>> Friday, June 10, 2011

9-1-1 Challenge AR, Bushwhack Adventures
Umstead and Crabtree Parks, NC
June 5, 2011

Bob, Drew, and Marcey’s Race Report
Team #79 - Waterlogged Dogwoods

Marcey's comments are bolded.

Bob, Marcey, and Drew were back together for another go at an Adventure Race, the 9-1-1 Challenge, 8 hour AR. It was a bit of a week for all of us leading to the race. I took a terrible tumble on my mountain bike and my whole left side was bruised from knee to shoulder, with my hip taking the worst of it. Drew was getting over a crazy sinus infection and feeling like poo and Marcey had recently returned from a rim to rim to rim hike at the Grand Canyon. You should check out her Endurogirl blog to look at her report from the hike(s) - it will make you tired just reading it. Drew and I joked about making Marcey carry a 50lb sandbag to slow her down so we wouldn't be anchors.

The race start / finish was at Rally Point Sport Grill, a great tiki-bar area. After the race brief we were given the passport at the start of the race and had to plot all the CPs before heading out. We started out biking Sludge Trails to Crabtree Lake getting CP1 at a cool wooden bike playground that is being built. Marcey – I hadn’t ridden Sludge since the last 9-1-1 and they have done great work on the trails! Challenging technically with a few small hills. A quick ride down the Black Creek Greenway and we found CP1 in the water tunnel under Harrison Road. Turning north, we started our way back to Crabtree Park. The single track brought us to CPs 3 and 4, but we had a couple small breaks in contact trying to get to Umstead Park. CPs 5-9 were all straight forward except for deciding how to go for CP 7 or 8 from CP6. We decided to go clockwise and get CP8 first. These were all bridle trails with some nice downhills followed by some steady climbs, that's what I love about Umstead Park.

We then went to the TA at Schenck Memorial Forest and the start of the Trek Orienteering portion. At first we went to the ropes course, but the line was too long, which was not what we were expecting....I guess most teams took a more direct route to the TA and decided to get the bike points in Umstead and Crabtree on the way back. We then decided to come back to the ropes and attack the O Course in a clockwise fashion getting the CPs in the following order, 13, 14, 19, 16, 17, 18, 29, 28, 27, 26, 30, 20, 21, 25, 22, 23, 24. We pretty much walked right onto all the points except for CP30. It was part of the permanent course and having no white letter designator card threw us off on the first time we came to it....after scouting around a bit, we came back and figured out it was the right one. Marcey – actually, it just threw me off. Drew and Bob thought it was right but I didn’t.

I was not able to run much due to my hip hurting and Drew was still sucking a bit from the last bike portion. To conserve the boys energy for the ride back, Marcey ended up being the Punch Monkey for the O Course. Drew and I would nav to the point (liked having two maps) and we would deploy Marcey to grab the point. Early we had a conversation about her value added....which was already super high because she is the female that makes us Co-Ed and she is a very solid strong Adventure Racer. It did feel weird not running to punch points, watching somebody else do it, and getting small breaks at every CP. She's the Duracell Battery, the Energizer Bunny. Marcey – Yes, I am always concerned that I am not adding value to the team because I can only nav my way to pizza afterwards….but this race felt great because not only did I find a few points first, but I had a lot of energy all day and was more than happy to run ahead and punch the CPs. If we would have had a good towing system, I would have added even more value by towing Drew on the bike and Drew is not too macho that he wouldn’t have taken it. Now had we been kiteboarding, Drew would have kicked our butts.

Back at the CP24 Ropes Course, there was still a small wait, but not as bad. We donned our harness and waited for our turn on the ropes. This was also a good break to get some food, refill the camel backs, and watch how everybody else was tackling the three high obstacles. Drew did a commando crawl on one of them that the Ropes Crew thought was impressive.

Marcey – I don’t have a fear of heights but I do have a fear of falling so this was the hardest part of the course for me. I just took deep breaths the entire time. I was disappointed that I had my back to Drew who was completing the rope across from me because I would have loved to see his stealthiness (is that a word?). He was up the pole, across the ropes and being lowered down before I was even finished! I would have also liked to see Rambo (ET) do the ropes since Patrick said he was so good I presume he will replace Tobey McGuire in the next Spiderman. It took about 50 minutes to get through the course and onto the TA to turn in the O Course passport and get the bike passport back. This was decision time.....we had 90 minutes left and 3 CPs. The decision was either to get CP11 or skip it and go right to CP10 on the way back through Umstead to the Sludge Trail. I was thinking we should push to try to clear the course and lay it out on the line. 90 minutes left in three 30 minute segments....Hubcab, Umstead, Sludge.

At the entrance to Umstead, we left the decision up to Drew, and he said OK to the attempt to clear it. We got CP11 along Hubcap and CP10 near the creek, but didn't get out of Umstead with the 30 minutes we wanted left for Sludge. CP31 was the last one and we were getting really close on time. With about 7 minutes left, we bikewhacked to the Embassy Suites instead of riding Sludge out, finishing with two minutes to spare. Marcey – Massive kudos to Drew for going ahead with this decision. He is not a single-track rider (or really a rider at all) and he was going to have to push himself really hard. I really wanted to clear the course but since I was not having any energy issues, it wasn’t my call.

The after race was awesome with good food, Marcey (REAL FOOD!), and it's not that often that you can relax with a beer in your hand right after a finish. We ended clearing the course, tops in the 3-Person Co-Ed Division and 4th overall. The Bushwhack Crew put on another great course with a great venue. Thanks to them and all the volunteers. Marcey – The finish at Rally Point made it nice because people wanted to stick around longer after the race. I loved that there was a hose out back to clean off prior to our eating, real food requiring utensils and lots of places to sit. It was great to meet the next generation of Scheidt adventure racers as well!


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