Adventure Racing 5:20:00 
Savage AR at Sand Island with Jake and Nate as team I Hate Kevin/Bash Brothers. Nate was using my old bike for his first race. My goal going in was to make sure they both had a good time to get Jake re-interested in AR and maybe have Nate be a teammate for him moving forward. Not sure how we would do overall, but I figured that it could be well if they both felt strong.
It was way too cold for late April in the morning (rising to the low 50s), considering it had been in the 70s the day prior and would return the following day. Pre-race was normal: maps and rules at check-in, and the meeting informed us of a short running prologue for two team members. Nate ran the first, shorter leg (finishing at sprint...why?) and I ran the longer in my new bike shoes. We were the first team finished and were one of the first off on the initial bike section, although it became apparent that the top teams all had a different order than us on their passport. We started with a bike into town for a series of points centered around a creek. We joined up with Geoffrey Prudhomme (racing as a solo) for this section, and nailed most of the points right on. I had some issues with distance, but realized later that the lines on the map were .5km, not 1km. Geoffrey found a CP by sheer luck after I slammed my head into a tree at the exact point of the river crossing. This section was easy nav-wise and we rolled back into the TA just about 1 hr into the race to transition to paddling. We were the first in.
Jeff Bell had developed an interesting paddling that involved going downriver and then coming back up the canal. The catch was that each team (soloists were excluded) had to also get a bike to the takeout, which meant that Jake rode down while Nate and I paddled. The river was ripping, and we paddled the 1.5 miles in about 15 minutes. We pulled it out and prepared for a paddle back, but were greeted with a shallow, stagnant and deadfall-filled canal. Turns out, the bikes were added as a potential assistant to portaging the canoe back. There were some paddle-able sections, but we agreed that portaging would always be quicker. It was tricky to use the bike, and we struggled trying to balance it on the seat or handlebars of the bike. Jake had the brilliant suggestion of towing it behind the bike. I had a section of 1/4" bungee for towing people or bikes; hadn't planned on using it for a canoe. I rigged it up to the seat rails and Nate took off, with Jake and I laughing hysterically as we struggled to run to keep up. There was a small stop for me to paddle across the canal to grab one last CP. I pedaled most of the way back (we took care to not let the outfitters see us towing their canoe...) and carried it the last quarter mile on pavement. Only 1:45 into the race, we were the first team in again, and we expected that we had just done that sections faster than anyone else would - who else would be biking the boat back? I was adjusting my mental goal of just doing well, realizing that another clean section might put us in the running for an overall win. Both Jake and Nate were holding up well.
We transitioned to bikes again and headed out across the river to the foot/bike section. After we crossed the bridge we passed Untamed, giving us a barometer of about 2 hrs for this next section - definitely doable at our current pace. We passed Rootstock, followed by Lamprey within the next five minutes, which confirmed that all of our competition was on an opposite order. This bike section got pretty dirty as we pedaled a trail that was a series of foot-deep mud puddles leading to a point where I had to wade out to an island. I made what ended up being a smart decision to do as much riding on roads as possible, and a little backtracking after the next few points lead us to climbing a steep section entirely on asphalt and then discovering a nice powerline trail that would save us some significant time. As I rode ahead on the powerlines I heard Nate call for a stop. I rode back after a minute to discover that he had sheared off the dropout, broken the derailleur and twisted the chain. All ideas of a good overall finish immediately vanished. We spent the better part of 45 minutes trying to convert it to a single speed, but weren't successful; we didn't have enough 9 speed quick-links, and I had never actually done this before. I tried to let Nate pedal my bike ahead, but he couldn't do it on flat sneakers, so he just pushed the bike. We only had to go a short bit ahead for the next CP where we ran into Mark Weiman's team (his brother and nephew) and Geoffrey. Geoffrey was having no fun either, as he had sheered off his seat post. We commiserated for a few moments before pushing the bikes up a large powerline trail to a baseball field that I had visited with Bruce and Ann in the Cradle two years prior. We rode out to get the last point, and decided that the quickest way back would be to retrace our steps to the bike-foot TA (we had ridden right past it earlier). We arrived soon enough (the boys stopped for some food despite my urging that we had only a short downhill coast to the TA) and made the switch.
The foot section was tougher that I had been hoping. The map lacks any real detail and I was reading the clues myself, which wasn't easy. We ended up working with Geoffrey for a few of them. Both Jake and Nate were hitting walls, with Jake feeling pretty nasty and Nate feeling okay, but just super crampy in the legs. The slow speed was probably a blessing for them. A quick stop at the TA and we motored out the back of the old pavilion towards the road. Nate had to push the whole time, but we kept a decent pace and found the pavement much quicker than I was expecting (it seemed much further the last time we were there). I hooked up the tow bungee and pulled Nate back the rest of the way. The only eventful point was pedaling with all my might on the bridge across the river but hardly moving. Turns out, Nate spent a short while squeezing the brakes...
We rolled into the finish right around 5:30, as the 6th team to clear the course. The top 3 coed teams were all right around 4 hours. I reasoned that with no bike issues, we might have ended up about there as well. Jake and Nate had a great time; there was talk of them coming out the Edge at Green Lane in the fall.