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"

Thursday, April 06, 2006

One Big Team

SES #1!!
Well, today we have our Open House at Stress for our new Lab Expansion. It should be fun. Mo is coming to check it out...plus we have to wear these jerseys to portray that all 3 companies are working as "one big team." Wow, what a good allusion to adventure racing. Nice.

race instructions
Well, much has happened since my last real blog. So here it goes. Two weekends ago was Somerville. I had done some scouting of the area and we had a decent team, so I figure we should do pretty well for the 12hr despite doing it just for fun. To add to the "fun" both Will and Lisa were coming off some kind of sickness from earlier in the week, which didn't make me too confident--Will was coughing up a lung the whole time and Lisa just felt like crap. The morning started off pretty nicely--most of us stayed at Cynthia's mom's place right outside of Birch Creek park, which was a really nice location. It was really fun because everyone was there, but Mo seemed to have trouble getting acquainted with the place. She broke a candle that was sitting on a shelf hanging on the wall...and broke another one that replaced the one she broke earlier in the day! It was hilarious...I couldn't stop laughing the second time around. I'm sure she didn't think it was too funny. We forgave her only because she brought yummy homemade cookies and brownies! To boot, Cynthia's Mom took care of both dinner and breakfast (spaghetti and breakfast burritos, respectively)! So, again, the morning started off nicely.

damn scooters
Mo helped us set up TA and we set up our boats at the launch point. The cool part was that Tom was able to borrow Dave Boyd's Ruahine kayak...22.5ft long and about 50lbs! Wow...Will and I would have trouble keeping up with them. Pre race meeting was typical and we met up about 15mins later and recieved our race instructions. "Go!" We opened them up and it was a scooter relay. I hate scooters. Tom took off on our scooter and I had to chase him down to make sure he knew to pick up a poker chip about halfway through the lap. I was next. Did I say I hate scooters? I in no way kept our place and proceeded to get passed by 2 or 3 guys. I didn't worry too much figuring that we had a ton more race to go. So I passed it on to Lisa as I grunted and cursed. I hate scooters.

short portage
As Will finished up, we brought our chips to the checkout table and got our first set of cps and the map. We plotted all the points for the leg, which would be a paddle/trek. In no time we were off. We were probably the 2nd team out, right behind Tina's 24hr team. We caught up to them as we hit the first cp on an island. Next we were off to a boat drop at Nails Creek. We were the first to drop and we were off. Mike and Deb had caught up quick in their race canoe...I need one of those! We jogged almost the whole time. First point on the trek was in a camping area spot. No prob. 2nd was out in a field near a tree stump. Done. 3rd was on an oxbow of a creek. Got it. Next was at an intersection of two trails, similar to last year's race. Roger. Next was at another trail intersection. Right on. Next was at an overlook, similar to last year, but more visible. Even so, I still walked right past it while Lisa was yelling, "Kenny! Right there!" Amazing. This would set the precedent for the day as I seemed to make the same mistakes as last year...Last point on this leg was near TA from last year's race. Check. We were back to the boats, in 1st place with no one in sight. In fact we were 27mins in front of the next 12hr team, Texas Dare.

plotting magnificently
Next leg was a long bike/trek. This is where we lost the race. We all felt alright...and I felt really strong, happy to be on the bike. We cruised out of the park heading for the first park, when, not even a mile out of the park, Will gets a flat. Ugh. We eventually get it fixed, but we still didn't see anyone. We kept on and got to the 1st point on this leg at a sharp curve on a dirt road. Simple. Now, we continued on the dirt roads, heading towards Yegua creek. Guess what....another flat, this time it was Lisa's bike. Grrrr. Stil, no one in sight. So we continued on and I wanted to dump in near a fenceline and bushwhack towards the point with our bikes, but there were signs that indicated that the land was private. We finally agree that we cannot cross these fences and continued all the way to the creek, which would mean a longer bushwhack. Later I found out that other teams went the way I originally wanted to go. Oh well. So we got there and the clue said "south side" of the creek, so I automatically think we should travel on the south side of the creek. Bad move. It was so thick, we couldn't bring our bikes, so we left them. Additionally, even on foot, it was a fight. We started to think this was not the way they intended to travel, but it was too late to turn back now.

its on
We finally got to the cp, but not before we saw Texas Dare and Hammer Nutrition leaving the point, with their bikes! I knew we were in a lot of trouble now. We had to seriously hammer now, because we still had to go back and get our bikes. I had made an error in judgement and had lost the race. We got the point and went to the north side of the creek, where we noticed that there was an actual trail to use. We ran the whole way back and quickly got back on our bikes. Figuring there was no reason to go back in with our bikes, we just rode back around on the dirt roads because it looked like there were roads we could take that would drop us right in at the next point. But they all turned out to be private roads. We no longer would be able to make up time--I was now hoping, praying that they haven't gone for the point on the dirt road yet. As we dumped into the trailway, we saw Hammer Nutrition but not Texas Dare. Insult to injury: Tom's chain breaks. Wonderful. We got the point and struggled to get back to TA as fast as possible. As we got back, our worst fears were realized. Deb and Drost had just left for the next leg and Texas Dare was a good 40-50mins in front of us, which would be impossible to make up this late in the race. Still, we tried to keep our spirits up, since it was a nice day to be out.

we find our way back
Next was a coasteering leg then a trek leg. No real problems here other than it took too much time. We made it back to TA and our gaps were pretty much the same, except we made time on Hammer Nutrition and we were only 5mins behind now. We quickly transitioned into the last leg, a paddle. The first of 2 points was on an island, similar to last year. As we approached it, we saw Hammer Nutrition just coming up on it--they must have went the wrong way. We punched the cp at the same time and were neck and neck heading to the last point, which was a bad thing since they had the faster boat. On the way we saw Texas Dare on their way back from the last point, on their way to a win. So, this must have made me slack in my concentration as we went on to overshoot the last point by a couple of miles, which was torturous because all our backs were now in pain. Hammer Nutrition made the same mistake and caught it eventually. We backtracked and eventually got to the point, but it was miserable. Oh well. Guess what--we had overshot and hit Big Creek Park...again! Same as last year! WTF?!? Amazing. And last year we made a critical route choice that had us come in dead last on the first paddle, similar to the choice on the bike/trek this year. Unbelievable. I need to learn from my mistakes somehow.

Anyway, we slowly piddled our way back to TA...Tom even had time to answer his cell phone. We finished 2nd 4-coed, 3rd overall. Okay, but we should have done a lot better. It shows that dead on navigation (see Big Chill) with smart planning (see Eco Lonestar) can overcome pure speed and stupidity (see this race).

Gander Mtn
Well, that's all I have for now. I was planning to write about Waco, but its probably better that I leave that for another blog. Until then.


Post a Comment

<< Home