Adventure Race race 11:46:00  70.6 mi (10:00 / mi) +7160ft 9:07 / mi
Central Indiana Adventure adventure race, put on by DINO only two weeks after they did Nationals. Not sure how or why they planned it that way, but I had been asked to race with Deviate (Garrison and Greg Grossart), and since I didn't have anything else major going on, I decided to make the 8 hour trip again. We shared a cabin with the only other two three-person co-ed teams, Rib Mountain and Kuat, and it was super fun to hang out with all my Midwest friends (Saturday night, that is, since I rolled in around 11:45 p.m. Friday night and everyone was in bed!).
The race started with a typical Brian H. move. We had to place our passport and a piece from one of our bikes (bike seat or wheel) on a picnic table in the shelter. He then said that we had to run or bike to the Nature Center about a mile up the road to get our first set of instructions, then come back and we would get our passport and bike piece back, along with our map. So of course everyone scrambles to figure out how to best get up the road with two bikes and three people. Some opt to just walk/run, while we opted to do a bike-and-tie. I ran there and then switched with Greg on the way back. We were about a fourth there when Kuat rode by us with Carrie riding on the back of Jeff's bike like a little kid. We all marveled at how smart they were, but also how that probably wouldn't work for anyone other than Jeff and Carrie. After we got back and got our map, we quickly plotted the points and made it out of the TA just after Kuat but before Rib Mtn. The first section was a bike, and we hammered. By CP 1 we didn't even see anyone behind us. The third CP was a longer out and back, and we saw Rib Mtn on our way out, so we knew they weren't far behind. CP 5 was a trek into the woods to a reentrant junction (we dropped our bikes by some unfriendly hunters, I think that was the most trusting I've even been with a bike drop!), and we still didn't see anyone chasing us before we got out of there, so we had built up a bit of a lead. We finished on some old doubletrack that luckily wasn't too overgrown and came into the TA in first.
Section 2 was the paddle, which we suspected based on how cold our feet were. It actually wasn't cold at all once we were on the water, and the water itself was somewhat warm. We had a longish paddle up to some waterfalls, where we dropped the boat and did three CP's on foot. Ran into some more hunters who warned us of even more hunters out in the woods, making me opt to put my bright orange buff on my head for another reason other than warmth. This was the coldest part of the race, though, for all of us. Hands and feet were numb until we hit the road and got to do some running. We ran up to the second set up waterfalls for the last CP, and there was a cute little covered bridge that we wanted to use to get across to the side where the CP was. Unfortunately there was a wedding being set up right in the middle of the bridge! We asked very nicely if we could pass through, and the wedding planners surprisingly told us yes, as long as we didn't knock anything over. We walked through and complimented the set up and I think I even said congratulations to the couple, etc. etc. I convinced the guys to go up to the highway bridge that was a little out of our way on the way back over so we didn't plow through them twice. Apparently when Rib showed up after us, the wedding planners thought they were us again, and yelled at them when they ran through again on their way back, haha!
When we got back to our boat we saw Rib's boat, but no others, so we knew we had a mostly two-horse race at this point. We paddled back and saw Kuat on their way out, as well as some solos and a two-person male team. Most of the other teams opted out of those furthest away points. When we got to the boat ramp, our next set of instructions were for a trek, but we were supposed to keep our pfd's. We knew what that meant...a swim was in our future! Actually, multiple swims. We swam to an island for a CP, then across the channel to the other side of the lake, then again later across an inlet. For the first swim, Greg and I stripped down our top layers to try to keep them dry in the colder weather. Mike didn't bother, and none of bothered the third time anyway, so it was probably a waste of time. I will say that the fishermen nearby seemed a bit interested in what we were doing. The swims actually went well for me, considering I just got a ton of practice in on Thursday. We saw Rib Mtn canoe by as we were getting the island CP, and then saw them running towards the swim point as we bobbled around getting the next one (walked past it and lost a few minutes searching). The next CP after that was tough - it was in a very slight reentrant in a thicket. I lucked upon it after being drawn to the thicker stuff, thinking that was were Brian would put a CP. Rib had trouble on that one as well, and Kuat had a ton of trouble and never found it. :( After the next one we did another swim, and then just had to book it into the TA.
The next section was a short 3 CP bike, probably the same bike the 4 hour teams did. We got out of the TA before Rib came in, and hammered the bike again as much as we could. We got back into TA and saw that we had one last trek, this time with 5 CP's. We had two hours and 20 minutes left, and Garrison was confident we'd make it. We ran as much as we could, though my calves started to get tight and make me slow up a little bit. Thankfully that seemed to pass after we got a CP in the woods, and we ran for almost a mile before getting into the woods again. The next second to last CP was our biggest challenge. We came in too far to the south, but Garrison figured it out and corrected us up and over a very steep spur. As we came down the spur on the other side, he was convinced we should be seeing the control, but we didn't. We kept going down the reentrant out into a more open area, but no control. The panic started to set in a little bit, but the only option was to go back up the reentrant because everything seemed to match up. We started back up and bam, there was the control, literally 6 feet away from where we had come down but on the other side of a tree where we couldn't see it. Grateful, we punched and booked it. I had been worried about Rib catching us, but now we were worried about clearing the course in the time we had left. We only had 30 minutes, and we still had one more control. We finally hit the road and started running. Garrison said we'd make the call on the last CP when we got to the attackpoint, but apparently he decided to go for it because we just ran into right into the woods and down a spur. Thankfully there was a nice trail all the way down the spur to the control, so it was an easy out and back. We finished running the road into the TA and finished with 15 minutes to spare for the win.
Overall super fun race - the swim/trek route choice was a good addition that worked since the water wasn't super cold yet. We worked well as a team and Garrison's nav was excellent. Glad I made the trip!