Bushwhack Adventures - Falls Lake Challenge 2010

>> Tuesday, June 1, 2010

This race report is from Marcey. Drew and Marcey competed in the 2-Person Co-Ed Division.

The Falls Lake Challenge 8-hr Sprint Adventure Race was a great learning experience for Drew and I. After arriving at the park, we learned that Bob, who is Master Navigator and the most experienced by far, needed to stay home to take care of his little boy, who was very sick. Bob just completed the Best Ranger Competion so was probably in the best shape of his life so this race would have been a cakewalk for him. Needless to say, I wasn't nervous being in the capable hands of Drew who said "I think I can plot UTMs". Drew explained to me that he was used to plotting military style but that it should be similar.

We spent about 30 minutes plotting the course and decided to hit the paddle and run section first due to a call for thunderstorms later in the day. Biking is Drew's 3rd favorite discipline so there was no argument from him. This turned out not to be a good tactic since we didn't pay attention to the assigned points and missed out on a couple of checkpoints that were 30+ on the bike. I was a little worried about my titanium upgrade (clavicle 2009) since I hadn't paddled for about 11 months but I had no problem thanks to Dr. Jones at Impact Orthopedics who definitely fixed me up right! We got messed up on the very first checkpoint and went to the wrong inlet. After spending probably 15-20 minutes there we gave up and paddled again only to realize that we had went in too early so this time we were able to find it pretty easily.

After a few checkpoints we docked the boat and started on the run portion. We spent about 20 minutes looking for the first one and Drew realized he had plotted incorrectly. We also made the decision to spend no more than 10-15 minutes looking for a checkpoint. Once, when we were looking for a checkpoint that wasn't there, I asked Drew, "Are you sure you plotted correctly on the right line?" and followed up with "And I say that lovingly". He kept apologizing and I kept saying I would do no better and I was having fun so I didn't really care. I also decided that we needed a bracelet that said WWBD or What Would Bob Do?

After this minor screw up, we were able to find all of the checkpoints after taking a quick peek at the park map near the campgrounds where Drew realized that there were roads at the campground that were not on our map. This made more sense and we became successful! We were getting close to time so hurried back to the boat and made the decision to finish out the paddle points. Drew was out of water and so was I but thought we would be okay. We grossly miscalculated how long it would take us to finish out the paddle points since at this time, we thought we would at least be able to hop on the bike and get a few points. After getting the last paddle checkpoint we paddled a steady pace to the finish, which took about 45 minutes. I had a massive blister on my hand from paddling and we were both a little dehydrated. The phone rang with about 20 minutes to go and I said it was probably my mom, who was volunteering and I am sure was wondering why we had not come back to get our bikes. Then a sheriff's boat came by and asked if there were any boats behind us (there was one kayak). I said that my mom probably sent the Sheriff out to make sure we were okay.

We saw the first beach and thought we were home but it was the second beach so we had to paddle a little faster in order to make it under the eight hours. We did, with only four minutes to spare! We never even made it to the bike but got all but one of the paddle and trek points so I was happy with the volume we were able to get. The after race pizza proved to be the hardest workout of the day for my jaws. The prizes were great and the organization stellar considering all the rain we had.

Lessons learned from FLC:

Check the number of points assigned to each checkpoint.
Don't spend too much time on a point. If I can't find it in 15 minutes, move on.
Never forget paddling gloves.
Always wear knee socks.
Check for ticks...many, many times.
Keep an extra water bottle in the boat.

Great job by the Waterlogged Dogwoods!!!!!


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