Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Adventure Race season has started!

As should be obvious by my profile and previous posts, I LOVE adventure racing. This past Sunday was the first AR of the series for the Blue Hills Adventure Races and fellow Trail Nerd Shane Jones agreed to race with me in them. A quick recap of the previous few days should set the stage for our physical condition at race time. I was in a bike wreck on Tuesday and still had some pretty bad bruising and stitches in my butt and had JUST has some of the parts on my bike replaced. Shane went out on Saturday night to a Counting Crows concert and got hammered and stayed out till well after 1 am KNOWING that I was giving him a wakeup call around 5 am on my way over to pick him up. When I got there, he was ready but not very awake. We drove the 2 hours over to Manhattan, KS and I let him and Allison sleep so that everyone would be fresh when we got there. This time I remembered to eat a sensible meal the night before so as to avoid any stomach issues during the race. Mushroom and Basil Linguine the night before was a touch on the oily side, but didn't cause any GI problems.
When we got there, we checked in and began setting up our gear in the Transition area. As is the case with adv races, you don't get the order of events nor the distances of them until after the race starts. The pre-race meeting went well and we started off with a ride and tie in which Shane started off running while tied to me on the bike. Once getting to the checkpoint, we received more directions on how to proceed throughout the race with a crude map of the course. Most of the teams were still packed together and didn't really start to spread out untill the kayak section. Shane and I took the lead during the trail run but soon fell behind in the kayak section. This leg was miserable because our inflatable boat had a leak in it and we were taking on water while losing air. We had 10 teams pass us on this part so we knew we had our work cut out for us. After the kayak section we hit the bike and I discovered that my rear shock was blown. It wouldn't hold air. (a fact that I SHOULD have noticed before this race) This was also a result of the wreck I had on Tuesday but just overlooked it when getting the other parts repaired. I pumped it up as best I could but it wouldn't hold any PSI and therefore my bike was sagging and VERY inefficient for the whole ride. As if that weren't to be uncomforatble enough, I also had to sit sideways on the seat due to the 6 stitches still holding my left butt cheek together. Luckily, Shane was a VERY stong biker and he was able to pull me along nicely. I drafted off him for much of the ride. Now THAT'S teamwork! During the ride, we encountered 2 different "special tests" that we had to successfully complete to avoid a time penalty. We aced both of them and each time passed several teams ahead of us gaining ground on the leaders. We finished up finishing in second place overall which is MUCH better than I expected to do in our condition. if you want to read more about the race, you can read my report. Shane and I won this race last year and I was hoping to repeat, but I'm still very happy with our effort and we still got to bring home some hardware.

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