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Training Log Archive: MIclimber

In the 7 days ending May 18:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Adventure Race1 5:32:00 36.77(9:02) 59.18(5:37)
  Total1 5:32:00 36.77(9:02) 59.18(5:37)

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Saturday May 18 #

Adventure Race race (MAR Cannonsburg 6HR AR) 5:32:00 [3] **** 36.77 mi (9:02 / mi)

I hardly ever write up race reports as it's usually to an audience of a handful and lack of time. But happen to have extra time this morning, so here goes.

Drove up Friday night, racing with Adam, we stayed at airbnb just a mile away from race HQ. RD sent out maps/race instructions pretty early, so with just the couple hour drive and a later start, was able to print out all to what we would use for the race before leaving, having a commercial laser printer that prints tabloid is a huge advantage. Adam poured over maps as I drove and we worked out some general paths. We were a bit throw off by the green extension note, which was made clear at the race briefing, but otherwise a decision to make about clockwise or counterclock wise. After a hearty dinner stop and checking in to our lodging, we got to highlighting and routing about 9pm.

From memory of previous race, I knew the ski hill was going to do its best to crush me, at the time we didn't know we would be able to do the final O trek first. We were more trying to decide if biking west to 27 would require going part up the ski hill or if we would be able to find a path low along the base. We landed on just going in clockwise direction, mostly due to my contention that it would likely be better to just go in order, rather than have a mental error of forgetting a check point later on when we were taxed. Also the amount of single track and difficulty was unclear, so figured it was better to get that out of the way first as surely I would wane later in the race. We got all of our CPs highlighted, descriptions printed on the map, distances wheeled out and noted on map and set pretty much just after 10pm. Adam typically handles bike nav, so he got that situated on his map board, and we figured out that if we could remember the first 2 turns off the race, we could start on the north map and not have to flip until after the main trek, so that worked out well. We kept the Luton bike map in tow just in case there turned out to be an obvious short cut back to the main blue loop trail, even though we know the intent was to do the entire bike loops. Yes, as an RD myself, it is just too tempting as a racer to try to shorten the course. We worked backwards from 4pm and put some timeframes down that we needed to be out of main trek by 230pm and single track by 1230pm, this had us arriving at the single track by 1130am, so essentially an extra hour budgeted in, as the first bike to the single track was only about 5 miles. So we felt pretty good that we could clear. Headed to bed, got an decent night sleep, and didn't have to rise until 8am, we decided we didn't need to arrive to race HQ until 9am, so a nice lazy start that allowed for normal bathroom routines made it a pleasant race morning start. Getting the maps the night before and having the ability to print them, obviously makes a huge difference. We commented to ourselves that we did appreciate the extra time and less of scramble, but at the same time, everyone getting the same amount of time to plan just prior to race and having to incorporate that time management and skills even before the race starts, we feel really is part of the spirit of AR. It's hard as an RD, I'm biased, but also in these local/regional races where it's just for fun, I don't mind it necessarily either. Although, someone with any sort of computer know how and a garmin watch, could easily gps the points into their watch and cheat the entire race, of course you still have to get to the points and do the distance, but that certainly would knock off massive amounts of time, so that's another reason I'm somewhat against maps the night before.

Arrived to Race HQ, staged our bikes and bins in the corral. Lathered up in sunscreen and bug spray. Commented to a few racers wearing pants that they were going to shrivel up and die. We knew forecast was a high of 82 and sunny. It was already 68 and very warm prior to the race, so we were quite happy to go with just race jersey, bike shorts, and long socks. We got the news about being able to go to Trek first, but decided to stick with the original plan of just going in order.

Started in the 1st wave and the first mile of hills were certainly a heart rate spiker as Mark indicated, although debatable if the hardest compared to 5mile Rd just prior to 27. We started out pretty well, hammering down, only a handful of teams ahead of us, slowly watched the Pasty Masher fade away and just let that thought go of staying with him. While it was strange to have so much pavement and bike path in this race, it did make the 26 miles of biking go much more pleasant than usual at these races, where usually they are filled with giant rollers and sand, yuck! We scooped 1, 2, 3 up using the cut thru of the neighborhood and sidewalk before the single track. I ended up leading all of the single tracks thru 4, 5, 6, and to 7 at the TA. We had no issues, although I did have a few moments of panic on some narrow trees and oversteer issues, but no real slow downs, a decent a success for me and mtb is my least strong suit. Despite the red and yellow being labeled as advanced they were not any harder than DTE Orange Winn, which we had just done all of DTE the week prior. No big hills, just a few technical spots, that I'm sure most mtbers did faster than me, but quite satisfied that we picked up 8,9 and exited the single track at 11, well ahead of our estimate of 1130. A scrape was gained on a tree in the red loop that got in my arms way.

We jammed thru the neighborhood again, and started the second single track section, where we saw Tony MRA finishing it, so we knew he was 5-7 minutes ahead of us. And a bit disappointing, but not suprised, that just like 8, 10 was at the very end of the bike trail. Again anyone with dishonor in their blood, would have realized this like us during planning and knocked of 10-15 minutes of riding for those.

Cruised on the bike path, stopped on the boardwalk looking for 11, despite knowing it was hung low, standing 5 feet from it, still didn't see it for nearly 30 seconds. On to 12, where Mr. Krash Drew was with us and he decided to check the 2nd culvert while we were in the 1st one. Jackpot we hit on #1, and I yelled over to Krash to join us. Arrived to TA2 again well ahead of our esimate of 1230 and budgeted 1.5 hours, with a mandatory depature of 230pm.

Grabbed a beef jerky snack and headed down the boardwalk to start the main trek loop. 15 no issues, but the exit out of here, picked up my 2nd injury of broadsiding a deadfall branch to the quad from legs that were a bit jello and heavy. 13 saw a number of teams standing around at the trail and hit top perplexed, walked right past them to the flag that was visible from where they were standing. Headed out to 14 and took a bearing, but apparently a bad one, was trying to stay high and follow the contour around to the second reentrant, but managed somehow with a number of other teams to cross the out of bounds line and realize we were off. There was a shack not mapped that would have helped confirm this quicker. Doubled back towards the water source and found it, but lost a minute or two there. No issues with 16 or 17. 18 is where a number of teams had trouble as we also found out. It seems the auto imported trails were off in various ways, so missed our junction and ended up in the north boundary where I realized because of a fence corner and that again I could see a mega bowl off in the distance. So came in from the northeast which was a no go zone of just wall of green and giant downed trees. Had to back out and go around further south and attack from almost the west. On the way out, followed the reentrant back to the junction that was not mapped properly with ease! Missed our trail hop to 19 as we were still uncertain of the trail situation, but picked up no prob and then just headed east to 20, which again not exactly a situation where trailers were mapped correctly. 21 was fine and then again trails near the board walk not correct with extra intersections, but could see the marsh off in the distance and eventually found the board walk. Was pretty tired at this point and as we were heading to 22, discussed the remote possiblity of being able to cross the lake on the land bridge, but that was immediately laughable as open water. Back to the TA in about 1:45, so still ahead but lost not as fast as our budget. Also discovered if you're going to use collapisble bottles for your chest pack, it's best to check them before first use and take the plastic off the mouth piece, you can not suck liquid thru a barrier!

Departed TA2 after some rounds of ice cold gatorade and water, some of which went over my head, ah! I was pretty spent as the nav wasn't hard, but it was a lot of elevation gain, many long low grade up hills that zapped me after having already bike 15+ miles. So of course immediately out of the TA were again large hills, but at least they were pavement and the occasional tail wind. Knocked down 24, 25, 26 with Mr Krash in tow with us. Then the mega final bike boss hill of 5 mile just before Eypgt Valley Rd. My granny gear got abused, but that down into into 27 was sweet! Hopped trail from the road to mtb, nabbed 27 quickly and then got to the end of the mtb trail and saw a wall of green. Luckily we road back not too far and found and opening with the ski maintenance area and slogged thru the last 1/4 mile of bumpy long grass to our bin. Arrived back at 4:30pm, so still about 45 minutes ahead of our estimate as we budgeted 45 minutes for the final trek.

But at this point, I was bonking decently. I slammed a can of coke and then we fell up the ski hill, burping coke, one foot after the other. I knew it was gonna suck, it did suck, and getting to the top was a huge relief. Then the steep descent was interesting, only to be a bit unsure of the trails between 29 and 28 probably not quite accurate either, but we managed to find a two track that led up to the hill for 28. It was down a reentrant at least 50 down, so up, down, back up, pretty mean. Some teams were groaning here about this. I started to recover a bit and mental acuity returned, and was able to track along the trail and offtrail to 30 and 31 with no issues. All down hill from here! 32 after some trail hopping, seeing the reentrant in the distance no prob. Some more trail hopping to 33, but 1:7500 got me and blew past 33, about 75 meters, before a trail sign confirmed my error. Leaving 33 another bobble that we should have taken the high trail, but stayed low, and ended up taking a slightly longer side hill way to 34. Could see the two track leading to 35 and could feel the end of the race now! After 35, started to run into a lot more teams, going in all directions, in various states of complaining to their partners. Focused on the task to crossing the creek, decided to go to the second trail bend, getting down to the creek, was a little rough but doable. The creek crossing was pleasant and cool, also the reason we saved for the end, that we wouldn't care about wet feet for the whole race this way. Picked up 37 after having forgot it prior to starting the ski hill, due to the delirium, but only added a minute to grab it. Sprint to the finish a couple hundred meters and we did it! Cleared the course in 5:32.

A great race with a great friend, teammate, Adam, coming in 2nd in the Division and likely a top 10 finish! On to the next one...

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