I teamed up with Vadim Masalkov for the North American Rogaine Championships
. Partly because Vadim is known as Speedy, having raced 400 m on track, we called ourselves Bears on Speed. The allusion to the really bad name of a really bad Austrian band was lost on just about everyone present, but the name translated well into Russian (Vadim is Lithuanian). We communicated 90% in Russian, 10% in English (I don't know any Lithuanian).
Vadim does not talk much, but was he prepared! We had more than enough supplies, lights, medication, and electrolytes. As is common with the optimistic me, we planned to get all checkpoints (in two loops, returning to the base camp for food just after sunset), a goal we ended up somewhat short of. But, leaving out no low-value controls in our planned path proved critical in the end. We started well and cleaned out the eastern portion of the course in just under 10 hours. On this loop, we made about three mistakes for a total of about 12 minutes, probably substantially less than the average team. The navigation was less than straightforward
, and some controls, on invisible vegetation boundaries, were of the "bag in the woods" type. We ran the steep downhills and some trails, mostly in the end portion. The weather was perfect, overcast and about 15 ºC during the day. There were no bugs.
I need to measure the exact length. The climb, from the Polar, is believed to be accurate.