|Me and Biz prepping his bike.|
|Biz playing possum?|
TREK 1 (1mi, 0:09:41)
PADDLE 1 (2.5mi, 0:20:55)
|Starting the paddle.|
TREK 2 (2mi, 0:20:46)
Once we have the boat out of the water, we take a few extra seconds to attach Biz's map board to his bike and I get the maps sorted. This trek is on an aerial map, something that is always a bit dicey for navigators. The first CP goes well but we are stumped, along with a few other teams, about the next one. The veg boundaries and trails don't seem to match the map. We spend at least a minute tromping through the sparse fir trees and finally find the flag. Then it's back to our sprint orienteering pace as we try to make up that time for the remaining 3 or 4 CPs. Highlights include a swamp crossing and then me tripping over my feet as we run through a field. Smart!! We make it back to the TA just barely behind The Powersnoobs and get ready to bike!
BIKE 1 (7.5mi, 0:36:28)
It's here that we get to unveil/test our secret race strategy...platform pedals. With the race being so short and with so many transitions, Biz suggested that we use platform pedals to cut down on transition time (and less weight without having to carry bike shoes). I actually remembered to bring pedals this time so we only have to put helmets on and we're GONE. We are chasing The Powersnoobs and are being chased by the rest of the field. We link up with the 'snoobs and then ride the rest of this leg together. There is even time for friendly chat and it's hard to remember that we are supposed to be competing! Biz and I get a short gap on the downhill into Miesville Ravine County Park and are able to punch into the TA first.
TREK 3 (5mi, 1:04:00)
We perform another super-speedy TA courtesy of our platform pedals and run along a doubletrack trail towards the first CP. We know The Powersnoobs' foot speed is superior to ours so we try to push the pace on this flat trail as much as possible. We punch the first CP in front, but only by a few meters. Tom and Kelly catch us on the next climb and we travel together for the next few CPs. The vegetation is THICK and even my tall socks can't stop the raspberries and briars from cutting up my legs. Biz and I turn into bloody messes trying to move quickly through the woods. We trade places here and there with Tom and Kelly, and we are still together at about the half-way point of this trek when we cross the creek that runs through the middle of the park. From there, we all pick our way up a very rocky/bouldery reentrant, but Biz takes a slightly higher route and I follow, where Tom and Kelly stay down low. In an instant, we have lost visual contact, and Biz starts to push the pace up the remainder of the climb. I'm frantically trying to keep up, all the while fighting with the thorns and sharp pokey plants that are growing everywhere. We reach the top of the spur and Biz gives me a quick pep talk, basically saying that this separation could be the crux of the whole race and we NEED TO GO. NOW.
So we take off across the field and it's an all-out effort. Despite carrying the team pack and having raced the same race yesterday, Biz is still fastest so he pushes me while we run across the field. It's a huge help and we are quickly in and out of the next CP. As we leave, again sprinting across the field, we glance over our shoulders and spot The Powersnoobs behind us. Our gap is maybe 30 seconds, and they've probably spotted us and will turn on their very powerful jets any second. TENSE!! I dig deep for another sprint across the field, and Biz pushes me again to keep team speed as high as possible. It's very painful but also exhilarating. We have a mercifully downhill trail back to the TA where we speed pee (me: 8 seconds!) before getting back on the bikes. There is no sign of the 'snoobs as we race out of TA.
BIKE 2 (16mi, 1:17:30)
|Biz finishing up the last biking section (I'm directly behind him)|
TREK 4 (3.5mi, 0:51:46)
|Biz and I preparing to embark on Trek 4.|
The highlight of the trek was descending a spur down to the lake level, and being greeted by a small inlet. We could have run around it, sure, but I'm up for a swim and so is Biz. We find a narrower place to cross and we are able to wade the whole way - the water is only about my belly button level, and it's COLD. Deliciously cold. As we emerge on the other side, my legs feel amazing and I liken the sensation to external Coke. Wheeeeee! We only have a few more CPs at this point, and we still haven't seen any other teams, so I think we're golden. Biz keeps the nav so fresh and so clean clean and soon we have the finish line in our sights.
POST-RACE (4:41:06 final time)
|Post-race, legs up!|
We spend a few more hours just unwinding at the finish line. Someone's got a grill fired up and it's great to see teams who are still racing and teams who are finishing. Minnesota's got a really wonderful AR scene and it's fun to participate in it. Everyone is in really great spirits and appreciative of Mike and Julia's hard work at putting on a really good event. Even though I've already finished a few adventure races this year, I do indeed feel more tuned up than I was before this race! Also, racing with Biz is such an adventure in itself. I feel like I learn so much every time, mostly about the depths to which good teammates will go to help each other. Biz, thanks for being an awesome-o-possum teammate!
|Post lunch selfies! My mom took this one. She is way more tech proficient than I am.|