Berryman Adventure Race 18 hour
Race HQ was Bear River Ranch, nice facility! Race rules specified trekking was only allowed along roads and in designated (and overlaid) public lands because of the amount of private property surrounding race area. Some of those public lands looked like textbook gerrymandering maps except instead of convoluting it for political gain it carefully boxed in the worst elevation gain and forced some brutal routes **if you followed the rules. Which brings me to my biggest pet peeve of the race. Please don't put a CP that makes an illegal route SOOO appealing if you aren't going to put some kind of monitoring in place to prevent cheating, because you're penalizing your rule followers and rewarding the cheaters.
Points could be found in any order and by any mode except for the points in the big trek, which was required to be via trekking. That said, really none of them made sense to get any way other than the suggested mode.
Trek 1: 4.1 miles, 58:13
CP 1-4 around race HQ and on the way to the paddle put-in. We, along with 3/4 of the pack, bobbled big time on the first CP but were super clean the rest of them and, despite my promise to myself that I wasn't going to push to do any running, we ran quite a bit on flats and downhills.
Paddle 1: 2.7 miles, 48:27
CP5 at put-in, then a short upstream paddle to CP 6 on an island and back downstream to CP7 at take-out/bike drop.
Bike 1a: 6.8 miles, 49:07
Ride to TA, punching CP13 on the way.
Trek 2: CP 8-11 (skipped 12) 5.2 miles, 2:18
Trek at Clifty Springs Cons. Area. Found trail map at the trailhead and briefly debated using bikes for part of it but after seeing 38 Down running and Kuat's bikes staged decided we were prob better off on foot. Given my lack of singletrack confidence and the amount of climbing/trail narrow enough to make me really nervous, in retrospect this was the right decision even if I thought bikes could save us a little time. The majority of the trek was off-trail and/or through the creekbed, so bike time would have been limited anyway.
Chuck nailed the nav here. We started towards CP12 and then, looking at how long it would take/how difficult it would be following the legal route, decided that our time was better spent otherwise. Ran into BOR on the course and then again at the bikes.
Bike 1b: 7.7 miles, 42:32
Back to the paddle take-out/put-in via CP 14. We'd staged two water bottles and a gallon of water there, so we refilled bladders (my 100 oz one was already dry) and brought along the bottles. No race water supplied on course, and most of the creeks were dry, so we had to be very mindful of this.
Paddle 2: 7.9 mi, 1:39
Punched CP 15 at TA, then back on the Gasconade River. Pretty paddle, and despite Kevin's warning about fishing boats dumping him repeatedly while he was setting the paddle points (and thanks to them for doing that and saving us from doing this paddle with bikes in the boats!) we had no such issues. I was pretty miserable in the canoe, though. Bass's boats are much nicer than Gerry's yellow banana boats, but I sure missed the back rest!
CP16 and 17 were on islands along the way, 16 requiring us to get out and trek through prolific nettle. Miserable, but even worse for the people around us in shorts/capris!
Punched CP18 at take-out, where there was also -- surprise! -- a water spigot. We were mostly full from our staged water but took the opportunity to top off.
Bike 2: 8.1 mi, 1:14
Rode to big trek at Spring Creek Gap Cons Area, getting CP 19-20 along the way. I'd looked forward to lots of flat along this leg, but the flat parts were thick gravel and miserable to ride through. This was a definite low for me, and I made it through basically on the power of hate for deep gravel and race directors who routed me through it.
Trek 3: 8.4 miles, 4:21
Ran into BOR again at TA, where we punched CP 21. Scott remarked that he felt as bad as I looked. If I looked like I felt, that was pretty terrible. Had to plot CP 22-33 (which, for the math impaired, is 12 CPs, not the 10 I was thinking).
We were given a new passport for the little trek which was confusingly numbered 1-25 or whatever and didn't correspond to the CP numbers at all. We opted to just count #22 as "1" and continue on that way.
I don't have the clue sheet for that trek with me, but there was a ton of elevation gain and no way to avoid a lot of repeated climbing. We went right to our first CP (rentrant) with BOR and then went separate ways. Ended up way off-track on the way to our next CP (hilltop) but luckily found some boundary signs that helped us figure out our location and eventually get that one, but only after taking 1.5 hours on it. Chuck asked at that point if we wanted to go for one or two more. We still had over 3 hours until our self-imposed cut-off for being back on the bikes, so we decided we needed to go for two more. In the immortal words of Mickey Boianoff, "It could make the difference."
Pretty smooth nav to the hillside, then on our way to CP 27 (spur) we ran into our buddies from Team Swede who gave us a map of all the trails in the CA they'd picked up at the trailhead (Why didn't we see this?? Boo) and we used that to get to 27. Then it was just a long trek back to the TA. I was dragging ass on the steep, rocky downhill but made up for it with a burst of (hate-for-trekking-uphill fired) energy. I felt a little bad because Chuck was chatting away with BOR (who we'd run into yet again!) and maybe another team (the skeleton guys?) while I was angrily stalking uphill. I'm typically the chatty, fun one (well, he is, too).
Bike 3: 28.4 mi, 2:55
We'd given ourselves a 9:00 deadline to get back on the bikes but were riding by 8:16 and ended up riding this whole leg with the Scott-Jessie-Robert arm of BOR. No nav issues, no real problems, though we did switch up our planned route after they questioned whether a road we'd marked was actually there (Chuck checked on google earth after we got home, and it was, but that late in the game we weren't willing to risk the potential extra miles if it wasn't). We hit the finish line at 11:12, 4 minutes less than the 3 hours we'd estimated the leg would take us. To be fair, the peer pressure of having BOR along probably kept us from walking as much as we might have on uphills; on the other hand, I'm not sure they'd have gone for all the out and backs if we hadn't.
Anyway, we ended up with 30/39 CPs, which is the closest I've ever come to clearing a Berryman course, and 2nd in our division, though frustratingly we were told that the team that took first had taken an illegal route to CP12, which by the rules should have been a 5 point penalty at least.
This was a really good race for us, which was particularly sweet after a rough nav outing at No Sleep. I made a real effort to stay quiet when Chuck was figuring out routes or questioning whether we were where he thought we were and to wait until he was ready before I started off trekking; I've felt the past couple races like maybe I was distracting him from his focus and wanted to avoid that again. I had a low few hours during the paddle and second bike leg, but I had a strong start (rare) and finish. Because the bike legs were so short, I just wore trekking pants and underwear for everything but the final bike leg, where I switched into shorts. I probably need a new saddle on my mtb if I'm going to make a habit of that on gravel, but the mild discomfort of no chamois was worlds better than spending half the race and the next several days chafed and sore.