Qualified for Checkpoint Tracker National Championships

>> Monday, August 23, 2010

The Waterlogged Dogwoods have qualified for the 2010 Checkpoint Tracker Series National Championship in Moab, Utah on October 29, 2010.......but after a bit of wishful thinking and wrangling with the idea, we have decided it would be a bridge too far :o(

This was one of our goals for the season, but we never realistically thought we would receive the offer due to our limited race schedule. There is always next year!!!!!


9-1-1 Challenge is Back...with a Bushwhack Bumper Sticker

>> Friday, August 20, 2010

Bushwhack Adventures – 2010 9-1-1 Challenge
Umstead / Crabtree Park Area, North Kackalacki
August 7, 2010

Bob and Marcey’s Race Report
Team #231 - Waterlogged Dogwoods

Marcey's comments are bolded.

I was excited to see the 9-1-1 Challenge (for emergency response not 9/11) back on the local AR Calendar after a two year sabbatical and this time hosted by Bushwhack AR. The last time Bruce had Race Directed this exceptional event, I was new to the RDU area, raced solo, and ended up tops in overall placement. This year, the Waterlogged Dogwoods have had a difficult task trying to have the core group of Marcey, Drew, and myself able to race 3-Person Co-ed and this go round was no different. We ended up signing up as a 2-Person Co-ed, but a few days out we received a bit of a curve ball. Don C, the man at Bushwhack AR, sent us an email saying a great racer from the FT Bragg area was looking for a strong team to link up with and Don thought the Dogs would be a good choice. I immediately knew who it was and Marcey and I had to re-adjust our game plan to step up to “Mike Westerns” expectations. “Cowboy Mike” is a strong and competitive individual, another previous solo winner of the 9-1-1, and we were excited (and just a bit hesitant due to expectation management) to team up with him. In the end we ended up racing as a 2x2 Co-ed Team with “Roy Rogers” teaming up with Mila as WDII. Mila is a former body-builder turned marathon runner, turned triathelete, now turned adventure racer – just not a great deal of single track MTB experience. We were excited to have a new face to the sport on our paired teams, especially somebody with an extremely strong background. Marcey - I was looking forward to the race all year since it is pretty much in my backyard and I train in Umstead and Crabtree almost daily. My plan was to learn some navigational skills since I knew the area well but when we teamed up with Cowboy Mike I knew that the plan would be to kick some arse and try to win and teacher/student would have to wait for another day.

This was going to be a crazy weekend, as my wife was spending the weekend in Carolina Beach with my daughter doing a photog vacay / workshop, and I had my son. Just a short snapshot – I took Nathan to his uncle in Charlotte on Friday, raced in the 9-1-1 Challenge on Saturday, Race Directed the NCNG MinuteMan 5K / 10K Road Race on Sunday, and then met my brother-in-law in Southern Greensboro on Sunday afternoon to pick up Nathan. I needed a weekend from the weekend and started work Monday as a bit of a zombie.

It’s always good to roll out of your own bed knowing you only have a 15 minute trip to the Race Start. Upon arrival, all the cars were corralled outside the Umstead gates awaiting the Park Ranger with his magical key to unceremoniously christen the start of race prep. We all proceeded to the Whispering Pines base camp and started hauling gear, gear boxes, chairs, and tables out of the vehicles to make the AR Shanty Town. Things moved quickly, we had check-in (again Bushwhack makes these very pain-free), a quick team meeting, the race-brief, and we were off. I am not sure which format I prefer; getting the maps and grids the night prior forcing me to stay up way too late plotting, routing, and strategizing different courses of action or being handed maps and locations under the gun – guess they both provide unique challenges.

The race started with a prologue to retrieve three A or B controls in a small radius around Whispering Pines and then we were given the passport and UTMs for the main course. The 2x2 Team format was fun during plotting and route selection, because we were able to have two strong navigators looking at two maps and planning routes that made sense based on points and local knowledge. We decided on an overall clock-wise route starting in the Northeast Portion of Umstead and ending in the Northwest part of Umstead.

The first leg of the course was a bike through Umstead Park to retrieve CPs 5,4,3, and 1. We then took the Greenway to Schenck Forest to go after CP2 (which was moved to the right spot by Brian T, right prior to our arrival, after he called the Bushwhack Crew). I thought biking was only disallowed on the hiking trails, but I guess it was also forbade on the gravel road – which makes no sense. The plan was to then to head toward the Sludge trails on the south-side of RTE 40. The fastest route would be to take the fireroads to the Harrison entrance of Umstead Park, but I decided the Hubcap trails along 40 would be more fun – again, this is an ADVENTURE RACE peeps (Marcey – How can we do an AR without singletrack? I hadn’t ridden on Hubcap before since it is an unsanctioned trail so I was grateful to ride a new trail and see how to get to it so I could add it to my routes for the weekends). For Mila, this was the first time she had even ridden single track on a mountain bike and I would have to say she did fairly decent. To my surprise, as we were making our way down to Reedy Creek, I saw a control that was not on the passport UTMs…..YEA!!!!!.....the bonus point and completely unexpected. The Sludge trails were next and we found CP11. A quick bikewhack along the southern fence of the Sewage Treatment Facility (where we had a break in contact for a bit) and then we went for CP12. Marcey – also another new trail for me as I am not one to ride unsanctioned trails alone so I was psyched to find out how to get to this one too!

We went through the condo complex to the Black Creek Greenway, bypassing CP13 so we could attack it from higher ground. We made our way to CP14 and found other teams who had been searching for awhile. It plotted just north of a pipeline, near a cul-de-sac, in a residential neighborhood. The hint was – retaining wall. Well, there were several very small walls, but no control. We attacked it from two points, replotted, and continued searching. About 20 minutes in, we debated moving on, but this was worth 50 points, so we pressed…..probably should have called Bruce, Don, or Pat – but the Bushwhack folks are known for their correctly placed points near multiple attack points. We spent 45-50 searching. I have a bad habit of making this same mistake over and over……a lesson learned is not learned until you apply it, so my hardhead needs a bit of work. The UTMs ended up being switched on the passport, so we received credit, but the time wasted was the real aftermath. Haphazardly finding the Bonus Point on Hubcap was a true hand-out because CP14 had the UTMs for the bonus. Marcey – when we got there, Two Pieces of Scheidt, the ‘greatest brother duo team’ to have ever bushwhacked, said they had been there an hour looking for it. Should have been our first clue. I also saw Innis Wright and his teammate who had also been looking – 2nd clue. We spent 45-60 minutes looking for the 50 pointer before giving up and pressing on. I believe I said four times (maybe five but who is counting) ‘Maybe we should call Don and Patrick (race directors)’. But alas, I am just a peon compared to the Best Rangers on the Planet and my comments were ignored.

Moving on, we headed up Evans Road to Thorp and then took the single track trail down to CP13. Past North Cary Park and back on the Greenways for CPs 16 and 15. Instead of hiking the Crabtree Lake Trail, we went to the backside of the warehouses on Aviation Parkway for CP17. Then CP19 and attacking CP20 via a quick run from the road…..the Crabtree Trails could have been better utilized on the course, but that’s the problem with curvy, connecting single track trails…..it’s hard to place just a couple CPs that would force racers to stay on the trails.

Our arrival at the Crabtree Boat Ramp brought us to the staple of 9-1-1 Challenges, CP21 and the ~500m swim across the lake. Marcey and I used fins and “Billy the Kid” and Mila used hand paddles. The water was refreshing (even though its probably highly polluted - we don’t want to know what is in there) and we all made it across to CP23 at about the same pace (Marcey – it was funny to see the looks on casual hikers and dogwalkers faces when four people came busting out of the trees with lifejackets on and take off running into the woods). A quick run around the lake to CP21 and it was back on the bike. I was out of water at this point and luckily there was cold Gatorade and water provided. This is where the quote of the day occurred, but Marcey can fill us in on that. Marcey – "Wile E Coyote" asked me if I was going to refill my bottle and I told him ‘no’ at which point he threw me a bottle of Gatorade. Gatorade is probably my least favorite sports drink but after several hours, it was cold and cold was good. I filled up my bottle and we took off. Right before we got into the singletrack Wile E stuffed a bottle in Mila’s hydration pack and then looked to me with the rest of a bottle he was drinking from and said ‘Here, take this.’ I said ‘I don’t have anywhere to put it.’ Wile E responds ‘In your mouth’. Maybe it was the heat and the pace we were going but I found that to be extremely funny and the rest of the day, in my head, I was silently saying ‘in your mouth’ to everything the team was saying.

Back on our bikes and we were off to CP10. We attacked it from the single track along Crabtree Creek and had to cross the water, also very refreshing. Back into Umstead Park for the final bike CPs, we went for CP9 first. This is where our passport and map stopped adding up. We discovered CP21 was not punched and CP6 was not on the Map. After some mental gymnastics, we found out we punched the wrong spot for CP21 and never plotted CP6. This was a good catch and we're relieved that CP6 was just a small divergence from our planned route back to Whispering Pines. After finding CP 7,8, and 9 it was to be three big hills next. I’ll be honest, I was dehydrated, drained, and ended up being the anchor for these last hills. At least we retrieved or least received credit for all the CPs on the big bike leg.

We arrived at the AR Shanty Town with less than 40 minutes remaining to attempt the O’Course. The Team decision was to take it easy, retrieve one point, and call it a day….probably a wise decision since it was a hot and humid August day and I be tuckered. The leisurely walk to the CP24 and back was a nice change in pace since we were really pushing for 7 hours. Marcey – this was leisurely for Bob, Mila and "The Lone Ranger" but I was several steps behind and must have stepped on some sort of nest because I got stung three times by SOMETHING. The front and back of my left leg near my butt felt like someone had shot it and I ran/walked applying pressure because it seemed to make it feel better. When we got back to the finish I showed the race directors and Patrick said one of the stingers was actually still in me and pulled it right out. The medic put some bite stuff on it and gave me a Benadryl. I’m allergic enough that it took a full 1.5 weeks to stop itching and be able to sleep without ice packs. My leg swelled up so big that when sitting I felt lopsided.

We finished with about 10 minutes to spare, 25 out of 30 controls found, and 690 out of 800 points, giving our 2x2 Waterlogged Dogwoods and WDII a tie for 2nd overall and 1st in the 2-Person Co-ed Division. The 2x2 collaboration was pretty cool, allowing two folks to be looking at maps along the course, and having flexibility in case one team faltered for some reason. Marcey and I, being strong on single track, could gain some ground and then “Buffalo Bill” and Mila could catch up on the fireroads / greenways, where they were really fast.

Once again, the Bushwhack AR Crew and volunteers have put on an exceptional race. Great job to all the racers, especially to TBD for there great performance and 1st place finish. It was great teaming up with “Wyatt Earp” and Mila to share this great experience with. The whole AR community (racers, directors, volunteers, support crews) are great folk to be around and its always great seeing new faces at these races. And finally a big heart-felt thanks to the fam for being somewhat understanding of the desire to run / bike around aimlessly like I was 10 again. Marcey – it was a great way to end the season with Bob. I will be missing out on the 24hour Bushwhack race due to a work trip to Asia but had a great time racing as a Waterlogged Dogwood in 2010!!!!

Thanks Marcey - for a great season and getting the Dogs back on the scene as a Co-Ed Team. If you want these great shirts....check out our awesome sponsor - Dare2Live


Pics from the Event

Bob and Marcey
Waterlogged Dogwoods


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