Saturday, September 17, 2005
Cave Run Lake
Daniel Boone National Forest
This year's event included both a 6 hour sprint race format and a 24 hour long course format.
The weekend started off with the long course at 07:45 Saturday morning. Racers gathered in the early morning mist for map distribution and a short briefing where they were filled in on the details of the freestyle format (formerly known as "rogaine-style") format.
The course was designed with checkpoints spread across Cave Run Lake and the huge Daniel Boone National Forest, and racers, with only a few constraints, could attck the course in any order or by any means they saw fit...bike, paddle or run. The contraints were that the rappell site was only open from 15:00-18:00, one of the roads was closed to bike travel (thus effectively turning a couple of the high-value 300 pointers into "paddle only" CPs) and that to get the "trekking" points, the team had to exchange scorecards and go for them by foot only. It wasn't as confusing as it sounds, but the choices made clear that winning the race would require as much strategy as physical fitness.
The field was about equally divided between teams that took off on bike, on foot or with paddles in hand. They would return to the central transition area after each element, and almost without exception said to the volunteers "Maybe shoulda done ___ first".
For example, the Ridge Runners really thought they had it all figured out by waiting to paddle until nearly midnight. The power boats were all gone and the stiff afternoon breezes had died down to nothing. They later said that paddling on a big glass smooth lake under the light of the full moon was absolutely amazing. And they made good time too...until about 05:00 when the fog rolled in so thick that the stern man couldn't see the bow of the canoe. Every team had some kind of story like this.
Thankfully the weather cooperated and it was a perfect day for racing - a slightly overcast sky, brightening as the day progressed and temps in the mid 70s. By the time the sprint race started at 16:00 it was an absolutely beautiful late summer afternoon.
The sprint race began at 15:45 with a very short briefing and course explanation. The short course was run in a "conventional" AR format, with one element following another and everybody running essentially the same course.
It began with singletrack biking to the rappel site, return via another moderately difficult trail and then a sunset paddle on the now mirror smooth lake, followed by a trail run with fairly easy navigation to two CPs. The spectacular weather, excellent venue and friendly companionship of the other racers made it hard NOT to have a great event.
For complete results lease visit http://www.ambushadventuresports.com