Self Supported vs. Assisted

The Vegas Valley Voyage consists of 4 different, yet simultaneous events:

  1. 6 Days Self Supported: The V3 Ultra run “self supported” is our signature Vegas Valley Voyage event. This is the Grand Daddy of desert stage racing! It focuses on self sufficiency and strength over distance. It is approximately 150 miles run in 6 stages over 6 days.
  2. 6 Days, Assisted: The same V3 Ultra course run “assisted” is a modern day take on desert stage racing. Approximately 150 miles run in 6 stages over 6 days, the assisted division focuses on the running without the added weight of your full pack. Participants must only carry their required and optional DAY items during each of the stages, having their main pack transported from camp to camp by race management.
  3. 3 Days, Self Supported: This 3 day version covers the first ~80 miles/ 3 stages of the V3 course.
  4. 3 Days, Assisted: This 3 day version covers the first ~80 miles/ 3 stages of the V3 course. 3 Days “assisted” is a great entry point into desert stage racing! Participants must only carry their required and optional DAY items during each of the stages, having their main pack transported from camp to camp by race management.

What does Self Supported Mean?

This is the Grand Daddy of desert stage racing! It focuses on self sufficiency and strength over distance. Participants are required to carry everything necessary to be self sufficient for the duration of the race. This includes all food, clothing, and provisions for your own use and is a combination of mandatory equipment specified by race organizers and any additional optional equipment you wish to have and carry.  Exceptions to this are water rations provided to you each day for drinking and bathing; hot water for meal preparation at camp; as well as space in a shared tent at the mobile campsite.

The required and optional equipment is carried by the participant (during the stages as well) traditionally in a backpack, whose weight can range anywhere from 13- 40 pounds. An average pack weighs roughly 20-25 pounds, but it is really easy to reach this weight even when being mindful. It is highly suggested to choose the lightest, most compact, multi-functional equipment possible, while understanding the cost to weight ratio. Food often represents the greatest weight, and by nature of being consumed each day, your pack will gradually get lighter throughout the race.

What does Assisted Mean?

Participants are only required to carry their required and optional DAY items during each of the stages, having their main pack transported from camp to camp by race management. During each of the stages, only specified safety equipment and nutrition are required to be carried for that single stage’s use. An average day back will weigh a mere fraction of the weight carried by self supported athletes. Assisted participants’ main backpack will be transported from camp to camp by race management and will be available at the finish line of each stage. Main packs are limited to 1 bag with a maximum weight of 30 pounds.

A full on race in its own right, the “Assisted” division can be attractive for those with the following needs:

First timers: For those curious about stage foot races but not yet ready to take the full plunge, the assisted division offers an opportunity to get a taste of the format without the weight of the pack.
Going for speed: So you’ve raced 150 mile self supported stage races before- now’s your chance to open it up and see how fast you can go knowing you don’t have the weight of the full pack. Let ‘er rip!
Gear testers: For those participating in other self supported stage foot races around the world, the assisted division lends the perfect opportunity to try out new gear in a real race setting. Perhaps you can bring a few versions of the same equipment and try them all during different stages of the race- you can just put the extras in your main pack and not have to worry so much about space and weight to carry! New trail shoes or gaiters not sure how they’ll hold up to the elements? Bring a few and try them all! Join us and know for sure!
Training: For those participating in other self supported stage foot races around the world- the assisted division offers an excellent platform to train real stage distances and terrain, under watchful professional eyes.
Don’t want to buy all the fancy gear: Maybe you already own a backpack, a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, etc but it’s not the lightest and most compact out there. Saving ounces and inches can get expensive and time consuming. Those in the assisted division don’t need to fuss about this as much and can just allow race management to handle moving your pack from camp to camp- you’re along for the sweet miles of backcountry wilderness!
Accompanying race support: Have a friend, spouse, or loved one running in the self supported race but not up for the carrying the weight of the full pack? Why let them have all the fun?! Join us for the assisted division and we’ll move your main pack for you!
Looking for a new challenge: You’ve run back to back marathons, or even triple marathons- now you can add the challenge of running real backcountry wilderness and enjoying camp like camaraderie.