Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Greenways Adventure Race

Still under the affliction of adventure racing fever I dedided to put together a team for the greenways race. Racing with Chris would not be possible as he already had a team from previous years. So I set out to find some teammates. I needed a four person team and it had to be coed. It isn't that easy to, convince people that have never done a race that going and tromping around in the woods for 12 hrs is going to be a good time. I ended coming into contact with female personal trainer from a fitness center here in Lebanon through a co-worker. I met with her, she was really excited and her fiance was even going to do the race as well. I had three people now, so I just needed one more. Chris came through in the pinch and put me in contact with his pastor whom had done the race before. Sweet! The team was set, and it seemed as it would be good. Everyone had some conflicting schedules and getting together to train just never seemed to happen. I met with everyone and got the waivers signed, things still looked good.

Time passed and the race came around. I sent a message to my team to remind them of necessary items for race day, ie. bike, helmet, hydration pack. I din't receive a reply from anyone and thought this a bit strange, but knowing that people get busy, and the reliability of cell phones I didn't get to worried. On the day before the race I decided to call everyone and make sure that they knew what time to arrive. I soon found out that my female and her fiance had decided not to do the race and had never elected to tell me. I had paid the entry fee and had agreed to collect from everyone on race day. Big mistake! I frantically began to call everyone I knew to try to locate some people to do the race with me. I was desperate and agreed that anyone that would do the race could do if for free, because I was going to be out the money one way or the other. Not having any luck, I headed up to Richland to check-in and pick up our race packet. I called the remaining team member to explain what had happened, and found out that without a full team he would rather just sit it out as well. I explained my dilema to race officials and was told that there had been some other teams that had somebody drop. I came back early on race day and waited to meet with one of these teams hoping to join up with them and make a team. I was soon approached by a team that had heard of my situation and needed a person to make a full team. We agreed that we all had the same goal, finish the race and I joined up with team OZAIR. I was just happy to be with a team. With the rains the night before, the canoeing portion of the race had been taken out due to safety reasons, so a few last minute changes were made and maps were passed out. We headed out on the bikes and eventually came to the technical run and then the orienteering/trekking portion of the race. This was the first time that the entire race had been map and compass based. Even though my navigating experience was very limited, it was soon discovered that compared to the rest of my team I had a lot of knowledge. With my navigating and their pacing we made our way through the orienteering section and found all the checkpoints.
We made it back to our bikes and headed out for the technical bike portion. The trails were very muddy and did make for a challenging ride. About midway through this, while waiting for some of the team to catch up I discovered that my left pedal and crank arm was very loose. The bolt holding it all on had stripped out. I made several stops and tightned it using a multi tool from another team that had been keeping pace with us. We eventually made it back to the highway and had about 7 miles back to the finish. At about one mile into this part of the ride I was riding along, the bolt fell out and bounced into the grass and tall weeds on the roadside. I knew that I would probably never find it and didn't want to waste the time looking for it. I don't know if you have ever tried to ride a bike with only one pedal, but it is probably almost impossible. I soon gave in and would push it up the hills and ride it down, coasting as far as possible. This cost the team a considerable amount of time, but everyone took it in good spirits. We made it to the end and sprinted across the finish line as a team. We ended up 49th out of 57 teams with a time of 10hrs 35mins. Thanks to Mark and Debbie Burgess, and Brandon Franklin for letting me race with them.

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