Can you say that without singing “Panama”? And this was not in the country of Panama. Which would be super cool. But it was a small town in Nebraska. Our first real Adventure Race. We did the Orienteering challenge in January, but this was first ‘real’ one with biking, running, and checkpoints.
This is still a learning experience! The race had 2 options: the 2 hour and the 4 hour. We assumed that the 4 hour was for the more experienced and would have more checkpoints. Sounds completely logical to me. Well, turns out we were wrong. But both times had the same checkpoints. The 2 hours just thought they could get more faster….which was not what we thought we could do.
The first 6 checkpoints started out on foot, running around the town. We got them all with little trouble although I’m pretty sure we were the last ones to get on our bikes. We added some layers, got our helmets on, and took off. We had our plan ready to go. We were pretty sure we wouldn’t have time to hit all of the spots so we made our plan on what we could get and then we could reassess if we needed to head back or go for more.
Holy hills. Hill training definitely needs to be in my future both on the bike and running. Kills me! We were mainly on country dirt roads that were rolling hills. And it felt like mostly uphill. My legs were burning!
There were 2 checkpoints right off the road and then 2 that were near a lake. We got those 4 and needed to head back to make it back in time. We knew we were cutting it close but could not go any faster than we were. Which wasn’t really that fast. Did I mention that for both of us our bike riding has consisted of the Frosty Bike ride in January which was maybe 6 FLAT miles. Before then was the Nacho ride last August, where we road 12 miles which was 1/2 way, drank a beer and ate nachos, and then road back.
We were passed by a few people on the leg back in. And we were sure we came in last. Official time was 2 minutes over.
I should point out that through the burning sensation on the bike and thinking we were last, we were still smiling and having a great time!
We came in, had some snacks, warmed up, and talked to come of the other participants.
None of the 2 hour participants made all checkpoints. In fact, only 1 team got more than we did. However, some of the 4 hour participants came in before us with ALL checkpoints. So maybe our first assumption does have merit. Another valuable lesson: Do not put your compass on lanyard with metal. Not if you want it to be accurate anyway.
It doesn’t appear that we have another Adventure Race coming up until this summer. Boo. But summer will be fun and full! We do have some trail runs and rides coming up though and I’m still in the midst of training for a half marathon in May. Plus that gives us more time to get some trail training in on both the bike and running. Oh yeah, and we ended up getting 4th place! Woot!!
Up next…Trail run in -20 wind chill. I’m so ready for spring.
Is it warming up where you are? Do you enjoy winter training?