Thursday, April 16, 2009

bonk hard chill

So, DG and I did a 12-hour adventure race on Feb. 7th. Called the Bonk Hard Chill, this race adds the extra challenge of cold weather on top of physical endurance. Good times!

I had done the Frozen Otter, so I felt I had my winter gear pretty dialed in. DG had just done the Arrowhead 135 (26 hours- third place!), so he for sure had his winter gear dialed in. We were set. Oh, except for the fact that the weather took a freak turn and it was 60 degF during the race!! So much for the cold weather home court advantage.

This was DG's first actual AR, and only my third or fourth, so we still had a few things to figure out. We got our maps Friday night and spent a few hours plotting UTMs and mapping our course. We decided I would navgate the first land O, and he would take the second one. We would both work on the canoe and bike routes.

We hit the first land nav section pretty dead on, but our pace was slower overall than most-- I wanted to make sure I wasn't getting us lost. When I'm more confident with my nav skills, then maybe we can run full boar through the woods... but not yet.

Of note was the second canoe section, where we had to strap our bikes in the canoes and paddle them a short distance across the lake. This is where we learned that a tailwind is actually the worst thing you can have in a canoe... a tailwind will blow you sideways. Since DG had never paddled a canoe before, I was in back. I should mention here that I am not known for my upper body strength. You could say that my language in this section was colorful. Definitely one of the more frustrating experiences of my life.

We got on our bikes (the right kind of pain) and did a couple CPs, then got to the church. At the church was a veritable army of volunteers (I believe the volunteer-to-racer ratio was 2:1). Along with brownies, juice, and turkey sandwiches, we received the second half of our map which we then had to plot and chart. Again, we took our time to be safe and double-checked our work.

We hit the final land nav with only enough time for one CP before we had to strap our bikes back in the canoe... and we wanted to give ourselves enough time for that nightmare.

...but the canoe back was something completely different. We were headed into the sunset, and the air was calm. We sat back and enjoyed our final paddle in. It was just a few miles by bike to the finish line from the shore.

Results: DG's first race, my first time not getting short-coursed, cool views of an uncharacteristicly unpopulated Lake of the Ozarks, dead last in our division

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