Adventure Race (Widerness Traverse 2015) 22:45:00  142.0 km (9:37 / km)
The race started with a 4 km sprint down a wide ATV trail. Not being the fastest trail running team, we kept within sight of the leaders but didn't overdue it at the very beginning. Another 5km on a bike took us to our first off-trail orienteering section.
We found a nice ATV trail on the shore of the lake and felt that we were able to move pretty quick parallel to the lake on our way to CP2. We had no trouble getting to CP2 but then second guessed ourselves a bit around Lieback Lake heading towards CP3. Following our bearing and distances, we got caught in the first gully looking for the CP and ended up circling around by the narrow pond until finding a second stream leading to the CP3. We headed straight out to the trail from CP3 and a quick jog down the trail to CP4. To add insult to injury during a terrible trekking leg, Andrei twisted his ankle and was limping a bit towards the end.
We pushed ourselves on the bikes to get down to Massassagau Park, but were sitting in ~14th at the start of the paddle.
Having never paddled with our teammate from Toronto (Andrei), the first lake took us some attempts to get comfortable - but then it was smooth sailing right to the end of the paddle. Unlike some of the lead teams we didn't even consider the marsh, and with clean navigation and strong winds it helped us get off the water with the fastest paddling times of any teams.
At the TA we discovered Andrei's ankle was worse than expected - we braced it and taped it with Duct tape and he jogged with us to CP9, but then we all realized that heading into the night miles from any access point was a bad idea and we left Andrei at CP9 after swapping some mandatory team gear and contacting the race officials to advise them of our situation. Then it was off to CP10 as an unranked Duo. We followed a beautiful ridge along the lake trying to find the fastest way through the junipers, then towards CP11. We thought we would make it before dark, but having headed north of the first pond - we were surprised by very wet conditions and were up to our chests to cross some of the marshes that were in our way. Darkness fell shortly before CP11 and then we were off towards CP12. We followed the two narrow lakes and were able to find a rough ATV trail that helped us along the way. At the foot of the lakes, we decided to play it safe and we picked up the main trail back to the power lines and then straight down to CP12.
Our TA was pretty quick by our standards and we passed at least one team in the TA and then caught up to another on a pretty tricky mountain biking section. We picked up the road around to CP13 with little trouble and were refreshed by the random candy assortment offered by the amazing volunteers. We made our way to CP14 with no trouble and then accidentally overshot CP15. After circling back and getting CP15, we missed the junction at Black Road and ended up near the bottom of Horseshoe lake - unfortunately, in the rain and darkness and with fatigue we didn't see the connection road and instead retraced our bike back to Black Road and back on track towards the finish line. A slow but steady bike up the trail and we finally made it back to the finish just within 23 hours.
Physically it was a strong race, but the navigation mistakes cost us dearly and were a rude awakening after having completed quite a few clean races the past couple of years.