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From the monthly archives: June 2013

Ronny from Odyssey Adventure Racing greets Paul Morris at the finish line of the Wild, Wonderful

Ronny from Odyssey Adventure Racing greets Paul Morris at the finish line of the Wild, Wonderful

Report by Melissa Eddison On May 18th, 2013, TeamHalfwayThere.com/Spokes, Etc. competed in Odyssey Adventure Racing‘s Wild and Wonderful 24 hour race. We arrived at the Ace Adventure Resort the evening before and checked into our cabin. It poured rain that night, so we were glad that we weren’t camping. The race brief was at 8:30 p.m. so we tried to grab dinner at the cantina about an hour before that, but it turned out to be a burger fail. The race brief provided some game changers-like a prologue and options to choose sections of the race. Goedkoop Adidas Superstar Though this was a 9am-9am race, the prologue was at 6am and consisted of 5 CP’s and a 1 hour time limit. The navigation was tough, we managed to snag 2 CP’s and came in with 2 minutes to spare. We had about 30 minutes to change into rafting attire and boarded a bus down to the paddle put-in. Our guide Josh was excellent. We had two very green racers in our boat, they gladly took the front and did their best to paddle in sync. We were swift out of transition and decisively headed for the Low Water Bridge rather than swimming across the river. We decided to start with Section 1, which was all on foot. There were a bunch of teams near us on the road who had also chosen to start with Section 1, but they quickly peeled away and it was just the 4 of us again. goedkope nike air max 2016 schoenen We tried several alternate routes to getting down to the “Three Waterfalls” point, but we either got cliffed out or stopped by thick brush. Our only option was to hike to the top of the road where the river was but a stream, and attack the point from the other side of said waterfall. We slipped and slid our way down a steep and relentless mountainside until we got down to the water. It was a far way down and the CP could only be spotted from high up. That CP proved to be supremely difficult to get to; I stayed on the safe side of the river.

The Team plots for the prologue

Heading back up the mountain was just as tough, with loose brush slowing the climb. Maglia Grant Hill We stayed on or near trails for the next several points, cursing the prickle bushes and stinging nettles. nike pas cher The worst was when we had to climb up a powerline to get up to a road. Off trail, the nettles were silent killers. The second they brushed my knees, I would wince and curse and claw at my skin. Some moss-lined dead trees came to the rescue though. Maglie Minnesota Timberwolves The cool, damp, dirt filled moss was like a tranquil elixir for the stings all over my legs. The next several CP’s came in fluid succession and we stopped at a park to fill up on water. Thanks to some excellent navigating, everything went smoothly through dusk when we had to cross back over the river and head into the transition area. We climbed from the banks of the New River up into what felt like the clouds. Nike Pas Cher I lagged here, losing momentum. Paul and Barry took turns towing me up the switchbacks. It’s incredible how much of a difference a tow makes going up hill.

We made it to the transition and Jeremy’s stomach threatened revolt. We grabbed water and switched gears onto our bikes. Two minutes on the bike and Jeremy’s stomach launched its first attack. He projectiled whilst pedaling down the descent as the sun slipped behind the trees. Good thing Jeremy is a rock solid adventure racer; he got right back on his bike, as if nothing had happened! The next few hours were tough. The darkness descended, increasing our need for precision in navigating. I was worried about how the nighttime would go, but with headlamps, the trails weren’t too tough to ride. We hit a low point while searching some re-entrants for a point that continually eluded us. After searching for 30 minutes or so, we had to turn back. The powerline trail that we took had really low hanging trees that made it tough to ride without getting smacked by branches. Morale felt pretty low at this point, we had to leave a bunch of points un-punched, which came as a stark contrast to our performance in Section 1.

Always great views (and CPs) in an Odyssey race

We rolled back into transition around midnight and agreed to take a short break. I felt wide-awake despite the time, but managed to sleep for 15 minutes. I was scared that I would wake up groggy and not be able to snap back into action, but I had no trouble getting my head back into the race. chaussures asics pas cher The remainder of the race consisted of a 35+ mile bike ride back to the finish line with 3 mandatory points along the way. There wasn’t a single flat the whole ride, just uphills and downhills. We ticked off the hours going off the map to take a short cut, shaving off some time and hopefully some miles too. Nike Air Max 2017 Dames wit We turned onto a dirt road as the sun started rising and cruised this insane several-mile downhill. mochilas fjallraven kanken oferta All that down was matched by crazy steep uphills that went on for just as long as the downhill. I dug deeper into my reserves than I thought possible and powered up the jeep roads feeling the buzz of the finish line. We cruised over the finish line at 8:08 with just under an hour to spare. Finishing this race felt incredible—everything I never could have expected. The first 12 hours was significantly tougher than the second 12 hours. The eating and drinking was very successful, I never felt dehydrated or close to bonking.

Review by Todd This February 7-19, 2013, Patagonia will hold its annual “Sale on Last Season’s Gear.” I received word of the sale via a postcard delivered to my mailbox. Fjallraven Kanken Mini The postcard highlighted the sale of Patagonia’s Torrentshell Jacket at $58, down from $119-$129. Goedkoop Air Max Nike Now I have to say, LOVE this jacket. fjällräven kånken Mini It’s a super light, super dry, no-frills rainjacket that I don’t have to be concerned about destroying in adventure races because it’s not super pricey. air max pas cher pour femme For reference sake, I was a very happy, very dry, and pleasantly warm racer in that Rev3 Epic deluge in 2011. Nike Air Max 2016 Goedkoop The attached hood has a tiny “visor” that’s a good compromise between the heavy, vision-blocking brims on some rainjackets and not having anything, especially if you’re like me and like to wear clear glasses on single-track at night and hate to have rain and water leaking down your face. baskets ASICS It’s definitely not an over-the-helmet hood, but it’s effective. Running Asics Sneakers Large pit-zips allow for decent ventilation when it’s hot out and the jacket has small velcro patches intermittently placed next to the zipper that you can easily just semi-close for light sprinkles without zipping yourself in and overheating. Asics Gel Lyte Pas Cher

Sure, there’s other good stuff on sale, including super-lightweight, mandatory AR gear such as synthetic/fleece tops that give you warmth without weight.

TeamHalfwaythere.com/Spokes.etc (THWT) returned to central Florida for the 2013 running of the Pangea Sea-to-Sea expedition. The 2013 THWT crew (Jeremy, Lukas, Nate) was not only new to the race, it was the first expedition race for Jeremy in many years and first AR at all for Nate since 2009. The course design and topography of central Florida made this an ideal introductory expedition race with no segment taking more than 12 hrs and Florida being flat, flat, flat. It was a bare bones, but extremely well-run race with great and enthusiastic volunteers. It’s no small feat over a 300 mile course to make sure everyone’s stuff is where it’s supposed to be, when it’s supposed to be there, and Pangea nailed it. We are extremely happy with our 6th overall, 1st 3-4 person male finish.

Prologue – The race started with a short beach run followed by an hour long paddle. No real drama here although the paddle portion was a little tricky as the tidal basin we were paddling in was full of mangroves and it was a bit of a challenge to find the best way through.

We then transitioned to a 75k bike leg that was also very straight forward. We maintained a good pace line with each of us taking a km stretch at a time. Scarpe Nike Store We grabbed the three checkpoints and made our way to the first of four foot sections. We took a look at the course and decided to drop one of the ten points that was a bit out of the way. nike air max pas cher It’s a tough call less than 12 hrs into a 72hr race but we were nervous about the upcoming paddle leg and really wanted to get on the water with some daylight left.

With nine points, we got back on our bikes and took a quick 20min ride to the paddle transition. Unfortunately we weren’t moving fast enough and our strategy to paddle with daylight set on us during transition…and thus began the crux of the race, less than 12 hrs from the start. The paddle looked straight forward, five points, three off the main river, two down tributaries…no problem. We had an 8am cut off to finish the next foot section so we had to be mindful of our time. I think like most teams we left the paddle believing we could hammer until we reached what looked like a rail bridge a few miles from the start of the paddle. Unfortunately the bridge wasn’t there and that was the start of our (and everyone else’s) challenge.

Once we realized the bridge was gone and there were no posts or any other signs of it remaining, we tried to pinpoint our location. Unfortunately the maps weren’t very good, the river was very much choked full of rivergrass and lilies, and we often times couldn’t tell if we were seeing the shore, an island, or any other distinct landmarks. The river itself was essentially running north/south so we didn’t have any good headings to run off of either. Along the way we meet up with another team that was paddling back up towards us and was looking for the same point we were. They helped confirm the bridge was out and gave us some comfort as they at least thought they were in the same place we thought we were. We made some probes up a few of the channels on the same side of the river as our point, finally making a turn and seeing the team we had met up with again. We asked them if they got the point, they said “no” and put on the gas (to the degree the boats had a gas pedal), and we knew they had bagged the point and we were heading to the right spot. mochilas kanken big We finally got there and nailed the point, about 2 hrs into the paddle. Air Max Goedkoop Knowing what we were getting into now, we pressed on. Bo Jackson Auburn Jerseys Our new strategy was to try to get the points on the main river, but not spend too much time on them fearing we’d get trapped in a maze of little cut-throughs and leave no time for the foot section. We essentially tried to find, but really blow past the remaining points on the river. SF Giants Uniform While not what we were aiming to do, we kept true to our strategy and pulled into the TA finishing the section in 4.5 hrs. Much to our surprise, we were the first in (9th out) and some teams would end up spending 11+ hrs getting all the points. We transitioned and got out on the foot section around midnight, 14 or so hours into the race.

Now, here comes the only bit of criticism we have for the otherwise great folks at Pangea. solde adidas We transition to get new maps, and the TA is not on the new maps. We ask where we are on the new map…and no one knows. We press on, thinking we knew where we needed to go. We do eventually figure it out, no harm done but the combination of not great maps (blown up Nat. Geo. maps) and volunteers not exactly knowing either (although otherwise incredibly helpful and awesome) could have been a bit more effectively managed by just putting the TA on the map. (In hindsight we may have needed to use the paddle map a bit during this section to carry us over into the foot map).

Night nav with no real topography can be a bit tricky. Nate, Lukas, and I are all strong navigators so we stuck to our pace counts, essentially rotated the map between all of us to keep us fresh, and cleared the course. We moved back into transition, got some more maps, and prepped for another bike section. We had originally planned to sleep during this TA, but we were transitioning slowly and decided to ride a bit before catching a nap. nike air max 1 Asking for the clue sheet, we were told “your clue is there are no clues.” We ride on, get to the point on the map and proceed to search for about 30 minutes looking for anything resembling a point. We eventually find out that a volunteer was supposed to be there and we’re credited for our time, again, good call by the race director and it actually benefits us as we slept on this leg. We pull into the TA, have a good transition, and head out on the 3rd foot section.

On this leg we were faced with our final cut off at 6pm, so we have about 6 hrs to clear the course. At this point, 30 hrs in, fatigue and all the other things that plague you in a long race starts kicking it, but we still moved at a good clip. We decide we can clear it, but need to push a bit harder to do so. Luckily it paid off, we nailed all the points, picked a good route, and cleared the section with about 60 minutes left before the cut-off. Our time, 4:30 in this section, was solid but about 45-60mins off the leaders, fine by us. We roll out on another bike leg with just a bit of sun left.

The fourth bike leg was tricky, we were given a really rough 8×11 black and white map with a spider’s web of roads and a Google earth image and scales were a bit rough. Not ideal by a long shot, but everyone else had the same data so not a huge deal. Most of this section was contained in a sandy sort of jeep track area and the difference between an improved road and unimproved road was huge. We got caught up in a bit of this and the leg took a lot longer than we had hoped. We dropped two points here less because of time and more because we were starting to wear out and wanted to have enough for the next 18 mile foot section. We rolled into the TA around 3-4 am and proceed to have the worst TA of the race. Cold, tired, we knew we’d sleep here and proceeded to do so in probably the worst imaginable way. We had set up some TA rules at the beginning of the race (sleep after having everything else done, etc) but the cold, wet, and fatigue took over and we become a race mess. We eventually pulled it together, probably a good hour longer than we ever wanted to be in a TA, and moved out on foot. The section was essentially a long figure eight, we’re moving pretty poorly at first as we shake off the cobwebs, but eventually hit our stride and start knocking off points at a pretty good clip. Faced with another night paddle with temps hovering around freezing, we wanted to leave ourselves enough time to set out on the paddle, so we left four points out on the course. It ended up being a good call as we guessed we had four more hours left to clear the section and it would have taken quite a bit more out of us to both clear the section and have something left for the paddle.

The final paddle was quite a bit better than the monster 2nd paddle leg in terms of navigating on the river and locating points. It was quite a bit worse once the sun set and the wind starting howling. Hard to say exactly what the temps were, but it felt pretty cold. After bagging the final point we were elated to be finished with the leg, then proceeded to paddle for what seemed to be forever before we actually got into transition. Everyone has highs and lows in a race this long and this TA was Jeremy’s low as the cold had really gotten to him. After another long TA he was ready to go and we headed out to grab the last two points.

The final leg was highlighted by the final point, which was a nifty cave that I doubt many Floridians even know is there.