Frequently asked questions

What is the race format and how is it split up?


The TCX Adventure Race Series is split up based on sport/discipline. You should expect some of the disciplines of the race to be spit up, for example: Bike 5mi, Paddle 2-3mi, Bike 5mi to Orienteering Section, etc. You will find out the exact order of the race at check-in when you receive your map and race instructions.




I've never done an Adventure Race, how hard is it?


The TCX Adventure Race series is scaled to allow racers of all abilities to have a fun and challenging race. A team of new racers will likely be out there for the full duration of the race, with the possibility of not getting all the checkpoints. While this amount of time may seem long, you’ll likely find that the race flies by.




What are the times of the race?


TCX Palos will begin at 9:00 AM and end at 3:00 PM. Times are subject to change, and all racers are encouraged to arrive early for check-in and briefings, which begin two (2) hours prior to the race start.




I’m interested in doing the race, but need help finding a team to race with.  Can you help me find some teammates?


"Misery Loves Company"... While we do not have the ability to place racers on existing teams, we encourage you to post on our social media channels as there is a high likelyhood that others are in the same boat as you.




Can we add a team member to an existing team after we’ve already registered?


Absolutely! Teams are able to add members to their team (up to 4 total team members) until registration closes. To make the adjustment please email TCX (TransconExpeditions@gmail.com) with your team name, the new team member’s name, email we will give you instructions from there on how to update the team structure.




Can team members split up different sections of the race between them?


Team members must stay together at all times throughout the duration of the event. If teams are found to be splitting up sections any Control Points from that section/dicipline will be voided.




How are teams ranked?


The overall finishing ranking of a team will be determined by the team who collects the most checkpoints in the fastest amount of time. Any teams that finish after the race cutoff will be penalized for each minute they are late.




What kind of bike do I need for the bike course?


TCX Palos is unique in that the potential routes allow for you to take either single track (mountain bike needed) or tarmac (road/hyrbid/cyclocross/mountain). All routes lead to the same Control Points. That said, the Palos course is beginner friendly and any approved bike will work. Have an E-Bike? Thats great, but leave it at home. Our course and the Forest Preserves dont allow e-bikes on their trails. Human powered bikes are the preferred mode of travel for TCX.




If TCX Group Camping is sold out. Are there any other options to camp at Bullfrog Lake?


Yes, absolutely. We encourage all racers to camp the night before to enjoy the weekend and socialize with their fellow competitors. Camping will be available all weekend with all sites and cabins available on a first come first serve basis: http://fpdcc.com/camping/camp-bullfrog-lake/




Will there be places where we leave our bikes and canoes/kayaks, and will they be safe?


There will be transition areas during the race where you will leave your bike/gear as well as paddle gear. While there will be volunteers at these transition areas watching bikes and gear, we cannot guarantee the absolute safety of your equipment. We recommend you label all your gear and lock up anything you are truly concerned about.




Will maps be provided or do we need to bring our own?


All the maps you need will be provided by TCX.




I don't own a canoe or kayak, can I still race?


TCX is proud to partner with REI Boathouse who will be setup at the Paddle Transition Area (TA). REI can offer canoes, as well as single or tandem kayaks). Any racers looking to rent with REI Boathouse should connect with REI ahead of the event to ensure there arent any delays.




Do you offer any group or military discounts?


Yes, absolutely. We offer discounts of up to 20% for Groups and Military participants: 1. Military Discount: 20% - Valid military ID required 2. Groups of 2 teams: 10% discount for all 2 teams 3. Groups of 3 teams: 15% discount for all 3 teams 4. Groups of 4 or more teams: 20% discount for all 4 teams




Is there a minimum age to race?


Yes, to ensure the safety of our participants all racers must be a minimum of 13 years old at the time of the race. Any racers that are between 13 and 17 years old must be on a multi person team with one adult per two under 18 racers. Ex. 3 person team can would need a minimum of 1 adult. A 4 person team would need a minimum of 2 adults.




Is TCX Palos dangerous? Will there be medical onsite?


While there may be more danger involved with racing at TCX Palos than sitting on your couch, we believe that with proper safety measures in place ANY endurance sport can be done so in a safe and fun manner. TCX will have staff members onsite trained in Wilderness First Aid (WFA) as well as the ability to dispatch local public safety officials if there is a need. To ensure the safety of our participants the following safety measures will also be in place for the race:

  • General:
    • Hydration: All TCX races are cupless --- We provide the liquid, you provide the reservoir. We will provide as much water as you need to fill your bottles, please challenge yourself to stay hydrated throughout the race, even if you arent thirsty.
    • First Aid Kit: Each team must have one (1) basic first aid kit throughout the race. This is to ensure that you are able to respond to any emergencies prior to advanced medical support.
    • Cell Phone: Each team must have one (1) working cell phone throughout the race. This should only be used for emergencies or ordering pizza. Phones and GPS's are prohibited to be used for naviational purposes.
  • Transition Areas (TA):
    • All teams must check in/out at each TA.
    • Each TA will staffed with a member having a radio and cellphone for communicating with TCX Basecamp. Each TA will also be stocked with a first aid kit and enough water to refill any water bottles for participants.
  • Cycling/Mountain Biking:
    • Traffic Safety: All cyclists must abide by any traffic signage (Stop/Yield/etc.) as well as utilize the shoulder of roadway when possible. Signage will be on the roadways notifying the public that cyclists will be on the roadway throughout the event.
    • Equipment: All bicycles that will be used for the race should be in good working condition and at least one (1) team member must have a tire/tube repair kit. Each team member must have a helmet as well as red flashing tail light.
  • Paddling: All paddlers must provide their own kayak or canoe OR rent from REI Boathouse onsite. Rentals must be organized ahead of the event.
    • Equipment: All paddlers must have a USCG-approved PFD (Personal Floating Device)
  • Land Navigating: All teams must yield to any vehicular or pedal powered traffic at any road crossings.
In the end, we want everyone to have an awesome weekend! We just want to ensure everyone does so in a safe manner so that we can continue putting on great races!




I own a stand up paddle board (SUP). Do you have a SUP division or can I use my board for the paddle segment?


Unfortunately the Forest Preserves of Cook County to not allow stand up paddleboards (SUP's) on their lakes and rivers. Because of this, we are unable to allow any SUP's to be used at TCX Palos.




What happens if it rains/snows/storms/etc.?


In the case of inclement weather, the only time we will delay a race or consider any action is for weather that threthens the safety of our participants or staff. For all other weather scenarios (rain, snow, moderate winds, etc.) we will continue with the race as planned. In the case of dangerous weather that threatens the safety of participants or staff, TransCon Expeditions (TCX) reserves the right to postpone or cancel the event. In the event of a postponement or cancellation, there will be no refunds, however your entry may be transfered to any future TCX event. We will also work with every team to ensure they leave the race with a postive experience. During an event that has inclement weather, TCX will text out updates on team phones to ensure each team is aware of the current situation. In any scenario, if a team feels unsafe or would like to wait out a storm in a safe location there will be no time or check point penalties. Each team is out there to have fun, and if they feel the need to take a break we openly accept and encourage this. In the event of a postponement of the event TCX will text out the update as soon as it is available to seek shelter in a safe location (car, building, place of business, etc.). We will call to verify each team is aware, and will continue text updates until the all clear to continue with the race is available.




What happend to your 2020 race?


Like many events, COVID-19's impact has forced us to cancel our 2020 race. We are looking forward to recalibrating over the offseason in hopes of launching a 2021 race for the fall.





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