The Thirsty Turtletinas have come back to reclaim their title for 2010. :-)
OK, so this year there were only 2 all female teams registered and the other team didn't even bother to show up!! We still won - right?? Per the race directors - we sure did and we have the swag to prove it (new Columbia pack - whoohoo).
Anyway, 12 hour Adventure Races are about more than winning - they are about mental and physical stamina, teamwork, and seeing what you're made of. When said 12 hour Adventure Race begins at 8pm and ends somewhere in the morning hours of the following day - these tests are greater. It just makes it that much more rewarding.
Some info about the race: held at Perry Lake State Park near Lawrence, KS, course was changed due to rain, technical biking was cancelled, optional checkpoints were added, teams getting all checkpoints would be ranked above teams missing checkpoints regardless of time, additional biking and trekking was added to compensate for the missing tech bike section, there was a bike drop, and we were bussed to the start.
So, still don't know the official results - other than first All Female, but it doesn't matter we had a great race. It began with trekking on single track. We opted for the safe path on checkpoints 1-3 (staying on the trail vs. bushwacking). It worked well. Maybe to 5 as well (without the map my brain is already a little foggy on some details - lol). Pretty sure we bushwacked between 5 & 4 (they didn't have to be in order). Then went on to find 6 - this was an issue - it was a long loop and we trekked the whole dang thing and didn't see the punch - must have been an oversight. Determined not to let it set us back we continued on and hit 7. By now it was raining hard and we were on already wet and slick trails, we continued on to the trail 8 was on, but decided to skip it for fear of missing our time cut-off at checkpoint 9 (now called 16 b/c of elimination of technical biking) of midnight. It was the right decision - we got there with only minutes to spare. So, after stage 1 we were missing 2 optional checkpoints and down about 1-1/2 hours from our friends team (the only real gage we had on where we were).
Stage 2 was biking on mostly dirt roads. We hit CP 17, then opted to skip optional 18 to make up time. We hit CP 19, 20, 21, optional A & B, then 22. It was fairly uneventful except for a road closing on our way to CP 22 that required biking through standing water or backtracking and going a different way. We backtracked to be safe.
Stage 3 was canoeing. When we arrived we were told no one had found 23 and that 25 was optional. Again, in the interest of time we went straight to 24 and found it without much effort. It was necessary to get out of the canoe into the flooded lake and wade too it. Just a little creepy, but I got it done!
We then decided 25 would slow us down too much and headed back to 26. I will note our volunteers told us later they were impressed with our transition speed. We may not be the fastest, but we keep right on plugging along!!
Stage 4 was more biking. We found out we were going back to CP 17, 20, then HQ (they would now be called CP 27, 28, & 29 though). The most scary part of the trip came around this time. In between 26 & 27 we are cruising down a dirt road lined with corn fields. It's pitch dark except for a little moon, our bike lights and headlamps. We approach what looks to be a couple of faces on the side of the road (and remember it's around 4:00am). I think it looks like a couple of scary clowns. When we get up next too them, we realize it's two white-faced, black cows standing there. Right on the side of the road, not fenced in. It caught us both by surprise!! After that we spooked a little more easily. Butterflies turned into bats, etc., etc.
This was the stage where we got to see the sun rise come up - talk about beautiful and refreshing!
We did make it back to HQ without issue and were given our last mission.
Stage 5 was more trekking - the out in the woods kind - not on single track. We went right out and clicked off one and two, found three with very little effort, and found four with slightly more effort, but quickly. We were so excited we ran back into HQ (ahead of our friends team that had started that section before us). Whoohoo. We were done and happy!! :-)
We showered up and cheered the rest of the teams in before eating breakfast and awards. By the time we left I was feeling the fatigue, but I was able to stay awake until we got to KC and met up with a friend of the man's for lunch. Then I crashed for the 2 hour drive home and an additional 3 hours at the house. It was such good sleep. I'm not sure I'm recovered from the loss of sleep, but the body feels good (minus some itching from poison ivy that always seems to make it's on me no matter what prevention is used!!).
I have an awesome teammate who did a great job of orienteering! I wish it wasn't so long till we could do it again! We have too much fun!
I was able to get back to it post race with a 23 mile (slow) bike ride yesterday that ended in the rain, and followed that up with a 4.25 mile run this morning (thanks Brooke). Tomorrow is back to speedwork, bike ride on Thursday, run on Friday & maybe Saturday, then bike 50 on Sunday. Looking to be a good week, maybe not as much recovery as anticipated, but more fun! :-)
Run on, ride on, adventure on!
PS - hopefully I'll have pics to add soon!