Adventure Race race 16:00:00  137.0 km (7:00 / km) +800m 6:49 / km
shoes: Salomon XA 3D Ultra 2
Fabulous full day of racing with a wonderful all female team.
Got the maps at 8p.m. Friday. We had a funny bonus when arthurd realized she had paddled the same paddle section last year on a vacation.
After the briefing we headed back to our very swanky hotel the Knights Inn.
It was great to have all the bins and bikes away & just the maps to go through.
We hoped to get to bed early, but arthurd and I still looked over the maps while the ang and sharon slept. Finally in bed at 12:15a.m. I slept great until 2a.m. then I was up every hour until out 5:30a.m. wake-up call.
Headed to the start for a great breakfast provided by the race. Thank you!
45min bus ride to the paddle put in start, where I suffered the need to pee and we discussed some alternative team names: Skin-not-so-soft, Start Pretty, Start Dry Finish Wet, WandAR off, Wanda Off.
Off the bus. Pee. Turn on the tracker. Get the boats. Go.
Paddle: CP1, 2 & 3, time 6:52:46, 39km, +120m
We were pretty much at the back from the start and knew that would be the case so were fine with it. No nav issues. So lots of paddling. Some in very thick lilypad and grassy areas that required getting out the boat and dragging. Which wasn't too bad expect for the huge horse flies that would use that opportunity to bite. We saw some teams coming back after we left CP1, which made us feel good that we were ahead of a few more teams.
At CP2 we saw Bob, who informed us that we were the first female team. Which surprised the heck out of us. Especially since we really weren't paddling fast & we had to stop once for me to pee. I was well hydrated. Not good with a paddle start. ;-)
I even got out here to pee which was a great photo opportunity as I squatted in the tall grass with a square of the elevate bar in the mouth (yup, that's AR, eat & pee at the same time), a dog came over to sniff me and try to steal the bar from my mouth. So funny.
Back in the boat & a loooong paddle to CP3/TA1.
I contemplated with arthurd whether we should have me and Sharon switch boats to even us out a bit. But decided it wasn't worth it.
Just before Wilson Lake we saw Wonderbroads creepy up. Tried to hammer, but couldn't sustain it to the end so just let it go once we were in the final lake to the finish. At the finish we saw DD11's father's smiling face & had only to do the portage to CP3/TA1. Ang grabbed one boat & was off & I got the other one & asked the girls to stay close incase I tipped and to swat the darn horseflies way. It was easy 1.2km portage and really happy that was all portaging we had to do.
Transition: TA1 paddle-trek, 20min
I felt this was a little slow as I was done very quickly. Only had to grab some food and my pack from the gear bin. Plus redistribute the mandatory gear as we opted to put it all in ang's pack for the paddle and keep our packs dry in the gear bin. The girls all changed shoes & stuff. But it was no biggie as I saw the Wonderbroads also seemed to be taking their time. We only left a few minutes after them, but in the opposite direction. Curious.
Our estimated time on the paddle was 8hrs. We got in in 7hrs and then 20min transition. So we felt going into the trek with a 30min time bank.
Trek: CP4, 5 & 6, time 10:34:10, 37km, +316m
What can I say. It was fun until it wasn't. We renamed all the lakes to "What the heck lake is this lake". Crossed 4-6 beaver dams. Saw some gorgeous waterfalls. Did a 25m swim just before the headlamps came out. I opted not to take my shirt off, which concerned me a bit as I was really cold once soaked. However, was surprised that even in the dark I dried quickly.
Was so happy to see John & Jackson at CP4 where they were camping out cooking fish in the fire. Jackson helped out by bringing me the SI unit. Poor kid was hurting from some bug bits. John informed us we were the first female team. Shocked again and gave us a little more zip to CP5.
Unfotunately, CP5 seemed to foil us again. We finally made it there at midnight, which was our estimated time to be on the bikes. Yikes!
Finally off to CP6/TA2. Got in some running/AR shuffle much to the surprise of teams we passed. We attempted the ATV short-cut, but turned back quickly as it was a complete swamp & taking forever to get through. So headed back to the road.
(for tracker & info on the nav check arthurd's log)
Transition: TA2 trek-mtb, 46min
Happy to see Eco's smiling face at this TA. The other volunteer was very proud of providing us with watermelon, which on a warm day I would have loved. However, as the weather report indicated & for once was right it began raining at midnight. So when we arrive to this TA at 2a.m. we were soaked and a little cold, so watermelon wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I was hoping for a kettle of hot water a la Andrew Cameron's aid station back in WT2011. But I thanked her anyway.
We all changed out clothes, filled our bladders & packs with food, ate, put our bike lights on.
We were ready to go, got a hug from Eco and punched out.
MTB: CP7 & 8, time 6:53:12, 48km, +287m
A relatively quick road ride to the CP7, then on to the hydro line trail for 30+km. We hit the hydro line trail right when the torrential downpour started and call me crazy but the first 10km of this in the pouring rain, darkness, riding through huge puddles and over rocks was the most fun I had on this race. Sharon was a rockstar and choose the perfect lines for me and arthurd to follow. There were moments we thought pack rafts might have been useful. :-) On the paddle we had seen a lady on a bike peddle boat and we dreamt of having one of those too.
30min before sunrise, after a fall Sharon lost the use of her lights. Luckily the rest of all had helmet and handlebar lights. So ang and Sharon switched helmets and we kept going.
It was funny that as the sun rose our riding got worse. It was like now that we could see better we got more worried about riding over stuff. Much easier in the dark when you can't see what you are about to ride through. :-D
I know some on the team were annoyed by the pace, but I was really impressed by our riding and pace on the hydro line. It took 5:41min to get through the hydro line and some full course finishers took 5:21min and they were riding under drier conditions. Really happy with this. We also saw a beautiful big deer close to the end.
Hit the road for the last 2km to the CP8/TA3
Transition: TA3, short course cut-off was 7:30a.m. and we arrived at 8:15a.m.
We got the up date on the all female teams, so knew at this point we were the only female to make it on the bike. So we were in the lead 48km of biking. Short course or not it felt great. We were also informed that we could head back to the finish anyway we wanted. We opted for the road which was smart as I heard the trail was crap.
(Short coursed, so didn't get to bike to CP9, trek CP10, 11 & 12)
Bike: Finish, time 53min, 13km, +75m
Road to the finish. You'd think we'd hammer this, but when we hit any incline I had 1 gear and it was ZERO. Just couldn't do it. I didn't really feel tired or under fed, just had no oomph in my legs to get me up and over. I had to stop and adjust my seat too as it had slipped down after a big fall in the hydro line. I had noticed after the fall that it was sideways but not that it had fallen.
I had a bit of a meltdown when I finally caught the rest of my team, apologizing for being a weak link but that I had a great time & I was sorry to holding them back at the end. Couple low km for me.
But we reached the finish line all smiles.
So proud of our whole team and the other racers that had toughed it out.
Thanks to Bob for a great race course and all the volunteers.