The 2014 Superhero was held at beautiful Blue Springs, FL. it was my first time racing at this location and I was pretty excited. Scott and I arrived pretty early, setup our TA, and had plenty of time to go over the maps and plan our routes and strategies. At precisely 0900, off we went...
The race started with a prologue. We were given a set of directions at the start (we did not have time to look at it ahead of time). There were four sets of two bearings (A1&A2, B1&B2, C1&C2, D1&D2). We had to find three of the sets by shooting a bearing and following a specific distance to the controls. All bearings started at a tree near the Main TA.
Scott and I found sets A and B and then tried for D. D1 was easy, but D2 was nowhere to be found. So we had to throw away our efforts for D1 and concentrate on finding C1&C2. After it was all set and done, we headed off on the paddle.
The Paddle (01)
The paddle consisted of a few points along the river. At the far end of the paddle, we had a trekking section at Hontoon Island. We were told we had be out of Hontoon Island by 11:45AM. Because of this time constraint, Scott and I decided to skip the CPs along the river and get them on the way back. We wanted to get to Hontoon as quickly as possible. We did pick up CP03 because it was right along the way and we thought it would be easier to get it now.
We started the trekking section along with most of the front teams. We quickly found CP04 and CP10. We then ran down the road and easily found CP05. When we got to CP06 we ran into two teams there looking for it. One team told me he had been there for 20 minutes and couldn't find it. Scott and I walked almost right to it and helped some of the other teams get it. From there CP07 was pretty easy. But after that is where our race broke down...
The map we had for this section was an aerial map with very little detail on the trails. There were several trails heading down towards the river and Scott and I mistakenly chose went down the first two. By the time we got to the correct trail, it was 11:50. We were now late and the penalty points started racking up. Unfortunately, even though we were on the right trail, the thought of the penalties was weighing heavy on our minds, so we didn't spend much time looking for CP08 and we missed it.
We made it back to the boats at 12:05PM. We were 20 minutes late, which meant 4 penalty points. That really hurt.
The Paddle (02)
CP08 on the trek really put a hurting on our race. We were the last boat to leave Hontoon Island. To make matters worse, I was feeling like total garbage.
For the second race in a row, I started feeling nauseous and dizzy. I had a headache and could barely paddle at all. I had already drank my entire bladder. So the paddle back was completely miserable and very slow. Scott had to basically paddle by himself most of the way as I simply couldn't do anything.
A river patrol boat came by and asked how we were doing. I asked him for water, and luckily they had some water bottles they gave us.
Because I couldn't paddle much, our paddle was slow. Our time was ticking away quickly and I knew we wouldn't have time to complete the entire race. So I told Scott we would skip the two points on the river so we would have time to get more points on the bike and tubing section.
Our first paddle took us 48 minutes. Our second one took us 1:26. That's how much slower we were moving.
We finished the paddle at around 1330. We only had 1.5 hours to finish the race.
The Tubing Section
I was still feeling like crap, so we decided to do the tubing section first so I could try and rest and feel better. It took us just over 30 mins to complete the tubing section and although it was refreshing, it didn't do much to bring me back to life.
[my watch somehow turned off during this section so I don't have the gps track for it]
We had about 50 minutes of racing left. So we quickly left on our bikes. We knew we wouldn't be able to get all the bike points, so I made a decision to skip a few. We got on the single track trails and picked up four points before calling it a day and heading back. On the way back I could barely pedal my bike.
This was the worst race I've had in, well, many, many years. We're usually a pretty good team, but my issues during this race cost us a lot. The missed CPs and the four penalty points put us pretty far down on the standings.
But even with all the problems and issues I had, I still had fun. I've said it time and time again, Adventure Racing is simply awesome and just being out in the woods with friends is a good time.
Scott did great! He basically carried my ass the entire race.
So now it's time to start getting ready for the Turkey Burn AR in November. My favorite race of the year!
Here's a short video I made from the race: