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 a sample map that was used for the 2011 Santa Cruz 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!
The map is usually an improved USGS topographic map; we also use information from other sources. The map will have only a few 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 2012), Masters (40 or older on 31 December 2012), 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:
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.
There is only street parking; not too bad at this time of the day in this neighborhood. Public transit is advised.
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, U.S. Highway 101, and the spur of Interstate 80 (all 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 three 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 Bayshore Blvd./Alemany Blvd./San Bruno Ave./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 these areas on this course, and choosing these two areas as places to cross will slow you down. We suggest taking nearby pedestrian/bike bridges. If you do want to explore either of these two areas, the gist is that you can cross under the freeways, 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.
We strongly encourage you to wear a Street Scramble safety vest to enhance your visibility. You can borrow one from us at no charge.
3. T shirts
Shirts for this event are sold out. If you entered, or added members to your team, on Monday 23 January or later, we may or may not have your size; you will receive either a shirt, a raincheck, or a partial refund.
4. Urban Adventure Hunt series 2011/2012
This event is the fourth one in the series. Here is the complete announcement, but in brief, it works this way: Each Street Scramble event is worth a maximum of 1000 points. We will add together the points from the 2011 Mill Valley, 2011 Berkeley and Oakland Hills, 2012 Los Gatos, 2012 Mission, 2012 Millbrae, and 2012 Santa Cruz events. If your team participates in the 90 minute division, we will multiply its points by 1.5. In order for event scores to count for the series, your team should keep the same name and at least one common member for the Street Scramble events it 0participates 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 2012. 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.
5. Event rules
Each team must stay together throughout the event. It is not allowed to split up to cover more ground.
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.
Please stay off private property.
All checkpoints are immediately reachable on bike and the course does not force you off the road. There are many stairs in this part of San Francisco; on them, you will have to carry your bike, but you can also go around on the streets. A road bike is unquestionably an advantage over a mountain bike for this event.
7. Map and course notes
The map for this event is at 1:20,000 scale with 20 ft. (6.10 m) contours. This map is another step on the path towards Get Lost!!'s future urban-map standard, but only a step. Most of the data for this map, a part of the future 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); this info wasn't present in the source and the work is not complete.
The map is rendered in five fill colors for various areas. These colors are light purple (most of the map), light 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.
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, and not enough of them for this edition of the map (please come back next year). 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.
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; 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. Some of the areas shown with green are quite open, and will be reclassified to white in a future edition of the map.
White is for open (treeless) undeveloped areas. There are few of them on this map.
The course has been designed entirely by Vladimir Gusiatnikov. There are 40 checkpoints worth the usual 1000 points. We haven't measured the optimum actual distance to get all of them, but it's between 35 and 40 km. Strong cyclists will be able to get all checkpoints, but no foot teams should be able to.
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.
As you can see from our course planning expedition, mural art changes daily, and the artists don't report to us! A checkpoint used for the 2011 San Francisco Night & Day Challenge now has an entirely different mural, and a lot of what you see in Google Street View has been painted over. 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.
Two of the checkpoints are inside sponsoring businesses. At one, only the staff has the answer to the question; at the other one, you will be able to know the answer as soon as you get inside the store.
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
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; and U is used to unsubsribe the phone number.
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.
Post-race refreshments are kindly provided by Sports Basement. Shortly after you are finished, head to the store for some snacks and beverages (including the adult variety)! Sports Basement is also offering a 20% discount off everything in the store—just for the Mission Street Scramble participants. To get to the store, use your course map and walk, bike, or take the 27–Bryant.
Next year's Mission Street Scramble will start from the Sports Basement. It is scheduled for Saturday 02 February 2013.
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 Mission Street Scramble.