We did it. We participated in a 10 hour adventure race. It was pretty good for 8. The last 2 were brutal.
It was very hot and humid that day. Like over 100 degrees hot.
We were on our way by 5:15 and made it to the starting lake at 6:00 for check in. We then had an hour and a half to plot our maps and set a course. We sat in the back of my Yukon Denali to plot and use the light. It’s still dark at 6:00 am.
There were more groups than canoes so they did a lottery to see who could canoe first. If your name got called you had the option of taking it or not. We didn’t get called so off running to start. We missed checkpoint 1 going out…as did a lot of people. A lot of teams were coming back in search of it and we decided to keep going and get on the way back. CP’s 2 and 3 were pretty easy but had a little trouble with 4 and ended up too far out but happy surprise and got 5. Got 4 and 1 on the way back 1, thanks to Sheri’s eagle eyes!!
Then to the canoe section. We were pretty excited at first….it was the first event that we actually got to do a canoe/water section. That was short lived when Sheri remembered that she doesn’t love canoeing. We were also originally happy to canoe 2nd since we thought the water would be nice after running and the temps had started to climb. Unfortunately, the wind also picked up and there were a couple boats with waves on the water by then. It was a little tougher than we anticipated. Sad part of the canoe section….someone had thrown an orange shirt into the trees, conveniently close to where we were looking for a CP. Sabotage?? All CP flags are orange and white.
Next we were back to transition area 1. Time to get on the bikes. We would not be back until the end so we took the time for a snack from our coolers and changed socks. The race director told us that if we were ever going to race with him we needed to work on our transitions. Oops.
The bike was rough. It had rained the night before so the gravel roads were soft. I felt like we were not moving at all. Pedaling and pedaling, baking in the sun. We biked to the next lake and got a couple of CP’s on the way. Missed one due to mis-plotting it. Once in the next lake area we made it to Transition area 2 and dropped our bikes for another trek. We were getting pretty hot and fatigued by then and then hiked instead of ran. All but 3 teams missed on of those checkpoints because of some faulty information, but I never did find out what.
Refilled our water and found some shade to sit for 5 minutes and have some more fuel.
Given our slow ride to the 2nd lake, Sheri was concerned about our time getting back. I still wanted to try for another section but we decided to see what we thought when we got the T in the road and had to decide to go right for another section, or left to go back in.
Thank goodness I listened to Sheri. Pretty sure it was about then that ALL energy left. The last 2 hours in was a pretty sad state of affairs. We would ride our bikes downhill and then walked the last half uphill. Even that felt like a struggle at times. I kept dumping water on my head and putting it on my arms, but it just felt like we were baking. We knew we had a cross a highway to get to the road to take us back in and when we crested a hill and could see for miles with NO highway, I almost cried. I just wanted to be done. I didn’t care about any more CP’s. Just to be done. The highway was there, just couldn’t see it at first! We kept trudging along. Sheri started feeling sick to her stomach. We got near the lake and got on some pavement which felt nice and fast. Going up the last hill, Sheri’s quads started cramping and man, I’ve never seen someone launch from their bike so fast. She got them stretched out and we finished with 10 minutes to spare.
When we got done and checked in, we jumped into the lake and it felt so good!
Use the flipping compass! Even though a lot of the CP’s were off of trails, had a paid attention to the compass when leaving one, I would’ve been able to tell better where we were going or too off course.
No following others. Never seems to work for us. We do better when we think and figure out on our own. When I follow others, I’m not paying enough attention and then we get turned around.
More fuel. Granted it was so hot and humid that maybe nothing would helped. But I don’t feel like I took in enough calories. I did love my Huma gels and Salt tabs. I had a sample of Skratch labs with me on the bike and I drank some at the end. I hadn’t done any training with it so I was hesitant to try earlier in case it didn’t agree with me. I’d like to experiment more with Skratch and possibly Tailwind for long events like that.
More training!!! We really need more training on gravel roads. We concentrated on more singletrack since that made us more nervous but we lose so much time just getting from one area to the next with the gravel and rolling hills. I just dislike riding on roads period for the safety. Need to find some group beginner gravel rides.
Can’t wait until our next adventure! Which I think is a running relay!! Yeah!
Anyone have any experience with Skratch Labs, Tailwind or Huma Gels? Anyone want to send some samples my way?