July 15, 2008

2008 Scout Challenge Adventure Race

An adventure race is just that. . . An ADVENTURE! Sometimes that adventure is found when you are pushing your limits in speed during the race, sometimes it is facing a new distance that everyone on your team will need to support eachother throughout to complete and sometimes that adventure is just making it to the finish line.

This would be my third time racing the Scout Challenge Adventure Race and while I expected a unique outcome I underestimated just how "different" this race would be. At last years race, Monique, Marius, Cisco and I really pushed hard and finished strong. We were working as a team good speed with little problems throughout the race and made a top 5 finish. This year however, problems or "adventure" would find us throughout the day and we were surprised to finish at all. . .

This time around Monique and I were stoked to be racing with our good friends Jeff and Josiah. It took almost two years to get any of our "non-racing" friends to get to the starting line with us but this was a perfect race for the first timers. When we showed up for this years race and got our maps we discovered two things right away.

1) Navigation would not be a problem at all. Not only were most of the checkpoints right off of the road but the route selection would be minimal because we needed to pick up each CP in order.
2) It was going to be a fast race! Fast roads, easy travel and everyone going in the same direction. We anticipated a sprint from start to finish.

This was a good and bad thing for our team. It may have been easier/faster to stick to the roads but the pace required all of us to focus on fueling that much more. This turned out to turn our race around in a hurry.

Just before the 4am start time we were handed another small map that outlined the first state of the race. Four checkpoints on foot before returning to out starting point and heading out on our bikes. We finished running through the darkness after picking up all four checkpoints and headed out climbing on bikes before the sun was fully set. Burning calories but moving forward.

The bike checkpoints went by pretty quickly. At checkpoint #2 we were posed a math problem that we had to solve or wait it out 20min before heading out. We took our 20min rest and found later that it was needed for our team to keep going at this pace...

Before we knew it we had dropped our bikes and we were off on foot again running to a few checkpoints. Working as a team and gaining ground. We all ran, talked, waked and kind of wished that it was more "adventurous". Be careful what you ask for!!

Pace... It started to slow way down after we reached the Trippet Ranch visitor center and Josiah was looking all pink and hot. he he he... Josiah, whats up buddy? Monique got into the questions about eating and drinking. She had been on us as our food monitor and we had all acknowledge that we had been eating and drinking but the question was HOW MUCH? Then Josiah said something about having two bars... and his stomach hurt too much to try to eat anything more...

Now we posed a math problem to Josiah... It is 9am and we have been racing for six hours. If you have been burning about 500 calories (conservative number) an hour and you have only eaten 2 or 3 bars9400-600 calories).... What is your caloric deficit? It was a shock to us and we knew then the day was only going to get longer. Here comes the adventure!

Monique tried to take Josiah's pack but he wouldn't budge... We gave him a tow, got our shirts wet and huddled around to bring him back. The real problem was that he was already so far behind in calories/hydration that his stomach felt locked up. "if I eat something I am going to throw up!". Well.... It was bound to happen sooner or later ;-)

By now our "adventure" and race really started. No longer worried about anything much but getting Josiah back we were on a mission to get down the mountain. Luckily, by the time the full body crams set in we only had a short section of the backbone trail left before returning to the start/finish area. Unfortunately, that last stretch took fooooreveeeerr and we started getting pretty worried about Josiah. He could not ride without crashing and most of the time needed some help just to walk down the trail. We got him on a bike at one point and started making faster progress until he got a flat front tire!!! Oh, it just was not his day!


I am so proud to have raced with our crew... We still managed to pick up the last two checkpoints on the way back and Josiah was able to ride in to the finish line. We finished as a ranked team with 15min to spare. ha haa.. What a day.

We thought that all was well when we got back but Josiah just kept the puke going. . . and going... Dang... I though that you were not drinking water but you have been putting out a lot of liquid. Jeff ended up taking Josiah to the hospital on the way home were we found that his kidneys had shut down for a couple of hours. They kept him overnight and into the next day.

We were looking for adventure and we expected teamwork but this took it to a new level in a direction that we did not expect. To our supprise... Josiah and a few of our friends are even more stoked to get out and give adventure racing a go and they have a big jump on the learning curve now. I am sure Josiah will be forcing food and water down everyones throat the next time around. Thank God he is back to normal and stronger than ever now.

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