Your scribe got behind on writing, partially due to being summoned to help with scoring to alleviate the backlog of riders arriving near the start of the penalty point window. Only one rider was in the penalty window, which was a minor miracle, given how far out some of the riders on the east side of the country were just a few hours earlier.
The scores and bonuses each rider collected have been posted at this link to the Iron Butt Association website.
As usual, several riders lost points at the table. Reading comprehension still counts. Minor penalties for an error on their bonus log sheet, major ones for missing the call-in time window, or forgetting to turn on their satellite tracker, or not realizing the tracker battery died and losing their tracking bonus. There were some receipt issues and photo issues as well.
The staff strives to make the scoring process efficient, allowing the riders to get more sleep time prior to having to be at the rider meeting at 4:00am, then start planning their routes for Leg 2. However, staff did not anticipate the riders’ voracious appetite for Bingo bonuses and the required receipts. And receipts are a time suck; some did not have locations on them, only store numbers or phone numbers, so staff had to spend time to look up the numbers for location verification. This resulted in a longer queue than is typical. Steps are being taken to hopefully avoid this at the scoring for Checkpoint 2.
Jeff’s rally design appears to be working really well to challenge the riders, no matter what their level of experience or goals might be for this rally. The spread of points between riders is very small and competition is tight. Apparently, at this stage of the rally, every point is valuable due to the small points spread. It remains to be seen whether the points will increase on the next legs or whether there will be some shiny large-value baubles to temp riders into ignoring other options. Will the point spread remain tight, or will someone pull off a massive coup by grabbing a seemingly impossible bonus?
The staff was interested to see how many riders took time to collect a lot of Bingo points and go a long way toward filling their cards. The number choosing to collect these locations was higher than anticipated. The swirl of rumors regarding what might happen in Leg 2 for the Bingo aspect of the game were rampant and amusing. Readers may find both the bonus locations and the Bingo choices for each rider by clicking on their scorecards.
Iron Butt Rally©
Photos by John Harrison, Jeff Earls, and Tobie Stevens