adventure racing 7:53:00 
Great race at Hidden Valley put on by Frontier Adventure Racing.
This was my first adventure race since two years ago and we were very excited to race together again. Here is my first ever race report:
Surprisingly, I was not nervous at all at the start eventhough a running start is not my favourite.Cp1 was located at the top of a ski hill which we traveled to along a winding path. This quickly reminded me that I must incorporate hill running in my training. We ran as quick as we could and then back down to the Start/TA1/TA2/Ta3. It was convenient in a way to have all your stuff in one place at the tennis courts in that you could dump everything there and not worry about packing it up for transport.We had put our life jackets on before the start to save some time at the transition.
Quickly we grabbed a canoe and headed out. We passed several teams right away and then, slowly ,picked off some more (there were quite a few ahead of us because we were not the fastest team on the ski hill). Our strategy was to lock eyes on the number of a team ahead of us. Then as soon as we could read it clearly, powerstroke untill we passed them. After passing, we allowed ourselves to sing the guitar note start of "Another one bites the dust" (by queen). But not loudly enough to upset anyone. This was quite amusing.
As we were approaching CP3 Getawaysticks and Team Running Free past us going the other way already to advance CP A. We kept up our strategy, although we never could catch team # 70 (grrr...) At MP1 we followed others up to the "high point" to find CP3. At first my legs were so kinked from being bent in the front of the canoe that they almost wouldn't work.
Our plan for today was to get the advance CP A on the paddle because our team's strength is in paddling and biking, definitely not running. Seeing as we were at CP3 at 11:04 (on my watch), we had made the cut-off and headed out. Again passing a handful of teams at first and then just steady paddling.
At CPA we were a little confused as to what to look for and thus followed a runner who headed down the road. Yet no flag was in sight. Not until his teammate yelled for him to come back, did we turn around and run back to the two girls holding the electronic chip thingy. I complained to "Big Mike" that I did not see a flag. He said they explained in the briefing that there would be someone holding this thing. But there were quite a few people on the beach and no way of knowing if someone was holding the device, nor did it state that on the instructions. Anyway, we sucked it up and headed back to the allpurpose TA.
Once there, I had to change my shirt before getting on the bike. Sitting in the front means constant watering from Cheryl's paddle and I though it might get a little cold on the bike. A quick pee break in the ditch and some munchies and we were off to CP5.
On highway 60 we saw one team head off onto the trail that looked much shorter on the map. We discussed our options but I decided that we should stick with what we know for sure, and that was Harp Lake rd. We remembered this road from previous races although it's funny how quickly you forget how hilly that road is. Turned out to be a good call from what we heard after the race.
At CP5, we approached many bikes on the ground already but we hoped that not all of them had done the advanced paddle. This was the bike drop for the trekking section. It was a little tricky figuring out where to leave the trail to find CP6, but just after the bridge there was a small trail that looked like a few feet had traveled there. I have to say that I was disappointed to see some cheating going on here as one team more than left 100 meters beween mates to find CP6, by sending one down the trail and two others up the road. But people have to live by their own moral compass.
Anyway, a small, slippery goat trail led to CP6 which was not at a very distinct location. Many peolpe were on this trail at the same time so we all found it by playing follow-the-leader. Not much room for passing.
From CP6, we had to travel most of the same trail bcak to CP7. We passed the CBC newscrew coming out of there. Although they didn't look like they had been swimming. I took a tumble shortly after and did not get my hands out in time. Landed quite hard on my chest and had an instant headache. I thought about Leeanimal at this time and how that would have affected her at this stage in her life (with breast feeding and all).
Not sure if CP7 was actually where the creek met the river but it was near a marshy area. We decided to swim/walk across and were surprised at how cold and deep it was. With quite a bit of fumbling over some logs, and a little help from eachother, we made it across. But not without some extra scrapes and bruises.Once on terra firma, we bushwacked back to the trail and west to CP5, the bike drop.
Back on the bike we had a nice muddy trail to CP8. I really enjoyed this part of the bike section and realized how much I actually enjoy mountain biking. I've spent a lot of time on the road bike this spring, but this is my passion. A couple of spills, and one beatty where Cheryl got stuck inthe mud infront of me and thus I came to a sudden stop as well. But my foot placement was much lower than my tire and I simply fell over off the trail into some sapplings. My helmet got caught on a branch which pushed my chin to my chest, while my body was doubled in half. And...I was stuck! Debbie was quite worried and told Cheryl she should not stop like that. Which was quite funny because she really did not have a choice in the matter. Anyway, Debbie helped me get unstuck and we were again on the bike to CP8.
There we arrived after the cut-off for the advance CPs but our plan was not to do them anyway. So off we went. We passed several teams and one young fellow said "Great! Now were being passed by ladies" This was quite humorous to us "old bitties".And motivating. My chain came off on the one big hill because ny cable had stretched. My own fault for bringing it in one day before the race to have it looked at. Racing back I realized I was running out of juice when everytime I stood up on the paddles to climb a hill, both my calves started charley-horsing (didn't know that was a verb, right?)So I had to ease up a bit. We drafted along highway 60 back into Hidden Valley where I started to worry about how I would fair on the last trek.
Back at the AP TA, we realized we had at least 1 1/2 hours to finish the trek. Seemed like plenty of time. Till we could not find CP10! What a mess! Lots of teams milling about, some discouraged heading back. Eventually, through mutual consensus, we all headed to highway 60 to attack the CP from there. From this angle , We spotted the flag at the top of the muddy, slippery slope. Cp11 and 12 had us crisscrossing along the golf course and then the hurried run back. My teammates were very supportive of my failing ability to run fast. They are the best!
We finished the course at 7 hours 53 minutes, thus cutting it pretty close.
It was nice to find out we won second, only 6 minutes behind the first place females. This ofcourse leaves you thinking about how we could easily have cut 6 minutes off our time in the TA's . But that will give us something to aim for next time. We were definitely the oldest female team out there, so it was very rewarding to do well. The award ceremony took place a little later than planned and we took our tired bodies straight home after the awards. Nice to mingle with all our racing friends though.