Thomass 2009 - Glen Haffy

January 19th, 2009
Thomass 2008 - 2009
GHO Racing

Host: Various

Date: January 18, 2009

Type: Sprint Orienteering / Snowshoe

Team: Brent Hysop, Frank Job

Thomass Extreme Winter Adventure Running 2009
Thomass (4) - Glen Haffy Conservation Area Jan 18,2009 - Franks Race Report

Hosted by Caledon Navigators

OK. I’ve got the hang of it now. Follow the crowd to CP#1. Hang on thru CP#2. By then most everyone except those at my own skill level will have disappeared. That’s my plan. Not much but I’m just a beginner.

I had plotted the bearing from CP#2 to CP#3. At that point I would be treading water. But, usually, with no one around, I take some time and manage to figure it out.

The start:

I was ready as we got the maps a few minutes early. I glanced at the Thomass Box just to get an idea which 3 CPs I would go for. Not too worried about that. It was far into the race and, who knows, might not even come into play!

Some pre-race info was provided. The fella was to-the point. Hate to say it but the lady was kinda long-winded (just jokin’). My toes were starting to freeze up. She mentioned ‘just splash thru the water” and I inwardly chuckled. No-one knows I’m wearing what I lovingly call “dry socks”. Others call them plastic bags. They’re great for up to 2 or 3 hours. As long as I don’t stop. If I sit around, the sweat soaked socks will conduct plenty of cold directly into my feet.

After a fun new years eve style count-down, the crowd started down the hill. I did pretty well there. Heels digging in, I was able to bound, yes bound, thru the snow and take care of CP#1.

Hmmm, only a couple of folk still around me. Not looking good. Got to CP#2 Ok. Turned out some of orienteers with me were doing Novice. I was alone.

Bang. Bang. Bang. Into the box. Did OK. Slow but Ok. Don’t remember where it was, but at one point we ran along a trail thru a man-made forest. All the trees in a row. Very nice. Quiet too. I passed wetware several times. I felt better to see him. It meant I was on the right path, or he was REALLY doing poorly. Either way I win.

Now here’s the deal. I’m watching the Dakar Rally on OLN. The greatest drivers from all over the world make mistakes. I do too.

I got C in the box. Next was CP#7.

Stick with me. Look at the map. Thru fogged glasses, probably the wrong bifocal and inside a map bag. See the correct route? Me neither. I stopped, I leaned on a tree. I ate a gel and drank some water. Nothing worked. I checked my watch. OH Boy. 11:44. I had 15 minutes to get back to the finish. Unlikely. Just working thru the distance calculation made it worse.

I must admit for a couple of minutes I had felt lost. Then I realized that all I had to do was get moving, go South-east and I couldn’t miss the road. Calm reigned.

I couldn’t figure how to get to CP#7. There’s water, there’s out-of-bounds, there’s my long-gone confidence. I could just start along sorta the right direction and hope for the best. That didn’t sound good. And I only had 15 minutes.

So I planned a route back past B using a trail and thru CP#6 to the big path/road. From there it would be a easy jog in. The return route went slowly. Sometimes I was blazing trails thru thigh deep snow. It didn’t feel right to be where no one had gone before but I double-and-triple checked my bearing. I looked around. No-one to confirm my route choice. At a picnic table, I swept off the snow, considered sitting down but in the end, just called in to allay fears. It was 1:30.

The jog in didn’t go so good. The snow-mobiles hadn’t packed the snow well enough. But at least I knew my phone worked. If I needed hand-holding, another call would suffice. As it turns out, wetware came to meet me. I don’t know what he wanted, but he used a codeword on the phone when we were speaking: “Comfortable”. Perhaps that was meant to calm me. He used it twice. Maybe three times. I’ll look into the code. Also, he didn’t say but I’m sure he was embarrassed to have to admit knowing me. And leaving the scene allowed him to feel like he was doing some SAR.

I didn’t need him. I was running along, I guess with my head down, and I almost mowed him down. Adrenalin rush! I took the lead and made it in. LAST! No kidding!

Some good natured ribbing and warm stew were uber-welcome. Seems a bit unfair but I was awarded a DNF! Just now I re-read the web-site and it does mention “enjoy a morning of hiking”. I’ll let it go.

Thanks for hosting. And extra thanks for waiting to the organizers from Caledon navigators (B especially).

Thomass 2009 - Sunnybrook

January 4th, 2009
Thomass 2008 - 2009
GHO Racing

Host: Various

Date: January 4, 2009

Type: Sprint Orienteering

Team: Brent Hysop, Frank Job, Doug Begbie

Thomass Extreme Winter Adventure Running 2009
Thomass (3) – Toronto (Sunnybrook Park) Jan 4,2009 - Franks Race Report

Hosted by Toronto Orienteering Club

The schedule:
Night before: get all items from O’ checklist ready – felt optimistic. Didn’t do
05:30 up
07:00 got dressed and packed Ok
07:30 depart
07:45 McDonalds coffee and muffin, no newspaper
08:25 arrive at wrong parking lot
09:00 move to correct lot and register
09:30 idle chatter with mates
10:00 Start – NO WARNING BELL!!!

From AttackPoint Posting:

Big News!!! The first O’ event that I have ever completed! Yep. Using my super handicap of 3, I got all CPs required. Took 1:45 A big day for me. Celebrations will be held all week at lunch time whenever I can get someone else to buy.

I knew this was my day. Up at 5:30 cause that’s what set on my alarm during the week. Fiddled about for a while, then got dressed, filled my pack, and over to the drive-thru. Yes, McDonalds. Got the blueberry muffin today for the high-glycemic stuff.

Arrived at Sunnybrook Park way early and went to a distant parking lot. The wrong one as it turns out but I was able to rest my eyes and prepare myself mentally for the event. A lot of people out running, walking dogs and several groups of old-timers (that means older-than-me) doing their walk-abouts.

Drove to the correct parking lot and met up with the other roving members of Team Novarobot. Checked in, changed like superman in my small car and shivered a bit.

Got our maps, and GOGOGO! Right away. Jeeps. I like a bit of relax time. I positioned myself squarely at the end and followed. I even made a pretense of looking at my map. Somehow, today, I couldn’t see it clearly. Maybe it was printed faint. maybe my glasses were dirty.

So forget that. Picked it up and passed a couple of folk even slower than me. Follow the leader right to the CP.

This map was easy. More my style. Most CPs just off trails. Close enough so I didn’t get tired out running. I practised pace counting. Worked well. Practised sliding on my bum downhills. Worked well except for once or twice where I went off the trail and there were no trees to grab. OhOH! better than falling anyway.

The box was easy for me since I could drop 3. Just made a sweep thru and continued on. A couple of wrong route choices cost me about 10 minutes.

After 8, I saw that 9 was across the river which we had been forbidden to cross. I was going to just forget it, but I saw that on the way to the finish there was a bridge and 9 wasn’t far back so I got it too. Good thinkin’.

Ran home, got my printout and hot cider.

Thanks to the Toronto Orienteering Club for setting this one up. And anonymous thanks to the lady who offered us some cold coffee at the start. If I’d known I wouldn’t have bought one on the way.

Now the rest-of-the-story. The first half-hour, my hands and toes were frozen. After that, I was sweating like a pig. Gonna give my clothes some more thought. I need to be able to shed or unzip a bit without taking off my pack. Glasses were fogging up. Even my compass got fogged. I think I might have breathed on it. A happy note: my dry socks worked perfectly. I would have been happy to run across the creek if we had gotten the go-ahead. Just to show-off.

And this time I had no regard for propriety. I was following footpaths. I watched where people in front of me went. If I saw someone in the distance, I made a mental note. I even felt a bit of pride when I noticed others making wrong turns when I didn’t. Sorry. Even Columbus stood on the shoulders of those who sailed before him.

Some of the hills were what I would term “killers”. I missed a path or two and had to go up the sides. Clutching at straws would have been more useful. Some ladies had mercy (or pity) on me when they saw me scaling a steep side. They called down that always-helpful phrase “You OK?”.

I of course said “Sure. Just gonna take some time”. They had followed a nice trail to the top. They weren’t even puffing. Well, I was sure happy to put some of my gym-bunny training into effect by grabbing trees and just hauling my carcass up.

The two bum-slides that went bad were scary. One would have ended up in the river and the other had no clear finish except the city of pain.

Good course set up in the heart of Toronto. When I told my mother I was going to run in the forest near Eglinton/Leslie, she had a difficult time envisioning a “forest”. Altho she remembers when it was all bush there, in her mind it has changed. I’ll call her to tell her I survived.

Thomass 2009 - Bronte

December 7th, 2008
Thomass 2008 - 2009
GHO Racing

Host: Various

Date: December 7, 2008

Type: Sprint Orienteering

Team: Brent Hysop, Eric Lewis, Frank Job, Chris Williams

Thomass Extreme Winter Adventure Running 2009
Thomass (2) - Chase (Bronte) Dec 7,2008 - Franks Race Report

Hosted by GHO (Golden Horseshoe Orienteering)

The schedule:
Night before: get all items from O’ checklist ready
06:00 up
06:30 light breakfast (shredded wheat and hot water)
07:30 depart
07:45 McDonalds coffee and muffin and newspaper
08:15 Oh no! I’m Late…back on the road
08:45 meet up with group
09:15 Bronte for registration
09:30 start worrying
10:00 or so…sprint start
10:00 or so plus 1/2 hour return
11:30 Start Chase

So that’s the plan. Temps -7 going lower. But in the bush should be better with no wind anyway. I’ll wear double gloves.

From AttackPoint Posting:
These are training for me. I’m no good at running xctry, easily confused and lose track of where North/South are all-the-time. If I go slow, even sometimes sit down on a log to figure out what’s happening, I do OK. I never finish a course. At this point, I doubt if I ever will.

The sprint start was a killer. I was trying a new compass (a cheapo) and it didn’t work. I had packed my normal compass, which is too big with a mirror flip-up. Got it out, blew on my hands to try to get at least one finger working again and kept going. My feet were frozen, I got mixed up and the half hour time limit didn’t leave me a lot of think-time. So I ran in to Finish from the wrong direction. A bit embarassing if anyone was watching. The Novarobot team (on which I am just-a-sub) saw me. They’re used to it.

I started the Chase with the final pack. Getting the first 3 CPs was easy. I was almost last. Simply follow the leader. Then I was alone! Oh Oh. Got 4. Whew! Feeling confident I picked it up and found what I thought was 5. Except, it didn’t have an SI. As I was leaving and setting up to go to “C”, something didn’t feel right.

Paths/trails weren’t going the right directions! No matter how I turned the map, it wouldn’t fit the landscape. Yep, I had missed 5, found “C” and now was left with the prospect of going back to get 5. I didn’t. No point. I wasn’t going to complete anyway. So I continued on, bumped into the other Novarobot extended family at 6, let them go ahead and got the rest of the CPs myself.

Back in the car, we exchanged stories. I was given some character building compliments. I returned the nice words. I can see the team gelling.

Note: L knee hurt after sprint. I think the uncertain footing mighta sprained something. Inside front.

Overall, very happy with my Orienteering. Getting better. I liked the post-race apple cider so much, I bought a litre at Longo’s on the way home.

Just to add a bit of spice. This was the race where Chris W. lost his SI down his pants. I accepted his explanation of how it got there, but I have some doubts. I’ll try not to sit beside him again.

Thomass 2009 - Kelso

November 23rd, 2008
Thomass 2008 - 2009
GHO Racing

Host: Various

Date: November 23, 2008

Type: Sprint Orienteering

Team: Brent Hysop, Frank Job

Thomass Extreme Winter Adventure Running 2009

Thomass (1) – Kickoff (Kelso) Nov 23,2008 - Franks Race Report

Hosted by Gators Orienteering Club

From Attackpoint Posting:
Today I was running solo and determined to go as slow as required to allow me to judge bearings and distances. I’m just a novice so completing the course was never a consideration. I just go as far as I can in the time allowed.

Did pretty good I’ll say. Hit all the CPs I was going for except 1. I even took care of CP#3 twice! In my enthusiasm, I saw it standing lonely in the snow, SI’d in and then realized that I had missed the second box. OhOH. Back-tracked, took care of the CPs I required, ran back and did 3 again (this time was easy) and then ran to the finish. Hot cider was good.

Looking forward to more of this.

The schedule:
Night before: got all items from O’ checklist ready and printed out directions to Kelso again.
04:30 up (can’t sleep)
06:30 no breakfast. Get dressed and load laundry hamper with stuff
07:30 depart
08:30 McDonalds on Hwy 25 for coffee and muffin and washroom break
09:00 at Kelso hanging around and registering
10:30 Race Start

Like everybody else, my race started with a run up and across the ski hill which rapidly degenerated into a stumbling, breathing heavy, walk. Got the first CP pretty easy (just followed the rest). Up the hill to the trail and on to the first Thomass box. My handicap is 3 so I had planned to get 4 of the CPs in the first box. Like making a loop. Missed one, oh well. Just add one to the second box. My plan was pretty flexible so that was no problem.

I moved along pretty well once I was away from other folk. Sometimes I took a little sit-me-down on a log to figure out where I might be and what my bearing should be.

Made some good time on the trails and clocked into #3 easy as pie. Oops. Good thing I took a look at the map. I missed the second box. I debated (with myself) just giving up and going to the finish. But it was too early, there was too much time left and I would have been really embarrassed.

So back to the box, took the CPs no sweat, met a man with a dog and ran back to #3 cause I really knew where it was. Then down the hill. I gave some thought to the pre-race warnings that some of the areas were “out-of-bounds’ due to “10 feet deep snow”. Since I had no idea where these drifts were, all I could do was take big steps down the hill. I had some spare thought-time to devise a plan to body-surf out of the drifts. Probably wouldn’t have worked anyway.

As time was up, I just jogged in. Got my slip and went to sit in the car. My once-in-a-while team-mate was gone. Real social. He had left a scrap of paper with an excuse on my windshield. Ok.

Back to McDonalds, some chicken wraps and a coffee to go. Oh happy day.

Raid the Hammer 2008

November 12th, 2008
Raid The Hammer
Dont Get Lost

Host: Don’t Get Lost Adventure Running

Date: November 9th, 2008

Type: Half Marathon / Orienteering

Category: Male ( Team of 3 )

Team: Brent Hysop, Eric Lewis, Frank Job

Race Report : Frank Job
Fully prepared the night before. BackPack hydration full, side pockets stocked with Power Gels and Premium Plus crackers. Clothes laid out. Just had to get up and get going. I was to pick up Eric and rendezvous with Brent at his house.

On the road early so there’d be no issues. Good thing. Missed the Trafalgar Road exit on QEW. Phoned Eric and with some solace on the phone, found his place. Loaded up the new Accent (yes, the green Love Van is gone now) and made our way to Brent’s.

When we arrived, Brent peeked out his front door in his fancy new tights. Very proud he appeared. Strong legs. We transferred Little Lugger and my laundry hamper to his Suburu (more room),

A stop at Tims where I bought and we got to the Ancaster Convention Centre right on time. One map had been picked up the day before at Adventure Attic by the keeners. We got 2 more plus the swag. I gave my bag to Eric. Some free Clif bars were available (I had one later and it was good. Chocolate power bar with 20g of protein. NO ill effects.).

A chilly captain’s meeting outside on the mound under the Salomon arch and a hot bus ride to the start at Clapson’s corners unsettled my mind. Some hints that we needed to sit 3 to a seat didn’t help. I tried to lighten it up with sex jokes but it was the wrong crowd. With this mental confusion and sweat dripping in my eyes, doncha know, I put my map down as soon as we got off the bus, put on my gloves and hat and, still don’t know how, lost my map. BEFORE the race even started.

Took a look around but I think someone picked it up. Probably a joker.

Enough…on to the race. The crowd of folk all had to squeeze down a little single-track trail. Eric called out to me that it was just like my swimming pool. Huh? I don’t even have a pool. Beats me what he was thinking. Perhaps he imagined himself to be a funny-man.

I kept up pretty good. A lady fell 2 in front of me so that slowed us down a little. I was OK with that. After maybe 15 minutes of running like a thoroughbred (and puffing like a bloodhound) we got to where we could “spread out”. Brent had designated himself as the Nav so he did what he wanted. I could have helped a little I’m sure but was relegated to the status of follower. Ok again.

Holy Cow! We went up and down hills. So steep! I was spidermanning up them and body sliding down. In what seems like a blur of time to me, Brent/Eric found all the CPs. Yes, hard to believe. But they claim it was that way. And even when I had a feeling we were just wandering like those proverbial you-know-whos, I was told, Nope, we’re “right on”.

We met the Angry Seagull organizers a few times, that guy from Running Free was dogging our footsteps frequently. I think I crossed paths with the lady I teamed with at Peak2Peak. Said hi. We ran thru a tunnel about 7 feet high and 10 feet wide. Not too long but there was a river running through it. My dry socks excelled in keeping my feet comfy. I looked like a real tru-blue O’er as I high-stepped thru the water without a care.

We even ran thru town (I guess it was Hamilton cause the streets were named King and Main but by then I had no idea where we were). I looked good. The other fellas were able to nav and keep up with me but I could see a certain amount of strain on their faces. I subtly eased up.

I still don’t know what was the cause, but in the middle I kinda hit a low for a couple of hours. Not much energy. Vision like I had blinders on. I could see everywhere but could really only think about what was in my immediate vicinity. Ate lots. Drank plenty (urinated twice I’m proud to say). Whatever, it was, I felt a huge improvement in the final hour or so.

On our final run in, E and B somehow forgot that we were a THREE man team and ran ahead across the field and along the asphalt path. Not wanting them to appear silly in front of the organizers and volunteers, I super picked-it-up and caught up in time for them to SI in while I did a low five with some guy who was just standing there. Then, oh no! It actually wasn’t the finish. One more short run (maybe 200 feet) and we were done.

In for pizza and cookies and coffee. Just like a cowboy, I ate as much as I could. Eric did fine for himself too. Brent was careful. The tights were probably, uhhh, tight?

Drove home, finished our supply of silly jokes, and congratulated big hearted Doug on his leading his team to certain defeat.

This was my hardest outing I can remember. I had intentions to go hard, and I did what I could.

Redemption is what I’m calling it.

Angry Seagull 2008

July 14th, 2008
Angry Seagull
Angry Seagull

Host: Angry Seagull Adventure Race

Date: August 9th, 2008

Type: Adventure Race

Category: Male ( Team of 3 )

Team: Brent Hysop, Eric Lewis, Doug Begbie

Travelling together through the wilderness, team Novarobot drags ‘da Begbie’ screaming into the forest. With gargantuan strides, our team will spend 24 hours of racing from checkpoint to checkpoint in this all new race for us. Approximately 150km of good times with a new racer, 3rd Place Solo Champ Doug Begbie will carry us through (maybe literally??).

We are all looking forward to the experience. Frank Job has stepped in and up to crew for us, and he’ll be tasked with organizing and getting the team some experience in support, something we don’t have any of yet. Its essential for smooth running expedition length races, and we’ll be counting on his expertise in list making!

Storm the Trent 2008

May 1st, 2008
Storm the Trent
Storm the Trent

Host: Storm the Trent Adventure Race

Date: May 10th, 2008

Type: Adventure Race

Category: Male Trek Elite ( Team of 2 )

Team: Brent Hysop, Eric Lewis

Up to the top division in Canada’s largest adventure race, Storm the Trent! This year, we’ve been training hard… erm or hardly training, for the top flight trek elite division. And male pairs is sure to be another tough race. We’ve been rocking the Storms as often as we can, and even managed a 2nd place last year, but in the short distance. This year, its playing with the big boys!

Sean roper puts on an awesome event, be sure to check it out if you have a chance. Loads of sponsors and prizes this year, its sure to be a memorable race.

Update !!! FIRST PLACE !!! No… Seriously. Team Novarobot took podium spot number 1 for the Trek Elite Male Pairs in this grueling race. We made some good decisions later on in the race, which enabled us to clinch the spot. wading through sunken forests for hours with water sometimes to our thighs was definitely the highlight! Ok, no the medal was. I’m wearing mine to bed.

Giants Rib Raid 2008

April 14th, 2008
Giants Rib Raid
Dont Get Lost

Host: Don’t Get Lost Adventure Running

Date: April 12th, 2008

Type: Half Marathon / Orienteering

Category: Male ( Team of 3 )

Team: Brent Hysop, Eric Lewis, Frank Job

Race Report : Frank Job
The day started at 4:30. Prepping, packing the backpacks, coffee atMacDonalds with a newspaper. I picked up the other members of the team at the Hwy 25/401 Car Pool parking lot.

Team Novarobot arrived at Rocky Ridge in the earth-green Novarobot van. Early as usual. We checked in, got our maps and started planning our routes. Degrees were flying and highliters were being used as we attempted to made our best route decisions. Some of the guesses were being left to when we were actually there.

Belleville was flooded this weekend. Guess what? It was flooded out west too. The ground was soaking wet and the water table was very high. This made some areas swamp where they used to be dry. And swamps and marshes had become small ponds.

A short captain’s meeting and we were off!

A subtle bearing error at the beginning brought us to a CP in one of those ponds. We had hoped to keep it till the end so getting soaked wouldn’t have mattered. Our youngest/toughest member (E) blasted thru, SI’d and we moved on. Good work.

Memories are a bit blurry, but I do recall endless amounts of bush and rocks. A very interesting walk along a cliff of rock. Cold bounding thru running water (streams overflowing paths and even roads) and balancing on rotten logs crossing marshes became an expected part of getting from cp to cp..

Finally we finished. A new record for Novarobot: 8 hours. Almost 2
1/2 hours more than last year. For most of the race, I was in “Death March” mode. We put it down to fitness problems, navigational errors and general slow progress over difficult terrain.

Basically not enough experience.

Burgers and hot drinks and a change of socks/shoes were very welcome after being wet and sometimes chilly all day.

Raid the Hammer 2007

October 22nd, 2007
Raid the Hammer 2007
Dont Get Lost

Host: Don’t Get Lost Adventure Running

Date: November 11th, 2007

Type: Half Marathon / Orienteering

Category: Male ( Team of 3 )

Team: Brent Hysop, Eric Lewis, Frank Job

North Americas largest adventure run, Novarobot will again be competing against some of the top teams on the continent, and some of the best orienteering athletes on the planet. This ‘aint no lightweight competition! Trail running, orienteering, road running and trekking together over a challenging Half Marathon Raid course usually entails 25km+ of grinding goodness! The folks at Dont Get Lost always put on world class events, and the community is just great. And maybe this time we can make Frank cry… Wish us luck!
Check back in after our November race for details!

SAC Canadian Championships

October 1st, 2007
SAC Canadian Championships

Host: SAC Canadian Championships

Date: September 29th, 2007

Type: Adventure Race

Category: Male ( Team of 3 )

Team: Brent Hysop, Eric Lewis, Frank Job

Race Report
A long overdue race report on the SAC Canadian Championships, and wow, was it a good one! The folks at Salomon Adventure Challenge hosted a beautiful, but long race held at Bon Echo Provincial Park in the Land O’Lakes Region. 27 Teams raced the course, which ended up being a whopping 90 km+, full of bush whacking, and night-time fun. Race director and course designer, Geoff Langford produced a course that was stunning in some of the scenery, enticing us all to want to come back and explore the area while not consumed by the frenzy of racing.

Novarobot’s race team arrived midday on the Friday, to do gear checks and get ready for whatever might come our way. We managed to get ourselves into Bon Echo and set up our tarp over the back of the van, and start the process of going through our gear, and checking all our equipment to ensure we were ready. All pretty smooth here really, and other than some childish ‘gas’ exchanges, we made pretty quick work of the prep work, and resolved next time to stay away from enclosed spaces. That evening after dark, we had our maps distributed, and got to work navigating the course, so we’d be ready for any questions we may have had. Everything seemed covered in the captains meeting, so we made our way back to the sleeping van, and did a more thorough job of marking up the maps for the race.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do enough. In hindsight I’ll take the time to do a little extra. For example, our MO is usually to run a road to a significant bend or feature, and use this as an attackpoint to the control. In general orienteering, we usually do this, but for some reason in this long format we figured we’d do it on the run. Bad choice, it was time lost on the course, where we could have had the bearings all figured out prior. Live and learn, it was an important lesson.

Anyway, we grabbed some sleep in the van, setting watches so we’d be at the start line for 3:45am supplemental map distribution. We would have gotten to sleep earlier, if we could keep Frank from giggling like a 5 year old every time his stomach gurgled. After some sleep, we got up and made it to the start line, running a little late ‘cause Frank decided not to bring his food the first time.

With our supplemental map, and our decisions made, we were off for the 4am start to check the number of windows on a boathouse we had passed lots that morning. After that slow jog, we hit the boats for a short paddle across the lake to a dock filled with boats (frustrating to sit and wait to get off the water at this chokepoint). Up the stairs and into the thick brush, with our little headlamps. We aimed out for CP2 and pushed the bush for quite some time, and hit the lake (our catching feature) a little north of where we wanted it, so we needed to spend some additional time skirting the lake back to the path and CP2. Running into the CP, we got our “Good job guys, you’re mid-field.” WooHoo! Our first night navigation, and we were not lost!

On to CP’s 3 & 4, both in the bush. Lots of whacking, and a pleasant morning hello to the fearless ladies camped on the point and we were off to the boats at CP4/TA1. A long, long paddle ensued. We all managed not to shove any paddles where we were threatening each other to. We managed to also find out what it was like sitting in water for 3 hrs or more (sort of like a diaper rash)… And we learned the value of a foldable seat for the centre man, as well as training would be good for the synchronization of the team.

When we came off the lake at CP5/TA2, there was a light breeze, which managed to chill us all to the bone. We decided to pass on the changing, and see how we felt 15 minutes into the ride. We picked up a few places here with our transition speed, and we were warmed up enough not to want to stop. We lost quite a few spots on the road ride, and made it to CP6 where we proclaimed we were doing the ‘advanced’ course. Ieeeee!! Up and down through the pounding rocky double track/fire roads, and we began our long search, we will now call… “The CP6a Incident”. Some newbie mistakes, repeated a couple times, managed to lose us about an hour and a half on the CP6a search, but finally, we got it, but our confidence (yes we still actually had it) was shaken. We picked our way through the woods to CP’s 7 and 8 on bike, identifying the unmanned checkpoint features as we went. A couple wrong turns in there, were fairly quickly corrected, costing us maybe 20 min extra.

After CP8, we realized we were probably not going to make it even to the CP9 cutoff at 5pm, but we decided to hammer it out and give it our all. We raced into CP9/TA3 with at 4:55pm, a full 5 mins to transition and get out on the water. Frank really wailed down those roads, it had to be the fastest, most intense ride he’s had, and he did it great. He even pushed hard up all those hills, with us stupidly egging him on with chants of “just a little more!”

Into the boat, and off towards the massive cliffs of Bon Echo. You really don’t get much perspective of scale until you realize you have been going hard at them for 45 minutes and they aren’t getting much closer! So we paddled our hearts out, trying to make the 6pm time, but we just couldn’t pull it off. Throwing the boat up on the beach, and gathering our equipment, we sprinted down the park roads back to the start/finish.

14 hours, 15 minutes later, we’d crossed the finish line on our 90km + race. We managed to place 14th out of 27 teams, not to bad for this team!

It was a great race, and tough. We can hardly wait until next year.

Here’s a link to the course, from Team Go Banana: SAC Course

Also to the race site if you’re interested in more reports or details! Race Site

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