Iron Butt Logo"Nesting" IBA Certifications

by:  Tim Masterson

The challenge of Iron Butt Association certified rides has always attracted me to see just how far I can go.  Especially, the multi day rides where I can combine, or "nest" events to get multiple certifications. 

The IBA ride rules allow for certification of a shorter mileage event within a longer ride. For example, when I rode the Border-to-Border-to-Border Insanity back in 2009, I did the first leg in under 24 hours to qualify for the Border-to-Border Insanity.  Similarly, during my 48 States in 10 Days challenge I also certified 3,000 and 5,000 SaddleSore events. 

With the wide-open spaces of North America and Australia, this policy (or these tips?) only applies to North American and Australia certifications.

There are other cases where "nesting" events are not allowed.  The basic rule for multiple certificates on the same ride is that if one ride, by definition, is completed within another, IBA will only issue a single certificate.  For example, everyone who completes a Bun Burner GOLD (BBG-1,500 miles in 24 hours) has, by definition, completed a Saddlesore 1000 (1,000 miles in 24 hours) and a Bun Burner 1500 (1,500 miles in 36 hours).  So IBA would issue a certificate for the BBG but NOT for the SS1000 or BB1500.  On the other hand, you can complete a Bun Burner 1500 (1,500 miles in 36 hours) without necessarily completing a Saddlesore 1000.  But if, while riding a BB 1500, you do ride 1,000 miles in 24 hours, you MAY apply for both the SS 1000 and BB 1500 certificates, and both will be issued.

Applying for multiple certifications within a larger event is also a very cost effective way to boost your long-distance riding resume'.  The IBA certification fee for adding a ‘nested’ ride is less than half the cost of doing it by itself.  And, considering you're already spending money on fuel, food and lodging for the longer ride, nesting the smaller ride is a huge savings.

The record keeping is also simplified.  In most cases, required witness forms for the longer event can be applied to the shorter event(s).  The dated business receipts and log entries can also be used for the nested event.  Add a SpotWalla link and the certification process for multiple events gets even easier.

When applying for a nested certification within a longer event you must tell the verification team specifically that you are claiming the shorter event.  In the cover letter for the cert package put in a remark that clearly states your request.  For example; "During this 50cc Quest coast to coast challenge I rode the first 1,500+ miles in under 24 hours and claim Bun Burner Gold credit.  I have included the added fee for certification of the BBG along with my 50cc fee."

Get the most out of you precious long-distance ride time and LD money but combining IBA certifications when possible.  Make every IBA Challenge an hard riding adventure.