About a week and half ago I signed up to compete in the Odyssey Sprint AR. The people who know me know that when I show up to compete in a race (mnt. biking or running) I'm there to have a good time, beat the time that I set for myself and hopefully place in my age group. But this race is different. I show to win the whole thing or at least the solo division. Adventure racing is coolest and toughest race I ever done. It helps to be good shape. But the people who can run the fastest mile or bike up and down a trail with ease, don't always win this race. The person or team that knows how to pace themselves, stay hydrated and nourished during the race, figure out how to to one point to another by plotting a course on a map is the ones that win. All in all you got to make good quick decisions while pushing your body to the limit. In a Sprint AR you have 6 hrs. to complete a 20 - 25 mile course. There is four disciplines that you have to do: mountain biking, hiking/trail running, paddling and navigation/orienteering. When you check in, you are giving an map (w/ check points on it), rules of travel (how you will get there and where the check points are located) and a passport that needs to punch, showing that you have been there. I have done this race the last two years and have learn more about myself mentally, emotionality and physically than anything I been through. The first year a got lost on a trail that disappear and turnaround in circles. After wondering around for about an hour , I finally collected myself, figure out where I was at on the map and started back to base camp. Along the way, I come upon a dry creek bed and started following it (thanks Bear Grylls) to Craigs Creeks. When I finally got to Craigs Creek, it was at where I have earlier done the kayaking part of the race. I was happy that I found my way from being lost and to be back in the race. Until I got to the next check point only to discover I had lost my passport back upon the trail.( A big no no) So with only about an hour left, I headed back to the base camp disappointed. But along the way I started thinking about the obstacles (good and bad) that I overcame that day and then I started thinking about some personnel problems that I have been dealing with the last month or so. Before I got back to base camp I realize how important things were in my life and the next I knew the problems were solved. So back at base camp I told them I lost my passport and told Ronnie Angell that I was dropping out, the very first DNF I ever had. So I licked my wounds, showered, got a bit to eat and then headed home.
Last year when I showed up my goal was to complete the whole race. I was more ready physically, mentally, prepared with food, water and some better equipment ( I will go into better details in later post). Well the race started out great. I was finding all the check points with ease and making good time doing so. The only problem I had that day, was during the mnt. biking stage I started cramping real bad in my legs. It was in the upper 90"s that day and I though I was keeping myself hydrated enough. But later I realized that during the kayaking stage, I was not drinking like I should have been. So here I am, in the middle Craig County, at least five miles from the finish, with three more check points to reach and one having a cut off time you had to reach to continue on. Well I pop some electrolytes, drank so more water, ate another powerbar and the next thing I knew I was on my way feeling stronger than ever. Found the next check point and then headed to the next one that had the time limit to beat. Well when I got there, but I have missed it by 5 minutes. Well I couldn't just sit there and feel sorry for myself. I knew I had to get back to the finish before 6 hours were up are I would lose more points. Well I got back with ten minutes to spare. If I could have gotten back a little sooner, I would have been able to go back out and find some extra check points for bonus points. But I was just happy to complete the race. Later I found out that I finished 3rd in the Solo division and 8th overall. That's why this year I'm training harder than I ever have, studying compass and map reading and keeping my body hydrated and nourished during the race. This year my goal is to win the solo division. The next few weeks I will be posting how I am training for each discipline. Can't wait until July 23rd!