Adventure Race 28:39:23  145.48 mi (11:49 / mi) +5098m 10:40 / mi
USARA Nationals with Mark and Kevin--2nd masters, 15th(?) overall
I was super excited about this Nationals. It was my first year to qualify as a team (have been invited in the past) and really looked forward to the experience. Our third, Tom, moved back to New Zealand, so we were on the hunt for another teammate and quite fortunately Kevin Poirier joined Mark Voit and I.
The race started with a couple of hours of UTM plotting and planning. Then, we started at the base of a ski hill (why do they do that) and “ran” up the hill to our staged bikes. As we rode to the prologue, I shifted and powered up a hill at the same time, and my chain broke! What! Kevin quickly got out the quick link we had, and installed it, but it wouldn’t set, kept trying and trying, and then I said let’s just go and see what happens. It set!
Got to the prologue in about last place, had 3 points we could split up for. We split and got those and then back on the bikes. Mark and I had decided that I would do the bike nav and he would do the foot and paddle. Yeah, well, there was mucho bike—and lots of climbing. We made our way to the paddle, and by the 3rd bike point, realized that every turn was marked with “race in progress” (except in town where what Mark had in his head to do didn’t translate onto the map). We passed a lot of teams by the time we got to the paddle. Got in the boats and were on our way. The nav wasn’t hard, so we were able to go full strength all the time, and passed 4 or 5 teams there—Kevin would spot a team and we would just go for it. We also decided it was a good place to get and treat water to speed up the TA. Got out of the boat, I went to adjust the maps and we head off, and Kevin had a flat! Fortunately (?) it was just a loss of air, and we were on our way again.
Headed off to the next TA with a couple of bike points. One was in the midst of single track. That was fun. Got to stage 3 where there was a an O trek, and all the points were generally within 50m of a trail. There was a part that could be bushwhacked, but Mark was feeling the heat and the way of the trail was flatter. Got those, and went back to the two bike where there were 3 of us and 2 bikes. Mark and Kevin split the running and I stayed on the bike and navigated. As we approached the first check point, we were stopped by some drunk guys on a quad-they wanted to talk and I said in my most direct voice “we are on the clock!”. I lost my focus and we passed it….but decided to go on to the next 3 which we got with no problem. A volunteer told us how to best attack 15, which was a little surprising. Mark and Kevin did awesome.
Returned to the TA and back on bikes to get to the next trek. We stopped for 2 minutes at the store. I went in, grabbed cokes and left $10 at the register. There were 3 teams in there and I wasn’t going to wait! I messed up attacking #13, but we sorted it out.
Next trek went smoothly-and pace counting seemed to come in handy. It was my witching hours and losing focus, so I hooked on to Kevin but kept the line slack. I just needed something to focus on—I need to remember this for the future. At the end, we were told there was a path designated to get on and off the trek that was half the distance we took. WHAT. And, then, the race volunteer told us the best route to exit, which shaved off about 12k…and was all down hill. This was irritating that not all teams are getting the same information. This next section was the Globe Rd climb of 2100’. Biked into town, got into the mess we had gotten into before, then sorted it out and made our way to 23 and then the finish. About 10 min from the finish, the sky looked ominous, and then it dumped. We were OK, until the hail and sleet came!
It was FANTASTIC to race with Kevin and Mark. I probably cost us about 60-90 min in nav errors, which didn’t feel great. And, our mechanicals were about 45 minutes. But other than that, we kept moving and really working together. I have a better plan for towns going into the future. The area was beautiful.
This was a great team experience. While things didn't always go our way, we got on well, Kevin is a beast, and we just kept going.
Can’t wait for Wisconsin!