• Several TeamHalfwayThere squads raced USARA Nationals 2014 in Deep Creek, MD

  • Michelle paddle-boards class-III whitewater at USARA Nationals 2014

  • Bev and John plot their night orienteering strategy at USARA Nationals 2014

  • Check out our latest clinic on Stan's NoTubes!

  • Stan's NoTubes, Pocketfuel, and The Right Stuff are just 3 of our many proud sponsors!

From the monthly archives: December 2012

Paul and Barry

Submitted by Paul Morris

Magnus Gluteus Maximus is the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club’s annual “Fat Ass 50K” which is a fantastic tune up prior to the holidays. This year the trail run was held on Saturday, December 15th and is touted as an official Fat Ass 50K with no entry fee, no awards, no wimps and some aid. The Fat Ass 50K is an out and back course in which nearly 200 runners travel along Bull Run between Hemlock Overlook and Fountainhead Regional Parks, as well as the unmarked Do Loop. TeamHalfwayThere.com/Spokes, Etc. had a strong showing at this year’s event with Andy, Victor, Paul, Barry, Michelle, Cathy and Kelly all participating (results). Congrats to all the finishers and especially the VHTRC folks for hosting another amazing Fat Ass 50K and check out the post race photo of Barry and Paul.

 

Standing tall and holding our #3 in the nation USARA plaques

Submitted by Paul Morris | Race Dates: October 12-13, 2012 | www.usaranationals.com

Vitals

The 2012 United States Adventure Racing Association (USARA) national championships were held in New York’s Catskill Mountains.  The 100-mile, linear racecourse put racers between the towns of Downsville and Kerhonkson.  From Friday 8 AM to Saturday at 2 PM, racers tackled the modified rogaine course while paddling, biking, hiking, foot orienteering, mountain bike orienteering, and rappelling.

TeamHalfwayThere.com/Spokes, Etc. earned entries into Nationals based on results in USARA Regional Qualifiers and was ranked #3 in the country for the 2012 season.  The Team wanted to field several squads at Nationals in hopes of having a strong showing at Nationals and preserving a top 5 finish in the season rankings for TeamHalfwayThere.com/Spokes, Etc. in the 2012 USARA series.  This year squads’ at Nationals included 3 coed teams:  THT1 was Michelle, Victor, Jeremiah; THT2 was Susanna, Paul, Kevin; and THT3 was Shari, Jared, Barry.  Although, all three teams were comprised of experienced adventure racers, none of the teams had raced together previously, let alone at the championship level.

 

 

Experience

Without a doubt the highest point of the race was the awe-inspiring waterfall rappel that was not to be missed.  There’s nothing better than descending alongside the force of water on a clear autumn day.  Another moment not to be soon forgotten was biking into Blue Hill Lodge & Café after sunset and seeing 20+ mountain bikes parked in front.  Inside the café teemed with racers warming up, eating hot food and dreading going back out into the night for 22-degree weather.  Following our departure from the café, we faced some navigational challenges as we struggled to find mandatory CP9 and scoured the gorge above the swimming hole to no avail.  My lowest point was falling into the frigid Vemooy Kill Creek up to my waist at 4am with sunrise and the warm refuge of Lippman Park still 3 hours away.  And did I mention it was 22 degrees out?

Recommendations

Race Directors Rodney and Amy knocked it out of the park with their course design.  All of the terrain had never been raced before and was highly challenging.  Racers were left constantly wondering what would come next.  The answer was an amazing waterfall rappel and a terrific post-race awards banquet in the company of friends. TeamHalfwayThere.com/Spokes, Etc. would definitely recommend any race in which the NYARA cabal is involved and also look forward to competing in the 2013 USARA National Championships.

Rappelling beside the falls. A true happy ending.

Shout-Outs

  • Have to give big up, as always, to all the volunteers that braved the cold conditions.  But have to give special thanks Charlotte and Cathy – the former for tolerating my pre and post-race crankiness.
  • Special thanks to the staff at Blue Hill Lodge & Café as they truly were lifesavers for many teams.  Blue Hill offered a welcome respite from the brutal cold and stayed open until every single race team had passed through.  You guys and your tasty treats are the best!
  • Congrats to Wedali on winning both USARA Nationals and Checkpoint Tracker Nationals.
  • Team Tecnu’s 2nd Place Finish and check out their amazing race video.
  • Check out the work by photographer Vlad Bukalo.
  • Lastly, we couldn’t have had as much success this year and finish the season 4th in the country without the unrelenting support from our sponsors.  Sincere thanks to everyone at Spokes, Etc., Stan’s NoTubes, Crank Brothers, Adventure Addicts racing and OnPoint Foundation.

 

Results

http://www.usaranationals.com/results.aspx

Lessons Learned

  • This was the coldest and wettest race we had ever done.  The brutal weather wreaked havoc on our team’s gear (especially bikes) and our bodies.  Thankfully we had prepared for the worst and had plenty of Little Hotties and Butt Paste with us.
  • Eat good, real food, early and often and be sure to take advantage of delicious food resupply points like the Blue Hill Lodge & Café.
  • Next time we’ll place our packs in dry bags during the paddle so they don’t get water logged and we’ll also have warmer, waterproof apparel for the paddle itself.
  • It’s difficult to race Nationals with new teammates that are cobbled together last minute due to injuries and scheduling conflicts when there may be different goals, fitness levels and skill sets.  However, as long as you always treat one another with respect and actively listen to each other, good things will happen.