An endurance rally is very much not
a race, as there's simply no advantage to coming in "first". In fact, top riders will often stay out on the road until the very last minute in order to get one more bonus location before checking in. I've finished more than one rally with less than 2 minutes remaining on the clock (including the IBR).
The trick is to solve the time/distance/endurance puzzle to maximize your points total without going over the allotted time. Yes, there are some situations where riding faster helps, but getting pulled over wastes a lot of time (and money). Some rallies even seal your drivers license and insurance docs in an envelope and if that envelope is opened for any reason you lose a ton of points. Believe me, that's a very effective deterrent.
So doing well requires smart planning, efficient execution, exceptional mental and physical endurance, and a good dose of luck (not the least of which is mechanical reliability). But that's the challenge of it all, that is putting yourself up against 20-100 other skilled riders all trying to solve the same big puzzle..
You can get an idea of what a typical 24-hour rally is about by reading my Cal24 ride report
, or by looking up other rally ride reports on the IronButt.org Rally Reports
But to get back to the original post, if anyone does figure out how to waterproof a Garmin 7200 I'd sure be interested. Gotta love those huge screens.