Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Bubba Cross Video

Here it is my first attempt @ blogging video. Recomend high speed connection though files are smaller than 8 mb. In the right hand corner is an arow of sorts pointing down click it & pick original size to getting clearer video.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bubba Cross not so Redneck Style

Scot Winning once again

Give me a smooch darling??

Rules? There are no rules this is the LOO

Crap the Prof of Pain is on my ass again

Oops Amber got excited
Hey that didn't hurt as bad as the other times

Jump on boy!

OK this post sucks! Sorry spent most of my time trying to figure out how to upload video to no avail. So all you get is some results & a few pics. VanAsten won yadyadyada. I got out sprinted for 2nd, ended up 3rd (I'm a punk). St. Loo has a bunch of sandbagging whiners. Cat 3's racing C's what is that crap about? Oh yeah hand them there arses the week before state they want to know where your from & where you've been racing? Springtown Beetches! Rained like mad on the way home end of post.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Quick post

So far this Turkey Day break I've taken it easy. Lots & lots of sleep has been the course of action. 2 nights so far have been over 12 hrs. I did run Thurs, Fri I got out for 59 minutes on the Felt to enjoy the warmthless sun. Today I got out for about 2 hrs on the Felt again with Jason, Larry, & El Prez. I had to get around early this AM so was glad to see others able & willing to brave the chill. This afternoon was spent eating chili & relaxing on the couch @ the in-laws watching Million Dollar Baby. A good movie but not exactly a warm fuzzy. I thought it was funny that yesterday Shane & I both managed to watch Crash. It made me really really think how closely inter related things are in our little world. Coincidently its by the same screenwriter of Million Dollar Baby. See it all intertwines.

Well off to hang out with Amber & get some good rest before heading of with John Jones to cross it up in the LOO.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Happy Turkey Day a day late & a few extra pounds later

Yesterday I got up @ the ass crack of dawn on a holiday to run the 11th annual Turkey Trot. This year 2374 people participated(more than 4000 according to my mom). There were 4 Dunsmuirs entered which I'm sure caused some confusion. My mom (Linda), dad (Brian), & Amber all agreed to walk while I ran for time.

I was hoping to ultimately go under 18 min but was ready to be happy with a sub 18:30. I have a bad habit of going out a little too fast & I figured the large crowd the pace would be a little ridiculous at first. I managed to rein myself in to a semi comfortable 5:34 first mile. I did see the Pettus family in the first mile, they had false started by about a 1/4 mile or so to avoid the crowds. I paid for the first mile in the 2nd mile & was only able to come back with a 5:55. It was weird running around MSU on roads that only this summer I'd been racing around @ over 30+mph. My running was just a little slower(but not much). The 3rd mile is where the hills are. Knowing this I set a survival tempo up the first hill & let gravity take over on the downhill. On the final uphill to the finishing downhill Doug Assenmacher caught me so I had to pick up my pace to stay with him( so I don't have a 3rd mile split maybe around 5:55 again). I was able to use CTS' track workouts to out kick Doug to the finish crossing 22nd overall, 4th in my age group in 18:05. That's 5:50 pace which just so happens to be the pace Scot had me running all my intervals in. Oh so close but I'm still pretty happy considering the little amount of running I do & this is the first 5k I run in over a year.

I jogged back to catch up with my family & walked the last mile or so with them. My mom has never met a stranger & had adopted a new friend along the way. She was regaling her with our life stories. The poor unsuspecting lady will be more cautious who she talks to in the future. I'm very proud of my parents for getting up & walking with my new wife.

After the Trot it was time to return home for the first of 3 Turkey dinners. One @ our house with my best friend Darin, my parents & Amber. The 2nd with Amber's dad's family. The 3rd with Amber's mom's family. Wow that's a lot of eating & traveling. This year work gave us turkeys so Amber & I had 47 pounds btwn 2 birds to cook up. So Darin spent, according to his version of the story, days basting the bird for our feed. The second bird went with Amber's Uncle Jeremy to rub butter on(which he got a little too excited about if you ask me, I'll have to ask his wife about this). Come to think of it she told me about the sex in the pan, so I told her I'd had sex in a lot of places but never a pan. After gorging ourselves & putting on @ least a few extra pounds a piece, could have been more without the Turkey Trot, we were home & in bed asleep by 7:30pm. Thanksgiving gets longer & longer every year.

Looking @ the results I saw a few OCC'ers. Peter Van Off the front I talked to after the race. He ran 22:41. Jim Coker the Mansfield Pill Pusher ran 20:42. Both pretty respectable times for bikers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Moving paybacks.

HOLYCRAP MY ARMS ARE F'ING SORE THIS AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is all due to ICC & his slave driving wife Jules. Man she can crack the whip. If you don't move 3 couches in 5 minutes watch out. Plus none of their stuff weighs less than 500lbs.

Actually I volunteered without regret to help a bud out. Mr. & Mrs. Pettus finally are on the move to their new fancy digs. Although the yard has less grass than mine(finally one yard worse than mine, for now). Somehow ICC got the 2 skinniest guys he knows to come lug all his furniture around. Stoker Ace & I surely carried 4 houses full of furniture into their new house. How they got all that in their old house I have no idea. I still don't understand why Greg insisited on moving furniture with a pair of Julies undies on his head though?

Oh yeah ICC now has a 60 F'ing Inch TV in his Basement for those with failing eye sight.

I also forgot to pass along Congrats to Marc & Lisa Stokes the newest married members of OCC.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Future?

Me in the not so distant future?

Amber in the not so distant future?

Actually these are pics of Jonathan Page, his wife & daughter.

Sunday Cross

Sundays Lake cross had perfect cross weather. Cloudy, dreary, cold, misty, foggy, mud, wet grass, & a little light rain @ the end. All that no showed missed out on some fine racing as well. I'll be up front the A's race HURT! Cale put the whoop on me & made me pay for it. My legs are nice & sore today.

Because of the lack of racers this week a mass start format was used. I liked this idea because it gave me an opportunity to lay the flying drop kick to Skip & show him how to organize his day via the day planner. Sunday went like this. Get up, drink some fresh ground Starbucks, eat breakfast, take a poo, drive over to race, warm up, race with the intent of lapping Skip, go home shower, take a nap, go to work. I put a check next to all in my planner.

The race started out fairly easy so I took up the pace setting early on in the hope of stringing it out a little. Cale took over after the first lap & strung it out some more. After 13 minutes that felt like 40 the A's were whittled down to 4, then just 3. Who was the 3rd? I had to do a double take to confirm it was the Merm himself Emory! Having a great day marred only by crashes & a loud thunk on the barriers almost every lap. I stored this bit of info away for the 30 minute mark. When we hit the road I goaded Merm into taking a pull & Cale & I fell in behind. I had no intention of staying there long, just waiting for Emory to wear himself out sufficiently for me to attack him in the high speed barrier section where I kept hearing him hit. I jumped hard & Cale came with. Emory was able to hold on but speed was his enemy here. In the off camber chicane he got a little out of control & Mr. Newton gave him a physics lesson. See ya!

Cale jumped on the steep climb & I was popped & in damage control. Lap after lap I tried to close on the road section but any in roads I made Cale took back. So I was stuck in second trying to hold off Emory(who I swore was racing B's). Just before I got the Bell Lap I got tangled up in the show down for the B's race. I guess me lapping them was incentive to up the tempo in the hope that I'd drag them to the finish. All I wanted to do was stay the hell out of the way. I was going pretty hard when I heard someone(Matt) hit the deck pretty hard in the chicane. Being determined not to let Skip finish anywhere in front of me I pushed hard to the line to take the bell so wasn't able to see the sprint(UBallez took it to Skip from what I hear) Cale crossed the line first in what I'll say was his best tactically raced cross race so far. He'll be going well for state(Hopefully we can put a few Springtown boys on the podium). I lolly gagged across the barriers & walked my bike to the finish backwards to just nip Merm @ the line. Hmm a future B's contender?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hide & Seek

Yesterday I raced the Two Rivers Rogaine with my bivy sack buddy(A story for another time) Jason Coleman. We raced as Napoleon & Pedro. I told Jason I wasn't super enthused about racing so don't expect me to take it too seriously. Jason knows me pretty well so he knew better. It seems the word "GO" has some effect on my brain that causes me to go balls to the wall. I'll have get CTS to do some research on this for me.

Normally in a Team Rogaine each member gets a map & a clue sheet. We only got one map & no clues. Cool Jason's naving & I'm punching the passport since in his words "Your a better runner". It also seems whenever Jason wants me to do more work he tells me this, i.e. "Your a better biker, swimmer, boater, reader, eater, drinker, etc(you get the idea)." No big deal I have no need to work on my nav so a little extra scrambling to the punches is fine by me.

The first checkpoint was right near the start so we decided to make a counter clockwise loop. At "Go" we took off & I had to look back & ask Jason if he was going to catch up. A quick punch as he runs on to the next punch where a bottle neck forms. About 10 teams are wandering around looking "in the right place" for the marker. After 5 minutes Jason shows me the map & the 2 of us decide without a doubt we are in the right place & the marker isn't here. HMMMM??? Well I decide to look about 50 meters to the east. Low & behold what do I find up in a tree? Yep the marker. Its off by a good 50 meters. In Orienteering this is a bunch & in heavy woods you can't see very far so no one but me has seen it for now. So I quietly punch & run towards Jason & declare to Jason loud enough for everyone to hear "Its not here lets skip it & move on". Suckers!

We now make the first of a few course decision errors, but no big deal I like making the course harder by running extra loops & Jason did a great job taking us through every sticker bush in the county. So we skip 2 points & head to the Finley River to pick up a series of markers along & across the river. One involved wading up to our private parts to get. Another involved standing on a dead branch over the river that I just knew was going to break & dump me in the river, brrrr. Another on a rock ledge that Jason had to help hold me up while I punched. Oh I've forgotten to mention the theme of the markers location so far has been hidden. A few involved some real looking for. We ran right past several since in AR racing we're used to running 1000 meter squares & this map was 500 meter squares. It took us about half the controls to get a feel for the distance scale. We did find one more marker missed marked. The map had it high & we found it low. In hindsight I'm guessing this marker might have been moved since I don't remember it being tied & it was laying on the ground.

We did find one of the mystery prizes by being the first to one of the Markers. A nice Pack Towel; since Jason carried it most of the race, I told him he earned it, hehe got him to carry some extra weight, sucker. After sweeping back to get the earlier missed markers. One being hidden in a barn, we headed up & I mean up to the finish to find out we we're 2nd by about 5 min. Jason & I get a good laugh since we know we've wasted over 30 min at various points. So our finish time of 2:14 in a 3 hour race was OK. But a little later a twist is thrown in. Turns out the "winning" team didn't find the 2nd marker that was mismarked & the race directors told them where it was & they went back out & found it just before we finished. So to be fair since Jason & I found all the controls on our own they declared a tie giving us both first. We won a nice pair of Smartwool socks each for our efforts.

The race had a good turn out & everyone seemed to have fun. Even those who wore shorts & tore the hell out of their legs. Seems AR Nationals was a little more followed than I thought got congratulated by about 4 or 5 people including a couple of people I'd never met before. Does seem that some people don't appreciate free advertisement though.

Heres a little edited pic from the last time Jason & I both won races "together." The 2004 Berryman AR Race. He won the 4 person team & I won the 2 person team.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Friday night lights

Last night was the first of many to come Shane Nelson Friday Night Light rides. The temp was a little chilly but not to bad @ just around 40 degrees. Shane was there of course, CMAC, my AR friend from St. Louis Jason C(who's in town for a Rogaine Race) & me. We met up @ the Frisco HighLine Trail head near the Airport. This is a relatively flat hardpack dirt trail that goes to Bolivar. It makes for a nice group cross bike ride.

We ended up riding an hour out & an hour back for a little over 30 miles or so. The time flew by with Shane entertaining us with stories from his pre daddy days. After the ride CMAC whipped out the grill and cooked up some tasty brauts. It seems any ride with Shane finishes with food of some sort. I'm starting to like the idea of that. A bonus of grilling was the ability to warm up over the grill.

A short post today since today will be a busy day. Skip when you only sleep 5 hours day that leaves 19 other hours to cram pack stuff into, thus the need for a day planner to arrange said activities. Today I have to mount a new saddle on my cross bike courtesy of ICC having a sensitive hiny. Then off to the Rogaine, followed by helping mark the cross course, followed by dinner with my in-laws, & a few other things I'm sure I've forgotten about. Sleep deprivation has been shown to lead to short term memory loss..... What was I talking about?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Eagerly awaited AR disposable Pics

Here are the better pics from the camerea I carried during AR Nationals. Now they aren't the best quality but what do you expect for $5 then scanning them. But you'll get an idea of the crap we had to wade through.



The typical swamp checkpoint, look real closely & you'll see John wading back

Sometimes you just have to smile @ how crazy the race is

Normally in an AR race you'd want to paddle the canoe

Getting back in the boat on the Dead River for the 1000th time

Pushing the 5000lbs canoe through the swamp

Look closely thats Anna on a Burma Bridge

Somewhere on the river near the finish

Finally the Finish!

The Wed Double Feature

Sometime this week in a sleep deprived state I decided this week needed to be a hard week for training since I'd tapered back so much for AR Nationals. Keeping with that theme somehow hard became to mean sleep deprivation. Tues went without to go boating & do more freeze damage to my feet. Wednesday involved taking a 3 hour sleep & heading to SVA for a cross bike workout followed shortly by a trip to the track. SVA doesn't screw around on the cross bike. He had me doing big loop intervals @ my "perceived redline" (remember he's the one addicted to HR monitors not me). I'm guessing my redline was about 65% for him. I was huffing & puffing & drooling & snotting all over the place & he was just tooling along. Fortunately for the first time in a few weeks my legs felt descent & I was able to maintain the hard efforts.

After the cross ride I went home in an attempt to take a nap. Being so juiced up from the ride the only sleeping was done by Lucky & Lucy my lazy ass dogs. I wish I could fall asleep as fast as they do. They make Huffy look like a fat boy sprinting on a beach cruiser. Anyway I laid around & semi rested my legs for the track interval portion of my day. I never know in advance what SVA has in store for me so half the fun of showing up is finding out how bad he's going to hurt me. After 2 400's he tells me he has 2 1600's planned for me to finish on to let me know how to "gauge my effort". Great! I think he actually started laughing when he told me this. So 2x 400, 2x 800, 2x600, & 1 1600 later my legs where shot. So I cried no mas! As I told Scot last night as much apprehension as I had about running on the track its not too bad. Mostly because I can say no more anytime, where in college I had to finish regardless if I was missing a leg or not.

2x 400 1:20, 1:20 (1:25 target) 2X800 2:47, 2:53 (2:50 target) 2x600 1:59, 1:59 (2:00 target) 1x1600 5:48 (5:50 target) The mile repeats were intended to get me used to race pace for the Turkey Trot. My goal being sub 18:00. Two years ago on the old course I ran 17:29(5:38 pace), but & a big BUT I ran probably a dozen 5ks that year & went below 18:00 4x. This year the only running race I've done is a 50k.

Next week I'll being the official timer for the few planning on coming out. For those select few plan on receiving a complimentary dark adult beverage afterwards in the spirit of the holidays. Sorry Scot I'll owe you one. By the way he is right there are actually a few runners amongst us cyclists. For those of you who skipped out you've missed out on some quality training & a fine opportunity to improve your running. Look & the regulars CMAC, Speers, & Uballez, I'm hearing there footsteps on the shorter intervals. SDJ I know you where state champ in some sprint event even if you won't admit it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Finally some damn rain!!!!!

I was supposed to ride with ICC this AM but strong storms led to the canceling of riding. On to plan B. My poor boat has been wet in months so I jumped @ the chance to get in it. With all the rain last night one of my favorite park n plays was up & running. Bull Creek's Shady Rapids. Thanks to a very anonymous friend I got permission to park @ the bridge so a few friends & I braved the wind & rain for several hours of surfing & spinning. CBass, Wes, & James from Dynamic Earth, & the Helenator(more on the her later).

When I got there @ 9am it was 58 degrees & I was in a tshirt. At noon it was about 40 degrees & the wind was blowing about 45 miles an hour. Needless to say my drysuit hanging in the closet at home would have been really nice.

The River Left wave was primo today. You could spin till you were dizzy. Throw some low angle ends. On surfer's left was a nice curler which you could throw big nasty blunts off if so obliged.

The Helenator is one of my hero's. She taught me how to roll my kayak. Shepherded me down my first few rivers back in her kayak days. Now she's an open boater, but she's so cool I don't hold it against her. One cold day she called me to go boating figuring I'd be the only idiot willing to boat in 20 degree weather. I was. She laid the big bomb on me. The following Mon she was getting a double masecotomy! Wow, it barely fazed her. She was like, its got to be done so I might as well boat while I can since I won't get to for awhile. So we boated till our drysuits had about a 1/2 inch of ice built up on them. Well Helen rehabbed fast & now is boating like crazy. So I'm always thrilled to see her out on the river. She's also taken up roadbiking so I see her occasionally riding which always inspires me to ride harder.

The Middle wave of Shady Rapids

CBass working on his 360 on the River Left Wave

The Helenator in her personilized open boat

Wes ridng the pile

CBass stalled out

Monday, November 14, 2005

Baby Doc & the baby megaphone.

Today we had another baby doc appointment. This one involved more time in the waiting room than actual Dr. to patient time. But I won't complain. He whipped out the baby megaphone & let us "hear" our babies heart beat. Talk about putting a shit eating grin on my face! We recorded it & Amber & I have listened to it about a 100 times apiece. Strong & rapid @ 155 beats per minute. Amber says according to her internet "scientific" reports a high heart rate means its a girl. I'll wait to pick baby names till I get to see the Scientific Ultrasound next month(the week of XMAS, a cool gift). I'm guessing the rapid heart rate was due to the inutero intervals the baby is doing in preparation for a stellar cycling career. CTS VanAsten are you coaching any babies yet?

Was so excited didn't sleep for crap today. So decided to get up & put in a few miles on the golf course & see how my knee is doing. I skipped my blog on Sat so I didn't mention the new found left knee pain I'm having. I'm hoping its just left over from 2 AR races a month apart. It was so bad Sat it motivated me to cut the ride short. I contemplated not racing Sunday but after warming up it wasn't bothering me. It didn't hurt during the race & only ever so slightly toward the end of my run tonight so hopefully this will be the last I write of it.

Now for a quick survey to help guide my winter training:
How many fellow riders lift? Stretch? Yoga or Pilates? Needing to rehab a few nagging aches & pains this winter & working on a plan to take action.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Lake Springfield True Cyclocross

My beanie off to Jason for the best cross course to date! That parcours not only was a true course it tested everyone. Superfast, lots of handling, & a brutal run up over the barriers. I'm going to say this will be the course that other Springfield courses should use as a benchmark.

I've been pretty fatigued this week & it showed today. From the word go I knew it was going to be a tough hour. Once again getting the whole shot was key to get through the first 180 switchback on the grass. It got a little crowded on the first lap. Of course VanAsten once again schooled the A's. Again pushing to almost lap me. Cale to his turn beating on me. Everytime I'd close he'd get another gap on me. Then he rolled a clinchuler, changed his wheel. Then in 2 laps had put his original gap back into me. My legs had one speed in them today & it didn't involve any snap. Coupled with my drivetrain being possessed it was a super hard hour. It seemed there was no place to recover.

The A's ended up VanAsten, CMAC, & Me. B's was once again the Sandbagger ICC, not sure of the rest. The women's field (yes women's field) was 4 strong. With Anna Assenmacher fresh of AR Nationals coming out to duel the Mercy girls team. Not sure how they placed but I know Anna scored some swag. Good job Anna.

There was a lot of picture taking so if you have any shoot them to me & I'll get them posted. Also There was talk of a Cross race to fill the gap btwn the end of the Springfield season & State. If your interested make it known next week. Now its off to take a nap before heading to work.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I know Super G's been working on his wheelies. Here's one for him to try. Posted by Picasa

Oh so sore!

Dumb, dumb, dumb is all I can say. What the hell was I thinking? Got me but going to the track Wed sure sounded like a good idea when I got up yesterday. This evening my body told me different. I didn't think your upper body could get sore from running but along with every muscle in my legs my upper body joined in. I guess a track workout 3 days after a 30 hour AR Race isn't the best idea. Scot VA, You might store that tidbit of info away if you ever coach any AR atheletes. I had to pull the parking brake about 3/4 of the way through the track session when my legs said NO MAS! Quality had went to survival & I didn't want to get hurt so on the sidelines I went.

Today instead of getting up & riding the cross bike I curled up in the fetal position on the couch & slept an extra 4 hrs(which almost equals by daily total avg for sleep). Hopefully tomorrow I can convince my lovely wife to give me a massage(she reads my blog so this is a less than a subtle hint).

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

2005 USARA Nationals Tampa, FL... AKA The Swamp Thing

I've been a little slow in posting the final write up of Nationals. After an 18 hour drive home, a long sleep to rest up, an hour washing out my clothes with a hose so they would be clean enough to put in the washing machine, & catching up on other assorted miscellaneous I just haven't had time. So here goes. I did manage to keep everyone up to date till the start. Have posted a bunch of pics & will have more once I get the "race cam" developed.

Nationals race morning started with a 4:30 am wake up call since we had to be @ the start by 5:45am. For a change a I actually slept the night before an AR race. So after getting up & searching for coffee & getting dressed it was time for the final gear pack & heft the pack for the first time to see how bad it was going to kill the shoulders. This race was an expedition style totally unsupported, so if we were going to need it we had to haul it(which weighs you down). Off to the start line.

Here we get the first twist of the day. The start is a 15 min bus ride away. So one team member(Anna in this case) gets to ride by themselves while the other 2 get the "prologue" map. This map is already plotted for us we just have to find the marker & shoot bearings from them to collect chips to move on to the next marker. At promptly 7:15 AM(Close enough to 7am) the gun goes off & everyone takes off running. Its interesting trying to keep track of your teammates in a jumble of 67 teams. We start off @ our normal clip(which usually puts us @ or near the front) but this is Nationals & there is a lot of fast teams so were in about 20th till we hit the first marker. From there on we steadily move up into the top 8, where we spend most of the day.

After 5 or 6 of these "prologue" checkpoints it was time to get in the canoes. We hit the boats in about 6th place. The first CP was actually upstream @ what the description said was Rapids. Yes rapids, I know its Florida & my Altimeter has read -110' since we got here but they were actual rapids albeit very small ones. From there we turn around & paddle down stream toward CP 2. But first we have to navigate through what is called "The Dead River". Now this sounds bad for a reason, because it was. I willing only glance over this section since no matter how I try I'll never be able to describe it. Pics will help, but they won't do it justice. Needless to say it was the worst 2 hours in a boat I've ever experienced. You never paddle more than 100 meters without portaging the boat, swimming the boat, or pushing it over, under or around logs. This section actually helped us. We're not the strongest flat water paddlers & the other teams had started to pull away from us, but we were able to catch back up because of the literal log jam that formed.

After that nightmare we finally got to pick up a few more checkpoints. These consisted of boat navigating to a spot & getting out & naving to the CP. This made the CP's a little more interesting since you had to pay more attention to the map. We came out of the water in pretty good shape ready to head out on our specialty the mountain bikes.

The bike nav was pretty straight forward & the terrain not to bad. It was Florida so very flat with sand thrown in for good measure. We were still in a pack of about 8 teams going back & forth depending on how each team picked their route to the next CP. We did take one shortcut which involved us wading through waist deep swamp while holding our bikes over our heads. The shortest route being a straight line & all. After hitting all the bike nav CP's we dropped the bikes off to have them transported to a location where we would pick them up later.

Now for some real swamp navigation. We were still off & on in the pack of 8. I was a little thankfull for this since I wan't thrilled about the idea of wading through the swamp by ourselves. On our way to CP 12 one of the other teams right in front of me almost stood on the biggest water moccasin I 've ever seen. This was our only close call with Florida's deadly animals. Why anyone would intentionally wade though the swamp is beyond me, but I guess some people actually like it. I am not one of those people though. The sun finally went down on us as we hit CP 12. It was pretty cool to see 8 teams(24 people) all turn their headlamps on @ the same time. It went from being dark to very bright all at once.

From CP 14-15 I made a little miscalculation on my intended course which lead to a very scary moment in the swamp wondering if we were ever going to get out of the swamp again. But all was well & we hit the road/railroad grade we were looking for 200 meters from the CP(which was about 600 or 700 meters the wrong side of were I was headed, OOPS!). After the race looking at the map I had nothing to worry about because the only way I could have missed the road was by swimming the river. What I should have done was shot a direct bearing & let the declination allow me to shoot off the CP just a bit. Oh well live & learn.

To get to CP 16 we had to swim the alligator infested river not once but TWICE! I made A LOT of noise in the water to let anything in the water know I was there. The swims went a long way to chilling me off & I'd have trouble later warming up. We swam the river & hit CP 16 with no problem.

On to the TA to MTB's were another curveball was thrown at us. Individual Time Trials. Normally in AR Racing your not allowed to be more than 100 yards from your teammates. So this was a huge curveball. One member had to run a semi marked 4 mile course(Anna), one member had to use a map to ride a 10-12 mile MTB loop(John), & one member had to plot an orienteering course & find those 4 points(me).

I'm usually the team navigator but I do better @ the type of nav you have in AR races than in an actual O-course. So I was a little worried especially since if you screwed up a point or mis punched it you had to go back out & redo it. I plotted my 4 points & headed out after putting on my jacket. Sitting down for 20 min chilled me off. I went to the "easiest" point first. Well I walked till I hit my fence & turned around & shot a back bearing knowing I'd somehow missed the marker. So back I went. Well I'd only missed it the first time by about 5 feet. Going back I just happened to notice it since I was standing about 2 feet from it. Great! The markers are hidden, now I really started worrying. Off to find the rest, I hope. After one searching I find 2 more. I finally team up with another guy to locate the last marker since neither of us was having any luck. It turns out quite a few teams teamed up to do the Nav Time Trial since it was so hard to find the markers using an aerial photo @ night as a map.

From here the team was reunited & we got the final part of the course given to us. The TT's accomplished its job of seperating the teams for the most part. Several teams had decided to stick together since 6 set of eyes are better than 3. As the eventual winners did. We ended up working with Team GoLite to find the rest of the bike nav points.

From the bike it was back in the boats to getting the final CP's & the finish. At the turn around another curveball was thrown at us. An easy O course where the team could separate to find the markers & collect more poker chips. So John paddled to the one marker down stream. Anna was going to come with me but I had her wait by the fire & I ran to the other 4 points. Man that fire looked good since I was shivering & had on all my clothes that I had packed but oh well the run warmed me up a little. Who would have thought you could get cold in Florida? So after a quick 2.5 mile run or so we started our paddle back up stream to the finish. Now this river actually had a little flow to it which I was never able to figure out. Florida is flat so there is no gradient to give the river fall. So I'm guessing from the temp of the water its all spring fed.

We lolly gagged a little on the way back & had to sprint paddle the last 10 minutes to keep from getting caught by another team. But we just stayed ahead of them by 2 minutes to finish 8th overall, 7 th in our division. A Masters team tied for first with an open division team. After a quick drive back to the hotel the feeding frenzy ensued. I ate 5 fig newtons, 5 pastries, 4 pieces of pizza, & 2 breadsticks, plus a couple of cokes. I'd later find out when cleaning my pack out I hadn't eaten as much as I thought during the race so that explained why I was so hungry. I guess it was lucky I didn't bonk.

I'd have to say we had a pretty good race. No major nav errors, no injuries. We ran the entire race(where we'd normally start walking after dark) so it was by far the hardest we have ever pushed during a race. We got beat by 3 factory teams & one top 10 nationally ranked team. We beat a lot of other nationally ranked teams in the process. So I'm pretty happy with our 7 th place.

A big thanks to Matt O @ Dynamic Earth for all his help this year & the use of the van to get us to races even though he can't return the thanks.