17 December 2016
First from our coed team 5 hour team at the Rootstock Two Rivers Race...
Team Captain: DJ Angelone.....
So do you want to run an adventure race in December? Sounded like a solid plan back in March when I was making my list (and checking it twice). Rootstock racing had put some place holders on their website for their inaugural season. The little bit I saw sounded pretty cool. I had a long list of potential races and a 12-hour to top off the season sounded awesome.
Fast forward to November. Coming off my first Nationals (30 hours), I was riding high and feeling great psychologically. But physically, my body was feeling the aftermath of the long race and the long season. I had anticipated racing with Mike Scott from the team, but ultimately decided to pass on the 12-hour version and opt for the 5-hour with Bonnie and Sarah (the newest member of the TCB women’s auxiliary). Rootstock races had been awesome thus far and I really looked forward to supporting Brent/Abby in their endeavor.
With the semester in full swing, my training had been minimal, my focus miniscule, and the winter sinus congestion heating up. Two days prior I taught Bonnie how to pace count (setting up a tape measure down the hallway) and began a regular regimen of night/day-quil. The night before we started packing the gear and got a call that Sarah had a family emergency and had to bail.
The RDs provided our maps and basic logistics. We sat in the warm car and developed our plan of action. The race was split into 3 segments. After a brief prologue on foot, we would have the option of engaging any of the 3 segments in any order. One was on foot and near Pachella encompassing more of the northern Wiss. The other two were on bike, the first was more of the southern wiss, the second was outside of the park, on to the road and into the Laurel Hill Cemetery. The unique element of this race was that you could trade in your bike passport or foot passport at any point and engage (or re-engage) any of the segments (for those unfamiliar with Adventure Races, you generally are required to “close out” a segment and cannot accumulate any additional CPs after you close out a segment). This twist added an interesting strategic decision point.
The riding was pretty quick, not much in terms of climbs, with a fair share of rock gardens. I took on the Nav and once we got our initial bearings for distance, began hitting CPs pretty quickly. My one mistake was meeting up with a solo racer and allowing him to talk me into taking an alternative route to the next CP. While the company was nice,
Back on the road, I took the Nav back and started to feel the pressure of the clock. I was anticipating about an hour on foot now. The wind and cold also started to pick up as well. I pressed ahead at a modest speed and noticed Bonnie slowing down. I just assumed the wind speeds were just putting more friction on her body then mine, but the pace was certainly slowing. Back in the Wiss, we hit some more inclines. A lot more bike walking and multiple stops for Bonnie to catch up. Tick tock. At this point, I had run out of water and realized I hadn’t eaten anything all day. I started re-fueling and noticed that we were averaging about 2-5 mph. Not good. Bonnie caught up again, and had clearly been experiencing the effects of a solid bonking (educational note…she ran out of sugar stores and “hit the wall”). She literally couldn’t move any further. We stopped and got her eating and drinking. Tick tock.
Within minutes her body started to turn it around. We moved forward. Slowly but surely. I estimated we could clear segment 2 and still had hope for hitting a few of the foot segments in segment 3. Tick Tock. We picked up some speed and were hitting CPs pretty well. Remember what I said about reentrants? Yea, maybe the dehydration or starvation played a roll, but we wound up hitting the wrong side of a reentrant and got stuck on a hillside for a while. At some point, quitting entered the mind, but I would be damned if this one CP held us back from clearing segments 1 and 2. It was the only inspiration I had since it looked like we needed to skip segment 3 at this point.
Bonnie nailed it! We jumped on our bikes, rode like demons, hit the last CP and found the trail back to Pachella. Given our fatigue it looked like walking our bikes was going to be the move. At one point, I noted that there were 3 or 4 teams, all on foot, making their way to Pachella as well. A look at the clock underscored the need to speed up since the 5 hour mark was minutes away. I looked up and saw another coed 2 making there way past me. I turned, motioned to Bonnie, got on my bike and pushed hard.
The other Coed 2s beat us by 4 and 6 points respectively. They too cleared segments 1 and 2, and picked up some points on the foot. I’m confident that eating, drinking, and following my own instincts would have led to a stronger finish (although I’m sure the other 2 teams have their excuses as well). At the end of the day, it was a solid race, solid effort, and solid close to the season. Maybe next time I enter the Wiss, I’ll actually prepare appropriately for food and water.
Until next year…this commie is peace outing!
Stay tuned for the next report from our 2 person male at the 12 hour Rootstock Two Rivers Adventure Race
Posted by TCOPES World at 14:05