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Discussion: Wilderness Traverse coverage

in: Adventure Racing; News

Aug 17, 2013 3:54 AM # 
Visit Pinnacle Tracking - Wilderness Traverse for up-to-date leaderboard and news! Race starts at 8am tomorrow with the MTB leg.

For general race info, visit
Aug 17, 2013 3:56 AM # 
At 8pm, race director Bob Miller delivered the race briefing and distributed the maps to eager teams. The race will consist of 4 legs - mountain bike / trek / paddle / trek, with 9 CPs, covering about 150km of wilderness in the Parry Sound area.

Teams have put away their strings and highlighters, stacked their bins and bikes and dispersed for the night.

They'll be back to fuel up with breakfast at 6am, and then they will take a quick warm-up ride to the start at 8am sharp. Sleep well everyone!
Aug 17, 2013 4:08 AM # 
FYI. FIrst link above is coming up as an error.
Aug 17, 2013 10:21 AM # 
Thanks, WandAR - should be good now!
Aug 17, 2013 10:24 AM # 
Maps and competitor instructions are up on the WT page under Live Coverage:
Maps & Course Instructions
Aug 17, 2013 12:24 PM # 
Yup. Thanks.
Aug 17, 2013 1:03 PM # 
Looks like Tecnu missed a turn early on the bike but are back on track but it is possible a couple of lead teams missed the snowmobile trail to get over to the hydro cutline. The trail follows close to Fraud Lake but there is another road that goes more directly north which is where the tracking appears to have a few of those lead teams. Next set of refreshes will be interesting.
Aug 17, 2013 1:05 PM # 
@Hammer: you seem to know the area . . . why aren't you racing?
Aug 17, 2013 1:10 PM # 
@untamed: re-injured my bad knee on Tuesday night. bad timing. The team I was on (#15) is racing as a team of 3 now

That trail that lead teams seem to be on dead-ends after 2-3km. I wonder what will happen then?
Aug 17, 2013 1:15 PM # 
Nicely played Bender! Team #15 Unconquerable Badness gets the right trail and makes a nice jump in the standings. Yup lead teams went wrong.
Aug 17, 2013 1:20 PM # 
Yup - many lead teams took a wrong turn, which was predictably hard according to Bob. Teams are realizing their mistake and heading back east.
Aug 17, 2013 1:23 PM # 
An earlier error by Tecnu didn't seem to slow them down, as they're back out in front.
Aug 17, 2013 2:19 PM # 
Maybe a tracker blip, but looks like Pentathlon des Neiges has turned west on a wrong trail just ahead of CP1 !
Aug 17, 2013 2:24 PM # 
We have teams at CP1 !!!

#33 Vallée Bras du Nord / Mundial St-Raymond
#7 Tecnu Adventure Racing
#8 Pullin Foot
Aug 17, 2013 2:37 PM # 
You can get insightful play-by-play coverage on Breathe Magazine as well:
Yup, I'm back from "Brazil" already.
Aug 17, 2013 2:49 PM # 
Lots of teams flying through CP1 now. Check the leaderboard:

PDN is 4th after their apparent mistake... but now Tecnu seems to have taken a side trail off the main route north.
Aug 17, 2013 3:03 PM # 
Tecnu quickly back on track.

Angry Seagull has taken the same side trail westward that PDN had taken - let's hope they turn back soon!
Aug 17, 2013 3:33 PM # 
Angry Seagull is back on the main line chugging along north.

Top teams are a few km's away from leaving the hydrocut and trying to catch a westbound road to CP2. This last northbound section is particularly tough going. Hoping everyone makes the left turn at the end of it.
Aug 17, 2013 4:32 PM # 
First team through CP2 - Vallée Bras du Nord - Mundial St-Raymond, racing in the open category. They had a fast ride on the road once they trudged through the mud in the last part of the hydrocut.
Aug 17, 2013 4:52 PM # 
Unfortunately a number of mechanicals have forced Andrew of #10 Angry Seagull to withdraw. His teammates are continuing as an unranked team of 2.
Aug 17, 2013 5:08 PM # 
Some great quotes from teams coming through CP2:

"Chasing the Beaver. One broken chain and a couple of falls but the beaver is still in sight!" ~ Tecnu, 3rd place

"The hydrocut was everything we expect from Bob." ~ Pentathlon des neiges, 4th place
Aug 17, 2013 5:29 PM # 
Andrew Reeder is back in the race - sort of!

Unfortunately, Kim from #1 TA3 has decided to withdraw at CP1, as she is quite tired, although otherwise absolutely fine.

Andrew will grab her bike and continue for fun with TA3, who are now racing as an open team of 3.
Aug 17, 2013 6:02 PM # 
Top teams are leaving TA1 onto the first trek and have decided to swim the 75m channel from the Harris Lake campground.
Aug 17, 2013 6:15 PM # 
It wouldn't be an adventure race if Andrew stuck with the same team for the WHOLE thing!
Aug 17, 2013 6:51 PM # 
The top 4 teams are racing to CP4, with all different route choices following their swim after CP3. #33 Vallée Bras du Nord / Mundial St-Raymond had deeked west and hit the road for a quick run, but #8 Pullin Foot made good time going down along the lakes, and has hit the same road ahead of #33.

Will #33 follow around the top of the lake on the road, or shortcut through the bush directly to CP4?

#7 Tecnu and #16 Pentathlon des neiges are in hot pursuit on a route similar to #8.
Aug 17, 2013 7:26 PM # 
#8 Pullin Foot has just edged out former leaders Vallée Bras du Nord to take CP4 - they have now swum across Gordon Lake. They made up 5mins on Vallée since the last CP.

Tecnu continues 4mins behind Pentathlon, and overall these teams are 10mins behind the two leaders.
Aug 17, 2013 8:17 PM # 
Next batch of teams have also split into two camps: one heading southwest to take the road (like Vallée), the other taking a more direct trek down (like Pullin Foot et al.) Storm is leading this group.
Aug 17, 2013 8:23 PM # 
Crazy run by #15 Unconquerable Badness! They turned out to be the only team to haul it out to the road, and boy did they fly down once they got there! No wonder with some of the fastest runners in the race.

A long line of other teams, led by Storm is whacking on the route taken by Pullin Foot, Tecnu, and Pentathlon.
Aug 17, 2013 8:26 PM # 
#13 Lather.Rinse.Repeat is following suit out on the road - we'll see if they make up some time as well.
Aug 17, 2013 9:01 PM # 
Some interesting changes on the trek from CP4 to CP5: expert bushwhack navigator Benoit has led Pentathlon des neiges quickly to the next checkpoint to surge ahead into 1st place. Pullin Foot and Tecnu are close behind.

PDN was 16mins faster than the next team on this leg.

Meanwhile former leaders Vallee Bras du Nord have dropped back on the bushwhack, and Untamed Canada is trying to avoid it altogether by taking a roundabout way on a road.
Aug 17, 2013 9:30 PM # 
Unconquerable Badness, featuring top orienteers Pat-hectic and Bender and uber-runner KatieMac, have surged from 13th to 6th place on the first trekking leg between CP3 and CP4.
Aug 17, 2013 9:58 PM # 
The next group of teams behind the top 5 is emerging on the trek:
- #15 Unconquerable Badness
- #35 New Balance
- #17 Storm Racing
They are pulling away from the rest of the teams at CP4 and racing each other.

The next batch coming out of CP3 are opting for the straight route through the bush instead of going out to the road.
Aug 17, 2013 11:05 PM # 
Tecnu dropped the hammer on the big road run down to TA2, and has left Pullin Foot behind. Same amount of time as Pentathlon on this leg - but only 4mins separated the teams when PDN was leaving in their canoes to when Tecnu was arriving on foot.

When asked if they want ice cream, Tecnu replied, "No! We want the Beaver!!!"
Aug 17, 2013 11:51 PM # 
But then Pullin' Foot passed Tecnu at the TA and hit the water first. Exciting race! Let's hope Tecnu's tracker starts working soon though. Hope they didn't put it into a drybag.
Aug 17, 2013 11:59 PM # 
While it doesn't replace being on the course I'd just like to say "FINALLY an AR tracking system and website leaderboard combo that works!" Usually by this time I have given up on the race web site or tracking beacons and instead turned to rely on a thread like this on AP where people are collectively trying to figure out what is going on. :-)

So kudos to Pinnacle Tracking for their great service!
Aug 18, 2013 12:23 AM # 
And just when things were working so well... Tecnu must have put their tracker into a dry bag so now we can only see two of the top three teams as we approach a very interesting route choice on the paddle. We have advised TA staff to ensure that other teams keep their trackers out for the paddle.

But thanks, Hammer! We're really happy with the system and with the reliability of the Delorme devices. I've received and replied to about 10 messages from teams and volunteers in the field. It's good to be able to communicate easily.
Aug 18, 2013 12:33 AM # 
Actually, Tecnu is still tracking at the TA. So they left their tracker behind. It was a huge surprise to see them passed at a TA so this makes more sense. But... it is really disappointing for race fans.
Aug 18, 2013 1:11 AM # 
And disappointing for Tecnu too. They will incur an automatic 1-hour penalty for missing mandatory gear.
Aug 18, 2013 2:22 AM # 
CP7 just reported that Tecnu and Pentathlon des Neiges flew through the checkpoint together. Because they were ahead of schedule, CP7 had their cell phones turned off to save batteries so they were unaware of the need for Tecnu to serve the penalty. Bob is heading to TA3 where he will have to deliver bad news to his friends. They will serve the penalty there so the finish order will be correct.

High drama... These two awesome teams believe they are racing head to head so they are well ahead of Bob's fastest prediction for the course. So sad this had to happen though. It would be nice not to have this extra factor interfering with a pure battle between top racers.
Aug 18, 2013 5:56 AM # 
And this year's podium is:

1) 16 Pentathlon des Neiges
2) 8 Pullin' Foot
3) 2 Tecnu
Aug 18, 2013 8:10 AM # 
Aanyone know what happened to Bugs in Teeth?
Aug 18, 2013 9:03 AM # 
Yes, they're fine, Tiny. Mrs. Tiny bought me French Fries at McDonald's and has gone to bed. They had some nav issues but are perfectly fine physically, and they're in good spirits. They were helping us move gear boxes!
Aug 18, 2013 1:27 PM # 
Ya. Were fine tiny. My bad. Were cruising along doing great and boom mistake finding the road to the t/a. Called it after over 1.5 hours of trying to relocate ourselves. Great race though. Loved the bike.
Aug 18, 2013 2:20 PM # 
Your Top 10 finishers at the 2013 Wilderness Traverse:

#16 Pentathlon des Neiges / Raid Pulse
#8 Pullin' Foot
#7 Tecnu Adventure Racing
#11 Untamed Canada / Clinique du pied Equilibre
#33 Vallee Bras du Nord / Mundial St-Raymond
#15 Unconquerable Badness
#5 Adrenaline Rush
#35 New Balance
#2 Natural Selection AR

Top 3 Co-ed Premier & Overall Podium:

#16 Pentathlon des Neiges / Raid Pulse
#7 Tecnu Adventure Racing
#11 Untamed Canada / Clinique du pied Equilibre

Top 3 Open Podium:

#8 Pullin' Foot
#33 Vallee Bras du Nord / Mundial St-Raymond
Aug 18, 2013 3:27 PM # 
Carbons Offset:
Great race and great race coverage! Thanks everyone!
Aug 18, 2013 3:30 PM # 
Nice work racers & volunteers!
Aug 19, 2013 3:41 PM # 
Yup, fantastic race and once again, Bob, Barb, Barb and all the other volunteers did an amazing job as usual. I think Bob said at the meeting there were 120 racers and 30 volunteers!!

Can't say what my most memorable moments were, but I do know arriving at TA1 and being asked it I want an Ice Cream DrumStick sure does pop into mind easily! or 'Bent at CP5 asking if we wanted Cheese, crackers or coffee!

Sure, not really supposed to help racers, but everyone is human and if you are offering it to everyone no one is really getting an advantage!

Thanks Bob/Barb and all, another awesome race!
Aug 19, 2013 5:03 PM # 
Bob encourages volunteers to provide treats to all teams at CPs and offers to pay the bill. In many cases though, our volunteers refuse reimbursement for their various contributions to our event because it's rewarding enough to see the racers smile. Without the high quality and quantity of volunteers who offer to help us, we couldn't provide the same type of event experience. It's amazing each year to see volunteers go above and beyond as if Wilderness Traverse were their own event to manage - and of course, it is. Huge thanks to everyone involved.

Thanks for taking part in WT once again, Osteo, and congrats on the Mountain Goats' finish!
Aug 19, 2013 7:26 PM # 
I had a really great time at this race! The course was great, and it was cool getting to meet so many APers in person! There is definitely more racing in Canada in my future!
Aug 19, 2013 7:26 PM # 
Thanks for a wonderful race. Wish we had stone like that to Mt bike on here in south-west Michigan. Was beautiful; kind of felt like I was in Moab, UT.
Aug 19, 2013 8:16 PM # 
Cali Cowboy:
So were is runninghils's finish line pic?
Aug 19, 2013 9:10 PM # 
Perhaps it was deemed inappropriate for mixed audiences. Ha!
Aug 20, 2013 3:31 PM # 
Looks like maybe the best AR coverage I've seen. Awesome job to Gstix, Bash and her crew of volunteers (Funderstorm, Bats, LosDobos) and all others out on course to help keep everyone up to date. It would be nice if the AR Champs in C.R. are as dialed in as WT was! :)
Aug 20, 2013 3:57 PM # 
This may be as good a place as any to express my sincere thanks to our HQ media crew - Bats, Funderstorm and LosDobos. Once the race gets rolling, I get flooded with logistics - leaderboard updates, checking that CPs are set up on time in the correct locations (checked via GPS broadcast), arranging pick-ups for teams that drop out, interacting with racers who contact HQ from the course, talking to beaver carvers... :) I always think I will have lots of time to post photos, news articles and Facebook updates but my contribution in that department was minor.

LosDobos did his usual awesome job of race coverage - facts, informed speculation, humour and opinion. Bats and Funderstorm jumped right in and just started writing articles and posting photos, most of which I didn't see until last night - and they were just what I would have wanted. Neither of them had worked at WT HQ before but they know the sport and many of the racers, they've watched lots of races online, they can follow and understand the implications of GPS tracking, and they are excellent writers. They had a great sense of how to tell the story online, and they were terrific at responding to questions from racers' families and friends, although it was hard to keep up with everything at times.

Thanks to all of you for your hard work over the weekend. A number of racers and families spoke with me before they left, telling me that the folks at home had been watching closely and enjoying the coverage. We're still getting nice e-mails!

DD11, it would be great if ARWC Costa Rica would adopt Grant's live coverage system. We were newbies and could have done more with it but it worked well on our first attempt! :)
Aug 20, 2013 4:00 PM # 
Cali Cowboy:
Grant will be in Costa Rica implementing the DeLorme system and his live coverage site. Good news for all!!
Aug 20, 2013 4:00 PM # 
Success was a combination of great tracking technology and of CP staff sending stories about the teams coming through (and some legwork by LosDobos who actually did a lot of field reporting, and I believe broke the "shoe purchase" story, haha.) When you have info coming in, all you have to do is write it up. :)
We got lucky with great satellite and cell coverage.
Aug 20, 2013 4:05 PM # 
Oops, simul-post with Bash. :) Thanks for the nice words. I was so nervous that I would write something silly due to my inexperience, so I tried to ask you some course-related questions here and there to make sure my ramblings made sense. :) If any of my, ahem, "analysis" was faulty, I apologize!
So much fun doing this, though. Thanks for the chance.
Aug 20, 2013 4:36 PM # 
I haven't found anything faulty! Even though I was there, I still enjoyed reading your stories yesterday. Sometimes we have to speculate based on available evidence, and we learn later that our speculation was wrong. But that's part of the fun of squinting at those GPS tracks and race maps and trying to get inside the teams' heads! And I'm sure the racers and the folks at home understand.

@Tico 2.0, that is great news!
Aug 20, 2013 4:55 PM # 
Word from Grant is that PinnacleTracking will be used at Gold Rush Mother Lode and then probably at the ARWC. Verbal agreement but no ca$h yet. Fingers crossed.
Aug 20, 2013 5:03 PM # 
Faulty? Perhaps the comment that Team Unconquerable Badness moved from 13th to 6th on the leg from CP 3-4 because they were top orienteers and runners. In reality it appears it was because they were the first team to take up the offer of the free cold beer. It's amazing how fast people will run for beer if their spidey senses know it is nearby. Nav skills had nothing to do with it. ;-)

No in all seriousness it was fun and informative to follow along. Only suggestion would be attempt to get teams to turn on their Delorme
At the same time as it would help in determining who was in the lead though the GPS hopscotch was also fun to watch. :-)
Aug 20, 2013 5:09 PM # 
Agreed, we made a note about that. We had a few volunteers going from team to team in the morning to ensure that they turned on the Delormes properly. But we could walk everyone through it together at one time, then do the check after that. It's always crazy before the start and hard to get everyone together and paying attention. One team even arrived at the start about 10 minutes after the others had left!
Aug 20, 2013 6:50 PM # 
Team #1? Yeah the tracking caught that. Oops.
Aug 20, 2013 7:18 PM # 
Nope, we have photos of Team 1 chatting with others at the start. If they turned it on at HQ and it didn't update right away, it may have appeared as if they were late - but they weren't.
Aug 21, 2013 1:50 AM # 
No we weren't! :)
Aug 21, 2013 3:07 PM # 
If you have a Wilderness Traverse report - from any perspective, racer or volunteer - please let me know at I've found a number of reports on AP but I'm bound to miss some, and (gasp!) not everyone logs on AP. Here is the reporting so far, and the list keeps growing.
Aug 21, 2013 8:18 PM # 
I also recommend this one, if you're into Stream-of-Consciousness (or beat poetry, as 1L dubbed it):
Aug 22, 2013 12:19 AM # 
Animal-O truly outdid herself - that is an incredible report that conveys exactly what it feels like to be inside an adventure race. Just one of many lines that made me laugh out loud:

"We jumped in the lake for a cool off. Jacek dove full in except for keeping his banana dry over head."
Aug 22, 2013 4:24 AM # 
We hit the front page of today's Parry Sound North Star! Note that the photo of Osteo's Team Mountain Goats has the title "Winners". Congratulations! :)

This discussion thread is closed.