The next ARWS race runs from April 1-5 and features Attackpoint's own Work4justice (Barbara Niess-May) on team Teenek Racing, a Mexican-American initiative. Go BNM, go! :)
I don't know if AR Live Coverage plans to report on it. I know Craig had hoped to race but it doesn't look like it worked out.
I’ll post up intel as I get it. Vamos!
Have a fantastic time! :)
Team list: Columbia Vidaraid is racing with Nick Gracie and some less familiar names to me. Most teams are from Paraguay or Uruguay.
Thanks all! In Brazil waiting for my flight to Asuncion. My first international XPD. And thanks to many of you for the encouragement. :)
Some info gleaned from the race newsletters including copy & paste of some funky English:
There are three race categories: Expedition/Adventure (the one we'll watch), Challenge and Promotional.
HQ is the beautiful Resort Yacht Hotel on the Paraguay River near Asuncion. Sat/Sun will be spent doing equipment checks, getting official photos, enjoying a welcome dinner, reviewing the race book, turning in gear boxes, etc.
On Monday (April Fool's Day!), teams will be transported to the start and given their maps on arrival. They'll have 1 hour to plan. No phones/Internet.
Winning team is expected to finish on Thurs. April 4. Race course closes Friday at midnight.
In some CPs an Expedición Guaraní label will be placed with the corresponding CP number. These labels have reflective stickers to make it easier to find at night. For other CPs, you will be asked to take a photo next to a specific feature of the site. To recognize the exact location that you must find and photograph, a book with the pictures of these places will be provided. In each transition, you will have to show to the people of the organization the photos of the visited CPs in the previous stage and at the end of the race you will be asked for the cameras to download all the pictures.
All control points (CPs) and all transition areas (TAs) are mandatory. Moving to another activity or checking in (take the photographs) another section’s CP without previously having passed through the corresponding TA is not allowed.
If a team skips a CP, either on its own decision or due to a cut off, it will still be competing, however, it will be ranked behind the teams that have managed to arrive longer in the race. For ranking purposes among these teams, it will be taken into account the number of CPs or TAs that the teams have reached without interruption.
Disciplines are Orienteering (the entire race), Trekking, Mountain Biking, Kayaking, Canyoning, Swimming (5 km including 1.5 km in a single swim, PFD mandatory, swim aids OK but no pack rafts, paddles etc.) and Ropes (two 50 m rope bridges with bike, optional with 2 hr penalty per team member who doesn't do it). Sails are allowed in the Kayak section (which is explicitly forbidden in ARWS rules unless Sailing is a race discipline but it's a rule I don't like anyway!)
Water may be difficult to find in two of the treks and during the Kayaking (??).
Maps will be 1:50,000 and 1:25,000. [The sample map looks good.] CPs and out of bounds areas/routes will be pre-printed on maps. Teams had the option to order additional copies of maps and race book.
The live tracking system will be NonStop Tracking.
Extra Services (very nice!):
Water and food - In many of the transitions you will have cold and hot water, milk, tea, cocoa, coffee and fruit. In some of them, you will receive also hot food. Some of us know very well that these little details make a lot of difference.
Technical service - In the middle of the race we will have a team of mechanics prepared to solve almost any problem that you have with your bicycles, only the spare parts will have cost, the service is included in the cost of registration.
Bicycle cleaners - Before organizers, we have been and are racers and we know which is one of the hardest parts in an adventure race: to collect all the equipment, clean it and pack it again to travel back home, when all you want is to eat and sleep. Once again, since after the race, we will have a team that will clean the bike and leave it ready for your return trip.
Due to the large number of red wasps that we found in our last scouting of the race, in February, we have considered important to add to the mandatory first aid kit:
- At least 2 ampoules of injectable antihistamine.
- At least 2 ampoules of injectable adrenaline.
- At least 4 syringes with intramuscular needle.
Red wasp stings are painful but, for the vast majority of the population, they cause no more problems than a skin reaction, which is usually short-lived, with redness and swelling around the sting. In individuals with a good general state of health and not allergic to wasp venom, it has been shown that they can stand quite well from 1 to 25 bites and it has been estimated that toxic effects appear from 50 bites. But in allergic individuals a simple sting will suffice to cause a general picture with, hives or wheals, difficulty breathing, dizziness... These symptoms, with involvement of different organs of the body, are what is called as an anaphylactic reaction or anaphylaxis.
This is the year that more nests and wasps have seen in our scouting of the race area and we have suffered several bites. Although we hope that there will not be so many by April, we believe it is better to be well informed, in the doubt of knowing if any member of the team is allergic.
Also: The trunks and leaves of the coconut trees have quite large thorns and can be very painful.
Weather: The current forecast shows the race starting with typical weather for this time of year - highs around 30C, lows around 24C. The second half of the race shows a big temperature drop (to high 20C, low 15C) and a lot of rain. But there's plenty of time for forecasters to change their minds. The lower temperatures will be refreshing for W4J coming from Michigan in March.
Sunrise is about 6 a.m. Sunset is about 6 p.m. I like it when race organizers plan such easy times for spectators to remember. ;)
Bike service sounds pretty nice. I always thought it would be cool if more TAs had the odd floor pump or bike tweaker, at least at the hobbyist level where not all of us are bike wizards. I definitely understand why they do not.
Makes me wonder what kind of conditions we will be biking in...we all brought spare tires in case of a coconut thorn slash and derailleur hangers.
Also met up with one of the Columbia Vidaraid team members. Yup, he looks ready!
You've made the big time, W4J! :)
Btw Nick Gracie on Columbia Vidaraid may be one of the few other English-as-a-first language racers. I found him to be super nice and helpful.
Before I arrived, my teammates and some others got a chance to meet the President of Paraguay!https://www.ip.gov.py/ip/presidente-recibio-a-part...
Looks like AR Live Coverage will be watching.
Expedicion Guarani - Paraguay.
Starting tomorrow teams have a journey ahead of them with great variety and mix, with some short legs and some much longer. The race starts with a couple of quick legs that most teams should cutout in 4 or 5 hours each but then Leg 3 is a 19km Trek Swim. It's good to see the organisers put a fast estimate of 6 hours which is slow for this stage of the race but realistic with 5km of swimming and I think it might be swamp and Pantanal type terrain. There are two decent Mtb legs of 101km and 69km but not a lot of elevation so it's the 94km Trek that's going to be key in this race. Paraguay only has a high point of 800m so to have a total elevation gain of 2720m is a lot and will surprise a few. The fast estimate is 30hr and the slow is 50 hours. It's good for the slower teams to know that they'll be out for at least two days so they can prepare. The last Leg is an interesting one with 130km of Kayaking that only drops 50m. So a lot of flat water. Some teams hate this but it will really sort out the teams that are still in good shape, mentally tough and strong paddlers so I can see some position changes on this last leg which doesn't always happen. Kayaking can become such a rhythmical thing that just staying awake on day four might be the biggest challenge.
It's should be a fascinating race as always!
#expedicionguarani #5taedicion #adventurerace #carreradeaventura #arworldseries #falta01dia #eg19
Work4justice is half an hour into her first international expedition race! Watch Teenek Racing (and the other teams!) here.
They’ve started racing in Caapucu, a 2.5 hour drive south of Asuncion (race HQ). They received their maps on arrival. The first trek is a loop so they’ll be returning to Caapucu for TA1 where they switch to biking. Stage 1 is estimated at 22 km, 3.5-7 hrs.
Be careful not to follow teams on the short course.
Yay, a new tracking system to figure out! Just as I had gotten the hang of Expedition India's...
Go W4J and Teenek Racing!
Columbia Vidaraid and Lagartixa, the two Brazilian teams (because CV has two Brazilian racers this time), came into TA1 together in the lead and are now out on their bikes. They were just over 3.5 hours, close to the fast estimate. The leaderboard is very simple; it shows geofenced CP splits and team ranking but it lacks other features like stage splits, time of day, etc.
Teenek had a hiccup between CP3 and CP4 but it's all good now. I'm sure W4J will have a story to share with us about that one! :)
Back from the other side of the world, just in time to dive into Guarani:)
So, how do we see the dots/team routes? I may just be sleep deprived, but not figuring out how to turn that on...
Without seeing the competition maps, that looks like a reasonable bobble. Featureless! "Bunch of trees"
Welcome home, Broots! It was great to follow your adventure. :)
There are no dots that I can find but the Tools (wrench) menu lets you turn on tails for different time periods. You can also rewind using the slider at the bottom.
You can display the competition maps - that's what I'm watching right now.
If anyone figures out how to view selected teams only, please share.
Thanks for the competition map tip, I missed that when turning on tails.
Using the eyeball has gotten everyone off, then I can add people back on. Has to be repeated for all of the classes to get rid of them as well. Not sure if that's what you are looking for.
Columbia has made what looks like a bold shortcut off the line between CP11 and CP12. There's no trail shown on the map but there are some faint tracks on the satellite map (you have to turn off the competition maps to see that). It appears to be working for them. They've been slowly pulling away from Lagartixa since the TA.
Teenek and Yuma are arriving at CP6 together. ("Bunch of trees")
A lot of the CP descriptions are crap: "Tree", "Rock in Forest", "Shore".
It doesn't look like Columbia's shortcut bought them anything but it worked. Uruguay (3rd) and Ulala (4th) are going that way too.
Stage 2 is a 57 km MTB leg with just 500 m of climbing, estimated to take 3.5-6 hours. Columbia and Lagartixa are almost at TA2 in the lead.
After some frustration in the trail system on the hill east of CP8, Teenek is making good time. They should be at CP9 now with just CP10 remaining before they arrive at TA1 about 3 km away. Go W4J! (And teammates too, of course.)
Lead teams are now on Stage 3, the 19 km Trek/Swim leg. It's estimated to take 6-10 hours, and it will be dark in 2 hours. The biggest swims are near the beginning - two swims of 1.5-2+ kms so the lead teams will have daylight. It will be harder for the teams further behind. Columbia and Lagartixa are just about to start the first big swim from CP14 to CP15.
Teenek heading to the TA in town now. Columbia is opting for the land route to CP15 while Lagartixa is swimming to it. I think trekking is the right call but we’ll see.
It looked like a good call but that is seriously slow trekking!
....and I would have been wrong. Columbia is mired in the dark green while Lagartixa is at the CP. Uruguay Natl is also making a move for second by swimming along the shoreline.
Looks like Columbia may be preparing to swim the rest of the way. Fun to watch the route choices!
Columbia is now swimming in 3rd place a short distance behind Uruguay. Undoubtedly, they can see Euskalraid and Ulala in the water - although Euskalraid is listed as Retired on the leaderboard so something might be up.
Is Ulala pronounced oh-la-la?
The geofencing for CP15 must not have been set up properly. The top 4 teams are all showing times but they're definitely not all there yet. Just Lagartixa - unless they've been eaten by a crocodile. (They haven't tracked in 20 minutes but they should have reached CP15 awhile ago).
Jay, I think we *should* pronounce it oh-la-la from now on.
Maybe Columbia jumped in the water to save Lagartixa from the crocodile that ate their tracker?
Lagartixa is back in the water heading for CP16. It took awhile so it must have been thick in there or maybe CP15 (Summit) wasn't obvious. Both Uruguay and Columbia have come ashore near CP15.
Columbia is back in the water. They passed Uruguay in the area of CP15 and made up some time on Lagartixa. Looking at their tail, it appears that CP15 was tricky to find and maybe not in the centre of the circle. The sun is just setting now so it's going to get trickier.
"..Paraguay abounds with crocodiles along its watercourses..."
I'm sure all the splashing will scare the crocodiles away.
JayXC, any thoughts on that? ;)
Uruguay hadn't tracked when I looked. After CP15, they hit the water just before Columbia and they have maintained a small lead on the long (and now dark) swim to land near CP16. 1st place Lagartixa should be onshore shortly in the lead.
Meanwhile back in the mangroves, Teenek has left TA1, biked by CP11 and moved within striking range of the two teams ahead of them. Great job!
They're swimming in Lago Ypoa.
"In the lake there is an ecosystem little explored and known."
Here's a photo.
“....splashing”... depends how big they are.
The pic I posted on FB is exactly how they look. You have no idea how big they are.
This bend in the road to the SW just past CP11 seems to be a bit of a twilight zone. There 5 teams in the midst of it and each is taking their own route, most in the wrong direction.
We call that a crop tour.
Teenek appears to be checking out the cattle in the feedlot? Quite the maze of back roads/ranch roads in that area. Is it like England where it is OK to go along/through farm fields? Or like much of North America where non-invited field tours are very much frowned upon?
It looks like Teenek left the bike route "line" to take the shortcut route that Columbia and some others took to Cerro Pero (the route I mentioned above that didn't gain Columbia any time). In the dark, they drifted east to the main road where they met ND Tenondete. The two teams joined up and accidentally rode southwest off the map together, clearly thinking they were on different roads. There are farm roads on the satellite map so I don't think they did any field tours. They arrived at a farm where everything would have looked wrong compared to the map. They stopped for a few minutes then headed north to get back on the map. Nice save!
Agreed! I don't know how well the maps reflect the terrain but they are nice looking maps. I don't like the CP clues though: "Tree", "Shore", etc.
Cowshed and Feeder .....
I was wondering about getting drinking water while at the farm.
From their current position, it could be tricky to get back on the Line in the dark. A few teams have gone exploring to the west of the junction at Cerro Villalba.
Weird happenings up front. If you do a replay, Columbia seemed to have trouble finding CP19, then they headed north almost as if they were bailing out to the TA - except they would have taken the main road in that case.
Lagartixa just passed CP21 and is getting close to the end of the trek. Still a couple of short swims to go.
Columbia has turned around.
Everything is being tracked in Race Time. Just so we remember later, the start was 7:30 a.m. on Monday, April 1.
Columbia is back on track at CP20 after a big detour that allowed Lagartixa to pull ahead (now between CP21 and 22). Uruguay is just behind Columbia in 3rd.
Teenek and ND Tenondete had no trouble around Cerro Villalba and are making good progress north toward TA2. Unfortunately, we'll be sleeping while they're swimming in the dark. If there's a night shift in this group, please keep an eye on them. :)
By tomorrow morning, most teams will be on the Stage 4 mountain bike leg - 101 km, 8-12 hours, 1090 m elevation gain.
The nav has always been a HUGE factor in this race. Bash, I hear you on the clues, though I think they might make more sense on the ground. I.e., low bushy terrain and then a big tree/oasis pops out. Can't miss it...if you are in the right spot...Cyanosis nailed the nav in this race last year but all the other top teams floundered, as we are seeing now, though perhaps worse allowing Cyanosis to build an impossibly big lead (double digit hours as I recall). I'm not super keen on the tropics myself, but this one calls because of the nav.
Anyone know if W4J is navving?
My understanding is that W4J was at least going to help on the maps, if not take lead. That was from a conversation a few weeks ago, though- I'm not sure how that division of labor ultimately landed.
Looks like Teenek might be skipping CP15. They have left CP14 twice, once to the north and once to the south. They’re heading back to it again now after trying to swim to the end of the peninsula with CP16. If someone is having an issue it might be better to wait until daylight to settle the nerves a little.
And now they’re continuing to the peninsula...
I thought Teenek’s primary navigator was JD Eskelson, who has navigated for other expedition races. The three men of Teenek raced with a differential woman at Nordic Islands last year.
@Broots, it’s not just the clues. It’s the fact that virtually none of the CP features are mapped at this level of detail (“Rock in forest”). There was a discussion about this in some Facebook AR forum recently. The consensus was that it should be a challenge to navigate between CPs but the CP itself should be super obvious. True, the occasional distinct tree might fit the bill but looking at the clue list for this race, I’d say most of those clues could be better thought out.
e.g. “Trail junction” where the trails aren’t on the map. (Whoops, they actually *were* on the map when I displayed the correct layer.)
In orienteering, you can only use mapped features as controls. In rogaining, you should try to do that but the rules allow you to phrase the clue differently to indicate that a feature isn’t on the map. In AR, it depends on the RD but some RDs hide clues so it’s like a treasure hunt when you get to the right spot. Other RDs rely on GPS, and the map may not support finding the controls without GPS. These maps look so good by AR standards that I’d love to see the CPs be equally high quality. It will be interesting to hear from W4J to learn whether things were more obvious than they sound!
Especially with no lack of what appear to be distinct mapped features.
Columbia has finished the Stage 4 MTB. Next up is Stage 5, a 94 km Trek Loop with 2720 m of elevation gain, estimated to take 30-50 hours. There are bike mechanics at TA 4/5 but they will only work on your bike while you’re in the TA.
Lagartixa is approaching the end of the bike in 2nd. Uruguay and Euskalraid (still marked as Retired on leaderboard) are a few kms back in 3rd. Then it’s a large gap to Oh-la-la and others farther back.
“If a team skips a CP, either on its own decision or due to a cut off, it will still be competing, however, it will be ranked behind the teams that have managed to arrive longer in the race. For ranking purposes among these teams, it will be taken into account the number of CPs or TAs that the teams have reached without interruption.”
Maybe someone on Teenek was concerned about the swim and they’ve decided to make the race a better experience, given that they aren’t targeting the podium. This may help them make later cut-offs, which I haven’t looked at yet.
Upcoming short course cut-offs:
TA4 arrival after 101 km Stage 4 MTB: 23:00 tonight
TA5 arrival (same place as TA4) after 94 km Stage 5 Trek: 17:00 Thursday
Teenek is arriving at TA3, having skipped CP15.
Bash, to be fair, I haven't actually looked at the maps or clues together. I completely agree that unmapped trail junctions when trails could be everywhere and anywhere is not ideal. I generally do agree with your assessments, though I do think (at times) there is room for a bit more flexibility, but only when there is enough information on the map AND on the ground to puzzle things out. I.e., if one could locate a distinct tree using a compass bearing off a trail junction or something, I'm ok with the tree not being on the map. I know that wouldn't fly in Orienteering, but I think sometimes there are amazing features in AR that won't actually map.
That said, as noted, there has to be enough info on the map to figure it out. This requires the navigator to balance more information and hence may not play well to teams with weaker navigators. It's a fair question to then ask whether this is acceptable. At this level of racing, I'd say it's fine with me as long as the info is available. I'm not expecting an ARWS race to be beginner or even intermediate level navigation, and I believe top notch nav is more than just looking at what is literally on the paper.
Ultimately, I believe it's the RDs responsibility to assess whether a map/clue designation is fair. In AR, I think standards are much harder than in Orienteering due to the wildly varying nature of maps. My problem is that many AR RDs aren't all that great with maps as navigators, and they therefore make bad decisions about the maps and clues. And this is virtually impossible to police and sometimes impossible to teach.
Anyway, this race is notoriously difficult, especially on the treks. Interestingly, it's one of the few major ARs designed by a truly world-class navigator. The question to me is: is it just that the navigation is THAT hard or is it, as you question, Bash, poor decisions on the ground with maps and CP placement/clues.
I've never heard anyone complain and question Urtzi and his team and their RD work/efforts. Rather, I've heard that it's just very difficult terrain to navigate. Then again, I haven't REALLY heard much feedback overall, and we all have the problem of being very nice to RDs publicly even if we are fuming privately...
Agree with “only when there is enough information on the map AND on the ground to puzzle things out”. Actually, I’m leery of the word “puzzle” but I’m sure you didn’t choose it too deliberately. :)
OK, off to see Mom in hospital in another city so I’ll be counting on you folks for race news!
LOL OM, cheering the same thing here! When I roughed it out, it looked good, even with the big hill and all of the twists and turns.
Mr W...you know I am looking at the farm fields and wondering how the crops are doing :)
Chiming in here, as I had a chance to talk with Cyanosis a few months after their win at Exp. Guarani a couple of years ago, which was due in large part to a clutch navigational find right before it got dark out on the crux trekking leg. All of the teams behind them struggled for 8+ hours to find the CP and that gave Cyanosis an insurmountable lead they sustained to the finish.
I don't want to put words in their mouths, but in my recollection, Cyanosis only had good things to say about the nav in that race. They said the level of detail on the maps wasn't ideal but that it was more than adequate overall.
Of course, they were the ones that found the difficult CP. Perhaps the teams who spent 24+ hours looking for the point (including Columbia, as I recall) might have a different opinion.
On the macro level, I've noticed there are two very different approaches to expedition-length ARs when it comes to trekking sections. One approach, as seen in Expedition Guarani, Raid Gallaecia, and a few other races, involves circular trekking legs with numerous CPs on small features, requiring very intense orienteering-level micro-navigation. The other approach, used by ITERA, Godzone, Nordic Islands last year, Untamed New England, and I would say probably the majority of ARs, is to use a minimal number of CPs, all placed on rather prominent features, to create more major route options and less chance that a team will get stuck looking for a flag for hours and hours if it is in the correct general area.
I don't really have a preference, and I think this is one of those things that should be left up to individual RDs to decide rather than dictated by a sport-wide governing decision, but I do think that they are two different and distinct disciplines. In my mind, I classify the first category as an "orienteering" leg and the latter as a "trekking" leg.
My guess is that most racers prefer the trekking type of stage, but many RDs are limited to certain areas where they can have off-trail navigation, which would necessitate them having to create an orienteering-style leg. Of course, with that, higher-quality maps or very clear clues are vital to maximizing the happiness/minimizing the grumpiness levels of racers.
Hoping Teenek is on a quick snack run en route to 29! Pedal pedal!
Columbia is in the lead at CP42, about 12 hours into the Stage 5 Trek.
2nd place Lagartixa is <3 km behind them.
3rd** place Uruguay is about 4 km behind Lagartixa.
** Euskalraid is actually in 3rd but they're still listed as "Retired" on the leaderboard. Maybe they were supposed to be switched to "Unranked".
Teenek has ridden well, pulling away from some of the teams they were with around TA3. We assume Teenek is still ranked behind those teams due to skipping CP15 although we don't know if any other teams skipped a CP somewhere that we didn't notice. Lucky Teenek - we watch their every move but most other teams could get away with anything, lol! :)
Looks like Yuma skipped CP31, for example. So there may be other teams out there who have skipped CPs - maybe before Teenek. The leaderboard is provisional until organizers check team photos at each CP.
Teenek is going to miss the 23:00 Short Course cut-off at TA4. This means that on the Stage 5 Trek, they will go directly from CP38 to CP49. It's still a loooong trek.
@StrongMachine, I agree with your thoughts on the different flavours of trek navigation. There isn't a right or wrong when it comes to "lots of CPs" vs. "long route choice legs" although some racers prefer one of the styles and might choose events on that basis. I prefer long route choice legs but I love the orienteering relay at Untamed NE!
The key - and I think we're all on the same page - is that CP locations need to be supported by the map. Anyone who has set a race course has changed some of their planned CP locations after a field check showed that the map wasn't accurate and/or detailed enough in that area to make the CP fair.
This doesn't mean that the map has to be a highly detailed orienteering map. It just means that you use whatever map you have in a fair manner. I've done a couple of races that included a resort's 3D cartoon hiking map, and it was possible to choose fair controls for that map. You can choose fair CPs based on a sketch on an envelope! As Broots pointed out, some RDs aren't skilled at this, particularly ones who rely on GPS instead of the map.
The Leg 1 Trek map (when I made my comment about some poor clues) was a 1:50,000 map with 20 m contours where 6 of 10 controls along a 22 km trek had the description "Tree", "Small Tree" or "Bunch of Trees". Maybe a couple of those trees were terrific CP locations but Mr. Wonderful demonstrated above that there were mapped point features that could have been selected instead.
Mea culpa... I also said the Trail Junction wasn't marked on the map. Looking back, it actually *was* marked. I'd turned off the competition maps for awhile to look for all-important trees on the satellite map so I was looking at the satellite-visible trails, not mapped trails when I said that. In fact, the mapper *did* draw in the trail junction so I'll go above to correct my comment.
AR Live Coverage posted info on Euskalraid. Sounds like they should be categorized as Unranked instead of Retired:
"Uno de los miembros del equipo se lesionó. Esta bien pero por eso solo dos continúan en carrera. Retirados pero siguen. One of the team members was injured. It's fine but that's why only two continue in the race. Withdrawn but still racing."
After CP31, Teenek has ridden off the Line onto what looks like a minor road that's about to turn into a steep trail. They are at CP48 now, which is on the next Trek. I wonder if in their sleepy state on the 2nd night, they mistook it for a Bike CP. Or maybe the trail junction was just hard to interpret in the dark.
Meanwhile, the lead team, Columbia, has definitely had trouble interpreting some trail junctions between CPs 43 and 44. Their last hour looks pretty frustrating!
Lucky for them, it looks like Lagartixa is taking a break behind them at CP42 "Abandoned House" - exactly the kind of place I'd like to sleep at midnight. (?!)
Teenek is back on the Line. :)
Hopefully everyone had a chance to catch some zzzz's.....even those who stopped at the Abandoned House....
Looks like Teenek and Merrell set out from the TA together. Teaming up for this loop wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Up front, It looks like Colombia needs to unfold their map. They’re about to punch CP46 without going to CP45 first.
Upon further review on a different device it looks like Columbia did make it to CP45 first.
Lagartixa has just passed Columbia, who have been stopped for 1.5 hours on the CP46 summit. Strange to sleep just after sunrise. Maybe they stumbled onto a place with beds?
JayXC, when I picked up my iPad this morning, it showed Columbia going directly from CP33 to CP46! :)
Hmm, I don’t think Columbia’s tracker is working. The time of their latest track changes depending on whether I’ve just done a replay. So they may not be sleeping in broad daylight!
My recently loaded page has Columbia's last ping two hours old.
Agreed, the replay pushes their time forward temporarily but it’s not real.
Speaking of replays, check out Columbia’s route between CPs 43 and 44 if you want to feel better about your races with nav issues in the dark. Start at CP41 for a little more. Lagartixa passed them for awhile.
Columbia just reappeared near CP47.
Yuma Adventure is now shown as Retired on the leaderboard, same as Euskalraid - but like Euskalraid, they are continuing to race! The remaining racers on Euskalraid are holding 3rd place - unofficially, of course.
Columbia has just passed CP49 "Oven". From here to TA5, there are 12 more CPs packed densely over a relatively short section of this long trekking stage. It looks like an orienteering course. The Line shows very little off-trail travel although that's been the case for most of this stage and it still doesn't seem to have been easy - at least not in the dark! CP49 is where the Short Course teams will pick up the course after CP38.
After their track disappeared for awhile, Teenek has popped up at CP35. They should get a good chunk of the Short Course trek done in daylight.
The leaderboard shows 4 teams on the Short Course including Teenek. However, there are no split times shown for Teenek after their (legitimately) missing CP15 split.
9 teams remain on the full course. Cut-off to finish the long trek is 17:00 Thursday.
Bash, I'm sure you would accept a CP labeled "Oven" if there is some deliciously warm, soft bread in it? Probably doesn't map well though;)
Focaccia would be nice. :) Or naan, based on your recent experience. But I'd really, really prefer pizza.
I'll go out on a limb to say this "Oven", located on what looks like a little mapped driveway off the main trail at the top of a big re-entrant, is a totally fair CP location!
Zooming way in, that's an "X", not a driveway. So the oven may even be a mapped feature itself.
There are now 5 Short course teams, 8 Full course teams, 2 "Retired" teams (still racing though).
I spent a couple months living in Pisac Peru, and I was a REGULAR visitor to this oven that pumped out delicious bread all day long...I hope it's something similar for the racers:)
If they can smell the bread baking in the oven before they see it, that would be beneficial.....can you imagine how good that would smell?
Mmmm.... :) With all due respect to my gluten-free friends, I'm so grateful that I'm not.
I love the idea of sensory checkpoints that you have to find by smell or sound! Maybe we'll try to incorporate one or two into our 3-hour race...
Several times, the RockstAR adventure race in Ontario has had an audio CP where you had to find the speaker somewhere in the circle. Last time I did the race, it was playing Tragically Hip in honour of the late Gord Downie. I think they are moving away from the idea due to technical issues though.
I heard a rumor that some races in the Northeast are going with underwater CP's this year.
RockstAR has one of those too! They are shiny CDs tied to the bottom by something easily breakable - flagging tape, I think. One teammate dives down while the other waits on the dock. RockstAR is a mix of summer camp fun and AR. There have also been SUP CPs, inner tube CPs, a trail building CP and more.
Teenek is making great progress on the trek! They've caught up to Merrell, who had been ahead.
Columbia has been making good time through the final group of more densely packed CPs. They've visited 6 of the 12 CPs between the Oven and the TA.
Lagartixa hasn't tracked in almost 5.5 hours. They were behind Columbia but the gap has never been large, as last night's hijinks demonstrated.
Uruguay is in 3rd but they are way back at CP47. They are nowhere *near* the delicious smells of the Oven at CP49.
Euskalraid is finally acting like a "Retired" team, having stopped at a building just off The Line for the past few hours. They're still maintaining 4th place unofficially.
Oh-la-la leads the chase pack but they're well back at CP43 - just about to enter Columbia's Bermuda Triangle area from last night.
Teenek track over two hours old. They should be making the turn onto that 20 km shortcut soon, which means they are looking at the control pick at night time.
Looks like Euskalraid finally called a cab. Great job by the two racers who continued for so long!
Teenek finally pinged at CP38 - the checkpoint where they'll start the looong hike to the Oven at CP49. Still with Merrell.
Both Teenek and Merrell went most of the way to CP39. I wondered if organizers had decided to add CP39 to the short course but Teenek has turned around so I guess not.
1st place Columbia continues to make their way through the orienteering section - about 10 km from TA5 as the sun sets.
Lagartixa hasn't tracked in 8 hours but are probably still in 2nd. 3rd place Uruguay should be able to smell the bread now.
4h place Oh-la-la and 5th place Sirius made it through the Bermuda Triangle between CP43 and 44 just before dark. It will be interesting to see if the teams behind have the same issues that Columbia had. Columbia stopped for a sleep when they got messed up in the Triangle so maybe that was the main issue.
Teenek is not taking the most obvious route choice to CP49. It could be a bobble or maybe they are heading back to the TA...?
Columbia has been on this trek for almost 35 hours and still have two CPs left to visit in the dark (House and House so they shouldn't be needles in haystacks) before the TA.
Lagartixa hasn't tracked for more than 10 hours but we assume these teams are still the top two.
Clean water, maybe a nice place to sleep....seems like a reasonable offset to the minor climb/distance penalty. One of the adventure teams did the same and is there now, although I haven't looked up what their adventure is compared to the full or short course.
The other consideration is that teams can miss CPs and remain ranked. There is no evidence on the leaderboard that any other team missed a CP before Teenek missed CP15. (Although to be fair, there is no evidence to the contrary either.)
I'm not sure Teenek's ranking can change regardless of whether they do CPs 49-61. The ranking is supposed to favour the teams who raced uninterrupted for the longest so maybe Teenek has no chance to move up if they were the first to miss a CP. (Except if another team retires, which is out of their control.)
If that's the case - especially if a team member has blisters or a sore knee - it would be tempting to eat, sleep and be certain of getting a chance to enjoy the final bike and kayak sections, which are not short. The race course closes Friday night. The slow time for the final two sections, not counting transitions, is 32 hours. The kayak section is 130 kms!
Teenek is almost at the TA so that's definitely their destination.
I got pretty tired scrolling through the kayak leg, so great point, Bash.
Columbia left the main road to head to the CP49 oven 10 hrs 40 mins ago. They still have two CPs and about 7 km to go to the TA. For a team who *isn't* Columbia and is at the TA now, it would take an incredible night of navigation at a good pace to get back to TA5 by the 17:00 short course cut-off tomorrow. This looks like a great decision to get to enjoy more of the course. They've probably had enough of trekking!
Columbia has just arrived at TA5 about 37.5 hours after they set out on the Stage 5 Trek. Teenek is there too but I hope they're sleeping by now.
For those in in an earlier time zone, it may be interesting to watch the navigation between CPs 42 and 44 over the next while. Four teams are in the area, and a couple of them have already had bobbles.
Lots of photos and some video at the race Facebook page, in case you haven't been there.
Teenek and Columbia set off on bikes a couple hours ago.
Teenek looks like they haven't been moving for an hour or more, but I think their tracker hasn't updated.
Stage 6 is a 69 km mountain bike ride with 720 m of climb (a little different from Broots’ race), estimated to take 6-11 hours. Teams must carry ropes gear for two rope bridges at CP63. Teams arriving at CP63 after 10 am Friday must skip the rope bridges, skip the kayak section, and ride to the finish.
Teenek hasn’t been tracking but they’ve probably finished the rope bridges.
Still no tracking by Lagartixa for 22 hours. They could be the leaders for all we know. Strange that the organizers didn’t give them a new tracker by now.
Columbia made that final orienteering section on the trek look fairly straightforward in daylight, although it didn’t look like fast terrain. By contrast, Uruguay (probably 3rd place) struggled a bit in the dark, as many teams have done in other areas. These maps are probably missing smaller local trails. Uruguay has now been on the trek for 44.5 hours and they still have 5 CPs left before the TA; this last section took Columbia 7.5 hours, mostly in the dark. The slow estimate for the trek was 50 hours so I’m betting some teams will be getting hungry.
Columbia is getting close to TA6 so here’s the info on the kayak to the finish line, estimated to take 15-21 hours:
Teams start on foot for 8-10 kms to reach the river where they’ll find kayaks, paddling gear and water containers with 4L per person. Then it’s a 130 km paddle in sit-on-top kayaks on a very twisty river traveling through a large wetland corridor. There won’t be a lot of navigation but there appear to be a few places where it would be possible to turn into a dead end channel. Obviously, the water isn’t considered good enough to drink, even treated. There are very few access points so teams will truly be out there on an adventure! They’ll drop their boats and come into the village of Villa Florida to cross the finish line.
Teenek is tracking again a few kms past the CP63 rope bridges.
If the woods are passable, the 400 m bikewhack between 64 and 65 would be tempting, saves 9 km or so.
After the monster trek I’m sure the teams will think twice about adding more feet time. A majority of that 9k is downhill.
Uruguay (2nd or 3rd, depending on Lagartixa's status) has just arrived at CP58 and still has three CPs to go before TA5. I think they'll make it before the 17:00 Short Course cut-off. Oh-La-La (3rd or 4th) is only at CP53 and I'm calling it already. They'll be on the Short Course. I didn't receive that page of the Route book so I just know that means they will do alternative routes for Stages 6 and 7.
Columbia is at the river just before noon. The estimated fast time is 15 hours, i.e. 3 a.m. at the finish line. There are no CPs until the kayak takeout. We don't know if they're racing head to head with Lagartixa so if there is any excitement, we can't follow it. So... not much dot watching to be done here. I think it would be interesting to paddle that river though - for a few hours, anyway. :)
Teenek has passed the final bike checkpoint, CP65, and is heading into TA6. Soon they'll be on the 15-21 hour paddle so we should wake up tomorrow to see Teenek finish!
Teenek is eating up this bike! Every time I check it's ahead of my guess.
It's a shame that short-course teams miss the paddle...I dislike it when races cut out an entire discipline of the sport.
Teenek is also charging to that paddle, must be eager to hit the water!
Would be cool if short coursers get routed to "TA6 Adventure", which has a shorter paddle, then they still get it.
I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that TA6 Adventure is used for today’s short-coursed racers but I’m not at my computer. Tomorrow’s cut-off would send racers to the finish without a paddle.
there appear to be a few places where it would be possible to turn into a dead end channel
That would be Mutant Beach right now (anywhere around race time 79:45)
Cut off is 23:59, so if Teenek starts in the next couple hours, they'll have 30 ish hours versus the 21 hr slow estimate, which is a nice buffer.
Bash's memory serves.
If you miss Cut off 2 but make Cut off 3, you get the alt versions with paddling. Missing 3 sends you on bike to the finish.
Mutant Beach - my vote for best team name since the race in Japan last year (tie between SUPER MORNING ADVENTURE TEAM and Merlions on an Adventure).
Lagartixa’s tracker is now working. They’re just about to punch CP63. Uruguay Natural is just leaving TA 5 so Columbia has a pretty substantial lead now.
Teenek has arrived at TA6 and appear to be grabbing some sleep as they’ve been there for an hour now.
Looks like Uruguay only made it to TA5 with about 40 minutes to spare before the 17:00 cut-off. The final course cut-off is 23:59 tomorrow, and the fast estimate for the final two legs is 21 hours, not counting sleep or TA time. So they will likely be the final team to finish the full course.
Lagartixa left TA5 about 11 hours later than Columbia. When they stopped tracking yesterday near CP46, the gap was less than an hour, and Lagartixa had even been ahead of Columbia for awhile after CP44. If we could have seen Lagartixa's tracker over the last day, I'll bet it had a story to tell!
Looks like Teenek spent about an hour at CP66 and started paddling just before 81:30 race time (about 5 p.m.) The sun will set in half an hour. It's going to be a loooong night paddling that twisty river by headlamp light. Lagartixa and Uruguay will be the only other teams on the river but they won't catch up. I hope someone on Teenek knows a bunch of good jokes or songs - and that they haven't already used them over and over during this race!
Paddle, paddle, paddle. That river is so crooked, the opportunities to use the sail effectively might be fairly limited.
Agreed. That got me curious about the weather forecast. Oh my.
Yay.....thunderstorms while paddling. Hope the raincoats are still waterproof (more for keeping warm than dry 60F).
Sing louder! Paddle harder! Git `r done!
Go, W4J, go! :) Sing, sing, sing!
Columbia has gone around the bend in the river so now they're heading northwest instead of southwest. The river looks much less twisty in this section, which will be a welcome change. They are on track to cross the finish line as champions before dawn.
2nd place Lagartixa has started the hike from TA6 to the kayaks.
3rd place Uruguay is about to arrive at CP63 (Stage 6 bike CP with rope bridges). They had to get there by 10 a.m. Friday to continue on the full course. Now they just need to get to the finish by 23:59 Friday.
Not only did 4th place Oh-la-la miss the 17:00 cut-off, they're still out there on the trek at 22:46 going in a circle. Maybe they missed CP58 when they passed it the first time. If they can get back on track, they should finish on the Short Course and keep their 4th place ranking.
Teenek is making good progress down the twisty river. Row, row, row your boat! I'm looking forward so much to hearing W4J's stories from this race. :)
Columbia crossed the finish line about an hour ago. Great race! Not perfect but they recovered from their errors and stayed focused.
P.S. Happy Birthday, JayXC!
Now we're seeing the impact of the decisions made by Merrell and Teenek during the short course shortcut on the long trek. Teenek made their decision and turned toward the TA. Merrell continued toward the CP49 Oven but they turned around when they got to that part of the map, probably after looking at their watches. They didn't get any more CPs on the trek than Teenek did. It looks like Merrell made the cut-off to do the full paddle but decided to do the shorter version of the course to the finish line. They're at TA6 Adventure now, ready for the short paddle.
Teenek has turned the corner and is paddling NW to the finish. Barb, can you post a weather update?
Here's the site I've been using. Looks cloudy, 20-21C all day and into the evening, light breeze and virtually no chance of precipitation.
Looks like Teenek had a sleep during the night so Lagartixa has made up time on them on the river. They're just 5 km back now so maybe Teenek will get a chance to meet some new paddling friends with new songs and jokes!
One on hand, it'd be cool for them to hold off Lagartixa, on the other hand, fresh faces after a long time alone sounds nice too.
Anyone work out some ETAs at the finish? I left my scalex at home. If I crudely move my mouse in two hour tail chunks, it looks a little cozy, hopefully I'm wrong and it's no problem.
You're a good friend to attempt an estimate using those 2-hour tail chunks. W4J is lucky to have you! :)
It took Columbia just under 8 hours from Teenek's current position. Teenek has just over 10.5 hours.
Well, a light breeze is better than a nasty headwind.
I am trying to send telepathic vibes of physical and mental strength to get through the final handful of hours.
30 ish kms? Eight hours. Trail seems to be stretching a bit, but KEEP IT MOVING!!
A couple times I checked, they moving at about 5 km/hr on the paddle (3.4 km/hr right now though)......keep the faith!
Looking good. Columbia took about 4.5 hours from Teenek's current position. In fact, they had a little backtrack just ahead of where Teenek is now. Maybe a nap? I think Teenek will be just fine. They're holding off Lagartixa too! :)
Like Jasmin Paris, Camila Nicolau of Columbia Vidaraid had a child to feed during the race. Wow! The 2nd place team won't be in for a few more hours so it obviously didn't slow her down much.
7.4 km/hr! Giddy up!!!!!!
They can smell the finish now!!!!!
If they don't have the sails out, they must have afterburners! They are cruising!
Ummm, how do you get to the finish line? Is it paddle along the "blue" line, or do you cut up that channel then portage the last bit?
I watched some replays.......may have been some portaging from various points taking place.
Back to the main channel.......
Go Teenek, finish strong!
Back in civilization.....
Yayyyy!! Great job, W4J and Teenek!
So excited to hear the stories behind the dots!
And that's a wrap! Woo hoo!!!!!!! Congrats to team Teenek!
yeah!! way to go Teenek!!
After a great race, Uruguay is going to miss the 23:59 cut-off! I suspect the rules may be bent a little to get them on the podium.
And Lagartixa too!? I thought they'd stopped tracking but their dot is showing the current time when I refresh. If this is correct, they've been stopped for 3.5 hours less than 2 hours from the finish. Strange. I wonder if the tracking system is acting up. If it's true, something is wrong and Uruguay has passed them by now since their dot is 30 minutes old.
They’re both paddling now. Uruguay passed Lagartixa. The cut-off was 45 minutes ago.
Something’s up with the tracker on the phone. AR Live Coverage posted a screen shot with the teams farther ahead and Lagartixa slightly in front. They both missed the cut-off though.
Running out of data to follow all the conversations...will post soon! I’d did write a note on the FB page..
I wanted to take the direct line, but my people had a mutiny and said they would NOT bushwhack!!!! Lol...so may storied from this race. So many things went wrong or just not our way! Navigator was too sick or so uncomfortably chafed to navigate on the 2 land nav so I had to step in after we realized he was struggling (which I hadn’t planned for!), red wasps at a cp that we could get to, gear intended for the water crossing getting lost or damaged, we tipped a canoe in the monster river paddle because of fishing lines across the river (native Guarani still do this) and lost my paddle, huge rainstorm overnight and where we were wa so choppy had to pull off...the list goes on. And so may amazing things! The locals and the Guarani really want to stop us and talk and share about them! And since we were all there for the experience.. we did. They showed us their gardens and orchards, gave us water and fruit, invited us to stay so many things. It was amazing. Our team had a lot of fun.
Great to hear from you, W4J! Enjoy your first day of recovery, and we’ll look forward to hearing the rest. :)
Here is a video recap....at the end we were saying "stupid kayak, stupid everything".https://www.facebook.com/barbara.n.may/posts/10219...
Looks awesome! Nice to see you got some camera time. :)
Work4justice wrote an amazing race report. Such an adventure!
Glad you enjoyed it. As I wrote it I thought, "You can't make this stuff up!"
Mr. W...I went all la madre on them when we sped up the paddling. Meant to answer that question sooner. Also, the time estimates by race management weren't what landed in reality. It happens. Caugh some teams off guard in relation to food, etc. But I think only the trek and the paddle didn't have access to other food.
I think I answered all the other questions.
Some closing thoughts. At breakfast on the last day, there were several teams that came to talk to us. They were shocked to hear that the team came together in short times before the race, that I had no international expedition experience and that it was this race. Apparently, this race has a reputation of being very difficult. They also were glad to see Americans trying the race and hope to see more in the future. They loved my suggestion of a sub team name of "No Walls!"
I got big brownie points for speaking Mexican Spanish instead of Spain Spanish. Apparently Paraguayans think Mexicans are some of the nicest people in the world, and the inflections and use of language eg “Mande” instead of “que” tilted people into thinking I am muy muy buena gente. Who knew?
The women were so so so very nice to me. They would wave, or give me a pat on the back. The race culture there is wonderful. And they were so patient with my Spanish.
I highly recommend this race. Hardly saw pavement, saw terrain that was so new to me, very well organized, wonderful people and the cost wasn't bad. I got a round trip plane ticket for $950, the race handled ground transfers, the race fee was $2000 EUR that included 3 nights lodging. And sad to say, Paraguay is pretty inexpensive. Having someone fully bilingual is key--and getting your hands on some Guarani language is helpful too. Also, there are many very capable racers in Paraguay, and its possible Urtzi or Gustavo could match a group of 3 with someone from Paraguay. They are fit and strong people!
I didn't know what to expect on this adventure, and I got a lot out of it. Will I do another ARWS race? Yes. When? Quien sabe!
Thanks for the additional insights. Congratulations and happy recovery!
Stop teasing us, W4J, and give us a full race report! Ahorita! :)
You didn’t see what I wrote? Hmmmm....
Not sure if I missed a joke, but it looks fine to me at Bash's link or scrolling backward in her training history.
oops, I missed it! Reading commencing now...
Awesome write-up! Love that JD attempted a 100k trekking leg in nothing but a t-shirt and bike shoes :) Does anyone know if this is the first time a referee has issued a public nudity warning? Is that even in the ARWS rules? Kateness and I had a great laugh at this one last night.
8.4. Public nudity by athletes, for example changing in TAs or swimming across rivers, may be offensive in some cultures and locations. Teams must make all reasonable efforts to avoid causing offence. [BLUE]
10.3.2. BLUE penalties [BLUE] are the least severe and are awarded for minor infringements or administrative errors of the team. They are normally a time penalty of the order 15mins to 2 hours, as determined by the Race Referee.
Huh, I seem to remember some Canadian bacon in a photo a few years back....
That was exactly what I thought of when I was reading your report ;) But the fence crossings......eeks.
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