Although TTM has participated in this race the last 3 years - this year was a last minute sign up. Neither one of us ran as much as we should have - but since this race is so stellar we did not want to miss it.
Registration was the night before at the Alpine Shop, and as a bonus they gave all racers a 30% off coupon for 1 item. I do not suggest trying new gear in a race however, sometimes you have to and just hope for the best. I really needed to replace some 10 year old tights so upon Traci Berry recommendation I bought the Pearl Izumi thermal tights. The mens fit my legs better and also had a panel in front which helped keep my nuts warm- lol. There were no raised seams , and since finding out that bike shorts are overrated and do me more harm than good - these pants were amazing. I did not plan on wearing bike shorts with all that running. Jim had also surprised me with new gloves, Manzella Hi Viz Hatchback gloves, from Sports Authority @ 34.99. Great gloves! And they are windproof.
We were given all necessary info - Jim glanced at it and moaned "there is a lot of running this time" - Figures. We finished visiting with Mr. Ploch and headed home to recheck our gear and try to sleep.
The weather was better than last year so that could not be used as an excuse. At 6AM we boarded buses and were brought to Rt 66 State Park. There would be no plotting since wall 4 maps were pre-plotted. When it comes to adventure races I don't bring very much to the table. I can't navigate my way out of a wet paper bag. So I just bring my very superior attitude and follow. Carrie Sona , of team Alpine Shop, said " We are just going to do our best" and that statement stayed with me all day.
After a 3.5 mile run through the park we got to Sherman Beach for the first of three canoe legs. Cold on the water but Jim and I were in sync. Here's where I get foggy. Bikes - Jim dropped our passport (lost 10 mins). Back at the canoe we loaded our bikes . Scary - we took off our wheels. While paddling I remembered what my 4 yr old says," We do better work as a team" no joke, her preschool is big on TEAMWORK. Running and climbing massive hills at West Tyson. Quite a workout and then back to canoe with bikes - an almost tip over that I came close to crapping in my new tights. When we dropped our canoes for the last time we had to carry them a mile, not really, but by now it felt like it. I really need to work on my upper body some this coming year . Back on the bikes we were at Castlewood to pick up the last checkpoints. Of course it wasn't easy. Bonk Hard Racing doesn't make it easy. We had to climb "the stairs" with bikes. Jim's bike is much heavier than mine so this sucked more for him. I could have done it again if necessary. Cardiac hill was not as hard to climb as last year, but still hard. We finished 21st - one minute faster and we would have been 20th out of 88 teams - with a time of 7:12. At the awards ceremony we each picked a $25 gift card to Alpine Shop. They will be easy to spend!
At the Holtman's afterparty I overheard the race director say to Jim "ever thought about actually training for one of these?" funny huh?