The Odyssey Mega Dose Race Report 2005
Sixteen teams lined up under a full moon for the 2:00 am start of the 5th Edition Odyssey Mega Dose. Teams knew they had 100 miles ahead of them with 20,000 feet of elevation gain, but didn’t know how the near 100 degree temps and extremely high humidity would affect the outcome of their race.
The racers began with a 5k prologue that was designed to help spread the field apart before the 6 mile bike ride to two navigation points at CP1. Team God Speed came into the CP first with the rest of the teams close behind. The racers had a choice to get two points and receive a 3 hour time bonus or 1 point to stay official. The tough bushwhack to the points made half of the teams rethink their strategy and decide to go after just one point. As the teams fought their way from the bush they had a short 3 mile bike ride to the river swim put in. The 5 mile river swim would be refreshing and would have many teams wishing later on in the race as the temperatures and humidity climbed that they were back in the river. Soloist Eric Turk emerged from the water first with Team QuestPatagonia.com just minutes behind.
Teams were back on their bikes heading to a time trial at CP 5. The time trial was a brutal 1.25 mile hike up a gas line trail and back, and would allow teams to get an hour bonus for the fastest times in their division. By this point the mercury was topping out at 98°F and the humidity level was reading close to the same. The majority of the teams were feeling the effect of the heat and realizing the intense pace they would have to maintain to keep the leaders in striking distance. Between the river take out and the time trial, Joe Moerschbaecher and Julia Pollock of Team QuestPatagonia.com put an hour and a half on Eric Turk while Team ATP, Scott Pleban, was able to peddle his way into the mix passing Turk and gaining a half an hour on him.
Eric Turk, QuestPatagonia.com, and Rock n Road Cycles of the 4 person coed division were the winners of the time trial. Teams were back on their bikes climbing toward the climb site CP 7.
The climb site was a traverse over a small waterfall leading to a rappel across a 70’ waterfall and ending with a rope assist at the bottom taking racers through deep pools of water and then working their way back up to their bikes. After completing the ropes section teams would climb seemingly endless hills to CP 8, the orienteering section of the race. Teams would be given a map and 5 UTM coordinates and would have to get at least 4 points and leave CP 8 by 11:00 am Sunday to remain in the Pro Class. Teams had to get at least 3 points to stay official and would drop to Adventure Class. For every point missed the teams would receive a 3 hour time penalty. Team QuestPatagonia.com held its lead going into the O course. 12 hours later, Team QuestPatagonia.com surfaced with all 5 points and Eric Turk also having 5 points was hot on their heels. QuestPatagonia’s hour and a half lead had diminished to only 10 minutes. Scott Pleban with his 5 points made up some time, now only 30 minutes out of the lead. The 39 miles of biking and 3 CPs back to the finish would be his last shot for the win. Four person coed, Team HYPE and HYPE soloist Doug Hershey remained in the Pro class with 4 points and leaving before the cut off time.
Soloist Eric Turk would take the lead by CP 9 and never look back. Team QuestPatagonia.com and Scott Pleban would settle for 2nd and 3rd overall.
Team Hype would win the premier 4 person coed division and earn a entry to USARA Nationals in November. Team God Speed and Soloist Sean Forester would tie for first in the Adventure Class. With 4 different teams battling for the win with 5 different changes in the lead, the action upfront turned out to be as hot as the weather.
The official standings with bonus and penalties:
Pro Class(100 miles)
Eric Turk 1st overall, 1st soloist 33hr 30 min
Team QuestPatagonia.com 2nd overall, 1st 2 person coed 33hr 46 min
ATP 3rd overall, 2nd soloist 35hr 12min
HYPE 4th overall, 1st 4person coed 42hr 05min
HYPE Solo 4th overall, 3rd soloist 42hr 05min
Adventure Class (85 miles)
God Speed 1st overall, 1st 4 person Coed 45hr 01min
Lunatic Fringe 1st overall, 1st soloist 45hr 01min