is some parking in the Club's lot, and more parking on nearby streets, quite possibly enough for our event's attendees. Transit is an option.
Registration and check-in will open at 8:30 am.
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 Highway 17 (a freeway). These should be obvious on your map. A pedestrian/bike bridge is further accented with a red-triangle symbol (crossing point).
We strongly encourage you to wear a Street Scramble safety vest to enhance your visibility. You can borrow one from us at no charge.
Los Gatos Creek is out of bounds; you may not cross it other than on a bridge.
3. Urban Adventure Hunt series 2012/2013
This event is the seventh 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 a month after SFND!! We will showcase one or two categories for this award.
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 buses 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 except one are immediately reachable by bike. The foot-only checkpoint is some 150 meters from a bike-legal trail; you will be able to carry the bike with you on the foot-only trails, and it's probably also OK to wheel the bike to that one.
On this course, several routes are passable on foot but are not available to cyclists for either legal or physical reasons. Please pay attention to map symbols that convey trail use information. A mountain bike is a definite advantage at many high-value checkpoints, but there are also long stretches in the lowlands where you'll wish for a road bike—it's hard to give a definite recommendation for one vs. the other.
To the best of our knowledge, dogs on leash are allowed on all streets, paths, and trails on which you are likely to travel on this course.
7. The map and access
The map for this event is at 1:20,000 scale with 10-meter contours. This map is another step on the path towards Get Lost!!'s urban-map standard, but not yet the final step. Most of the data for the Los Gatos map is from OpenStreetMap, and the elevation contours are from lidar (so they are very precise). 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 or the second 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.
One of the large areas shown in light grey is a winery. There is a high fence between the winery and adjacent private property, and also between the winery and adjacent parks—but not all the way around the winery's perimeter. It is best to only plan on being able to access the winery on mapped trails.
Dark grey is large buildings. You usually can't get through them, but sometimes you can.
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 areas except where posted and except as noted below; whether you can physically do so is another story. Some of the areas shown with green are quite open, and will be reclassified to white in a future edition of the map.
A number of open (treeless) areas in St. Joseph's Hill Open Space Preserve are fenced off with no-off-trail-access signs, but they aren't fenced off from all possible directions. It is possible that you will be running up a hill and then encounter a fence between you and the trail you want to be on; since the Preserve is well attended, other trail users will see you and probably not think highly of your apparent violation. For this reason, please assume that you must stay on trail in all of St. Joseph's Hill.
White is for open (treeless) undeveloped areas. There are few of them on this map. Some of these are farms; there's no reason for you to go across them on this course.
A note on road access: In this part of Santa Clara County, a number of roads are posted as private. This means different things to different people. One school of thought says that it is only vehicles that are not allowed on private roads (except those that belong to the lawful occupants and their guests). Pedestrians and bicycles are not vehicles. We aren't sure how fully this theory has been verified in courts, but we've seen cyclists test it daily on a number of these roads. Some cyclists report getting into altercations with the locals, most don't. Some roads that are posted private are in fact public; some with no signs are private.
There are a number of posted-private roads that are used by this course. We are very sure that it's OK to travel along them because we've looked up the rules of use; in most cases the private road is the only way to access a public park. Under no circumstances are you allowed to go past a no-trespassing sign; private roads on which it's OK to travel do not feature no-trespassing signs. We use purple crosses extensively on this map to show roads and driveways that have no-trespassing signs, lockable gates, or are otherwise out of bounds.
Finally, it is not allowed to cross Los Gatos Creek at any place other than on a bridge. Although it is physically possible to do so at some places during most times of the year, after rain the creek can be a torrent raging over slippery concrete. Because conditions can change by the hour, allowing unofficial crossings won't be fair to those who get to the creek after the floodgates have been opened.
At this Street Scramble, we are introducing something new. An electronic map of the 32 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.
8. Course notes
The course has been designed entirely by Vladimir Gusiatnikov and vetted by Misha Kreslavsky. There are 32 checkpoints worth the usual 1000 points. (We announced a larger number earlier, but it turns out several checkpoints aren't needed and will be used in 2014 instead—the course is plenty long.) Twenty-six of the checkpoints are in Los Gatos, five in Monte Sereno, and one is in San José.
The optimum actual distance to travel in order to get all checkpoints is 56.2 km, with ample climb. This calculation assumes taking some trails that are only open to foot traffic; cyclists will have to travel longer distances. We believe it is possible for very fit cyclists to get to all checkpoints by 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.
9. 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.
10. 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 Los Gatos Street Scramble.
We also post updates to our Facebook pages:
Facebook event for Los Gatos Street Scramble.