Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My Goal is to Deny Yours

Missin Sweet Lu
So I decided to go to Borders today since I may not have time to blog tomorrow, depending if I decide to do that 25k tomorrow...ugh, I really don't feel like it right now, but I know it could be the right thing to do. Regardless, I need to do some long run this weekend, 14-16mi according to my training book. That sounds terrible. I guess I can use the 25k as the slow run. I just know I'm going to want to bust it out. Oh well, I should do it, so I'll probably go and register today.

Last night was the Talmo nav race. I was planning to do it with either Caroline or Stan, but both were out of town...that's when I thought, wait a minute, Elwood can run! I knew he was planning to do it anyway so I decided to ask him to be on my team...he agreed and we were now Team HART Stress! Gotta love that. Things were going okay about 30mins before the race. Then the competition started to show up: Dave Boyd, Patti Plagmann etc. of MOAT and USARA fame, Tara and Messer I assume racing as Dead Reckoning, and pretty much all the other navigators from HART. I knew if I kept it clean we most likely could beat MOAT. It was rogaine style with Talamini sending us in different directions at the start to prevent following. Then it started to fall apart for me a few minutes before start--I of course locked my keys in Audi, keeping me from everthing that I had left in there...thankfully I had already put on my hydration pack, glasses, compass, and lights...I did not have lamination paper, though, which would come back to bite me. I stressing hardcore, but as soon as the race started, it was all business.

First point, 14, was on the other side of the picnic loop and we found it relatively easily after coming across a rude roadie (redundant) who thought he owned the loop. Then we followed the green trail towards the next point. Only thing was that I took one branch of it that I had only used once and I knew was pretty hard to follow. I tried it anyway. This was slow going as the trail dissappeared and I just started going north to hook up with the main green trail. We did finally, but I wasn't sure where on the trail we were. I told myself I wouldn't bushwhack much since Talamini told us that these were "easy" points. So I started off running west, but I came across a log in the middle of the trail, which I thought was west of the bridge we were looking for. So I told Dave we were turning back, plus he said he saw the lights from the maintenance buildings, which were close to the bridge. We ran east for a while, then I realized we went the wrong way as I started to recognize where we were. No prob, all we had to do now was follow the maintenance area fenceline to the ditch and bridge. It was really slow going as it was a thick bushwhack. I was starting to doubt our location when I heard Elwood yelling something. I ran towards him and saw that he found a bridge...the bridge we were looking for! We got back up onto the trail and I turned on my niterider and there it was a few meters south. CP 13.

Now we were heading towards CP 11. We stayed on the green trail, looking for a split in the trail. We ran for a while, got a false alarm, then ran into a split. I didn't know it then, but this wasn't the one we were looking for. Nevertheless, we dropped down into the creek, where the point was supposed to be. I looked at my compass and it didn't quite match with where I thought we had dropped into the ditch, so I modified the gameplan and we headed west along the ditch. Elwood charged ahead as I was meticulously looking at the map and compass and trying to keep my niterider pointed forward. That's when it got really bad...I wasn't paying attention and I was trying to go around a curve in the creek on a thin slip of sand when I misstepped and lost my balance and fell completely into the creek...it was really deep there so I was fully submerged, swimming! When I surfaced, all I said was "fuck". Elwood rushed back and had to pull me out of the creek. I was fully soaked and most importantly so was the map...it was fading away in front of my face. A feeling of dread started to come over me as I remembered this is what happened to Collins at nationals and knew Rick was pretty pissed about it. I didn't want to face him after this. Thankfully, the point was a few hundred meters off. We snuck away from the point as we saw other headlights coming our way...stealth mode. I could still kinda decifer the map, barely. CP12 was next and looked pretty easy as it was on Memorial. All we had to do was count poles along the way to pick the right one and write down the number. Done.

Now, the CP numbers were now unreadable...all I could faintly make out were the circles. At this point we saw MOAT ahead of us and they were heading for a CP across Memorial. I decided we would find the same point and ask them which one this was. It worked well...CP 7. In typical MOAT fashion, they jetted out of there and we were left trying to uncode the smudges on the map. The next one seemed to be right off the picnic loop, but I still didn't know the number...we decided to go get it anyway. We searched and searched and couldn't find it--I knew something was wrong now because the point was so obvious on the map. That's when I finally decided that we needed to go back to TA and get a new map. I had no idea how much time this would cost us, but I knew it would be better than trying to find these smudges on the map. So we ran back to TA and asked Bob for a new map. Thankfully he gave us one and that's when I realized that the point we were just looking for was a symbol for a water fountain or something. Geez. At this point I figured MOAT had won cause we lost so much time on that point and having to come back for this map, but we trudged on. We headed west of TA for a last batch of CPs before we would have to motor back to TA. CP 2 was next. Easy--in the middle of a grassy field that split east and west bound traffic on Memorial, bordered by the train tracks on the west. CP 1 was easy too, north of Memorial, just west of the jogging track in a ditch. That's where we found a bonus flag that had obviously been out there for a while--it was tattered and faded and had a punch...thankfully the right CP was just a few meters to the east.

Next was CP 5, which had a 3pt value, so I knew we would need it if we expected any chance of winning despite all of the debacles of the night. It was in the triangle, right as we entered the trail system...we had to find a shallow ditch that ran north. It was tough, but I finally found it. That's when Cynthia, Jaunda, etc. came up on us, hearing my shouts for Elwood...I had to yell because he was going the wrong way. Oh well. Next was CP 4, which was in a well defined ditch next to the trail. People were saying this point wasn't there, but I found it...have no idea what they were smoking. We recorded the letter on the checkpoint and I had to decide if we had time to go for one more point...we had less than 15mins, but I still thought we could get it. So we charged west along Woodway after I got my bearings back. This one was in the Arboretum, so I knew it would relatively easy to find, and it was. At this point we had about 10mins and I knew we would be back in time. So we jogged back to TA, not sure what would happen...we had 12 total points, including the 3 bonus points.

Slowly the other teams trickled back in and we were still in 1st, with Bobby and Monty the closest at 10pts. Then time was up and MOAT was nowhere to be seen...the penalty was harsh--2pts per minute over. That's when I knew we had won. In your face, doubters. I had one of my worst navs and we still won. It was extra special with MOAT and DR being there...small victories are sometimes the sweetest.

We got nice schwag, although too big--Elwood got a cycling jersey and I got a cycling vest that looked futuristic. I said I would wear it out to the clubs and it probably would have been alright. Now it was back to my original problem of locking my keys in Audi. Elwood drove me back home, in the hopes that Sam would be there so I could get in the house and retrieve my spare. He was! First obstacle cleared, now the spare key. It wasn't where I usually placed it, but then I remembered that I don't think I used it after moving to Kansas St...I finally found it in one of the unpacked boxes in the closet. All is good again.

Stay Golden, Ponyboy.


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