It's hard to describe what the race is going to be like. I can talk about it and try to make you (and me) understand it, but until you've actually been in it, its no use. Here's the best way to convey what it all about. It's an article that Outdoor magazine ran a few years ago when the race was only starting at the American border, (whereas now its starting in Banff). It talks about the trials and tribulations first hand from riders who had participated in it that year.