23 July 2012

2012 MNOC 8hr Adventure-O Details

One of my goals with writing race reports and details posts from my adventure races is to help people who are new to the sport. When I started racing in December 2009, I had no clue what I was getting into and scoured the interwebz for information. I couldn't find very many helpful pages. There was (and probably still is) little to no information on what actually went on during the races, and how the racers coped with navigation/terrain/gear issues. So I'm trying to provide a little insight into each of my races with these follow-up posts. Hopefully some budding adventure racers will stumble upon them and be inspired to come race! Or, maybe more experienced racers can offer their critique so I can improve. Comments are easy to leave, so please use them!

Here are my lessons learned from the MNOC 8hr Adventure-O. Which my team won. Boom!
Jason, Dave, me, Andrei. We made a good team but we are not good models.
On the bike at the bike drop: 
In pack:
  • 1 package peanut butter crackers (190 cal) 
  • 1 Snickers bar (270 cal)
  • 1 flask EFS LiquidShot (400 cal)
  • About 15 Hammer Endurolytes (shared between team, other teammates brought some as well)
  • 2L water in bladder
One thing I learned from IMCdA was the importance of keeping my engine well stoked with calories. During the Ironman bike leg, I brought what I thought were too many calories, and still ended up needing more (during training, 250 cal/hr was fine but I needed about 300cal/hr on race day). So I did not want to repeat that deficit for the MNOC Adventure-O. And I almost succeeded. I certainly packed enough calories to make it through the race easily. But when we left the bikes for the last time, I neglected to finish my second bottle of CarboRocket and left the almost-full flask of LiquidShot behind. So I had about 500 calories of "men left on base" if you will. Also at this TA, I refilled my teammates' bottles but didn't even think to check my own bladder, and then ran out of water on trek immediately following. Fortunately, Andrei covered for me, finding 500mL of Powerade in his pack that I desperately needed, then I was able to refill the bladder before the second paddle. The warm temperatures experienced on race day also influenced my eating - I ate my Snickers early, after the first paddle, and then stuck to CarboRocket, LiquidShot, and plenty of water for the rest of the race to minimize the chance of stomach issues.


Dave with his big pack, Andrei, Jason, me with my tiny pack. This is during our 10-minute boat cleaning hold.
This was the first race where I have been able to carry a tiny CamelBak. Usually I use a 24L GoLite pack in order to fit mandatory and personal gear. But this race had a minimal mandatory gear list, and most of that went in Dave's and Andrei's packs. When we had to carry our running shoes on the biking legs, I put one in Andrei's pack and one in Jason's. My tiny CamelBack made it easy for me to carry extra stuff when my teammates were struggling. I think we all at one time or another were carrying someone else's pack or paddle or PFD. That was definitely one of our keys to victory - shifting the load to whomever was feeling best at any particular point in the race. It was not be uncommon for packs to switch people every 5 or 10 minutes. And we didn't stop for this switch - it was done while walking or jogging. Constant forward progress. One intangible requirement to this strategy is your team's ability to trust that an individual's moment of weakness will be embraced and supported by the team. It would be easy for any guy I race with to think "Oh, I'm a guy and Emily's a girl, she shouldn't have to carry my pack". But, the finish line only counts the first 4 pairs of shoes that cross it; it doesn't care which shoes carried what. So anything you can do to make your team move faster, do it.

Also, check out GearJunkie's post about keeping cool in the same race!

The punchcard necklace and punchcard.
Sort of like the Extreme Break Up 10hr AR, I didn't have much to do with navigation during the race. Andrei handled maps on foot, and Dave/team handled maps on the bike. All I had to do was punch the punchcard at each control to prove we were there. So, here's a picture of it. The cards came pre-marked with letters. If they hadn't, I would have taken my own sharpie and written in the checkpoint codes in the boxes to make things easier to see. When I'm punching, I use a little rope necklace that attaches to the punchcard, then I wear it around my..wait for it...neck. I can shove the punchcard in my shirt while running/riding/paddling, but then it's easily accessible when we hit a control. I don't have to worry about zippers staying zipped. Dave brought a hole punch and duct tape to the race so we made a reinforced hole (and back-up) and we were good to go. This race also used e-punching for the TAs only. I thought this was a really cool idea and allowed the results, complete with splits, to be posted immediately after the race. Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment