Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Siege on Ft. Yargo

A kick-ass, fun race put on by the Trailblazer Adventure Racing Club.
Low entry fees, beginner friendly (6 hours), great venue with fun trails.
If you are thinking about trying an AR, do this race!

Ok, done with the preaching.

Jenn and I raced as 2 females.  Several AR pals were there volunteering or racing and it was a good atmosphere.

A short prologue involved running to three nearby checkpoints.  We did fine on this, but because I was running, we started the next section in the back of the pack, I'd say.
Actually, yes, that is us in the back of the pack.
We quickly changed out of our now soaked and sand-riddled running shoes into bike shoes and hit the trail.  Jenn and I passed a team or two on the way to the first of four bike drops where teams could pick up 3 trekking CPs.  I'd guess we arrived at the first bike drop in mid-to-back pack position.  We quickly headed out, and got the first two CPs on trails no problem. After collected the third CP we opted to bushwack back to the bike drop rather than follow a trail that took us out of the way (and lost & regained a bit of elevation).

It was the right choice.  I think we passed several teams who had a hard time with some of those CPs and/or wasted time on the trails.  It was clear when we arrived at the next bike drop, there were far fewer bikes there, and we stayed near the front-ish of the people who opted to bike first.

The rest of the biking and trekking was straightforward and didn't allow for any sneaky shortcuts.  Jenn and I hustled a bit, jogging much more than usual for longer races.  We arrived back to the TA, I climbed a rope ladder to retrieve a poker chip and we headed out on the canoe.

Here's the thing about paddling.

We suck at it.

OK, we probably aren't that terrible, but it just never feels 'right' for me and Jenn.  I was trying to steer, but the boat kept listing to the right.  Perhaps because of wind, or damage sustained during the NCARS race last summer, I dunno.  That was somewhat annoying, but nonetheless, we made it to the first 4 paddle CPs without disaster.

On our way to the 4th one, we debated the merits of going out for the farthest away and last CP.  We calculated that it would take us nearly the rest of available race time and decided we just didn't want to risk getting caught out without enough time to finish by the cutoff.  We can't really 'sprint' in the canoe if we have to.  So, we finished up with all but the one paddle CP, and about 50 minutes early.

Maybe we would have made it, but we weren't really competing for any glory with this race, so it was OK to just call it a good day in the woods.  I think we wound up in like 10th place or so, out of 41 teams.  Second fastest team with a girl on it.  We headed back to Atlanta to stuff ourselves with tacos and margaritas.

1 comment:

Kate and Michael Craft said...

Sounds like fun!! Wish I was close enough to race with you. Sigh, I need to find a running buddy! Well after I finish this stinking PhD! ;) Hugs girl!