Thursday, October 8, 2009

makin' progress

Dennis Grelk and I teamed up on August 29th to do the 12-hour Thunder Rolls AR. We're both in our first year or two of adventure racing, but we get into it like a couple of rabid beavers. Dennis is a great teammate for many reasons, not the least of which are his VW bus and his ability to tow my ass on a bike to the finish line at 26mph-- after 11 hours and 53 minutes of racing. (We finished, according to my watch, with 20 seconds to spare.)

Of note on this race:
1. Two-mile run epilogue, in which teams receive Map 1 of 6 and passport (for marking obtained CPs). Dennis had a pulled Achilles' tendon, so the run was less than fun for his angry foot. Luckily for us, Dennis and I are total geeks (again, great teammate) and had spent the evening before overlaying the existing maps to determine where CP 1 was on the missing map.
That way, we didn't have to stop and plot the UTM coordinates. We were off!

2. Rockin' bike section, in which I was towed for the first time. It was awesome! The only team that caught us was 3-person coed Team Bushwacker, and we all know that they are monsters, so I'm okay with it. Two water crossings by bike.

3. The Tyrolean traverse, during which certain female racers are accused of sounding like birthing water buffalo. Whatever, I think I sounded like a warrior princess. Did I mention that we had to traverse with our bikes?

4. The first orienteering course. We hit the traverse in second place. When we came out of this O-course, we were 16th. We spent 90 minutes on one CP, and still never found it. Yeah, neither of us are navigators. Not at all.

5. The damned paddle, in which all energy stores are completely sapped. The Mississippi is one powerful, angry bitch. A few days before the race, one river town had received 10" of rain in one storm. It took us 3+ hours to get two CPs, but damnit, we got them. God bless 180 Energy drinks and beans- supplied at the boat launch. Thunder Rolls volunteers are awesome.

6. The finish, in which racers are handed an ice cold beer (in a custom Thunder Rolls coozie). The rest of the race was a blur as I clung to Dennis' wheel.

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