- 1st Place in our Division! Wahoo! (2 person coed)
- 7th Place Overall
- Sleep deprivation is weird! Somewhat entertaining, and definitely annoying that we are such slaves to sleep.
- I can go faster than we did without worrying about over-exerting. That's good. But I'm glad we played it safer for our first time and didn't go too strong and burn ourselves out. The unknown is something that would not be wise to gamble strongly with on a 3.5 day race.
Things done well:
- I had the most awesome team mate! Talk about synergy! Thanks Julian!
- On-course, make-shift bike repairs
- Fast Transitions....and I didn't forget anything at the TA!
- Playing Smart - adequate sunscreen applications, refill water @ EVERY water source, trading navigation duties when our brains failed us.
- Julian, you were the best and most fun team mate I've ever raced with. A true rockstar and beast on foot!
- Everyone else, you were the coolest teams I've ever competed against! So much camaraderie before, during, and after the race! It was truly an honor to race with/against all of you!
- Rev3, you put on an AWESOME race.
- Sleep deprivation is CRAZY and I'm kind of excited to know first hand what Sleep Monsters are. That means I'm a real adventure racer, right? :) (skim to the last section if you want to only read that part)
Day 1 - Bike Trials....not the cool kind.
We jumped on our bikes, enjoyed the fun single track. We got through the entire park with it's technical single track, and as we were pulling up to the easy checkpoint 11, Julian's tire popped and threw the wheel WAY out of true. From then on, he had a Dr. Seuss bike wheel. We didn't see anything that could have caused it. It seemed such a fluke! We quickly changed the tire, and charged forward to regain on those teams that passed us. Luckily, he was able to ride on it. We were on our way to Vedawau...a beautiful set of hills, mountains, and crags which housed our scramble and rappel.
I felt like we were going kind of slow on the bikes, but I deferred to Julian on pace setting; we definitely needed to take care of his bike to ensure it would last the remaining days. We had a lot of miles that we would need to put on that Dr. Seuss wheel, and as long as we were making good forward progress without making it worse, and we got through the 1st day of technical riding, we knew we could keep his wheel alive for fire road and road riding the following days. We were doing well.
At one CP a storm was coming. We had the option of going up on top of the plateau to obtain our CPs on the other side, or go around. We chose to hike to the first, hike down, and bike around to the other side to avoid the risk of the storm.
But before our hike began, Julian accidentally dropped the e-punch.....somewhere......(the E-punch-- the only way the race is scored). We searched for 20 minutes. Julian was sweating bullets...I hadn't gotten nervous quite yet...I figured we'd swing it even if it's not with an E-punch and even if we had to finish "unranked" ... but.....finally we found it! Ahhhhhh.....
During more biking, we realized Julian's sidewall was busted and the tube was herniating out of it. We wrapped duct tape around it to keep it all in. This worked well....well enough, anyway.
Then, we got to the nutso, oober-rough downhill. Many miles of rough downhill grade with lots of loose rocks on our descent to Laramie. It was a bone rattler. My bike did well, but suddenly Julian's bike started wanting to buck him off. The chain kept getting stuck and we couldn't find the reason. Towards the end of the descent, we found it. Julian's spokes were breaking and getting caught in the cog wheel. Poor bike! We had to tape spokes to other spokes to prevent them from getting caught in the cog and chain. Now both wheels were out of true, and both were held together by duct tape!
Julian was having a rough day. Bike issues are never fun, and this many in a day-- on a race!?! With 3 more days to go on that same bike!?! He was dealing REALLY well with all of it! But, it called for some real food. We made a stop at Subway in Laramie to help lift the spirits. Grabbed some food, mounted our lights, and prepared for the 40ish mile highway ride to Medicine Bow, where I would have my flat tire of the race. The highway ride was pretty, though. Gorgeous sunset on our left, cloud lightening to our right. If you have to ride on the highway, that was some nice scenery to do it by.
Night 1 - Earn your sleep!
Together, we did well, finding all the CPs and we earned some off-the-clock sleep! A whole 1 hour of sleep! Wahoo! Sleeping on a lumpy dirt slab next to some cow pies never felt so good!
Day 2 - Bike, Run, Paddle, Run
We re-filled at the next river in attempts to get water we would WANT to drink. It was better, but we still ended up with stomach issues despite the purification. No big. Now the run! Let's Run!
Julian's bike may have been giving him troubles, but he is a beast on foot, and that requires no technology....just a good pair of socks & shoes. He hammered, and I just tried to keep up with him. We had the excitement of passing a few teams which helped cool the sun's heat bearing down on us.
Then to the boats! Wahoo! Here there was some better water, so I refilled the waters and purified while Julian paddled. Then we'd both paddled, sang, drank, ate, sang, paddled. Repeat. We had a new goal: Get off of the lake before those big clouds turn to dangerous thunderheads. We made it.
Night 2 - First dopiness
Then, darkness began to fall, and Julian and I started getting spacey. We thought we had an easy trek to the next trail intersection....but as in every time you think you have it easy and can let up, that's when you miss your cue and get off course. We floundered a bit, jumped to the opposite side of a trail when a rattlesnake began warning us to steer clear, eventually gave up on our point because we had spent too much time on it, and we were going to be cutting it close to get the remaining CPs that we had on our agenda. Julian was the MVP for the rest of the evening finding the remaining CPs that we had chosen to pursue. We eventually got back to the TA with an hour sleep to go, but because we had skipped a few points, this sleep would not be off-the-clock. Nevertheless, it was an investment we needed to make, because we needed our minds for the rest of the journey.
Day 3 - Hot & Dry
Then, we pace lined with awesome Nord Vrai out of the Cove through a storm, then made decent time to the next segment. Julian was having to sweet talk his bike to work at this point, and we were really worried about it blowing up at any moment, because of the nature of the malfunctions, towing wasn't an option, but we made it to Alcova and were doing well.
Last Night - Push Hard and Clear the Course!
I was the nav, and Julian was the motor. We drove hard, and worked hard to keep our minds engaged, making awesome time for the first several CPs. On the water CP, we nearly swam out to a booie thinking the flippers were provided by the race director....Julian was putting on the flippers and an angry camper started charging out of his tent at us....we were obviously not in the right spot! The CP was on the map in the wrong spot, but we found the correct location, and pursued the rest of the CPs.
We had the option to forgo the last CP, knowing we had likely already secured the win. We could wrap up one CP short and get an hour of sleep, or push hard to get the final CP and return on time to leave for the next morning. Both of us felt clearing was in reach and both had the eagerness to meet the challenge. We did it, finding the CP 30 seconds before we knew we would have had to turn around whether victorious or not. We were victorious! We'd done it! We'd cleared the Day 3 course!
Day 4 - And visions of sugar plums danced in their heads...or are those white horses chasing a jeep?!
| || |
We were pumped! We knew we were tired; we knew everything we were saying didn't always make sense, but we had cleared the course! Yeah!
We biked hard to catch up to Nord Vrai to join in on their pace line.....and then it hit. I couldn't see straight, and I was drafting pretty fast off of these people. "Julian, my brain is fading....I'm having a hard time; can you come talk to me?"
I think having the knowledge that we had secured the win made it hard for my mind to ignore the desire for sleep. I feel like if I would have still been in "chase" mode, my mind might have held together better....but I don't know.....maybe not. We had pushed our minds harder than our bodies and they needed rest, whether I wanted to give it rest or not.
The way the race was scored, and the way our points stood, we only needed to cross the finish line in order to win....we didn't need to make good time. So, Julian was gracious enough to let me sleep for 30 minutes. All the while, he visited with folks at the put-in and prepared the boat. Somewhat rested up, and fully knowing how dopey I must appear to everyone, I was ready and excited to go finish the race. I had been looking forward to the river paddle the most.
I was trusting Julian to get me down the river, and we both knew I may end up falling asleep along the way. He seemed and felt totally awake and on top of it. We were good, and all we had to do was get down the river. So, I asked that he talk to me to help keep my head in the game while we paddle. It was some easy conversation that I had to work hard to keep my mind engaged on. I could tell that sometimes I'd be answering correctly; then other times, I'd come to and realize I had been talking about something random.
Then....in my fog, it seemed Julian was starting to not make sense. Was that me not making sense of Julian's talking? Or was Julian truly not making sense? Uh-oh. I just asked him what he thought about that landscape, and in response, he asked me how many stand up paddle boards I owned? Oh no! I may be on a boat with 2 delusional paddlers! When we started to drift, he stopped mid-sentance and began giggling, I knew he was as bad as I was. I hit him with my paddle, "Wake up! You're as bad as me! We need to sing!"
We had 3 hours of seeing cows resting in every docked fishing boat, yelling at the top of our lungs to wake ourselves up, splashing our faces, asking each other if they saw the same 2 beautiful white horses following that Jeep up the mountainside (they were really there!), zoning out and realizing we were drifting, singing the Seminole chant, and having simultaneous rambling conversations about nothing. We were beyond sleep deprived.......and it was HILARIOUS!!! Everything we said and saw cracked us up! We were in tears it was so funny....we just couldn't remember WHAT was so funny!!
Finally, knowing the danger we were to ourselves, we were stoked when we actually saw the REAL take-out. Both of us having a hard time thinking about what needed to happen, our transition was slow, but we were soon in the water with the cool waves waking us up. We jumped out of the water and ran to the finish line and were super excited to finish. I have never been so spacey, but I was trying hard to capture the finish line moments.....the 2 most memorable finish line moments: #1 Husband!!!, #2 Barbecue Beef!!