Adventure Race race 11:53:43  50.78 mi (14:03 / mi) +833m 13:22 / mi
East Fork Challenge
12 hr AR
Received the maps when we checked in and had about 2 hrs to prep our gear and plan a route. It was a very open format. CPs 1-21 in any order by boat, foot or bike, with CPs 22-28 on singletrack that you had to do at the end. We aren't strong paddlers, so opted for a route that focused more on foot/bike. Turned out to be a terrible choice...it was definitely meant to be a paddle race. BF wanted to nav this race, to get more comfortable navigating for others, so he worked on a detailed plan while I got all our gear ready.
Race started at 7 and we took off by boat to grab a couple CPs. The water was glassy smooth with lots of big fish jumping! It was a pretty enjoyable paddle. After hitting our first 2 by boat, we left our boat by CP7 and took off on foot. The original plan was to get CPs 8, 10-12, but we decided to add in 5 while we were there. That was a very bad decision. It took forever, that trek felt like it would never end. It was mainly muddy horse trails, which made running pretty difficult. Also had a minor nav error looking for CP5, went out the wrong spur, so that didn't help.
Finally made it back to our boat and grabbed CP6 before heading back to the TA to switch over to bike. Biked over to the SE section of the course and got all those CPs by a combination of bike and foot. Trekking all the way to 14/15 was another rough one. It was a long ways. At this point we knew we weren't going to clear the course.
We had a few more points left W of the start and had enough time to grab 1 of them. Had a number of small errors on the bike nav, nothing major though. Biking across the dam was really neat! Headed to the singletrack for the last section of the race. I really enjoyed this section. There were a lot of roots, and two-way traffic, which was a mess, but it was fun singletrack. BF was really struggling at this point, so we just took it slow. His nav was great through here. I was worried we weren't going to finish on time, but made it with 6 minutes to spare. Whew.
Overall, our strategy sucked. Most of the points were down near the water, so clearly it was designed to be mainly a paddle race. We thought our foot speed would make up for the extra distance, but that wasn't the case. It was still a fun course, well designed and all the CPs were in the right place. BF did well with the nav, enough that I definitely trust him as a back-up navigator :)