Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sand Springs River Race

On the 31st of October, Sheldon and I once again teamed up to tackle the Sand Springs River Race. We did this race together last year and had a lot of fun. We had high expectations for this race, this year Sheldon had a better idea of what to expect, and we had trained together some this year when we could.

Race day arrived and the weather looked nice, with a good forecast. 40's in the morning with daytime temps in the 50's. I met Sheldon at the gas station, loaded his gear and we were off. We arrived and checked in. Soon the announcement was made that the start of the race would be delayed to some changes in the mode of transport for the river due to high water levels. This year we would be using rafts instead of canoes. As we would arrive at the river we would need to team up with another team to go down the river. This was pretty exciting, though we knew this would probably be slower than canoes.

We boarded the buses and rode to where the run would start and anxiously awaited. It was a shotgun start and we were off. We knew this run would be approx. 2 miles, and it was the same route as last year. We had decided on the bus ride that if we got there around the same time that we would team up with Chris and Jeremy , my co-workers who were also competing in the race. Both teams covered the run in about 20 minutes and we piled into the raft. The river was up, but it still wasn't as fast as we thought it would be. We came to the technical run a couple miles down the river and hit the trail. We all stayed together through this part until right at the end and Chris pulled a little ahead. When they arrived at the rafts there was a twosome waiting for another team and they jumped in leaving us to wait for the next team to go with us. Lucky for us there was another team only about 20 seconds behind and we were back on the river for the rest of the paddling. We maintained our distance and pulled out right behind Chris and Jeremy. Now it was time to hit the bikes, and I was feeling good. I always seem to excel on the bike and thought we might be able to get ahead in this area. We ran and jumped on the bikes and were off, suprisingly enough we got out ahead of a couple of teams that were changing into their bike shoes. I took off quick knowing that Sheldon could eventually catch up. I kept looking back but it seemed that they just were not catching up. I eventually came to where we would do our mystery event, and at this point it was mandatory to wait for both members to be present. The mystery event was to split a block of wood and carry the pieces up the hill and put them by the outdoor furnace. I have to hand it to Jason and Amanda this worked out good for them, and it was neat for a mystery event. I had gained several minutes on my parter and my co-workers and took the opportunity to have a little water and watch some of the other teams split their wood. Some of the people had obviously never split wood and it was rather entertaining. Chris and Jeremy came and went and Sheldon arrived soon after and we split our wood and hit the trail again. We completed the rest of the first lap and then the second without any notable problems and covered about 7 miles on the bikes. We crossed the finish line in 3hrs 16 minutes, just minutes behind Chris and Jeremy at 3hrs 14minutes. It was a fun race with the rafting and though the trail was muddy and challenging, a good time was had.

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