Whew tough day! Rain, rain, rain... mud, mud, mud.... wind........
|I'm pretty sure this is us! So far behind... horrible start! Although you can't|
see all the people behind us... we're probably mid-pack by this point, 30s or so
after the start...
Inexplicably they started with the canoe... which meant something like a hundred boats bashing into each other. To make matters worse - we were supposed to start at this dock, which I confirmed with one of the race people... but then other people went past the dock. We were assured they would be told to move back, but then the race organizer showed up and... didn't do that. So we were stuck behind loads of Canadian Tire specials and such... it was a nightmare.
They also shortened the canoe from 9km to much less... my GPS puts it at about 4km.
So after working damn hard to get some clear water, when we all got to the 3 floating checkpoints it was yet another smash-up derby as everyone clamoured and clashed trying to get to the checkpoint. We were rammed 3 separate times trying to get it! Line it up perfect... ram. Line it up again... ram.
So yeah, not a great start, and I really have to implore the organizer not to do something that dumb again. Spread folks out before you throw them in boats.
Even more frustrating was our performance, which was pretty lackluster... we just didn't get it done today, this is our strong leg, and without much spring practice (we've only been in the boat once this season) we just sucked.
We held our own on all the bike sections. Lots of mud, some technical rocky sections, it really was a hoot. Didn't care allll that much for the long road sections, especially near the end with the headwind! But some that I thought were roads from the map ended up being fun ATV trails, so I'll call it a win.
Running and Navigating
This was one cool thing they did differently this year. We got a map of one of the later running areas, but the checkpoints weren't on the map. You had to look at map boards during the previous running section to get the locations and fill in your own map!
Figuring out where they were wasn't that hard, putting them on the map wasn't that hard, but figuring out how you'd navigate to them in the middle of the race? That was tricky! Usually you get the map beforehand so you can do a bit of planning, but not this time..., had to think on your feet.
We managed to get to the first 2 checkpoints easily enough, but then we had a minor calamity... trying to cut across to the furthest one, we got lost in these caves. Not literally in the caves, but amongst the caves... there were families there going from cave to cave, asking us "do you know where cave 5 is?" and we're like "no, do you know where the road is!?". It was awful... cost us about 4-5 minutes I figure based on GPS after the fact. Not entirely sure where I got it wrong - there's a trail on the map, but we ended up on numerous trails that I guess weren't THAT trail... oh well.
We decided to run on the road from the last bridge checkpoint back - since the trails were pretty gnarly, figured this would save time (even if slightly longer). I think that was the right call.
... I don't know. We saw a lot of people ahead of us, so presumably we didn't podium or anything. Definitely a more challenging crowd than the "Hike" we did last year (shorter distance). But I think we held our own, finished in 4:45 which was decent.
Edit: 7th out of 30 male teams of 2. Not bad! It'll be interesting to see the splits when posted...
BBQ ... outdoors, freezing, in the rain... ate quickly and left, just wasn't fun to hang around. Could have used an indoor contingency plan. I'm a little grumpy about the organization today in case you hadn't noticed! It wasn't what I've come to expect with these guys - their races are usually spot on.