This race was done with Don (the Gazelle), Jonas (the rock), Brookie (the Navigator), and myself. We did a really great job this year with our orienteering - we always knew where we were and we worked really well together to figure out points. Not to say this was an easy race - I think we're all just getting better at the navigating (especially our fearless navigator!) and we were all in pretty good shape going in.
It all started at 7am.....well, better back up.....it all started at 7:30pm the night before with the pre-race meeting. That's where we got our maps and passports and found out race start time. Then, back to our hotel room to plot points and discuss the course - the fun stuff, but when it's getting late and you know you have a long day in front of you it's also the hard stuff. We called it good about 10pm and decided we would meet at the campground shortly after 5am. At that point Brooke and Jonas went to take the bikes to the drop off while Don and I gathered up all necessary gear and took to the start line (we also took a little cat nap after our chores were done - sorry guys!! ;-) Anyway, so race started at 7am - and the orienteering had begun. Right after finding our first point I began to have cramps on the outside side of my calves - terribly painful. I had to walk for a couple minutes and took some ibuprofen. I was so worried it wouldn't go away and I would be the weakest link. It wasn't too long after that the pain became tolerable. Not sure what caused it, but I was glad it had subsided.
So, we whipped through points 1-7, at 7 we had to put on PFD's and cross the river - packs and all. It was so scary, it was the Current river and it was really moving and over our heads. Luckily Jonas and Don went first so they were able to snag me before I got too far downstream. Next we did checkpoints 8 - 13 I think - still orienteering - that's the section we met up with Laura Lee & Steve I think it was from Salina, KS. It was fun chatting with them. Then, onto the 12 MILE canoe. That's a long time to be on a gorgeous river on a hot day without beer!! Once we finished that section I felt like we were home free!
Biking was all that remained - less than 25 miles. It was single track and jeep roads for most of it, but still better than sitting in a canoe I think. The only issue we really had all day was Jonas had two broken chains - luckily he is a whiz at fixing them so we were up and running in no time. Two funny instances happened while waiting on chain repair that made the journey even more enjoyable though so I wouldn't change a thing (Jonas would probably disagree - lol!) One was Brooke and I deciding we needed a Margarita break (I'll have to explain this in a separate blog!), so while we were eating these incessant gnats were swarming our faces - so we were running in circles waving our arms frantically and laughing (9+ hours into the race - we were a bit giddy) - as we are doing this a guy comes up the hill and yells. We think it's Don or Jonas and they've busted us, but it turns out too be a fireman from Wichita who didn't even see us, but it lead to a funny discussion anyway! ;-) The other instance takes longer to explain, but it ends with Brookie riding away from a big group of guys after yelling "girls rock" - it was pretty priceless!
So, we finished the biking in the dark - happy but fatigued. Don and I ran back to the hotel to shower and I opened up my post race red-wine! ;-) Then, back to the campground to have burgers & baked potatoes. Oh my - I have always thought the burgers after the Greenways races are good - they are nothing compared to Kent & Becky's campfire burgers - they were sooo good!! I'm still wishing I would have had one more!! :-) We tried hanging out by the fire and chatting - did good for a while, but a little before midnight we decided to call it good and all went too bed to dream about the next race! lol - just kidding - we were all too sore at that point to dream, but it sounded good!