Thursday, June 24, 2010

The SCAR 6-Hr AR (2010)

This past Sunday, on Father's Day, Jason, myself and two of our friends, Aaron and May-Li raced the popular SCAR AR up in Wekiva.  We registered as Team Hoof Hearted for this race.  In fact, this race is so popular, it was the single biggest race (by attendance) that Pangea Adventure Racing has ever had.  That's pretty cool!

Anyway, our 6-hour race started promptly at 9:0AM, and it was already very hot.  I didn't know just how much the heat would factor into my (our) race that day.....

The Prologue

At 9:00AM the race started with a short 2.5 mile run.  we had two checkpoints (CPs) to find along the way.  There was little navigation on this section.  Just follow the trail to the CPs and head back.

We got out in front quick, and stayed near the front the entire time.  I was definitely the weak link as all three of my teammates are excellent runners.  But I managed to maintain a pace just fast enough to keep us in the front.  In 22 minutes (at 9:22AM) we were back at the TA ready to go on.

The Paddle

The paddling section was pretty straight forward.  We had a couple CPs down river (or actually "up" river since the Wekiva is one of the few rivers in the US that flows north), and a few points down river.

Navigation was pretty simple during this section.  The main issue was the heat.  By now it was getting brutal.  I tried to stay hydrated, but as I would learn shortly, I did not do a good job.

We took exactly 1 hour and 50 minutes to paddle nearly 8 (roundtrip) miles and get all the points on the river and get back to the TA.  We came in tied for second place with a 2-person coed team, Team Primal Instinct.  The first place team, a 2-person male team, Team Super Frogs, was a few minutes ahead of us.

The Bike

We rushed through TA and in a matter of seconds we were off.  We started the bike section at 11:15AM.  Shortly after we left is when I realized I could not breath.  My heart rate was through the roof and I could just not move very fast.  I couldn't get myself in a groove.

At first I biked as fast as I could, but it was just not fast enough to stay on the front.  So Jason did what we both have done several times before and broke out the tow rope.  And yes, for the rest of the bike leg (8.5 miles, 1:15 time) Jason towed me.  I was still not feeling great, but the towing helped a lot!  it helped me and it helped keep us near the front.  Jason was a freaking machine towing me through some nasty stuff!

Anyway, the CPs on the bike section were again fairly easy to find, nothing to hard.  We just had to keep moving.  On our way back we knew that Team Primal Instinct was just ahead of us, but we had not seen Team Super Frogs. We weren't sure why.

As I said above, the bike leg was a total of 8.5 miles which took us about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  We got back to the TA at 12:36PM.  Just a few seconds behind first place, Team Primal Instinct.

The Trek

Now it was time for the last leg of the race.  A short trek.  But it was noon, and brutally hot.

We left the TA at 12:40PM.  Again I was the weak link in the team.  Already hurting, I was moving slow.  So my team once again jumped in to help.  Aaron took my backpack to lighten my load.  And throughout the trek, I traded holding onto May-Li and Jason.  Again, as with towing on the bike, you wouldn't believe what a difference it makes.

So we moved as fast as I could.  It was a combination of fast walk and what I call the Ironman Shuffle, which is just my very slow run.  It's slow, but better than walking.

It took us exactly 40 minutes to cover the 3 mile section and pick up a few CPs along the way.

The Finish

We crossed the finish line at 1:19PM, 4 hours and 19 minutes after starting.  We finished in 2nd place, just shy of four minutes behind Team Primal Instinct.  But we were the first place elite team (3/4 person team).  So congrats to Team Primal Instinct for an amazing race!

At the finish line it was great to see that Alli, Erica, Thomas James, JD and Amy had come out to see us finish!!

So obviously we had a good race, but I've been kicking myself in the head since then for not having hydrated enough to keep from suffering as I did.  But our entire race was a display of pure team work.  Jason, May-Li and Aaron all came together to help me the entire day.  You guys rock!!  Thanks for an awesome race!

And thanks to Greg, Pangea and ALL the volunteers for putting on another top quality event!