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"

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hot at Huntsville

paddle put in at HuntsvilleWell, we knew this was the weather we would get on race day since its been like this for about the past month! Hot and humid! At least at Muleshoe it wasnt humid. It would be different at Huntsville, so we trained in the nastiness as much as possible to try and get acclimated to it...but who can really get totally acclimated to this damn weather?! So we started off the week after Muleshoe with HART training on Monday and Tuesday, I took the next couple of days off for no explainable reason, swim on Friday, trail bike on Saturday, and then another recon at Huntsville on Sunday. Dave P, Monica K, and Dennis P were there as well. I could stay for only one lap, so I tried to make the most of it and pushed the pace. I was sopping wet with sweat at the end. With that, I left them with the rest of their training session while I zipped back to the H to move stuff into my office in the new building.

another day of clear skies, but super hot!Race week started with HART training on Tuesday and Thursday and I swam on Friday to keep the muscles loose. It was nice not having to drive on Friday and sleep in my own bed...but the risk was that it was a different routine. I was starting to get used to the leave work in the early afternoon, drive to race site, pre-ride, dinner, sleep routine. Oh well, my body would just have to deal with the increase in rest. I did go over to Whit and Aaron's to meet his parents, but we were back home by around 9 or so. The big "L" he signed over his forehead said it all, but I had to race early in the morning! I left with no remorse.

chillin with Slick RickWe got up early and made the drive north to exit 109. We were one of the first racers there, so I was able to save a good spot for all the HART teams--there would be a lot of us this time because it was so close to Houston. I think there were 17 or so teams from HART alone. Scottie went off to do her registration volunteer thing while I set up TA and re-rigged her bike...long story short, after borrowing Mo's bike after running over hers, she got hers back in time from the shop, just after wrecking Mo's and sending it to the shop. By the time I was all set up, TA was full with racers and pretty much all the HART teams were there.

TA chaosAfter all the pre-race rituals, we were there at the starting line, in the front row again. I wanted to keep pace as long as possible with the top teams. With no fanfare, we were off! Pace was fast, but I was still feeling good. We again let the super fast go and kept a pretty good clip still, faster than the past races. We were actually in front of Keith and Bobby's team and the first place coed team in the series for once! But I knew with the heat my pace would most likely slow down a bit and it did. Scottie egged me on to tow faster, but I was going as fast as my legs would go--brain said, "go faster!", legs said, "hell no!" So we kept a steady, somewhat slower pace for the last portion of the run.

the startWe made it back to TA still in front of a few of the fast teams and transitioned to the boat. This is where the real hell happened. We got in the boat relatively fast, but then I noticed something a bit different this time. There was a small amount of water in the boat. At first I figured that we must have just brought it in with our soaked shoes when getting in, but at the first turn at the observation stand, we were swamped with water! WTF?!? The boat wasnt going flat, so it wasnt that--I just couldnt figure out where the water was coming from! It eventually got up past my knees! I guess we could have stopped and bailed, but without knowing where it was coming from, I figured it would just fill up again. So we were paddling very hard just to keep us and our swamped rubber duckie moving forward. Normally we would be passing or keeping pace with the teams around us, but we were continuously getting passed like we were standing still! Frick! I was distraught, but with no other option I went into overdrive to no avail. We eventually made it back to shore, but not before being passed by almost 10 teams!

run!At this point I was spent from muscling that extra water around the lake. Still, I tried to mash on the bike to catch up to the other coed teams. We were still catching up to teams, but not at the furious pace that we usually do. Frank, on a coed masters team, for some reason called us out before the race even though we werent in the same category, so we kinda wanted to at least beat them this race as a goal since our primary one was out the door after that paddle. Scottie was doing great on the tow until one bumpy section dislodged the T.O.W. This wasnt a problem, but when she tried to reconnect, we hit a sandy spot and she was down. It was at this point that Raymund and Ferley passed us and spit on us as we lay in the dirt...okay, so they didnt spit on us and they did check to make sure we were okay.

that seaweed on her paddle was the least of our problemsWe eventually got hooked back up and were moving, fast enough to catch Frank and Helena. I got ahead of myself and thought we needed to pass them as soon as possible so that we dont get caught behind them if they happen to crash. So, of course, instead, as we tried to pass we crashed and broke the tow. We tried to quickly get reattached, but the first crash had partly damaged the retracting device and as I started to roll on, the tow wire got tangled in my wheel and ripped the T.O.W. clean off my bike! Double Frick! Complete systems failure--that was it for towing that day. But it didnt seem to matter to Scottie--the whole incident seemed to spark a flame under her! She had had enough it seemed and she motored out of there with me keeping pace! We quickly caught back up with Frank and Helena and Scottie made the move and passed. There was no slowing her down now! We made it back to the finish straight and now it was down to the final special test.

bike!My legs were just jello at this point. We had to run over to the swimming area, but before we could get into the water we had to scale this mountainous slide and slide down...okay, it just felt mountainous. We then waded through the lukewarm lake water which did not refresh us at all, but it did mean our race was soon over so I tried to trudge through it as fast as I could. We made it back to shore and it was back over the slide, backwards, and then a sprint to the finish. With that we were done.

i thought slides were supposed to be fun?!We finished in just under 2hrs and got 4th place. Good, but we were hoping for better for sure! We had a great run and good bike...that damn boat! Oh well. We are now tied for 2nd place in the series. We now have one last race if we ever want to make a dramatic move up in the standings. Its highly unlikely, but we are still gonna give it our best shot. Glen Rose, feel our vengeance!


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