Monday, June 20, 2011

The SCAR 6-Hr AR (2011)

This past weekend, on Father's Day, Team Nature Calls was back out in the trails and woods, taking on the 6-hour SCAR adventure race.

For this race the team consisted of myself, JD and Amy. This was going to be Amy's first ever AR.

The Paddle

We started the race in the water. Heading north on the Wekiva River we had eight different checkpoints to find before making it back to the Main TA.  When the 'gun' went off, it was a race to CP1.  And a very nasty race.  The route to CP1 is a very slim ad very crowded river.  Canoes were constantly bumping and pushing each other.  It was not pretty.  The congestion continued from CP1 to CP2 and eventually to CP3.  It wasn't until after CP3 that the boats started to spread out some.

Heading to CP4 was a bitch.  It was located on an almost non-existant branch of the river. Paddling that portion was impossible.  We had to walk our canoe through soft mud most of the way.  After finding CP4 and getting back on the main river, things went much smoother.  We found all points and made it back to the TA, pretty exhausted.  The entire paddle took us just shy of 3 hours.

The Bike

Now it was high noon.  The weather was brutally hot, and we were about to get on the bikes. We had a handful of points to find nearby, and three points to find a little further south.

We started out doing great.  Found CP9, CP10, and CP11 fairly easy.  We made our way south and easily got to CP12.  it was around this time that the heat started getting to us.  We slowed way down.  We pushed on to CP13 and then on to CP14.  But we were now moving even slower. The heat was just out of control.

After finding all the CPs on the south side we slowly made our way back north to find the last two CP's.  It was around this time that we realized we would not have time to find all the checkpoints in the time we had left.  We had to finish the race by 3:00PM.  It was now around 1:30PM and we still had to trek.  So made a team decision to skip CP15, which was the furthest out of the way.  We pushed towards CP16, found it, and made our way back to the main transition area.

The Trek

We started the last leg, a trekking section, right around 2:00PM.  I knew that one hour would not be enough to get all the trekking points, so I decided to head up and get the north points first, which were closer together than the ones on the south trails.

Running was basically out of the question.  In fact, we saw nobody running.  Even Team Florida Extreme, who won the race, was not running the two times we saw them.  The heat was just too much.

So we trekked as fast as we could and found CP's 24, 23 and 22.  We headed towards CP21, but after only 5 minutes of looking for it I decided we had to abandon it because we only had about 20 minutes to make it back to the finish line.

So we left and trekked as fast as we could towards the finish.  We made it in and finished the race with just about 2 minutes to spare.


In the end, we finished the race, but had to skip about 5 checkpoints.  The heat just got to us and we ended up moving slower than expected.  But it was still another fun race!  I don't care how much it sucks and it hurts, I love adventure racing more than anything.  Always will.

JD and Amy were great teammates.  We helped each other out and made it to the finish.  Thanks for racing with me guys!!

A big thank you to Greg, Pangea and all the volunteers for another awesome race!

And congratulations to Team Florida Extreme and all the other teams that endured the heat and finished the race!

Now it's time to get ready for the next couple races..  The 8-hour Luminescent AR on July 30 and the 12-hour Nocturnal AR on August 13.  Can't wait!!

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