Race summary of 2010

If nothing else, my blogging has been consistently inconsistent over the years.  I did a lot of fun races this year that deserved mention, but I never got around to writing about them.  I figure at the very least, I should try to remember what I’ve done and jot down a few sentences about each.

Uwharrie Mountain Run (40 mile) – 17th overall (7:22:16) – I rarely compete in ultras. I’ve run a lot of them over the years, but usually as adventure runs or “fun” runs.  Uwharrie is the exception.  I’ve run it several times, but always seem to have a relatively poor performance.  This year wasn’t much better.

North Georgia Adventure Race (30hr) – 1st three-person male - I think we were 3rd in the overall rankings, but can’t remember for sure.  NGAR is known for fun, challenging courses, great competition, and absolutely nasty weather conditions.  2010 was exactly what everyone has come to expect.  I was a last minute replacement for an existing team that I’d never met before.  My teammates, Eddie and Rafael, were from Brazil and spoke Portuguese for much of the race.  This was probably a good thing, because I couldn’t understand what they were saying when my navigation mistake sent us on a bikewhack through hell.  This little mistake had us dragging bikes for over an hour, through terrain I wouldn’t even want to hike through.  It also cost us a shot at the overall win.  We had a fun time though.

Odyssey Endorphin Fix (50hr AR) – 2nd coed team - This was my first race as a member of the ImOnPoint.org/Odyssey Adventure Racing team.  The E-Fix is a classic multi-day adventure race in the southeast and never disappoints.  This edition created a bit of controversy, however, due to an optional orienteering section placed early in the race.  All the top teams were fighting it out with each other and attempting to clear this optional section, when they should have been more concerned about fighting the race course and the upcoming time cutoffs.  In the end, only one solo racer beat all the cutoffs.  Dima of Calleva skipped most of the optional section (a smart move) and had time to complete the full course and take the overall win, dropping us into 3rd OA.

Pisgah 36 (formerly known as The Most Horrible Thing Ever) - 2nd overall – Have you ever wanted to explore all the mountain bike trails in the South Ranger district of the Pisgah National Forest, but just haven’t had a few months of free time? Don’t fret! All you have to do is enter this 36 hour mountain bike race.  You’ll get to see almost everything!  Well, you might possibly miss a few of the awesome views during the night stages.  This race was only 5 days after the finish of the 50 hour E-Fix.  I was feeling kinda beat and almost quit half-way through, but Eric (the RD) convinced me to keep going.  Thanks Eric!

Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race (PMBAR) – 5th overall – Kinda like the Pisgah 36, but with less horribleness and less suffering.  Still considered epic by most folks though, so don’t underestimate it!  A local classic, and seriously cool event.

Atomic Adventure Race (24hr) – 4th overall - This was where my bonk-of-the-year occurred. There was some strong competition at this event.  Unfortunately, my digestive system was not feeling equally strong.  During the second half, I could not get any calories to stay in my gut and we dropped back from the lead pack.  During the last trek, Jen carried my pack and Eddie towed me while I tried not to puke and fall flat on my face from exhaustion. Thanks to my badass teammates, we held on to a 4th overall finish.

Equinox Traverse (48hr AR) – 4th overall - The first day involved a lot of paddling.  This was a strength of our team and we used it to our advantage.  However, we later misunderstood the rules of how certain CPs had to be obtained, and took a MUCH more difficult route than was necessary.  We lost a lot of time, wasted a lot of effort, and had one teammate succumb to heat exhaustion when we attempted to regain a position among the leaders. Fun race. Another lesson learned.

Sheltowee Extreme (24hr AR) – 1st overall – Very fun and very scenic race. Highly recommended. The river was running a little low for my taste, but the views made up for it.  Mark and I swapped the lead navigator role a few times, which resulted in a bunch of lost time due to miscommunication during the hand-offs.  We made up for the mistakes with a blazing pace and somehow managed to take the win (much to our surprise)!

Odyssey One Day AR (24hr) – 1st overall – At registration we were told that this race was going to be “old school”.  In the context of Odyssey events, this brings to mind early courses designed by Don Mann that made you suffer just to see how much suffering you could take.  I didn’t think it was going to be a true “old school” course, but I was wrong.  No one, not even us, finished the entire course, and we crossed the finish line with mere seconds left on the clock.  Team SOG had gone after extra CPs to get ahead of us, but failed to make the finishing cutoff and was unranked.  I had a great time racing against them, though, and was amazed at the speed they maintained at the end.

Lionheart Adventure Race (24hr) – 2nd overall - I hadn’t raced in PA before, and it was fun to be in a new area.  There were a lot of off-limits roads which made the course seem a little contrived, but it forced us to use some fun trails and roads to complete the race.  Unfortunately, there was a “surprise” time trial section in the middle of the race that was very poorly implemented.  The way the rules were written, the winner of the time trial would end up winning the entire race.  Besides making the rest of our efforts meaningless, it wasn’t obvious on the maps what the fastest route would be. We came in 2nd on the time trial, which locked us into 2nd overall in the race.  When everyone had finished, the RD admitted the mistake and assured everyone it would not happen in any future events.  So, I’d probably race this one again, but was a little disappointed how it turned out this year.

NCARS #3 (24hr AR) – 1st overall - This race was held in the Grandfather district of Pisgah.  That fact alone is why I wanted to do this race.  I fell in love with this area during the legendary, and now defunct, Overmountain Extreme race several years ago.  The NCARS team did a fantastic job of taking racers through many of the highlights of this region.  If you get a chance to race here, do it.  The terrain will kick your ass, and you will be thankful for it.

Tidewater Traverse (24hr AR) – unofficial/unranked – I usually race in the mountains, so navigating a coastal event was a much different experience for me.  We got off to a very rough start, but after a couple of hours I figured it all out and we had a great race.  Well, maybe a few things weren’t so great, like the 150 meters of bushwhacking through a nearly impenetrable wall of razor wire (a.k.a super nasty brier patch that was beyond description).  Many four letter words were tortured out of us, and much blood was shed.   Worse still, we lost our passport.  We backtracked several miles and spent hours looking for it, but it was gone.  We decided to leisurely finish the course unranked.  Despite the bad luck, I had a great time racing with Ronnie and Michelle for the first time this year.

Checkpoint Tracker National Championship (28hr AR) – 1st place – I’ll sum up this race with one word: Moab.  Well, maybe more than one.  How about: Moab, slickrock, awesomeness.  Nah, there aren’t words to appropriately describe this area. You just need to see it and experience it for yourself, but you can read the full race report if you like.

Oh yeah,  we also had a masters team take first in division at the USARA national championship race, which put us in 1st place for the USARA points series for the year!  In the Checkpoint Tracker points series, we were 2nd!  Not bad for the first year!

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