Adventure Racing 9:51:00 
In our haste to get on the water we had stowed Kit's maps away, so I was stuck navigating the river. We paddled as hard as we could but were consistently slowed by terrible river conditions and shallow water. As the sun came up, we felt like we had plenty of time to make it the finish, so we backed off the pace and consequently got a bit sleepy. I seemed to be the only one who was awake at this point, so I tried a number of things to keep my teammates awake (the methods for keeping Kate awake were effective but are strictly frowned upon, so I will not be sharing them). After some sketchy rock navigation (Scott and Kit nearly flipped in ~12 inches of water) the river opened up and we began to see some cool sights, included a bald eagle the flew right past Kate in the bow of the boat. The sun was coming up and making us warm, but we were realizing that there wasn't much time at all for a buffer. In fact, we had nearly lost it all! We got into a good formation and began paddling really quickly after 8AM, which seemed to wake everyone up... except for me. I started to doze off and deployed my secret tactic of non-stop talking to myself for over 30 minutes to get me to the takeout. One of the joys of this last section was trying to figure out some coded info that we had gotten from Greg at the put-in. He had told us that we potentially needed to serve a one-hour "penalty" before we put on the water, but he wouldn't tell us why except to say that it wasn't due to something that we had done.. We ended up arriving too late to serve it, but we couldn't figure it out. It finally dawned on me that the only teams who need to serve penalties at the final TA in ARWS races are those who are in contention for top 5! We had assumed that we were 6th or 7th, so we were super happy to realize that we had passed the rest of the short course teams.
We finally got to the ramp just after 9 as the last team in (we had been the last team at the previous 2 take-outs) and got to work prepping for our final 2 mile trek. I was happy to take off my rain gear, which had kept me warm for the initial portion of the overnight paddle but was making me much too hot in the sun. At the direction of the volunteers we set off on the final trek with all of our paddle gear in tow!
I quickly realized that the Endless Mountains never quits, this wouldn't be a simple CP to grab. The moving took longer with all of our gear, but after some rearranging we arrived near the CP, only to find that the map was a "general approximation" of the area. We dropped the heaviest gear and scrambled to find the CP. I found the CP downhill in a creek after running way too fast and getting as assist from a neighboring team (an amazing sight - the last CP of a 5 day race!) and regathered my teammates before we shuffled towards the finish, passing one final team in that area. We had to trek uphill (of course) through Clarion and then find the finish line, but it was clear that we would finally make it. The first peak of the finish line was the happiest I think I'd been in 5 days. We finished in 119:49:35. Much longer than I had raced before, and good enough to 5th in the Premier Division and 6th overall.
What a wonderful race! Rootstock did a fantastic job with a great course - it felt like a series of 24 hour races back to back. I loved the technicality and challenge of the entire week - we never got a break from it. My teammates helped me out when I was feeling low and we navigated exceptionally well. The post race was filled with some packing and a wonderful party before drifting off to a wonderfully deep sleep. My drive home required a few nap breaks, but I loved getting home to see my kids!