In 2020 we are offering an optional ‘Rookie Rider’ category with an earlier start time of midday on Friday, 22nd, giving those riders an extra eight hours of daylight to get around the controls. The Rookie Rider category will be capped at 20 places and entrants will be asked to state, on their applications forms, why they think they need the extra time.

Why are we offering this?

One of the driving factors in us setting up All Points North was that we wanted to give people who were keen on trying ultra distance the opportunity to cut their teeth on a shorter event before trying something huge like the Transcontinental Race.

With this in mind we want to make the event accessible to a wide variety of people, not just fill the event up with super-fast folks in their 20s and 30s, which would be very easy for us to do. For a variety of reasons, some riders just need more time than others to get around the course and we want to encourage them to take part too.

We try to address this by making it clear that there’s no official cut-off time for APN, but we also know how demoralising it can be for riders when they drop a long way behind the main bunch.

This year we had a very high scratch rate – mainly due to the weather but also because, even though there’s no official time limit to APN, once some riders realised that they were probably not going to make it back for the Monday night meal, thoughts of negativity creep in, they lost the motivation to continue and ended up scratching.

Now we know that quite a few of you out there will think that managing that negativity and pushing through to the end, no matter what time you arrive, is all a part of what endurance events are about – and you’d be right – but we also think that it might be putting some people off even entering in the first place and, as we are all about inclusivity, we came up with the idea of giving some riders the option to get a head start in the daylight if they feel they really need it.

However, this isn’t aimed at riders who just want to get round quicker overall and get home sooner. Anyone who wants a rookie place will have to state why they need those extra eight hours of daylight. Rookie riders will have their own category and, as starting during the day gives them quite a big advantage over the main field, their finisher times will also be listed separately on the results page.

How do I get a rookie place?

In order to be accepted as a Rookie Rider you’ll need to fill in the appropriate section on the application form and explain why you feel you’d benefit from an early start. There will only be 20 early starts so we cannot guarantee that you’ll be accepted and, as we’ve not offered this before, we’re not sure how popular the option will be.

Registration and bike checks for the Rookie Rider start will be between 9am and 11am on Friday, 22nd May, and the rider briefing will be at 11.30am, so you’ll need to make sure that you can get to us early on Friday morning.

Finally, you don’t have to be a complete beginner to choose the Rookie Rider start option. You might have had a go at something like this before and not completed because you ran out of time, so feel like you need a bit more to get the job done.

PLEASE NOTE: Rookie Rider starts are only available for solo riders.

If you’re still not sure if this option is for you, or have any questions about it, you can email us at ride@allpointsnorth.cc.