I always enjoy the Genesis Adventures races http://www.genesisadventures.com/v3/ for the sheer fact that I’m getting real navigation and none of the wacky special tests. I know that’s all personal opinion but for me throwing a Frisbee into a hoop has nothing to do with Adventure Racing.
Race day morning we get our briefing and are handed our maps. For the Open course everything is plotted and for the Advanced you have to plot 1 point for each section. We are doing Advanced so we plot our points and read over each section. The race will be Bike, Kayak, and Trek. I scanned in the map and instructions and drew the trails back in. I hope it’s readable for everyone.
Starting on the bike is going to be an issue with a 2 bike wide trail for the first 200 yards that leads to the road and 50 something teams. We are strong on the bike but getting caught behind teams can really kill your chances. We plan to be out of the shoot first and start a hard pace for the 1st half mile to keep from getting tangled.
Up the fire roads around the way and drop the bikes for a quick bushwhack up the hill to CP1. (Genesis usually makes you trek into the woods keeping your attention on terrain). We leave CP1 with a few other teams and are tied with Team EMS. Back down the fire road and a quick turn to CP 2. The map claims another trail went south from here but the only one we saw went East and clearly into private property out of the park. It messed us up just a little but we ended up going back out taking the fire road and hitting the Green trail. A Longer route which I would guess we lost 5 minutes on but I couldn’t mess around when I can’t find something as easy as a trail. We ran into some other teams on the green trail and realized we had set ourselves back just a bit looking for the missing trail. We pass a bunch of teams hit the blue trail and head down a little ways until the first large hill to the east. Drop the bikes again and up the hill to CPA (Advanced CP). Back on the bikes and now we start really hitting the trail and making up time. We start catching up to the Open teams on our way to CP 3. Still no signs of EMS but we are pushing hard to catch back up to them. As we pushed towards CP4 I made Sara aware we had to hit a Right at some point on this trail and sure enough we start to blow past it and she yells out “that’s out turn” (something to be said for the 2nd navigator). As we double check and take our turn we see EMS down the trail as they have missed the turn giving us a very small lead. Off to CP4 at a stream and continue on back to the transition in 1st place for the coed with maybe a 2 minute lead.
We hit the kayak strong but I can’t get my pack to settle correctly for some reason and I miss a few strokes here and there allowing EMS to gain on us. As we hit CP6 it’s a small peninsula with a little peak. I run up to punch and as I’m running down EMS is running up and I hear “see ya on the other side”. In what has been called “The Move” instead of going up and back Joe from EMS goes down the other side and meets his teammate on the kayak and has gained 20 yards on us. We keep paddling the CPB (Advanced CP) just off in some marsh and back to CP7 and the transition but we can’t catch EMS who comes out of the water 2 minutes in front of us.
As we head off on the trek we are a little deflated and catching EMS on the run with navigation is unlikely. Although we are strong with nav and running it just doesn’t compare to the speed they put out.
The trek also has a tough decision; CP C (Advanced CP) just doesn’t fit into the equation very well. We hit the fire road and off into the woods and hit another huge hill to CP9. Back down the fire roads and into some more trails until we hit another hill to the East (Evil race directors where all the CP’s are on hills). We hit the Cp without problem and decide to bushwhack over to the trail. Bad idea! We hit some real thick bushes and push thru only to find a bit of a swamp. We get by and back up some trails and hit CP11 on ANOTHER hill with little issue. As we are at CP11 there is no way I’m bushwhacking again. We could go either way to CPC and decide to go back the way we came using fire roads instead of the small root and rock trails. We also end up hitting a road and I like the attack point leading into CPC from this direction. We head off and this final run really drains us. Out onto the road with the sun beating down and a good 85+ degrees really saps your strength. We finally hit the green trail again and EMS passes us going the other direction to the finish. They are still moving hard and we are almost at a walk. No catching them today. We hit CPC in a reentrant (happy it’s not a hill) without issue and make the run back out onto the road again. A good 2 miles back and the pack is now drained but we push thru for a nice 2nd place Coed finish.
Team Gravity Check