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Discussion: Wilderness Traverse

in: Adventure Racing; General

Sep 19, 2016 6:49 PM # 
Wilderness Traverse, Canada's premier 24-hr adventure race, is happening this weekend. Lots more to come although many of our regular AP commenters will be racing so it might be quiet here during the event. I'll be at HQ so feel free to ask questions here or on our Facebook page and we'll get to them when we can. We will have live GPS tracking, news flashes, timely leaderboard updates, photos, social media updates and more, all accessed from our 2016 Live page, which will be available after maps are handed out Friday evening.

In the meantime, here is a challenge from Wilberto! (Moved from the event thread for greater visibility.) As Assistant RD, I will stay out of it except to add some more names. Long Sault Long Shots are an experienced team and always a podium threat in Coed. Team Crash Splash and Dash won Rockstar overall this year as a team of three.
From Wilberto:

This coming weekend will see one of the highlights of the Eastern Canadian AR calendar as Wilderness Traverse takes place near Parry Sound, Ontario. Might be the biggest field ever for this race, with a great list of experienced AR teams on the start line on Saturday morning to see what fun RD Bob Miller has in store. Lots of APers competing in this one, so let's do some speculating. I tried to do a top 3, plus other teams in the mix. I've been at every WT either racing back in the pack or volunteering, but I'm just an old slow guy with a bum hip, so feel free to tell me why I'm wrong.

COED (the race for Bob the Beaver)
1. Team Salomon: want to beat the champ and take the beaver home? Got to knock out the champ.
2. The Warriors: 2015 unknowns are unknown no more.
3. Team CanadaAR: lots of big race experience here.

Running Free
Storm Beowulf
Bugs in Teeth/Attack from Above
Kelly's Heroes

1. Pullin Foot: always challenging for the lead.
2. Kinetic Konnection: the Windsor boys are still fast.
3. RaceDayRush/Adrenaline Rush: Pick a rush. Both experienced teams

1. Speedbunnies
2. Bear Bait

I'm sure I'm missing some. Who you got?
Sep 20, 2016 2:18 AM # 
Great analysis Wayne. i think DAS might be up there worthy of mention, and Mercators (assuming they find a good replacement for their 4th)....both teams are long time racers who I've seen numerous times on course
Sep 20, 2016 12:37 PM # 
For those who haven't noticed, multiple WT champion Benoit Letourneau will not be on the start line this year. He recently completed the tough 170 km Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc in the Alps and he didn't think he could be 100%.
Sep 20, 2016 12:45 PM # 
Not the same without a team snowpants:(
Sep 20, 2016 12:59 PM # 
No. :( Their teammate Slice has to fly in from Alberta so they want to save their comeback until they're ready to fight for the Beaver.
Sep 20, 2016 2:15 PM # 
I'm convinced that all of the pressure is on Running Free this time around. You know...the big win overall last year, the ability to lay down some serious speed (eg. can we say 2 x recent Ironmans, rocket fast Around the Bay time, and ongoing quickness from Dee), and with soooo much experience. Pressure cooker for sure!

Looking forward to seeing everyone out there...
Sep 20, 2016 2:27 PM # 
If I wasn't racing I would be Dotwatching the battle between Team Salomon and Running Free. Phatty vs Harps should be a great battle. Also very curious to see how the Warriors perform after their 2015 breakout performance!
Sep 20, 2016 9:16 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Dot watching Speedbunnies between NAOC races. Can't wait! Kicking myself for not being in shape to field a team myself - miss this race so much.
Sep 20, 2016 9:57 PM # 
We miss you too, Mr. W! And your apple cider donuts!
Sep 20, 2016 10:50 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
I should remind w4j of the dearth of such treats in the North Muskoka District.
Sep 20, 2016 10:51 PM # 
1 Salomon
2 Warriors
3 Running Free
4 Canada AR
5 Storm
Sep 21, 2016 12:01 AM # 
RE: Phatty vs. Harps...thankfully AR is a team sports and I've got 3 VERY talented teammates otherwise a true Phatty vs. Harps would be incredibly one-sided toward the man in B-Town. Although, I do have some great THOMASS photos nearing a finish line that might rebut that.
Sep 21, 2016 2:56 AM # 
The Phatty and Harps full teams are definitely not lost on me...I just like the idea of watching well known teammates battle it out. Same can be said for Relentless vs a number of other teams.
Sep 21, 2016 3:20 AM # 
Relentless has raced on every team!
Sep 21, 2016 4:30 AM # 
So, we just have enough info on the course to make me waste too much time speculating and second guessing my speculation.... 'well, that would work but they did that previously' ... 'This would make sense, but then how do we get to the coasteering?'

anyways I'm going to guess at two courses and then stop thinking about it... I hope!

Course 1
Start at Harris Lake Marina and paddle to south end of Nine mile... Bike to the west end of Park to Park Trail ... Trek down to Moon River... Bike back to Foley

Course 2
Start at Woods Bay and Paddle moon river to(wards) Bala.... Bike back to somewhere on 12 Mile Bay Rd... trek out to the Bay for some Coasteering and then back inland to some heinous trails/roads that eventually bring us back to Foley.

Crappy guesses but hopefully my demons are exorcised. Totally thrown off by trying to factor in an hour or more drive to start (could be a trick!?), coasteering (which I presume will be G-Bay and early in the trek to catch it in daylight), Trek options on Paddle?!?!? and a long Bike after the trek.

I won't hazard a guess on winners. Sooo many teams I hope do well, so I'll just wish everyone a safe and fun (and non-hypothermic) race!!
Sep 21, 2016 2:38 PM # 
Here are my predictions:

1 - Salomon
2 - Running Free
3 - The Warriors
4 - Team CanadaAR
5 - Storm Beowulf

1 - Pullin Foot
2 - Salomon
3 - Running Free
4 - The Warriors
5 - Gaetan des Bois
6 - Kinetic Konnection
7 - RaceDayRush
Sep 22, 2016 2:02 PM # 
I like the way you think, escondido. Gaetan des bois was going to be my dark horse pick.
Sep 22, 2016 2:14 PM # 
I was wondering if we are going to paddle in and around the Magnetawan. It's awesome in there with lots of portaging...
Sep 22, 2016 2:57 PM # 
Stark RavingMad:
I was thinking Mag as well.
Sep 22, 2016 5:16 PM # 
I love reading all your guesses! :)
Sep 22, 2016 8:51 PM # 
I hope it's the Mag. Seems too far out but could explain the longer bus ride!
Sep 23, 2016 6:31 AM # 
Good luck to everyone racing!
Sep 23, 2016 1:39 PM # 
This race is all about Bob the Beaver so here's my selection:

1. Salomon
2. Storm Beowulf
3. The Warriors
4. Running Free
5. CanadaAR

I'm dropping Running Free because I know they're new #4 comes from a weak paddling team and I think that will handicap them on the water.

I'm unsure about CanadaAR's navigation, but if they nail it then they move up easily.
Sep 23, 2016 3:50 PM # 
@TIMATO #boldchoicesir
Sep 23, 2016 4:51 PM # 
So I checked the forecast and it will be perfect days and cool nights but only 10% chance of rain. Awesome! Lots of Sun, Clear skies. :-)

Then I hear the rain POUNDING on the roof of my building so I check the 'forecast' for here.. right now... Lot's of sun clear skies 20% chance of rain :-(
Sep 23, 2016 10:55 PM # 
Good luck everyone! hopefully next year back @ WT for me.
Sep 24, 2016 12:53 AM # 
Maps and instructions are up
Sep 24, 2016 12:59 AM # 
Thanks, 'Bent! I just came here to do that. :)
Sep 24, 2016 1:05 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
No checkpoints on an entire map?!
Sep 24, 2016 2:32 AM # 
We're very proud of that. :)
Sep 24, 2016 5:15 AM # 
So many swamps...
Sep 24, 2016 10:52 AM # 
They will make great stories.
Sep 24, 2016 12:22 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Please tell you me you have a camera stationed at the Naiscoot River fjording!
Sep 24, 2016 12:22 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
(Reading the course overview while waiting for the dots to spool up.)
Sep 24, 2016 1:36 PM # 
Salomon and Warriors off to a very early lead.
Sep 24, 2016 2:26 PM # 
We'll be getting video and photos from our professional team, CP staff and one racer who has special permission to broadcast Facebook Live from the course!
Sep 24, 2016 4:11 PM # 
Teams are split about 50/50 on the route choice to CP1. Loving this!
Sep 24, 2016 5:04 PM # 
Look at all those different routes to CP1! I love the fact that teams are running into each other in the woods right now, some with canoes on their heads and some without.
Sep 24, 2016 8:05 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Loving the coverage, had to pop out for a few hours (and note Hammer's super strong Red X performance!!), but easy to catch up!!
Sep 24, 2016 9:30 PM # 
Risky Route Choice Doesn't Pay Off

9/24/2016 2:30:00 PMHQ
From the news:
Team Salomon made a risky route choice for CP1 and CP2, taking the south paddling route and deciding to drop the canoe and head cross country fairly early. We expect that this may have looked like a good opportunity to take a risk and reap some benefits as it cut down the overall distance and would allow them to make a direct line south to CP2.

Unfortunately, it seems that the risk didn't quite pay off for them as although they came into CP1 in third, they came through CP2 / TA1 in 10th place, dropping them back a fair number of places. Let's see how they do making up time on the bike leg!
Sep 24, 2016 9:32 PM # 
Pullin Foot were up front but lost their tracker and got a penalty:
Pullin Foot is back on course after serving their 1 hour penalty at CP4 / TA2 with a new Tracker in hand. While they were waiting out their penalty, 9 teams (one unranked) came through CP4 / TA2, moving them from first to ninth place as they left the TA.

Teams through the TA while they were in the 'penalty box': The Warriors (2), Long Sault Longshots (27), Mercators (unranked) (29),Team Canada AR (12), Salomon (1), Storm Beowulf (3), Running Free (10), DAS Endurance Racing (5), Gaetan des bois (37).
Sep 24, 2016 9:35 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Who's going to have to go find that tracker?!
Sep 24, 2016 9:46 PM # 
Looks like it's Warriors, Salomon, Beowulf, Running Free right now.
Sep 24, 2016 11:49 PM # 
Carbon's Offset:
Oh no, Salomon (re: risky route choice). That'll light a fire!...
That's an exciting handful of teams up front!
Was Pullin' Foot the team that got the 1-hr penalty last year for the forgotten jersey?
Sep 24, 2016 11:59 PM # 
Warriors first through CP7. We think Pullin' Foot was 2nd. Salomon's tracker was out for awhile but the CP has cell service and has not contacted us about Salomon. They may have overshot a little.

And yes, Pullin' Foot had a penalty last year. We sent a volunteer to look for the expensive tracker but no luck. The team could choose to look for it tomorrow! :)
Sep 25, 2016 12:08 AM # 
Confirmed that Salomon has not arrived at CP7. Running Free just arrived in 3rd.
Sep 25, 2016 1:15 AM # 
Looks like Salomon has been looking too far South for cp7 and had to double back. Pullin Foot are pulling back into second behind the Warriors, then Running Free and Storm Beowulf.
Sep 25, 2016 2:28 AM # 
Latest update- Pullin Foot have taken the lead.
Sep 25, 2016 3:45 AM # 
At TA3 at the end of the long trek, Pullin' Foot had a 13-min lead on the Warriors. Running Free was 3rd almost half an hour behind the Warriors. Another half hour back to Storm/Beowulf, then 8 minutes to Salomon in 5th.
Sep 25, 2016 12:02 PM # 
Pullin Foot did it! First overall. Warriors won the co-ed, and Bob the Beaver. Not bad for a team who were rookies last year. Running free was second co-ed.
Sep 25, 2016 12:05 PM # 
Black Swan is the lead Rookie team.
Sep 25, 2016 12:07 PM # 
Still racing, it looks like it's Salomon, Storm Beowulf, DAS, Adrenaline Rush, Canada AR, Kinetic Connection, Race Day Rush then Attack from Above from the last Leaderboard update.
Unranked Mercators are in the mix too around 6th place.
Sep 25, 2016 12:15 PM # 
Storm Beowulf just finished in 4th co-ed behind Salomon who were 3rd co-ed.
Looks like the Speedbunnies are still on track- they may be the first female team to do the full course.
Sep 25, 2016 1:05 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Go bunnies go!!!
Sep 25, 2016 1:40 PM # 
The Speedbunnies are on the short course. Deadline for TA3 was 8:30 a.m. But they're moving well.
Sep 25, 2016 1:40 PM # 
Goose from Salomon said it was the hardest WT he's done.
Sep 25, 2016 2:25 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Short course at WT is kind of a different animal - I think our last WT short course leg was longer and had more navigation than a lot of regular course bike legs I've done!

Winning time, even without the extra hour penalty, was a bit longer than prior years, if I remember? +10%?
Sep 25, 2016 7:06 PM # 
In earlier years, I'm pretty sure we had a winning time similar to this but yes, in recent years, the winning time has been a bit shorter.
Sep 25, 2016 8:11 PM # 
12 full teams finished the full course.
25 teams finished several short course options.
3 partial teams finished unranked,
and 7 teams DNFed.
Sep 25, 2016 8:44 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
If I had Bash's number, she would have gotten a "DID THEY MAKE IT???" Text at about 2:01.
Sep 26, 2016 2:44 AM # 
Deadline was 2:30 pm but we're going to stretch it by a few minutes anyway. Tough course!
Sep 26, 2016 2:16 PM # 
Thanks to all RD's and volunteers for all the hard work. Tough course and I think most would say the toughest we've seen at WT.
Sep 26, 2016 3:38 PM # 
Wow, thanks for a great experience! Can't wait to do it again, absolutely loved it.
Sep 26, 2016 4:35 PM # 
Thanks Getawaystix, Bash, and crew for execution another flawless and strategic adventure race. It was a great challenge with enough choice to keep things interesting. Congratulations to Team Warriors as they pulled out a great victory.
Sep 29, 2016 7:35 PM # 
Lots of dot watchers here so I thought I'd cross-post from Facebook:

Checking out your race route? There are several tools you can use.

1) Tracker history is an easy way for a team to check out their own route. Click on your team icon on the tracking map, then click on History+ in the pop-up box. (Sometimes it seems to need 2 clicks.) Wait a few seconds and all your tracked points will appear onscreen. You can show the history for more than one team at a time.

2) Race Replay feature on the tracking map: Yesterday the replay interval was reduced so if you tried it before, it should depict a more interesting race now.

3) We are going to get TXT files from Pinnacle Tracking with GPS data for all our teams. You can use this in a tool like GPS Visualizer to view your track or generate a GPX file that can be uploaded to Strava or Attackpoint. If you are interested in receiving your file, please write Barb with your Team number at
Sep 29, 2016 11:31 PM # 
So what did people think of the terrain near CP8 and 11? That is my lab! Yeah I get to spend many weeks a year trekking in those rock barrens doing my research. Lucky me eh! Especially since I have my cottage just south of there in Nobel.

So it was very hard to stay quiet when Getawaystix showed me the course. Congrats to all the participants. Them there is some pretty tough terrain to navigate through. Someday I'll have to race the WT. Unfortunately for me it conflicted with the NorAm Orienteering Champs this year. Next year? Hope so.
Sep 30, 2016 5:07 PM # 
That's cool, Hammer! You're lucky to get to explore that terrain regularly.

Btw folks, Grant has kindly sent me TXT files of GPS data for all teams. If you'd like to upload your race to Attackpoint, Strava, Garmin Connect, etc., write me at to get your team's file.
Sep 30, 2016 6:56 PM # 
Instructions - also included in the email:

You can put the TXT file into GPS Visualizer to generate a map or JPG of your route. This is only stored temporarily so the better plan is to use GPS Visualizer to convert your TXT to GPX format, which you can upload to training log software like Strava, Attackpoint or Garmin Connect.
Oct 3, 2016 3:30 AM # 
WT made Sleepmonsters!

This discussion thread is closed.