TeamHalfwayThere had a great showing at Odyssey’s Wild and Wonderful 24hr Adventure Race. Michelle was first for solo-females and 9th overall. Bryce, Christy, Lukas, and Todd finished 5th overall and 3rd in the co-ed elite division. A great weekend of racing in the gorge and another great race put on by Odyssey Adventure Racing. Colin Reusch and Chris Radcliffe of MadRaceMedia was there to capture the action as well.

Photo by Chris Radcliffe, Mad Race Media

Photo by Chris Radcliffe, Mad Race Media

Race Report by Bryce (and Lukas):

The race started out with a sweet whitewater trip, weather was awesome. We had 2 other 2 person teams in our boat, our team seemed to be the only people paddling. I couldn’t even look backwards at a couple of them, they were just talking and letting the water move their paddles. 2nd to last team off the water. Transitioned quickly and left mid pack.

On to the trek, destination to trek out of the gorge. We followed a trail that disappeared and then followed some orange tape (maybe not the best idea) until we realized we probably overshot it. We finally got to the point and were not in bad shape, a few others had some problems. Probably 20th team through. On to the next few points, Lukas guided us swiftly on to them without much problem. On the way we crossed paths with our solo teammate a few times. The last trekking point of this section was optional, we figured it would be best to get it in the daylight as we would probably not get to the others until dark. So we got it and TD got to go for a little dip. We headed back up to the TA and again transitioned pretty quickly, at this point we were in about 15th, slowly moving up.

On the bikes, Ronnie had been telling us that there was going to be a lot of MTB’ing and he wasn’t lying. We had our first climb out of the gorge which got the blood flowing and initiated some heavy breathing. Halfway up we took a trail which made it even more challenging. We hit all the points with a decent pace, slow but good for all the single track as it was tough and our legs were tired. We did have one injunction where the Odyssey directions didn’t fail to meet expectations. We stopped and contemplated for more than 30 minutes the interpretation of “all roads off limits including X, Y, Z” This, to us meant all roads are off limits including, XYZ. (By contemplated, Bryce means we argues heatedly…but it all worked out in the end.) Very tough decision as there was a road section of less than 1km to a fire road and then to the point in 30 minutes to the CP; or a trail that would take us 3 more hours and a sign on it that said no mountain biking. 30 seconds decided our fate, Ronny came to the rescue somehow before we embarked on our way. He read the rules and saw what it said and directed us on our way. We made it to the TA after another short climb in about 14th place.

Transitioned to a trek and we were on our way. This was going to be relatively straightforward trek through one of the many abandoned strip mines in WV. Turned out there were tons of trails and decisions. We moved at a good pace and and kept going, everyone was happy to be off the bikes (for now). Halfway through the trek we all ran out of water except for Lukas’s half empty water bottle that we rationed for the next 2-3 hours. We got to see some sweet overlooks and made it through the trail systems with no problem, catching and passing a few more teams. Got the the TA in about 12th place, another quick TA and back to the bike to head back to HQ for our last 3 legs: Mountain-bike time trial, Orienteering leg, and Bike-orienteering, leg.

So we left in about 12th place for what seemed to be a short and straight forward ride, but it seemed not to be for some teams as we left the TA in 12th and arrived in 4th. We got there and were sort of reenergized with the news of 4th…then we remembered we had a 13mile gnarly singletrack time trial at 2am. This was an awesome ride but the sleepiness, unsteady legs and dark/fog led to a slow and safe pace. We finished it in about 3 hours which we were happy with. Another quick TA and then plotted our next orienteering points which seemed straightforward but widely spaced.

We focused on getting the 2 mandatory points as this is all that time would allow. We made it to them at a pretty quick pace. We did have a run in with a serious set of stinging nettles at the first point, this was a good/maybe not so good wakeup call. Moved onto the next point where we had a run in with some serious thorns/briars along a power line. Quickly turned back and made good time on our way back to TA for the last section.

There were several points on the final bike leg but we knew that we only had time to acquire the two mandatory points. The first was at a radio tower and was a straightforward, but long climb to get. Then we had to ride back down through the start/finish area to a trail that would take us all the way down to the final CP. It was a wicked descent down in a narrow gorge. The point was nestled among some spectacular waterfalls. Of course, we had to climb back out of the gorge to get to the finish. After finishing in 23hrs and 19 minutes we showered up and had breakfast at ACE Adventure resort. Another great race in the books.

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