Furnace Creek 508 Application System
Plus Gear, Waiver Forms, and Other Info!
No further applications will be accepted for the 2013 race.
Please note the minimum qualifying standards for 2014 and beyond.
Thank you for your interest in competing in "The Toughest 48 Hours in Sport!"
This race has grown considerably since we began producing it with a field of 25 soloists in 1990. In 2014 we'll celebrate the 31st Anniversary of this race and will have over 250 entrants, with approximately 75 soloists and 65 relay teams. We've been bursting at the seams for several years now and, unfortunately, turning some people away, which disappoints us, too. Our field size is limited by permit constraints, and, most importantly, by traffic and safety issues.
The goal of the Furnace Creek 508 selection process process is to select a race field which is likely to safely and fairly complete the race, while representing as many American states, foreign countries, and diverse backgrounds as possible. Our goal is to produce a safe and successful event and uphold The 508's status as a world-class sporting event with the largest field in all of ultracycling.
The invitational format we have utilized at Furnace Creek 508 since 2008 (as opposed to the first come, first served format we used before 2008) has been tremendously successful, as the record high finishing rates attest from recent years. New for 2013, we are initiating Minimum Qualifying Standards.
On March 4, 2014 the Application Submission period will open for entrants hoping to race in any division of the 2014 Furnace Creek 508. The application will be available on-line from March 4 to March 17. Based upon those applications, on March 21 we will send out Entry Confirmations to those accepted to race. Confirmed entrants will have until April 1 to submit their paperwork and fees. The 2014 race roster will be published online on appproximately April 8, or later.
2014 Furnace Creek 508 Applications
Please study this entire page carefully.
Entry fees are non-transferable, but are 50% refundable until August 1.
Entry fees are:
- Solo: $550
- Tandem: $990
- 2X Team: $990
- 4X Team or Two Tandem Team: $1700
- 4 Tandem Team: $2600
Rider Substitution Fee: $50 (For any approved rider swaps on 2x and 4x teams). Rider swaps are heavily discouraged. If your team must swap a rider, please contact us to inquire about how to complete the process. Also, please note that not all Rider Substititions are guaranteed acceptance. Your team, if it is selected for the race, is selected based upon the rider bios submitted in the original team application. Therefore, rider substitutions must be approved, are not guaranteed, and may lead to rejection of the entire team.
Team and Tandem Entries: Please note that we need complete application information for every rider, so be prepared to submit a complete application for each rider simultaneously (that means one person will submit all the info on behalf of all riders). Click here to preview the application, so that the person who will complete it will know which info they will need for all riders.
Totems: We use animal totems rather than numbers to identify racers in the Furnace Creek 508. Each racer may request, or will receive, an animal totem as part of the application process. Returning racers will have the same totems as before. New riders may request a specific animal totem when they submit their entry form, however only Chris Kostman can officially assign animal totems, following a special ritual ablution and spiritual practice. Totems, whether nickname, mascot, alter ego, second identity, or spirit guide, are permanent and non-transferable. For more info on totems and which totems are already taken, click here.
JERSEYS AND GEAR
All 2014 508 official finishers will be awarded a FREE jersey at the finish line in Twentynine Palms, so 2014 entrants should be sure to specify their correct size on their 2014 application. Click here to see Furnace Creek 508 jersey designs from throughout history!
Note: As of 2013, we use PACE Sportswear "Euro Race Cut" jerseys, proudly made in Orange County, CA by long-time friends of ours. (PACE produced the jerseys for this race in its early years and was one of the very first companies to sponsor ultra cycling and ultra cyclists. We are excited and pleased to be working with them again, and to be awarding jerseys Made Locally and Made In The USA to all Furnace Creek 508 finishers.) Please review the CHEST measurement on the following Size Chart to confirm your size. These jersys fit similarly to Hincapie as we used for many years before 2012. Be sure to request the appropriate size (check the CHEST measurement only), as that size is what you will receive if you finish! (Note that the 2012 PACE jerseys had a looser fit than they will have in 2013 and beyond. The 2013 and 2014 jerseys will fit much more like Hincapie Race Cut.)
MINIMUM QUALIFYING STANDARDS (Tentative First Draft, posted March 26, 2013.)
SOLO: Because we are receiving more applications to compete than we can accommodate, and because the level of competition, and finishing rate, are so high, racers applying for the solo race field must meet one or more of the following minimum qualifying standards prior to submitting an application:
• Official finish of Furnace Creek 508 as a soloist or member of a two-rider team in the previous threee years.
• Official finish as a soloist of any bona fide 500-mile, or longer, ultracycling race such as Race Across Oregon or Adirondack 540, in the past three years.
• Official finish of Paris-Brest-Paris or other bona fide 1200km Grand Randonnée in under 80 hours, in the past three years.
• Official finish of a Super Randonneur Brevet Series (200km, 300km, 400km, and 600km) in one calendar year, in the past two years. Alternatively, official finish of three double centuries and a 600km brevet, in the past two years.
• Official finish of the Race Across America as a soloist or on a two-person or four-person team, in the past three years.
• Official finish as a soloist of a bona fide 24 hour road race with a minimum of 350 miles completed, in the past two years. 325 miles minimum required for riders 50 years of age or older.
• Current year Badwater Ultramarathon entrants who wish to compete in Furnace Creek 508 as a soloist (to pursue the Death Valley Cup) must have completed a 400km brevet / 250 mile or longer ultra cycling event, or completed at least 300 miles in a bona fide 24 hour road race, and that same year's Badwater Ultramarathon, in order to enter Furnace Creek 508. Such athletes must apply for The 508 during the standard application period and will likely receive a Provisional Acceptance unless they already possess the minimum standards to apply.
2X: Racers applying for the two-person (or two-tandem) race field must meet one or more of the following minimum qualifying standards: To Be Determind. We may go to a lottery with a 45 team limit.
4X: Racers applying for the four-person (or four-tandem) race field must meet one or more of the following minimum qualifying standards: To Be Determind. We may go to a lottery with a 25 team limit.
HOW TO APPLY
The application will be available March 4 - March 17, 2014 only!
Step One: Would-be 2014 Furnace creek 508 entrants must complete the online application (available at the bottom of this page during that timeframe) between March 4 and March 17, 2014. You will need to tell us about the following:
- Your ultracycling, and ultrasports, experience.
- Your specific experience with Furnace Creek 508 in the past (if any), as a racer, crew member, or Race Staff. If you are applying as a relay team, having at least one 508 veteran on your team is encouraged, but not required.
- Any charitable efforts you intend to implement if you are invited to compete in the Furnace Creek 508. This may be on behalf of any of the Official Charities of AdventureCORPS, or any other charity you wish to support.
- Any media coverage you expect to receive if you are invited to compete in the Furnace Creek 508.
- Any "Green Team" effort you intend to implement if you are invited to compete in the Furnace Creek 508.
- Your contributions to the sport of ultracycling: event organizer, support crew experience, journalist, sponsor, and the like, if any.
Step Two: After you complete the application for you—or you and your teammates—your application will be immediately under review. Therefore, do not click "Submit" until you are sure it is ready for review. Once you click "Submit," it will be impossible to modify or append your application. Be sure it is complete and ready for review. ONLY what is submitted in your application will be considered (no follow-up emaisl with further details, please).
Step Three: Click here to sign up for our email newsletter. (Your crew members and sponsors should sign up, too, if you are accepted to race.) Click here and click here to sign up for our two Twitter feeds and click here and click here to "like" our who Facebook pages.
Step Four (not mandatory): We encourage, but do not require, you to click here to submit an online donation to Challenged Athletes Foundation, the Official Charity of AdventureCORPS and this event in particular. It will go a long way for a good cause and will mean a lot to me personally. Also, you may choose to become a fund-raiser for CAF and dedicate your participation in Furnace Creek event to CAF. It's a great cause and fun to do! For more info on why you should support CAF or how you can race on behalf of CAF, click here.
The Major Taylor Association is also a beneficiary of Furnace Creek 508 and AdventureCORPS. The MTA was formed by residents of Worcester, Mass., who became intrigued with the story of the 1899 world champion bicycle racer from Worcester who overcame racial prejudice to become the first internationally acclaimed African-American sports star. The organization's mission is to memorialize Major Taylor with a statue on public land in Worcester, in recognition of his athletic achievements and strength of character—his sportsmanship, concern for those less fortunate, devotion to God, and personal struggle for equality. We are proud to support the Major Taylor Association and we encourage you to click here and do the same!
The Death Valley Natural History Association is also a beneficiary of Furnace Creek 508 and AdventureCORPS. DVNHA is a non-profit organization supporting education, research, and preservation in Death Valley National Park and Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Some of their efforts include DeathValley R.O.C.K.S. (bringing inner city kids to experience one of the largest outdoor classrooms in the world), Devil's Hole Pupfish Recovery, Death Valley All Taxa Biological Inventory, plus they run the wonderful gift shops at the Furnace Creek Visitor's Center, Scotty's Castle Museum, Stovepipe Wells Ranger Station, and at the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge Office. We are proud to support DVNHA and we encourage you to click here do the same!
Step Five: Wait. According to the schedule outlined on our website, we will notify you or you and your teammates via email whether you are, or are not, confirmed to compete in the Furnace Creek 508. If you, or your team, is accepted to compete, you will be emailed the three-page Personal Waiver, Entry Fee Payment Form, and Gear Order Form. (Like all Pdf forms, this requires Adobe Acrobat or similar to read and utilize.) Please TYPE all information on the pages while it is open in your computer, then sign it before mailing it to the race office with the relevant fee. Fees may be paid by check or money order only, payable to AdventureCORPS; sorry, no credit cards. You will have a limited time to submit the paperwork to AdventureCORPS in order to secure your spot on the race roster. If your paperwork is late, you will forfeit your opportunity to compete.
NOTE: We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Additionally, due to permit, safety, and operational restrictions that limit the field to approximately 240 entrants, we apologize now that some qualified applicants will not be accepted. We appreciate your understanding if you are not invited this year. If that's the case, we encourage you to support another racer in the event as this race could not go on without dedicated and competent support crews.
Step Six: If you are accepted to compete, you will also be sent the Crew Member Waiver. Each of your crew members must sign this form prior to the race, so print one for each of your crew members. Please bring them as one set of waivers when you attend Racer Check-In. (Do not mail them to us in advance.)
- No applicant is guaranteed entry, including race veterans.
- Some special consideration is given to applicants who are veteran Furnace Creek 508 crew members or race officials.
- Some special consideration is given to past solo male and female champions of this race.
- You must have relevant, applicable race results from the previous three years.
- All relevant race results must be attained prior to submitting the application to compete in the upcoming Furnace Creek 508. (In the past few years, some Provisional Acceptances have been granted, but that will likely no longer be the case except for Death Valley Cup pursuers.)
- All Applicants are encouraged to take the application process seriously and compose an extensive, detailed, and accurate application. Simply put, the applicants with the best applications (in terms of their athletic background, demonstrable commitment to sportsmanship, and in terms of their answers to questions posed on the application) will have the greatest chance of being selected to enter the race. Applications should be written as if the reader has never heard of the applicant and has no prior knowledge of the entrant or any of the events in which he/she has participated, including The 508. Acronyms and initials should not be used when listing events and such; please type out the full name of any event, person, or place mentioned in the application.
- In preparing your application, keep in mind the standard reasons that generally will lead to some applicants not being invited:
- The applicant has limited athletic background, which is particulary important for solo applicants.
- The applicant's credentials are only recent, i.e., not a seasoned ultra endurance athlete with a breadth of experience.
- The applicant's credentials are only old, i.e. all or most of the credentials are old and may not reflect current ability.
- The applicant has no experience in extreme conditions or specifically on the 508 race course as a competitor, crew member, or official.
- The applicant didn't "prove" his or her claims. (Please include a weblink to the relevant results wepage for any major event mentioned in your application, so what we may verify your results).
- The applicant submitted a "thin" application—not only few qualifications were listed, but not much time was put into the preparation of the application itself. (Applicants shoud not assume "we've already heard of him/her" and therefore not provide the necessary details.)
- There are always A LOT of "qualified" applicants, and thus some applicants must inevitably be turned away.
- If you are not accepted to compete, or if you hope to compete in a future edition of The 508, we encourage you to volunteer to crew for a competitor in The 508. Support crews are critical to the success of every entrant in this race. There are those planning to compete who would benefit immensely if you offered to crew for them. And while they would be incredibly grateful, you would learn a lot and would have another valuable credential to include on your application if you choose to apply for a future Furnace Creek 508. You can use the AdventureCORPS Blog to post your availability.
A link to the application will be posted here from March 4 to March 17, 2014.