Sunday I competed in the Mud Sweat and Tears Adventure Race. This was my second time running it, and my 5th adventure race, if you include Port to Fort twice, and this past years Barkley Book Fair. This event changes up every year, with some years venturing more to the urban side, but this year it was planted exclusively in the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness.
Specific details of the course are kept secret until race day--actually a map of the bike and run course leaked out on Facebook a day or so before race day.
Mitch and I rejoined this year looking to possibly improve on last years time--where we managed to get through with the mountain bike trail portion upright and happy and ran and biked well for the rest of the race to finish right in the middle of the pack.
I took a few pics beforehand while sizing up our competition. Don't think we could beat these guys.
Hmmm--we might be able to keep up with the men of steel.
These guys looked pretty solid. Even with our trail knowledge, I conceded our defeat. I decided they were probably not in our age group anyway.
I bet we could hang with this team though--and in fact we did!! Roman and Kathy stayed with our team for most of the day. We had fun.
RD Scott Herbst gives some pre-race instructions, and prepares to send us off.
Promptly at 9:07, we got started. The first running section had 5 check points, along with three challenges.
The map issued was really a secret. I normally do very well getting around--knowing all the shortcuts.
The swim event was first. Mitch took this diving head first into the pool to retrieve a ring which was turned in for credit later in this run.
Mitch and I took off like a shot after his dunk in the pool, and found check point one and two very quickly.
Roman and Kathy caught up with us, and I led the group on what I thought was a good shortcut.
The CP was just south of a pond, but the pond on the map I mistakenly thought was the smaller of two ponds, when in fact it was the bigger. This meant we were 30 years or more south of where we needed to be and in a deep thicket. When we figured that out, we thrashed our way through the dense overgrowth to a trail we should have taken. The CP was easy to get to and in plain sight. (5 minutes at least wasted.)
The next, and last check point we needed seemed to be reachable by wading through a creek bottom. In fact, a team of buff cross-fit-looking dudes told us it was the best way to get from where we were to where we needed to go. So, we bushwhacked our way down to a small creek and waded our way through it. The going was tough.
We all picked up many stick-tight burrs, and I knew another major chigger-feed was going on with my legs.
The creek we were wading through dumped into Mooser Creek. We were close--but which way was the CP? Mitch and I went west, while Kathy and Roman went east.
Then we heard them yell that it was over there--so we backtrackedback east.
A quick punch of our card, and then it was a long wade back to the start/finish.
I asked Roman if this reminded him of Costs Rica. He seemed to have the creek-running thing perfected.
We trotted into the S/F and got 5 marbles and headed back to the shooting range.
I just BARELY missed the target 4 out of 5 times, and missed the last shot way right! No extra raffle tickets for us.
Then we had a quick zipline ride to attend to.
Roman went first. Seeing him do it gave me confidence. I climbed the pole like a pro, acting fearless.
Roman got unhooked, and they returned the apparatus to the launch-pad. I opted to not sit down and scoot off the platform. I jumped. I did not want to seem tentative (read that scared shitless), so I just jumped and dealt with the fear later. There was no fear though. It was a thrill, albeit a short one.
I'd like to go again. Maybe a longer ride?
I could not make myself go upside down, but I did let go of the rope.
Cool stuff. Next was the first of two bike rides.
The blue was the bike route--supposedly 6 miles. It seemed further, but that could be because of our newby status on the mt bikes. We pushed our bikes up nearly every hill and across anything technical.
Mountain biking is so much fun. Both Mitch and I said we need ride trailz more. Roman also admitted wanting to do more mt biking.
This was at the base of Jelly Legs. It is a 1/4 mile technical downhill, that a lot of expert riders fly down. I rode some of it, but pushed my bike for most of it.
Mitch takes a spill and looses his brain in the process. Actually, there were LOTS of huge white mushrooms all over the mountain. Weird shapes. Kathy posed for a picture with an unusual mushroom that I though about posting. I could possibly be talked into sharing....
Another checkpoint, another punch.
We finished the bike dog tired. Roman decided to call it, seeing as he had zero carbs for the past week or so. It was warming up too. I ate 2 pieces of pizza, and downed a beer. Give me my carbs!
The run was the pink trail, or so I thought. I was banking on a 6 mile run, but it actually seemed like 4-4.5 miles.In the deep woods, there was little air moving, and the going was slow.
We had not missed a single CP, which I found exciting.
Kathy is acting weird. Did she eat that mushroom?
We finished the run at just over 4 hours. We could have easily been 20 minutes faster, had we not wasted minutes on the first run. We had taken it easy saving energy for the second bike leg, and missed a cutoff that we did not know about. :-(
Mitch and Kathy wanted to go ride anyway, and I was good with that--so we rode the route again. Our second leg seemed a little faster than our first, but maybe it wasn't. When we pushed our bikes, we were crawling. I was so glad to have the bike ride down, and proud that we continued. Scott and his volunteers did such an awesome job with this race. I could see myself doing this every year.