Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Luminescent 8-Hr AR (2013)

I've been really slacking on writing race reports lately, but I definitely want to start writing them again, even though most of you could care less. So here is my race report for this past weekend's race.

This time around it was Greg 'Playa' Trainor and I, as Team Nature Calls. The race took place in and around the Salt Lake WMA.

Trek 1

The race started at 10:00PM on Saturday night with what we thought would be a fairly quick trekking section with only 5 checkpoints (CP21 - 25).  Distance wise, it looked pretty short. But the trails and conditions were pretty rough. Some trails under water, other hard to run on. We attacked the points on a counter-clockwise loop. We did a little bushwacking, but what really slowed us down was the trek from CP24 to CP22. On the map it looked like it was an open area, but in reality it was 6' high sawgrass. Slow as hell to move through, and it tore our knees up.

It took us just shy of an hour to complete the 5.6km section. We came in to the Main TA with just five teams behind us. In other words, about nine teams ahead of us.

Bike 1

After the trek we jumped on our bikes for a road ride to the Boat TA, picking up four CPs along the way (CP10, 11, 1, 2). This section was pretty easy. All on paved neighborhood roads.

The map wasn't very clear on road names, but we still managed to find everything fairly easy on our way. The total distance was about 15km.


From the Boat TA we started by going to CP8 and CP9 first. The GPS track doesn't show this because my watch died and Greg didn't start his until a few minutes later. It was pitch dark out there. And I mean pitch dark. But thankfully Greg has paddled this area often, so he knew the layout pretty well.  We quickly and easily found CPs 8,9, and 7.  Heading to the island where CP6 was located was a little tricky, but we picked a bearing and stuck with it.  After CP6 we had to fight the headwind and 2-3 foot waves as we went under the 406 bridge and headed to CP3. Going under the bridge was a little sketchy, but fun.

CP3 was an easy get, then we had to make our way to CP4. From CP3 we could not see the shoreline where CP4 was located. So we picked a bearing and went at it. Turned out we went almost directly at CP4.  Finding CP5 was pretty easy after that, we just followed the shoreline along the way.

We went into the boats about 5th team from the end, we came out in fourth place. At 2 hours and 9 minutes, we had the fastest boat split of the race. We paddled strong and had near perfect navigation. That helped us a lot. The total paddle distance as about 11km.

Bike 2

Next, we had to bike back to the Main TA, from there we would bike at Salt Lake WMA to find four CPs.  The bike ride from tbe Boat TA to the Main TA was easy, again, all on paved roads. It was now around 2:00AM on Sunday morning, so the roads were basically empty.

Back at the SLWMA we quickly head off looking for the four CPs. They were all fairly easy to find. The only one that gave us a hard time was CP20. Getting to CP20 from CP19 I made a slight navigation error that ended up adding a few kilometers to our ride. When we reached the area where CP20 was located, we ran into Team Mojitos on Monday. We all looked for the CP together.  From CP20 it was a very short ride back to the Main TA. The total ride distance was about 22km.

Trek 2

The final trek was pretty straightforward. We had already been on most of the trails earlier so we knew the layout pretty well by now.  We stayed mostly on the trails, with a couple short bushwhacks, and found all five CPs fairly easy. The final trek distance was about 7km.

We ran into the finish line and finish in 3rd Place Overall. We were pretty happy with our race! Total race distance was about 60km.

It was a great and fun course. As always, Pangea and the volunteers did a fantastic job!

Next up, 18 hours of racing at the Nocturnal 18-Hour Adventure Race in August.