- 1st place overall with 4 person Coed Team "True Grit."
- 10:34 finishing time
- Don't trust the airline with your bike :(
- California is a neat place to race.
- Poison Oak itches really bad, but now I know what it looks like.
- The guys I raced with were stinkin' fast! I need to get faster and stronger.
Things done well:
- My tansitions were super fast, and I didn't forget anything.
- My endurance was there.
- Managed the heat pretty well.
The race started with the sound of bagpipes. I don't normally care for bagpipes, but they get even worse when you add the doppler effect running toward then away from them. Nevertheless, it added to the excitement of the starting line sprint for the boats.
We were racing as True Grit, my first time racing with the 3 seasoned AR guys. We were the first in the boats, and led the caravan to the other side of the lake. Just prior to the end of the paddle, Tecnu passed us in a 3 person glass boat (they were racing 3 coed). We pulled ashore just behind them and pulled our shoes out of the mud to run. Jonathan, our navigator, made a great call and we took a route along the shoreline to the trail we needed. We were ahead of Tecnu again.
The boys were hyped up and fast. I'm not a sprinter, and though not quite a sprint, it was definitely a speed I just don't have. Andy took my pack and helped me to keep up with the blistering pace. Just prior to the bike transition, Tecnu caught back up and passed us again.
I transitioned quickly and helped my teammates with their transition, then we were off on the bikes to try to chase down Tecnu. My bike had been lost on the plane trip to California, so I was on a foreign steed. Thankfully, though the geometry was different, it was the right size with the right kind of pedals. The bike slowed me slightly, but truly, the boys were able to push at a pace that I simply didn't have so I was on tow and pushing hard to ease the burden on Andy. If you haven't realized it yet, Andy is a beast. Andy was setting a pace, even with me on tow, that the other two guys had to work really hard to maintain. I was in awe during these first legs of the race, and feeling bad I couldn't go as fast as them.
We got to our first bike drop for a out and back hike down a bouldered creek bed. We knew we were going to be hiking in the creek but didn't know what to expect. So, just for safety, we went ahead and changed our biking shoes to running shoes. Because of this, we were able to scramble and boulder hop the car- and refrigerator-sized boulders much more quickly than the teams in front of us. We quickly caught up to the other teams, found the cave CPs and sped out of there back to our bikes.
We biked up the rest of the climb with Tecnu close on our tail. Once we reached the summit, Tecnu had caught up and it was a neck-and-neck, hair-raising descent to see who had the most guts. Apparently we all have the same amount :) . Eventually, we got to another bike drop and hike CP, and we ran up the knoll and back down. Andy scrambled up the knoll to the CP punch faster than Tecnu, so we jumped on our bikes and got to bomb down some fantastic single-track, pushed hard on pavement and dirt roads back to the transition area (start/finish).
Back at the transition, I could tell the heat had been taking it's toll and I wanted to do as much as I could to stay cool as this was my first day of heat for the year since Colorado had more recently been having 40 degree temperatures as highs. Thanks to Jonathan's preparedness, I dumped some ice water on my head and it did wonders to rejuvenate me. After reading coordinates to Jonathan for plotting, we were off on what promised to be an epic trek.
We ran on a road for a while until we split off to go up a reentrant/creek to the "Waterfall." After hearing it referred to as the waterfall, I was looking forward to a cooling douse....sadly, there was no water. We ascended up the ~35 ft cliff and then progressed up the mountain to summit and go down the other side. At the bottom was the zipline! Woohoo! I was excited to hear it was a true blue zipline and not a tyrolean traverse under the guise of zipline. It was a great zipline and I was grateful to not have to run around the inlet we were flying over.
Following the zipline, I was finally cooled off, and feeling much better. We ran to the next few CPs flawlessly thanks to Jonathan's great navigation. Then, we got to the CP which would reveal some coordinates for some "bonus" CPs. On the tag, it listed the coordinates. But it also said one word, "HELL." Was the race director trying to tell us something?
We were off to the next trek CPs after a brief stop to get some water at the kayaks. Then, we headed up a long canyon with high temperatures. Each of us ran out of water and the sun beat down. I was still feeling good through this section, but the heat was sapping the rest of the team and their spirits. We realized that we could take our time during this section as we hadn't seen anyone for hours and were obviously far ahead of the other teams. We conserved energy to reduce the effects of the heat and hiked down back to the boats. On the way out, we saw Tecnu debating whether they were going to withdraw or not. We encouraged them to stay in, but the heat had taken it's toll on the team and they decided to withdraw.
We jumped in our boats and knew we could go pretty easily from here to the finish of the race. We picked up the final water CPs and had a fun, leisurely kayak all the way back to the finish. I had issues going this pace during the race, as my tendency is to always go as hard as I can until the finish line....but admittedly, it was really fun and nice to be able to take in more of the scenery and chat about ocean paddling with my kayak-mate.
We coasted to the finish, docked our boats, and Roger said, "Let's run to the finish line triumphantly!" Andy said, "Nope. Let's build suspense" :) So we walked slowly through the finish line together.
Pics I haven't bought: