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, March 01, 2007

Talm-O Rogaine Recap

my map
Another weekend, another race. This time it was the opposite of the HART Challenge Solo--this one was all navigation. We still had to run, but at least the nav would slow everyone down a bit...even me it turns out. It was another weekend of great weather! Mo decided to sleep in this time as she for sure had nothing to do during the race. Our Spread Your Wings team decided to split up into two two-person teams for the rogaine: Weihan and I, Jackie and Tracie. It was a simple, no frills production, as is usual for Talamini's events. Shortly after Weihan arrived, we gathered together for a short pre-race meeting. Since we were all pretty much ready to go right then, Bob gave a us a few more minutes to get ready and then he started the race 15min early.

After handing us the maps, we were off. Most of the points were already plotted like a classic orienteering meet, but there were still 4 that had to be plotted. I plotted them and then we checked out at the timing table. After telling Talamini our intended first two points, CPs 1 and 14, we jogged out of TA. We were the first ones out, but quickly the Sly Fuchs and David Ferley sped past us. I knew we would need to pace ourselves, so I didn't try to keep up with them. The attack point for CP1 was a road intersection. From there I took a bearing towards the hilltop where it was supposed to be. It seemed to take a while to get there, but we eventually did, a minute or two behind Fuchs and Ferley. Next was CP 14, which didn't have any visible catching features, so I tried dead reckoning. For some reason this one gave me heartburn. I knew F and F had already picked it off because they were nowhere in sight. After wasting at least 20mins on the point, I decided to let it go since it was only a 1 pointer (each CP had different point values, from 1 to 3).

We headed back to the main road and proceeded west of the intersection we used for our first attack point. Next would be CP13, which was in a draw. This one was pretty simple and in no time we found it. We kept heading west towards CP 5, on top of a hill. After hitting my attack point and heading almost straight north, the Warship spots it. On to CP 2. I would mainly use draws to get to this one. It was a bit confusing at times since there were many offshoot draws that weren't on the map, but this was to be expected. I just had to rely more on Warship's pacecount. After hitting two draw intersections, we headed north and picked off CP5. The next CPs would now have the highest point values, and for good reason.

CP 3 looked to be on a draw shooting off of a larger one. The terrain was subtle around here, making it a bit complex at the same time. We didn't seem to be hitting the draw at the right pace count so I took a eastern bearing to hit the larger one...and there it was. We then followed it north and as I started to see the junction I looked west and there it was. Of course, Warship decides to tell me that he saw it earlier. Nice. Time was starting to be crucial, especially since these points were far away from TA--there was a 4hr firm cutoff, with a point penalty for every minute you were late. With uncanny timing, this is when I decide to lose my footpod for the second time (first time was at the Webster O-meet)! Despite being strapped down and covered by my gaiters, it had somehow found a way out. I was so distraught, but I couldn't waste too much time. After a fruitless quick survey of the area I said screw it. Apparently I was destined to lose that thing.

For CP 8, we followed a couple draws west and I tried to make a bearing to the spur that it was on. We couldn't find it right away and it turned out that I was a little too far east. But we found it when we scooted a bit west and headed back up the hill. CP7 looked to be a bit easier as it was next to a pond. It was, but we had to trek a ways to it, uphill. Hitting the pipeline/road intersection, I took a bearing straight to the pond and there it was, on the southern tip.

This is where I started to worry about time--we had two more CPs I still wanted to visit before we headed back, but they were far apart. Still, we tried to double-time it to CP4, which was at the intersection of the pipeline and a draw. This one again wasn't too hard, it was just that we had to trek quite a ways to get to it. One last CP, CP 6. There didn't seem to be any easy routes straight to the next CP, so I decided that we needed to bushwhack east to forest road 208. It slowed us down a bit, but we eventually hit clearing and onto the road. We had about 30mins left at this point and I knew I was pushing it. We followed the road to the intersection where CP6 was supposed to be, and there it was. We took it out and started the most painful part of the rogaine. Weihan had lost his legs somewhere along the way, so I had to try and tow. I wasn't feeling to fresh either at the time, but we had to push if we wanted to make it back in time. So we would run the flats/downhills and walk the uphills. But even then, we were in jeopardy of being late, so we pushed up the hills too. By the time we got to the 216/215 intersection, I knew we would be late, but I was hoping we would only have 1 point deducted. We got to the bridge and that bridge seemed to be a bit longer than I remembered it. After crossing it, we went for one last push and we got to the overflow camping, but we still had to run to the northernmost tip of it, and by that time we had lost another minute.

As we checked in at the timing table, we realized that it was a close race. F and F I believe had the most points at 22, but they came in later than us, so they lost more points. We had 21pts, but lost the two from being late by a couple of minutes. So while we won the male division, Bobby and Helena got the overall win with 20pts and no penalties. Jackie and Tracie captured 1st for the ladies. It was a well-designed race and showed the importance of not wasting time at any point during the race. I loved it so much that I'm doing a two-day orienteering meet at the same location this weekend! LOL. Actually, I've done this meet before as a map hike and only one day, so this will be the first time doing it competetively. Should be fun!

So, after the race, we decided that we hadn't had enough fun yet, so we decided to go paddling from "Lake Stubblefield" (looks like a creek to me) to Lake Conroe. We had enough boats for three sets, so it was Weihan and Tommy, Jackie and I, and Helena and Bobby. It was a good paddle to the 1375 bridge and back, about 7.5 miles. As usual it was windy, but thankfully the water was higher than it was before--we didn't have to get out in the middle of the lake and push our boats off of a sandbar (yes, it was that low before: See "Paddling and Road Racing Around the 4th"). Of course, since it was such an uneventful paddle, I decided to spice it up a bit. After going the whole paddle with barely getting a splash on me (Jackie got most of it when the winds picked up), I decided to "practice" a wet exit at the boat put it. I misjudged the water depth and basically just jumped out into the deep water. I'm sure the fishermen on the bridge got a good laugh out of it--Jackie sure did. :) The real sad part was that in the embarassment of it all, I had forgotten to put my pfd and bilge pump back in the car after loading up the kayak. So I'm projecting that some fisherman has a really nice, expensive life jacket and watergun. Geez, this rogaine was a lot more costly than I thought it would be...

A-MO-ZING RACE!And oh yes, there was a race that Mo participated on during V-Day...we are all waiting ofr that report! :)


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