Register | Login
Attackpoint AR - performance and training tools for adventure athletes

Discussion: Ecomotion Pro - Brazil

in: Adventure Racing; News

Aug 7, 2013 5:12 PM # 
Hola APes!

In 2 short days a bunch of teams will start the next leg of the ARWS in Brazil: the 600km Ecomotion Pro. Of interest are the facts that team Seagate will be racing and also at least four Canadian APes will be there in the form of Team Salomon Canada: phatty, Leanimal, Harps, and Relentless.

I will be doing my customary insightful play-by-play on Breathe Magazine for your infotainment at

The drama has started already, with Leanimal's flight being cancelled at the last minute. You can follow her mad scramble to get to Brazil on her facebook page ( and maybe help her search for and book flights if needed..

See y'all real soon.

Aug 7, 2013 7:18 PM # 
We will try to keep you posted pre race if we can. So far Harps has told me that him and James are going to light up Miami in white pants and deck shoes on their layover. I told them that is they show up hungover that Pete and I might be able to keep up!
Aug 8, 2013 1:16 PM # 
Carbons Offset:
Really excited to follow this! Team Salomon Canada looks strong!
Aug 8, 2013 1:58 PM # 
Can't wait to follow it!! I assume from the lack of profanity in Leanimal's post above that the flights got sorted... :-)
Aug 8, 2013 2:51 PM # 
She had made it to Madrid yesterday, and was just leaving on the next leg when she posted her update so it was looking good. I think she was going to arrive later than hoped but otherwise all was well.
Aug 8, 2013 3:00 PM # 
Harps and I are now comfortably settled in the Salvador Airport, awaiting our next flight to Ilheus in about 3 hours. We did not light it up Miami last night after Harps discovered why the price of alcohol was not listed on the menu at the airport restaurant... He decided to shut 'er down after getting the bill for his two $9 pints... Glad I opted for water on this occasion! :-)

We also discovered (After waiting in line for over an hour) that the rule of thumb here seems to be "why show up early and wait in line when you can show up late and go right to the front of the line". I know you see a few of these at every airport check-in line, but we watched at least 15 or more people just casually show up (not one of them had that "I'm-freaking-out-because-I'm-going-to-miss-my-flight look), walk right to the line-security lady and show them their ticket, and she would point them all right through to the front. Just as we got to the front of the line, the security lady started looking for people for another upcoming flight... I don't speak Portuguese, but I was imagining her just asking people in the line "Does anyone want to go ahead of the Canadians?"...
Aug 8, 2013 5:25 PM # 
I think the race maybe easier than the adventure of getting there.
Good luck & have fun.

Btw, have you seen Nathan Fa'avae pics on FB? Seagate is already riding all over Brazil.
Aug 8, 2013 5:44 PM # 
Cali Cowboy:
Have you also noticed that Chris Forne is not there and Dougal Allan is coming as a replacement. He is fit but his experience pales in comparison to the rest of them and nav responsibility will now fall to Nathan who's skills pale in comparison to Chris's. This is the race for Seagate to lose!! Marco's Vida Raid Columbia team and Salomon Canada are the 2 to do it!!!!!!

Does anyone know what is up with Chris? Injury?
Aug 8, 2013 5:52 PM # 
Looks like Chris Forne was a participant at the orienteering world games in Columbia a few days ago.
Aug 8, 2013 6:06 PM # 
On their training ride in Brazil today, it was Nathan, Sophie Hart, Craig Madsen and Trevor Voyce.
Aug 8, 2013 7:16 PM # 
Apparently this years' race will feature a fair amount of swimming. Racers have been warned to bring big beefy waterproof bags, not the ultralight tissue paper stuff we usually see in AR expedition packs. Also, the rapids will be up to class III, and each team needs one person to be certified to run those.
Aug 8, 2013 10:17 PM # 
Phatty's pre-race misadventures...

"• On the subject of VISAs for Brazil...
- What?!? None of the Brazilian consulates in France answer the phone, have a proper website, or respond to emails? Somehow we learn that we're to travel to Paris...are you kidding me? I don't even want to think of how long that would take given that I've been waiting 2+ months for my French driver's license. No problem, we'll just spend hours on the phone and email to get it through the consulate in Toronto...way 'easier'. Along the way we learn the overnight UPS international from France is 4 days while from Canada is actually overnight. I don't even want to know the total of what those stickers in Lee's and my passports cost.

• On the subject of time off of work
- No problem, however, I've got the added challenge of conducting a 2 week, 5 city, USA-based market tour for 10 colleagues...right before I'm to be in Brazil. At least I'm on the same side of the ocean.

• On the subject of my gear
- Looks like I've got to bring all of my gear and bike to the USA. No problem, I'll just get hooked up with our Atlanta-based Salomon Rep through FedEx. Too bad the hotel in Denver who received my stuff 3 days later refused the shipment. Luckily, my Spidey senses were tingling and I caught this just before disaster struck. FedEx dispatchers in Denver are extremely friendly when begged for my gear to not leave the state...and maybe even be delivered to where it's meant to go. I refrained from strangling the new employee at the hotel who ignored my reservation instruction or her boss."

Sounds familiar.
Aug 8, 2013 11:40 PM # 
Cali Cowboy:
I ran into Phatty in SLC during his US tour.
Aug 9, 2013 12:47 AM # 
From Trevor Voyce Blog regarding Chris Forne's injury during Orienteering World Championship:

Well here we are in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Yesterday was another decent travel day in the life of a part time adventure racer. The past week has been slightly more entertaining than the usual build up. Three days ago Chris managed to puncture wound himself whilst racing in the Orienteering world games in Columbia. Soon realising that he wouldn't be able to meet us and race Eco motion another race began......the race to find a team mate.

Following a few persuasive pep talks (aka "harden the F@#k up talks) Dougal Allan to his credit jumped on board. With only a couple of days to pack Dougal will follow us on a later flight Thursday NZ time. Today we travel to Ilheus then on to the race HQ for final preparations. Dougal will meet us there on Friday.

Racing starts on Saturday with Nath assuming role of our new navigator in a 90min rogaine for the prologue. The main racing starts on Sunday. Race updates should be available on You may need to translate the page.
Aug 9, 2013 12:59 AM # 
Dougal Allen's view of events:

How quickly things can change. Last week I was chugging along through a mild Wanaka winter with a plan to race Peak 2 Peak as part of my prep for the 2013 Wulong Mountain Quest in China at the start of September. This week I find myself sitting in a hotel in Sao Paulo, Brazil; en route to the Ecomotion expedition adventure race as a late call-up to race with world champions Team Seagate.

The Peak to Peak went well enough. with the exception of a lost valuable time trying to get into my ski bindings then trying to get out of my ski boots. From the ski leg on I felt I raced well, but losing a few minutes to Braden Currie at the start of a two hour long race is a great way to set yourself up for a best case scenario of second. Braden flew through the course ahead of any teams and eventually put around 3 minutes on me. I prefer Braden as a team mate, because lining up against him is just plain old hard work. Still, it was by far the best P2P field I have seen and to finish 2nd was still quite a rewarding thing.

The best bit was waking up on Sunday, the day after the race and feeling no ill-effect from the previous days 2 hours at threshold. I managed some good quality training and took confidence from the fact my body seems to be tolerating punishment nicely at the moment.

Monday was just another afternoon at work at the pool. Until “the phone call” at about 4pm. Nathan Faavae (captain of Team Seagate) was on the line. Why? Weird he would need to talk to me while I am at work. Somethings up.

“Whats the plan tomorrow mate?” I hear as I answer the phone. My mind briefly skimmed through thoughts of a long run and a paddle followed by some time spent programming for the athletes I am now coaching. “Chris (Forne) has injured himself and cannot race Ecomotion with us in Brazil this week. Wanna come?”

The rest, as they say, is now very recent history. In a couple of days I had organised time off work (massive thank you to my employers and fellow pool staff who have covered me at short notice), I had fellow Peak Endurance coaches Val and Merryn covering my strength for blokes classes (again thank you!) and I had the seemingly unwavering support yet again from Amy who could see as well as me that this was an opportunity I may never again have.

So I am now sitting in a hotel room in Sao Paulo, just two domestic flights tomorrow from the final destination: Ilheus and the Cocoa Coast in the Bahia region of Brazil. The setting for the 10th Ecomotion Pro, Brazil’s version of the Godzone and part of the same World Adventure Racing Series.

While there is still huge efforts needed on my part to fulfill my role as a substitute for the best adventure racing team on the planet, I cannot help but feel a monumental sense of achievement already – that a team of Seagate’s calibre see it as worthwhile asking that I join them. All that is left to do now is meet up with them, prepare as well as possible in the final day or two, watch/listen/learn from Sophie, Nath and Trev as much as possible, and be as a reliable and effective part of the team as I can from start to finish.
Aug 10, 2013 1:53 AM # 
Nathan, called me too but I had to turn him down. He didn't say please.
Aug 10, 2013 3:08 PM # 
Carbons Offset:
Yes, the lack of a Please caught me by surprise in my phone call too, given that any Kiwis I know are very polite. Nathan was obviously a bit stressed by the last-minute need for a teammate, but I don't want to spend several days and nights with someone with bad manners. There's a big difference between hearing Nathan ask "CO, can you tow me?" and "CO, will you please tow me?". When they get beaten, mayer22 and I will know what the two missing elements were.
Aug 11, 2013 12:38 AM # 
Aug 11, 2013 2:07 PM # 
Lots of info is now available on the Breathe Flashblog. (Link is in the first entry on this thread.)

Canadian news: Salomon Canada did not have a good prologue. This means they will be required to take 8 hours of rest during the race instead of 6. They also chose their boats after the racers who finished ahead.

Other Canadian news: Nicky Cameron (aka LaFemme on AP) will be providing onsite reporting for the Breathe Flashblog.
Aug 11, 2013 2:24 PM # 
Yes, sadly team Salomon Canada sputtered out of the start for the prologue. The silver linigs are that
a) they beat team Seagate
b) the consequences of sucking at the progaine are miniscule and almost certainly meaningless. All teams agree that they will need the 8 hours of mandatory rest if not more, and the boat choice is only for the initial paddle which is only 4 km.
Aug 11, 2013 2:50 PM # 
Is the mandatory rest an overall number for the whole race, or do they have to make one stop of 8hrs somewhere, like in Tasmania at mid-camp where we all had to stop for a long sleep?
Aug 11, 2013 3:20 PM # 
My understanding is that it can be spread out over any of 4 rest areas.
Aug 11, 2013 3:30 PM # 
If that's the case, it isn't as bad, but can still make a difference if you race fast and want to/can handle minimizing sleep stops.
Aug 11, 2013 4:07 PM # 
The Breathe Flashblog discusses the sleep requirement, which does not translate well from Portuguese but does indicate that the sleep can be distributed across 4 rest areas.
Aug 11, 2013 4:37 PM # 
I believe what the rule states is that the rest stops must be in multiples of 1 hour. i.e. they can't take a 30 minute break and count it towards their mandatory rest. Teams will either stop for 1, 2, 3, etc hours at each stop. I guess it makes the math easier.
Aug 11, 2013 7:59 PM # 
Here is the race course - chart and overview map. We'll be referring back to this a lot!
Aug 12, 2013 3:37 AM # 
Btw the local time at the race is 1 hour later than Toronto time.
Aug 12, 2013 4:38 PM # 
Columbia Vidaraid continues to lead Seagate by almost 2 hours (if I'm reading the info correctly). I don't like the tracking history. Is there a way to get exact times for previous positions, as we can with SPOT trackers?

Salomon Canada is moving up the ranks, now sitting in 9th position with four teams less than 8 km in front of them with lots of racing left to go.
Aug 12, 2013 5:31 PM # 
So what's the deal with the Swedes? Leaderboard has them in 8th but Sat tracking shows them WAYY back... did they swap trackers with another team?
Aug 12, 2013 5:38 PM # 
Rogers has decided to pack it in and go AWOL on me. I have intermittent connections at best so have been unable to follow the race. It appears that my call that Columbia had passed Seagate on at the high point of the trek was correct. :)
Aug 12, 2013 5:40 PM # 
FB - The leaderboard is updated by humans at CPs. AXA could have passed through a manned CP and been updated on the leaderboard even though their tracker hasn't updated for hours.

Also, will you be caching beer again at WT?
Aug 12, 2013 5:55 PM # 
Looks like Columbia Vidaraid is about 20km(ish) out of the T/A where Seagate currently is. BMS is only a few km from the T/A while URTG is doing PC13.
Aug 12, 2013 6:39 PM # 
AXA's tracker is updating regularly... it is just way back on the course so I assumed that one of the other teams near Salomon was actually AXA and they had somehow switched trackers... but the people at the CP's would have noticed and all of the beacons on the map seem to be accounted for by on the ground verification? Weird

Maybe I am confused about what # AXA is .. I'll have to double check. I thought they were #3... just coming off the swim I think?
Aug 12, 2013 6:57 PM # 
AXA's tracker is up to date at the end of the swim?

I guess CP11 was eliminated?... when I was watching the lead teams go by I thought Col Vid missed it and Seagate would regain the lead... but no one is going there.

Getting excited for Salomon!!!! they are cruising!
Aug 12, 2013 7:00 PM # 
yeah, CP11 was cancelled.
Salomon looks like abuot 7th - rocking and rolling
no clue about AXA...
Aug 12, 2013 7:02 PM # 
maybe they dropped it...even if they switched with another team you'd think that team would keep moving. The tracker's just sitting there...
Aug 12, 2013 7:05 PM # 
then again, maybe they got trashed on the first trek. Their track is way off course compared to all the other teams heading south to the lake. Update on AXA FB page 45 minutes ago:
"The team has come through TA2 at the end of the long trekking. They seem to have had some troubles here and have lost places. Stay tuned for updates as soon as we know more. Now: a swim across Enchanted Lake with a CP in the middle. Then out on a long paddling - 36 kilometers."
Aug 12, 2013 10:55 PM # 
Looks like Columbia is making good progress and Seagate has made a couple more errors letting BMS catch up. Now they are traveling together but making a little time on Columbia... they are ticking along.
Aug 13, 2013 1:10 AM # 
Seagate has made 2 major nav errors on the bike, losing well over 1 hour to BMS. They have recovered both times and have actually picked some good, fast alternate routes to catch back up both times. The routes are good, they just can't seem to nail them at full speed.

Meanwhile Salomon is biking along in 9th place. Solid.
Aug 13, 2013 12:05 PM # 
Disastrous night for Seagate, now at the head of a group of teams for 3rd-8th. And in 8th, we have Salomon Canada. :)
Aug 13, 2013 12:07 PM # 
Looks like Salomon could be into the top 5 by mid-day today. They have really closed on the top group!! Columbia... wow! I wonder if others have stopped for sleep and they haven't yet? Need to go read some reports from overnite!
Aug 13, 2013 1:05 PM # 
It was really hard to watch the Seagate tracker last night. It made me wince. I was thinking "Come on guys just bushwack those 500m to the yellow line and get on with it." And then they turned back around. I wonder what they were thinking....

Great job to the Canadian team!
Aug 13, 2013 1:12 PM # 
They must have bike whacked where Seagate turned back? Classic. A great bike section - it looks like the team they are battling for 7th with also had a great ride.
Aug 13, 2013 3:56 PM # 
It can be a tough decision to bike-whack in the dark through thick forest with questionable maps.. much easier decision in daylight if you know 'exactly' where you are and/or can see the road cut you are heading for once you enter the abyss
Aug 13, 2013 4:54 PM # 
FB - you have avoided answering my questions about a possible bevy of beer caches at WT...
Aug 13, 2013 5:33 PM # 
A great vignette from Sleepmonsters:

The transition was in front of a school. Teachers lined up their students neatly to cheer Seagate as they arrived in second place. Seagate quickly opened their bike boxes and then the 3 males in the team promptly stripped off all their clothes and busied themselves applying ointments to tender parts of their bodies. They were completely oblivious to bystanders.

The teachers paused in shock and delighted children looked from the teachers to the fully naked team. Finally fits of giggle burst forth bringing the teachers back to their senses. The students were quickly ushered back to their class rooms. Meanwhile the men of the village edged closer to the TA hoping that Sophie might follow suit.
Aug 13, 2013 5:42 PM # 
I'm trying hard not to picture FB and his Three Tensors in that scenario.
Aug 13, 2013 5:52 PM # 
As for bushwhacking, when we raced in the area of Itacare in EcoMotion 2004, you couldn't bushwhack because of the dense brush. It was incredibly think, thorny and sharp. You would have needed a machetee to get through, plus there were a number of poisonous spiders in the area. We saw a spiders web strung across a trail between two rubber trees that was about 10cm tall by maybe 1-2cm thick. We crawled under it. I think I would have died if I saw the spider that made it.

Perhaps this is why we saw Seagate turn around rather than whack 500m (the dense bush that is, not the spider issue).
Aug 13, 2013 6:10 PM # 
That reminds me of another quote, this time from the Breathe coverage:

One of the busses to the start had apparently suffered a flat on the way and, while waiting on the side of the road to fix the flat, had uncovered a VERY large dead snake next to the truck. An unsettling start. Leanne Mueller of Team Salomon Canada confessed that she had done very little research on the possible diseases and dangers of the course and hastily asked the director if there was anything on the course, you know, that she should be particularly worried about. Snakes on the road notwithstanding, she was assured there was not.

Just as well Leanimal was in a different hemisphere and couldn't hear me gasp when I read that. I'm sure the RD meant well - like an RD in Canada saying, "Oh, it's highly unlikely that you'll see a bear. They don't want to meet humans." Brazil has a nice variety of venomous snakes and spiders, as Carbon pointed out, not to mention a selection of diseases (hepatitis, typhoid, etc.) for which the racers may have gotten vaccinations, as our team did for Tierra Viva in Argentina. The rabies vaccine is recommended by the CDC for adventure travellers and cavers but hopefully the caving section in EcoMotion won't be too batty. In any case, you can get that one after the fact if you're bitten (as LosDobos knows only too well!)
Aug 13, 2013 6:20 PM # 
@ losdobos
too many possible route options to hide beer on the WT course this year. I'm pretty sure I can pick out some of the course, but tougher to pinpoint TA's. The risk of leaving defenseless beer orphaned in the woods is far to great to chance it.
Aug 13, 2013 6:35 PM # 
@ FB
You can give it to me...I'll keep it safe. ;)

Yes, post-exposure rabies vaccines do work and are no fun at all. I think it was 9-10 injections,and me with a needle phobia. The thing is that you need those injections BEFORE you start showing symptoms. Otherwise you're dead.

FYI: Seagate is the fastest paddling team by a lon way, and there are 2 hefty paddles left, including a long one to the finish. And navigation ain't so tricky when you're going downriver or following a coastline. This thing ain't over.
Aug 13, 2013 8:55 PM # 
Anyone know what "total time" on the leaderboard refers to? is it time on course minus regulation sleep taken?
Aug 13, 2013 9:22 PM # 
Looks like it's the total number of hours on course to the end of the most recently completed stage shown on the leaderboard. I think the split time for each stage includes the transition time at the start of the stage, which may include some sleep. Regulation sleep wouldn't be subtracted from race time. It happens on the clock.
Aug 13, 2013 10:59 PM # 
Hola APEs! I have a small favour to ask of y'all. Could you please go to the following page on Breathe's Ecomotion coverage blog and "like" or "share" or "tweet" or all of the above? This will show our sponsor that it's worthwhile sponsoring our coverage, and will allow me to actually, maybe, get paid. Or who knows...they might send me to Costa Rica to cover the worlds.

Thank you - Merci - Gracias - Koszonom - Tag - Danke - etc...

If you want, you can click through to our sponsor's site (Tecnu, who also sponsor our good buddy Getawaystix aka Bob Miller) and get yourself into the draw to win a cool wristwatch altimeter.
Aug 13, 2013 11:10 PM # 
Hey LosDobos, I'd like to help out but don't want to spam my friends who aren't interested in AR. Is it possible to like the Flashblog just once, as opposed to liking individual entries? Do you think your sponsors would be satisfied to see comments on some of your Flashblog entries rather than retweets and Facebook posts? I will definitely click through to Tecnu!
Aug 13, 2013 11:15 PM # 
@ Bash
Not sure how it all works - Joel's the guy to ask. My take is that if you want to just like/tweet/share once, then do it for the altitech contest entry that I posted above. That should get the most bang for our buck with the sponsors.

Aug 13, 2013 11:46 PM # 
Aug 14, 2013 4:52 AM # 
The good news is that Salomon Canada is showing as 6th on the leaderboard, even though they appear to be 8th on the tracker. But I sure wish their tracker would update. An hour ago, they were heading north from CP19 when CP20 is to the south - but maybe it's a longer road route because the trails and bushwhacking are muddy and slow?
Aug 14, 2013 5:10 AM # 
And... they're back on track. Looks like they met some incoming teams during their brief detour, which probably drew their attention to the wrong turn.
Aug 14, 2013 5:22 AM # 
Using the tracker is going to turn into a nightmare with all the short course teams being shuttled forward to PC21. Ugh. Need sleep now.
Aug 14, 2013 11:03 AM # 
Cali Cowboy:
Can somebody post a top whatever ranking leaving from the CP where Columbia and Seagate slept yesterday with time gaps? Note mandatory hours of sleep left too would be nice. Thanks.
Aug 14, 2013 12:15 PM # 
@ LosDobos: szívesen
Aug 14, 2013 1:22 PM # 
@ Tico 2.0
That's top of my wish list as well. Just emailed the RDs asking which teams are still full course and how many versions of short courses there are and which teams are on those. At this point It's not possible to get time gaps leaving the mandatory sleep, but I can piece together some stuff...

Columbia was 1st through here, banking 3 hours of their 6 and leaving at about 1500.
BMS was next to arrive, banked 6 hours of their 8 and left at 0130.
Seagate was 3rd, banked 3 hours of their 8 and left with RMS at 0130.
The last team to pass through PC21 was QuasarLontra. Don't know when or how long they slept.
Aug 14, 2013 3:31 PM # 
Could you pls resend your email regarding Wilderness Travers HQ to my gmail (petedobos at gmail dot com) - Outlook has been down all morning. Thanks!

Go Salomon Canada!
Aug 14, 2013 3:35 PM # 
If anyone understands the "PC15s shortcut" and "PC18s shortcut" would they please explain it to me....
Aug 14, 2013 3:38 PM # 
My best guess at this point is that PC15 teams made it up to PC15 but not PC 18 before getting short coursed and shuttled forward. Similarly, the PC18 shortcourse is teams that made it as far as PC18 and then got shuttled forward. Not sure where the teams are being taken...maybe PC21?
Aug 14, 2013 3:47 PM # 
There appears to be a short course at CP21 as well as a number of teams are heading to CP33/34...maybe cutting the trek short and completely cutting out the bike?
Aug 14, 2013 4:27 PM # 
All but the top 4 teams are now on a short course. See
for details.
Aug 14, 2013 9:02 PM # 
Looks like Salomon Canada have finally found PC20. Not that big a surprise it took them a long time: 2nd place BMS spent 6 hours looking for PC19 and eventually had to go back to 18 and attack it again. Deceptively tough navigation in this race, particularly that 2nd trek.
Aug 15, 2013 1:41 AM # 
that was killing me today!!... I can only imagine what they were thinking/feeling :-(... all that horsepower and can't 'find a track to run on'!!
Aug 15, 2013 2:21 AM # 
I hope they're still having fun...
Aug 15, 2013 3:22 AM # 
they've finished the trek and are resting at PC21 before heading directly down to PC34. Not sure if they bike down or get shuttled or trek. Hope it's not the latter, because once they get there, they're trekking again.
Still think they're in 7th place, not sure how many hours of mandatory rest they need to pay, but the spot they are at right now is one of the 4 places they can do that.
Aug 15, 2013 11:13 AM # 
Any ideas on how Team 7 fits in the rankings? They took the PC18 to PC21 shortcut but made the 2pm cut-off at PC21 vs. those who stayed on course but missed the 2pm.
Aug 15, 2013 11:32 AM # 
The word from reporters on site is: we're not sure. My take is that they would be ranked behind teams that did the full course to PC21 and missed the cutoff. Teams like 7 bailed on the course earlier and only made the cutoff by taking a short course option, so IMHO they should be ranked behind teams like Unimed, Vancluse, and Salomon Canada.
Aug 15, 2013 2:25 PM # 
Seagate in 2nd, the Sleepmonsters are chowing down on Columbia, and Salomon is almost at PC34. Details at Breathe Magazine's flashblog.
Aug 15, 2013 3:37 PM # 
Carbons Offset:
Go Salomon!! :)
Aug 15, 2013 4:20 PM # 
Cheering back in Canada! :)
Aug 15, 2013 5:15 PM # 
My feet hurt just watching their track :-(

Soon it'll be all bike and Paddle!! :-) Hang in their Salomon.. can't wait to hear the stories first hand!
Aug 15, 2013 5:26 PM # 
So are the caves and ropes out of the race now or does Soul Monsters now have to go all the way back to get those points?
Aug 15, 2013 8:25 PM # 
I guess they don't have to (or don't plan to get them)

Just read that Salomon is down to 3 ... bummer

Still a great showing on what seems like a very tough course to me!
Aug 15, 2013 8:31 PM # 
recommended reading:
Aug 15, 2013 8:49 PM # 
The last paddle leg in an estuary looks like mayhem. They will hit it at low tide, correct?
Aug 15, 2013 8:52 PM # 
That article is *loaded* with useful information!
Aug 15, 2013 8:53 PM # 
Feeling sad for poor Harps on Salomon Canada. He wouldn't stop unless he really felt it was the smart thing to do. They have been doing a great job. Good on the others for continuing so they can see the rest of the course.
Aug 15, 2013 9:25 PM # 
Stronger paddling teams might just say screw it, paddle through the breakers, and paddle in the ocean. Depends on how rough the seas were. Seagate did that coming into the urban rogaine and made up a fair bit of time on Columbia doing that.
Aug 15, 2013 9:45 PM # 
Seagate has just dropped the proverbial hammer...
Aug 15, 2013 10:00 PM # 
Less than 15 km of mountain biking separates 2nd place Seagate from the leaders, Columbia Vidaraid. And the paddle is still coming up. And Columbia still has to sleep. Fun to watch!
Aug 15, 2013 10:05 PM # 
Carbons Offset:
It be quaking in my boots if I had Seagate just 15 km behind me!
Aug 15, 2013 10:12 PM # 
less than 10 km now. Columbia will be forced to stop at one or both of PCs 43 and 44. They still owe 3 hours of sleep to the best of my knowledge.
Aug 15, 2013 11:40 PM # 
Here's LaFemme interviewing Leanimal at CP34. Her jewellery still looks great but her race jersey got a little grimy in the jungle!
Aug 16, 2013 4:02 AM # 
Carbons Offset:
Go Leanimal! Go Salomon!
Aug 16, 2013 4:43 AM # 
Seagate and Columbia are together at PC43...
Aug 16, 2013 7:13 AM # 
leaders are back out after some sleep, both taking an inland route to get to the kayaks, despite it being low tide.
Aug 16, 2013 11:37 AM # 
The "sprint" to the finish is on.
Aug 16, 2013 2:20 PM # 
portages anyone? Or predictions? I've already made mine known on Breathe...
Aug 16, 2013 2:40 PM # 
Hey all,

Thanks for the encouraging words and support while out there. Unfortunately I was highly recommended by the race doc to withdraw due to several infections (half my dozen foot blisters and a deep cut on finger). It was a very tough decision as the group was feeling quite good physically other than banged up feet. I have no doubt they will do very well on the bike and kayak. The last trek they're on now will be slow but none of them had nearly the blister count I seemed to surmise out there.

A quick recap on our race:
Prologue - completely screwed this one up - my fault. We were given no maps and had to go off memory or map drawing on our own (two were pre-plotted on a poster at the start, one close, one at the other end of the island near the tip). We split up with James and I getting the farthest 4 ones (head to the far tip one, draw our maps and get the other 3 while heading back down), Pete and Lee the closest 5. After redlining to what I thought was the first/farthest already plotted CP, James and I (along with Seagate, AXA and BMS teams) headed south for the 3 others but couldn't seem to find any of them. As it turns out we weren't at the tip of the island (even though it appeared to be as we ran along the beach to what looked like the end of the island) but had punched the 3rd most farthest. I don't believe the CP was marked as CP9 either so we had no clue we hadn't gone far enough. Came back pretty pissed at myself for not paying closer attention and one of only a few (albeit other experienced teams) who didn't clear, not a good start!

A few notes which could explain all the navigation issues (or at least our 'excuses'):
- 1/100000 with 40m contours (so many features not marked for micro-navigation which I think is needed for this type of mountain race or at least the mountain treks).
- "Recommended" route roads/trails mapped with "some" offshoot roads/trails also mapped (but only for the first 100m). So if you go off the route, you're kinda screwed.
- Some "roads" were marked as trails (dashed lines) and some trails were marked as roads (white or checkered line). It was usually pretty accurate but several times we didn't know what to expect to look for (road, trail, major road, doubletrack?).
- South of the equator is winter here - less than 12 hours of light in the day (maybe a good thing in the heat though?)
- Pluses - we could and got an extra set up maps so Pete and I could both nav.

Paddle 1: fine no issues
Trek1 - Coasteering, swim, trek: Went relatively OK for us. Beautiful, beautiful remote white sand beaches - reminded me of Hawaii with about 1% of the amout of people. Bobbled a coasteering one. Hot. Coasteering mashed the feet up huge so I knew this was going to be a race with blisters. Several dicey cliff hangs, The day's heat or racing caught up with Pete on the last part of the trek where he had diarrhea and threw up a few times. We toned down the pace and he recovered within hours. The long swim at the end was probably the highlight for us. We put time on a lot of other teams around us and didn't exert much energy (brought swim fins, tied them to ur pfd's and just swam mostly on our backs or freestyle). Tried to take a 15min sleep right before the swim but I think only Pete slept.
Bike1: Went OK, another few big bobbles due to poor maps and sleepy navigators. Rained quite a bit too and got cold. Also tried to sleep but was too cold, there were big spiders and lots of mozzies on an abandoned house porch. Maybe 30mins total sleep in 2 hour stop? Some map parts lined up, others did not or roads weren't marked or marked wrong. Also sleepily Pete and I led the group up a huge hill out of the city only to realize it was the wrong (opposite way) to lose a good 45mins. Muddy final section and my front brake was gone (leak in hydrolics) and bike completely caked in red clay mud so chainsuck. Our TA boxes hadn't arrived so we got free time to clean our bikes in which I cut my finger on pretty good on the chainring. Stupidly just polysporin'ed and leuko'ed it up.
Paddle2: Went good (an anomoly for us)!
Trek2: the RD warned us it would be very tough and it was. We had more screwups here and time lost then any other exp. race we've done - and by far. I think we likely could have been 20 hours faster if we had just done a few minor things differently. We just couldn't seem to dial ANY CP->CP in this section. It was extremely frustrating for both of us who thought we were capable navigators. On the bright side, it seemed we weren't the only ones having problems ("You've been out here for 30 hours on that one single CP too that is only 5 KM from the last one?"). Sometimes I think bushwhacking would have been better than try to follow the inconsistently reliable marked trails without a real navigational scale. But with less than 12 hrs of light and a jungle where basically every piece of foliage is trying to stab, scrape or strangle you, trails were a preferred route of travel even with moderate confidence in their accuracy. The few highlights included the mountain jungle remoteness and scenery and some nice folks at the town CP where we spent the night let us in their house and fed us.

Salomon is now on the last trek then off to paddle, bike and paddle. Not sure how this will play out as it could depend on when they get to the first paddle. We were very uncomfortable on Class II/III at night so were going to darkzone ourselves for safety reasons and accept a big time penalty (if it worked out that way for a night arrival). I assume Salomon Canada will be shortcoursed on the bike (especially if they impose their own darkzone).

Now I'll be following along like all of you now from the comforts of the hotel while treating myself to good coffee and lots of ice cream with heavy doses of antibiotics. I'm hoping to get to the finish line today for the 'sprint' paddle finish, if I can post any relevant news or pictures I will.

Also, thanks LosDobos for some great recaps!
Aug 16, 2013 2:58 PM # 
Looks like Salomon Canada made the paddle now so no worries about a self-imposed dark zone :) LaFemme was going to join them as their fourth so hopefully her energy will help fuel them even more!
Aug 16, 2013 3:04 PM # 
Great to hear from you, Harps! :) Excellent racing by Salomon. Sorry you're hurting. Hope you recover quickly with the help of all that ice cream! We'll be starting the Wilderness Traverse coverage shortly so you will have two races to watch this weekend.
Aug 16, 2013 3:16 PM # 
Shame about the maps - makes what Columbia and the other leaders did that much more impressive. Sounds like a case of pick your poison: random trails or impenetrable jungle. Glad you're ok.
I switched to cable pull disk brakes on my Rohloff bike. trailside maintenance-friendly and zero chainsuck. :)
Aug 16, 2013 3:28 PM # 
Bash - we'll ALL be following along, can't wait to see that great race unfold. Next year I'm absolutely ruling out another August race so I'll be there! Good luck to both American and Canadian teams.... but I would like to see Bob the Beaver stay in his homeland! ;)

LosDobos - a Rohloff would shine in this place!
Aug 16, 2013 3:33 PM # 
Seagate should portage right now, unless that's off-limits private property. They have nothing to lose and are too far behind to make up enough time for the win by just paddling their brains out. My armchair QB 2 cents' worth.
Aug 16, 2013 3:50 PM # 
Harps... Awesome!!

Glad you're ok..
Aug 16, 2013 4:00 PM # 
LosDobos I just got a msg from Nicky and am going to meet her at the finish line this afternoon so she's not paddling with them now; not sure if they will go straight to bike or pick up a solo to get 2/boat.
Aug 16, 2013 4:09 PM # 
tx Harps
Aug 16, 2013 4:47 PM # 
looks like no!
Columbia will almost certainly hang on and win, albeit by less than an hour. great race for them!
Aug 16, 2013 4:57 PM # 
...but wait! I've managed to find one last, slim hope for Seagate.
Aug 16, 2013 5:41 PM # 
Too bad Harps. Get well fast. You guys were awesome!
Aug 17, 2013 3:19 AM # 
Harps thanks for the update. Sometimes we have to wait till some get home to find out the real deets. I have spent many days and hours with you and I know it must have been tough to pull the plug. Sounds like some frustrating navigating, but a great experience.

We will see you on the flip side.
Aug 18, 2013 5:19 PM # 
Hey all,

Just waiting for my first of three flights out of Brazil. It's so interesting to read this stuff after the race. Truth is we had no idea where we stood in the rankings and after 36 hours to get cps 19 and 20 with some major nag difficulty we assumed we were way down on the leaderboard. It was pretty demoralizing. No reading all of this it looks like maybe we weren't because so many people shortcoursed early. I hate not knowing what is going on during the race. It wouldn't have changed the fact that Harps had to pull the pin but it would have been nice to know I think.

I'll work on my race report on the way home as I try to put together how I felt about this race. In short, Brazil is beautiful. It is sometimes hard to look around when you are trying to valiantly to understand the maps and how to navigate. That was really tough for us. By far the toughest race to navigate with the tools that we had. It would have paid off BIGTIME to have someone on the team who spoke Portuguese. Not just a little Portuguese but a good grasp of the language. I think we could have been really successful on this course with its physically challenging and technical terrain but the maps proved to be a challenge for us to interpret and simply accepting that perhaps they are completely wrong ( as in the road heads in the opposite direction) was not something we could do, maybe next time.

On another note we had experiences that you only get in adventure racing. Coffee and eggs at a random farmhouse on a trek (thanks to Paul Romero for inviting us in), trying to get water in the midst of a group of very intoxicated folks in a small village in the middle of the night, sunrises through the forest that our race camera could not capture but I will never forget, coasteering from beach to beautiful beach, passing through villages with so much garbage on the ground it's a wonder people can walk anywhere. It was a chance to see something new and experience another part of the world that I would not get to otherwise. We suffered immensely from being on our feet for three days straight. It was the downfall of our race. I will never forget that pain.....until I sign up for the next one.

Thanks for watching and for all of the support.
Aug 18, 2013 5:39 PM # 
Well done Lee! Are you doing UTMB this weekend? ;)
Aug 18, 2013 6:02 PM # 
Definitely, I think it will be a great way to get rid of the swelling in my know I just haven't spent enough time on my feet lately!
Aug 21, 2013 4:37 AM # 
Thanks for the recaps Harps and Leanimal! Sounds like a tough race for nav given the maps but as always very impressed with your staying power and stamina throughout.
Aug 21, 2013 4:43 AM # 
That's for sure! Well done.

This discussion thread is closed.