Contributed by Jared Macary | Race Date: 3/17/12 | www.AdventureAddictsRacing.com
The 12-hr Adrenaline Race Elite Race by Adventure Addicts Racing (AAR) encompassed 15-20 miles of mountain biking, 10-15 miles of trekking, 6-9 miles of paddling, and intermediate-advanced navigation. This was my first race of 2012 and I was joined by racers Andi Ballou and TJ Hoff.
Andi, TJ, and myself registered as TeamHalfwayThere.com/Spokes, Etc. and were the fourth team to do so. That’s right, there were four TeamHalfwayThere presences at the Elite race. I served as principal navigator, but welcomed input from my teammates in efficient route selection. From 9 AM to 9 PM we maneuvered inside Andy Guest State Park, along the Shenandoah River, and outside the towns of Bentonville and Browntown, Virginia.
The 12-hr Adrenaline Race Elite Race was Adventure Addicts Racing’s first-ever adventure race. Race Directors Andy and Michelle, who have become important figures in my life, started AAR late last year. Not only did I want to support them in their new endeavor, I wanted to see what madness they cooked up.
There were several reasons I wanted to do this race. The first being that I wanted to start off the racing season early and with a bang; 12 hours sounded like just the ticket. The second being that I wanted to get some direction as to my development for the season. For example, last season was about becoming familiar with racing. I think this season is shaping up to be about moving quicker and smarter (e.g. thinking strategically). Third, I wanted to test some new equipment and nutrition.
The high point of the race for me was arriving at the last TA with roughly and hour or so left in the race. Our team decided to hit the O-course to see what damage we could do. Damage was done as we worked together to quickly snag 8 CPs in the dark. This was my first time navigating and leading a team in the dark. I found that when night fell I had a new intensity.
The lowest point for the team, I believe, was more about dread than anything else. The rules of travel stipulated that Elite teams had to make a 2 p.m. cut-off in order to get to the paddle section. We wanted to get on the water badly for the sole fact that it would be fun. We made an effort to find CP 20, but ultimately decided to abandon the charge in favor making sure we could do the water event. We pulled it together and made steady, positive strides all the way to the put-in. We were one of the final teams to get on the water. The views were amazing from the river.
On the paddle I saw turtles, darting fish, and bocce-ball-tossing, bourbon-drinking race volunteers. I thought my eyes and ears were playing tricks on me as I looked onto the shore. I was no sooner at CP 23 and staring at Paul Morris’ hip-flask. The man volunteers in style.
The moment that will stay with me for some time was nearing the finish line flanked by several great teams, and hearing the cheers of volunteers and other finished competitors. TJ insisted that our team cross the finish line together. We complied by adjusted our pace, running down a cement path, and cresting a small incline to meet flash bulbs, smiles, and wonderful AAR gifts – pint glasses!
Barry, Victor, Michelle, Andy, Cathy, Shane, Candy, Kelly and other TeamHalfwayThere teammates were alongside me. They shook my hand and congratulated me. Receiving their kind words at the end of a slog was comforting and motivating.
In the end, our team placed 21 out of 34 teams of all categories and with 31 of 48 possible CPs. I highly recommend the 12-hr Adrenaline Rush Elite Race from Adventure Addicts Race. It is fun, challenging, exciting and certainly cheaper than therapy. I must give shout-outs to the race directors and all of the volunteers who were awake earlier than and went to sleep later than many racers. I must also give a shout-out to my teammates, Andi and TJ, as they taught me about keen leadership, patience, and teamwork.
My Osprey Talon 22 pack was perfect in terms of fit and functionality. The folks at Osprey really know what they’re doing. This is my 3rd pack with them, but my first adventure race style pack. I also used lock-laces for the first time. I found them to be very easy, but I found myself adjusting them frequently, especially during the paddle. The tops of my ankles swelled and I fiddle with the lock-laces a fair amount to relieve pressure. Perhaps this was much more about my anatomy than a product. At any rate, loosening the lock-laces was very easy. In terms of nutrition, I created my own sports gel from a recipe in the Thrive Diet. Thrive is a vegan-based endurance race-focused diet. The gel had a base of dates and agave mixed with lemon juice and raw cocoa. It provided me with the performance I had hoped it would and it tasted good.
10-hr Yough Extreme as a solo racer.