Death date TBA
Teams of two compete in this unique self-supported bicycle race. The goal is to reach a select list of historical cemeteries in and around Hoosier National Forest. A digital “selfie” photo in front of each cemetery sign is proof of reaching the check-point. Terrain may include gravel forest roads, unmaintained county roads, mountain bike trails, and pavement. There are five mandatory check-points; two of which will be drawn and announced race morning. Two other check-points will be declared “dead” and be of no value for that day. Optional checkpoints reward the team with “bonus” time, deducted from their elapsed ride. Check-points may be reached in any order, using any route. Printed maps are not provided. Team members must visit check-points together and finish together.
Team of 2: Early- $140 / Increase- $160 / Day of $180
LITE (team of 2): Early- $120 / Increase- $140 / Day of $160
LITE Parent/Youth team: Early- $90 / Increase- $95 / Day of $100
7:30 a.m. ~ Team check-in begins
9:20 a.m. ~ Teams lineup at Start/Finish for rider meeting and drawing for two mandatory check-points
9:30 a.m. ~ Race start
3:00 p.m. ~ Hot dinner begins
4:00 p.m. ~ Award presentation*
5:00 p.m. ~ SAG Station services close
6:00 p.m. ~ Race ends and all teams must be returned to Start/Finish
*Each team must complete photo-check (indoors) within 60 minutes of official finish time to be eligible for ranking / awards. This is a rain or shine event. Helmets are required. No transfers or refunds after March 15th. There are no exceptions.
NOTE: THERE IS A $20 PICK-UP FEE FOR ANY TEAM REQUESTING A RIDE BACK TO THE START/FINISH FOR REASONS OTHER THAN MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR MECHANICAL FAILURE. Each team is responsible for the following: Required gear: ⦁Helmet (per rider) ~ must be worn at all times while on bicycle. Riding without helmet will result in disqualification. ⦁Digital camera (per team) ~ NOTE: Remember to charge the battery! ⦁Timepiece (per team) ~ watch or cell phone ⦁Bike (mountain bike, single speed, cyclocross, tandem, etc.) The entire ride must be completed on the same bike and wheels. ⦁Hoosier National Forest Pass (included with registration) Optional gear: ⦁Hoosier National Forest National Geographic Map (highly recommended) ⦁Whistle or cell phone (in case of emergency) ⦁Compass or GPS - GPS is allowed, but know that at least one team ended up swimming with their bikes in Salt Creek and many others have become lost attempting to use a GPS. Check-point Rules: ⦁A digital picture must be taken at each check-point. Pictures should be taken in front of cemetery sign with bike and number plate showing as proof of reaching the check-point. Many check-points have a sign near the road that can be used for picture. ⦁Both team members must show proof of reaching the check-point. Team members can have their pictures taken together or separately. ⦁Your finish time is recorded at the marked finish line arch. You must then go indoors and have your photos checked within 60 minutes of your finish. If you do not photo-check within 60 minutes, your team is ineligible for awards and ranking. ⦁BE RESPECTFUL! All riders must be respectful of cemetery property, signs, headstones, etc. Any team/member found being disrespectful in any way will be disqualified. This is at the event organizers discretion and all decisions are final. LEAVE NO TRACE! Teams must use only legal mountain bike trails (Nebo Ridge/Hickory Ridge/Combs Rd) and open public roads. Trails #80 and 90 connected to the east of Midwest Trail Ride are legal to ride. NO PRIVATE PROPERTY SHOULD BE USED. Road Rules: ⦁Teams should ride single file and on the right when traffic is present. ⦁Use hand signals to communicate with traffic. Mountain Bike Trail Rules: ⦁Use of trails in Hoosier National Forest is acceptable and may be required if Callahan is chosen as a mandatory check-point. Trails open to mountain bikers may be used as strategy to connect check-points. ⦁Team members race number serves as your event-day Hoosier National Forest pass. Passes are included in event registration fee. ⦁Follow IMBA Rules of the Trail. Yield to all non-racers, horses and hikers. ⦁Please be courteous when approaching horses on the trail. If the horse seems frightened by your bike, speak to the person on the horse. Simply make conversational small talk, so the horse realizes you are a human being. Death March LITE Rules: ⦁Each LITE Team must reach at least two of the five mandatory cemeteries to be an official LITE finisher. Visiting additional mandatory points does not award any benefit. ⦁Other cemeteries visited earn a time bonus, which is deducted from your elapsed ride time. ⦁The maximum is ten checkpoints for the LITE division. This includes both mandatory and bonus checkpoints. (You may ride to more than ten, but they will not enhance your ranking). ⦁"Dead Cemeteries" (two picked before the start) do not count! ⦁Teams will be ranked by the fastest net time (elapsed ride time minus bonuses). ⦁LITE Parent/Youth teams must consist of a youth age 16 or under, along with parent or legal guardian. ⦁This is a rain or shine event. ⦁Helmets are required. ⦁No transfers after March 15th. There are no exceptions.
Route of Death
The Death March route is up to you!
We post a list / map of cemeteries for you to visit, each of which has a time bonus. There are five mandatory cemeteries, which do not give a time bonus. You must reach all five to be an official finisher. Three of these are announced here on the web page by March, and two more are announced five minutes before the race start. Two additional checkpoints will be drawn and declared "dead" - of no value for that day's race. The list of checkpoints and bonus times is subject to changes up through March 1. "Sweet Sixteen Bonus (for reaching all 16 checkpoints) has been eliminated for 2023" NO MAPS will be given to you at the start. The best known map of the area is the National Geographic Trails Illustrated "Hoosier National Forest" map, available at various outdoor retailers / outfitters in the area. You may also use electronic devices to navigate, but user beware of errors and omissions. Most signs are located along the road and not inside cemetery grounds. If a sign is known to be missing, we will place a temporary sign at the cemetery. Please be respectful of cemetery signs, property and headstones. Like our FACEBOOK PAGE and you may find helpful updates from us and from other riders. Online entry open, you may register Saturday morning starting at 7:30. Fee is $180/team ($100/team for Parent/Youth) 2023 checkpoints and time bonuses will be posted and considered final on March 1, 2023. Death March Google Map (2023) - Route Final on March 1.
Bartlettsville Cemetery – 50 minute bonus
Cain Cemetery – 10 minute bonus
Callahan Cemetery – 50 minute bonus
Cornett Cemetery – 10 minute bonus
Elkinsville Memorial Sign – 20 minute bonus (NOT the cemetery)
Freetown Cemetery – 15 minute bonus
GilGal Cemetery – 35 minute bonus
Hanner Cemetery – Mandatory 2023. Sag Location.
Hickory Grove Cemetery – 35 minute bonus
Hickory Ridge Lookout Tower – Mandatory 2023. Sag Location.
Houston Cemetery – 15 minute bonus
Lutes Cemetery – 10 minute bonus
McKinney Cemetery – 10 minute bonus
Moffett/Melott Cemetery – 10 minute bonus
Mt Nebo Church – 10 minute bonus
Philips Cemetery – Mandatory 2023
Reeves Cemetery – 20 minute bonus
Todd Cemetery – 30 minute bonus
*Time bonuses will not be awarded for mandatory check-points, including those drawn the morning of the event.
*Sweet Sixteen Bonus (for reaching all 16 checkpoints) has been eliminated for 2023
This is a rain or shine event. Helmets are required. No transfers after March 19. There are no exceptions.
FACTS about Death & how to enjoy it
STRONGLY ADVISED YOU READ THESE FACTS, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING PRIOR TO THE EVENT ~ What is the Death March? The Death March is a bicycle race for teams of two to be the first to reach designated cemeteries in and around the Hoosier National Forest. The ride begins and ends at the Story Inn in Story, IN. Teams will be required to reach five mandatory check-points, three of which are known in advance, published by March 1. The other two mandatory locations will be drawn from the list of optional check-points and announced at the Start/Finish line. Two more check-points will also be drawn as "Dead Cemeteries" - having zero value for the day. Teams can use any route and can visit check-points in any order. Teams will be able to earn bonus time by visiting additional check-points along the way. Click here for the Death March Google Map. ~ What does my entry fee get me? Death March participants get access two stationary sag supports with food, water and some mechanical assistance, FREE commemorative t-shirt, a hot meal after the ride, hot showers, one-day Hoosier National Forest pass for each team member and more! Additional event t-shirts are available for $15.00. NOTE: THERE IS A $20 PICK-UP FEE FOR ANY TEAM REQUESTING A RIDE BACK TO THE START/FINISH FOR REASONS OTHER THAN MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR MECHANICAL FAILURE. ~ Where does the race begin/end? TBA ~ What will the start be like? Teams will have a mass start for the Death March and will line up for a mandatory rider meeting that begins promptly at 9:15 a.m. The clock will begin at 9:30 a.m., shortly after the announcement of the two additional mandatory check-points. Don't be surprised to find teams immediately splitting into several different directions at the start! ~ What is the course like? Teams should expect to encounter a combination of gravel road, rugged back-country mountain bike trail, unmaintained county roads and some pavement interspersed. Trail riding can often be avoided or minimized by using a longer route choice. Typically the minimum distance needed to reach the required checkpoints is 40-50 miles. However, this depends heavily on which two are drawn on race morning! To reach all the checkpoints, an estimated 60-80 miles of riding is needed. LITE teams should expect 20-30 miles to be an official finisher. ~ What type of bike can be used? Riders have the option of using any bike they choose. Most use gravel, cyclocross, or mountain bikes. The entire ride must be done on the same bike. ~ Who can be on a team? Teams consist of two riders. Riders can be of any age or gender. No individuals. Teams must start and finish together in order for results to be included in overall placings. For the LITE Parent/Youth Division, the youth must be 15 years of age or younger and must be accompanied by an adult at all times. ~ Can teams ride together? Absolutely. We don't care if you ride with a group or ride on your own. Just stick with your teammate and make sure you reach the check points together. ~ Will there be SAG support? What should I carry with me? A stationary sag will be available at two mandatory checkpoints (TBA); however, each rider should be well prepared to deal with the physical and mechanical problems that may arise. Participants should plan to carry with them any/all items they may need for the day. Each rider is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to always have the following items available to them: * Course maps * At least 70 ounces of water * Hand pump or at least two C02 cartridges and an inflation device * Tire levers * Patch kit (glueless patch kits are easier to use in the woods) * Chain tool (and the knowledge to use it) * Full set of metric Allen wrenches (1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm) * Standard and Phillips screwdrivers * Torx T25 wrench if you have disc brake rotors * Compass (and the knowledge to use it) * Rag * Chain lube * Spare chain links * Spare derailleur hanger for your make and model of bike * Food or energy supplements * Small first aid kit * Emergency light source (LED lamps are tiny, lightweight and long lasting) * Identification (driver's license, state ID, etc.) Other items that are darn good to have: * Pocket knife of "Leatherman" tool * Duct Tape (carefully wrap 2-3 feet around an ink pen or Allen wrench) * Several strong nylon zip ties * SRAM power links for quicker chain fixes * An old spoke cut in half and bent on each end to hold your chain together while fixing it * A safety whistle to blow if you get in trouble. Cell reception is iffy at best. A safety whistle is your best backup in case of emergency. ~ When will winners be announced? Winning teams will be announced 30 minutes after the top three team in all categories have returned to the start/finish area. Results will be posted on event website within 24 hours. Prizes will be awarded to top three finishing Men's, Women's, Co-ed and Parent/Youth teams. A free entry to the 2024 event will be awarded to the first place team in all five full-length divisions. ~ Where can I get a map of the area? Teams are responsible for providing their own maps and/or GPS. A National Geographic map of the Hoosier National Forest (map # 770) can be purchased on-line. Maps can also be purchased at Midwest Trail Ride, Indy Cycle Specialist in Indianapolis, Rusted Moon Outfitters in Broad Ripple and JL Waters in Bloomington. Click here for the Death March Google Map. If you have a question that is not answered in the FAQ's, send an email to Info@dinoseries.com. This is a rain or shine event. Helmets are required. No transfers after March 15. There are no exceptions.