Adventure Race 11:59:00  60.0 mi (11:59 / mi)
Boonecrusher 12hr w Gnome Hunters (Pete, Brian, Dave)!!!
drove up from STL friday afternoon, boys had maps all done when i got there so we just ate pizza, sorted gear, and slept. probably earliest pre-AR bedtime ever...11p!
started w a 10k road run and very soon after the turn-around i felt not good. didn't have any spark to my legs (thanks to lack of run training and OGRE last weekend) and was struggling to keep normal 12hr pace. uh oh.
onto the bikes and still not feeling awesome but a little better on the SegSlayer. singletrack was v fun but also v techy so lots of pushing. trails were super twisty so we could see/hear teams everywhere, including leaders WEDALI who we were close to at times, it was v cool. then onto gravel where Dave's RD was unable to handle his immense power and promptly exploded. we converted the bike to SS which, while annoying in a race situation, was so rad because i have never actually had to do that before. Dave continued to crush once we got going again and my legs were still crying.
rolled into TA and onto a 10k (??) O in Ledges State Park. the guys took my pack for almost all the road sections (which were several) and that helped our pace a lot. Pete nailed all the nav. and power-hiked like a maniac.
we had a downstream river paddle and opted to use race-provided single-blade paddles instead of carrying kayak paddles. we were slower here for sure but i think it was worth it to avoid hassle of paddles in packs all day. splits will give us more info here.
arrived at the take-out in 4th with 3rd in our sights, tried to push the next 5k (??) trek which was over a really interesting, high ped bridge. from that vantage point we saw 2nd and 3rd place trekking in the river bottoms which was very unique and cool. we were close to the cutoff at this point in the race which was humbling and motivating at the same time.
then biked, Dave continuing to rock his SS, everyone working well together.
last trek was converted to bike to speed teams up a little. we were stoked about that and passed 3rd place with some sweet nav courtesy Pete. worked together with Green Paw/Blind Squirrels on a CP which was fun too. then Dave's bike, determined to steal the show, flatted on the rear which left us in a bind without a functional 29" spare (we gave 1 away and mine was faulty). so threw a 26" one in there and rode on, now skipping 2 CPs and in danger of missing the final finish cutoff.
final bike was a full-team effort, everyone on tow and working to get back in time. made it with 1 minute to spare. amazing.
really fun time racing with the Gnome Hunters. thank you for towing me all over Iowa!!! also 41 North did a great job organizing this race, completely worth the drive. especially loved that racers get an entire pizza to themselves, plus cookies and beer, after finishing. obviously they know us well.