Submitted by Cathy | July 28, 2012 | GOALS website
The GOALS Krista Griesacker Memorial is an annual adventure race in honor of Griesacker, an avid adventure racer and search and rescue instructor who passed while training a few years ago. At 7 AM on a Saturday, teammates Paul, Barry and Cathy lifted off from the Civil Air Patrol Search and Rescue School in Hamburg, Pennsylvania. And for the next twelve hours, the team tackled 20 miles of trekking and orienteering, 5 miles of paved biking, 14 miles of mountain biking, 7 miles of canoe paddling as well as rappelling and fun team challenges.
Cathy monitored the teams pace. She admittedly hadn’t trained for the event. Paul and Barry cajoled her to race 36 hours before start. Barry (par usual) raced against doctor’s order, and Paul, fresh off a race the weekend before, reluctantly assumed the mantle of navigation. Even though there were many nerves on everybody’s part, everyone kept their cool and didn’t over heat. A good pace for everyone was found and the team always kept moving.
The lingering image of the race was the team trudging up the fire road to Pulpit Rock in blazing afternoon heat, along with watching Paul use ascenders to climb up the tower at the end of the race, despite being completed exhausted. The lowest point for the team came early when we realized that we’d missed the first upstream paddlepoint to start the race. However, together we managed to turn the frown upside down by putting the mistake behind us and having solid navigation the remainder of the day. The highest point for the team was Paul naving us to basecamp SPOT ON after a 1.5 km, 1000+ft bushwhack descent from the top of Hawk Mountain. We truly worked as a team sharing food and encouragement, and Barry played the role of team mule by carrying my pack and Paul played the role of team brainiac by thinking to bring trekking poles.
Everyone had done this race before, this course was the best — Great race with a brilliant rework of the canoeing course, resulting in actual paddling, and very little canoe dragging. The checkpoints were all spot on and easy to find if you were in the right place with great map reading. The race was mostly endurance
Big ups to the angel who gave Paul the head nod towards the checkpoint in the middle of the endless pine forest
- Take time to look at the map at the start of the race. Don’t assume you know where you are – you will never be started ‘off the map’
- Don’t over pack food; bring food and meds, electrolytes to share, and encourage people to eat and drink regularly.
- Keep an eye on each other, and remember you are out there to have fun.
- In terms of discipline-specific lessons from the race: canoe – never pass a checkpoint, trek – keep moving, bike – map boards rock!
- Believe that you can do more than you think you can. Remember no matter, how good you feel, you are going to feel worse, and remember how bad you feel, you are going to feel better.
- Be optimistic; enjoy the scenery, the ride, the paddle, the jokes and the camaraderie!