The North Georgia Adventure Race March
12-13th was Tecnu Extreme's 2011 adventure racing debut. The
team (Kyle Peter, Leslie Reuter, and Brian Schmitz) was very
excited to finally hit the race-course after a long winter of
heads-down training! The team was raring to go!
This year's race would be overlaid with
pleasant weather (as opposed to 2010's freezefest!). This would
make things even faster than planned. And the competition would be
fierce, as usual.
The night before Saturday morning's start
was relatively painless and focused with the usual map, route, and
gear prep. This efficiency meant a solid meal and solid sleep was
in store! Eventually race morning started with a pre-dawn
wake-up call from the team manager and crew chief, Doug Judson.
The gun went off and the race started
with a quick canoe portage to the a lakeside put-in. Kyle and Brian
lead the field up a short hill, grabbed the canoe, and ran it back
down to the put-in in the lead. Leslie was waiting-gear in hand.
The team launched the boat and was off on the first leg. This leg
was basically an out and back to and from CP1. We dusted the field
coming in more than 10 minutes ahead of the followers. We were
happy about that!
The next section was the first of three
solo orienteering legs. This one would be the easiest of the three.
Leslie volunteered for this one. She smoked it in about 14 minutes!
We were then off on our mountain bikes for about a 75 minute
road ride. Again, we flew through this section. We pace-lined
while each of us kept the pressure high. Again, a super fast split
and we came into the transition with a 40 minute lead!
Then came the second solo orienteering leg,
and Brian was up for this one. This one was a bit more
advanced than the first. Problems ensued for Brian, which resulted
in a fatal error that cost the team two CPs. Ouch! This put the
team in a serious pinch. Regardless of how fast the team was from
here on, the teams that had more CPs would be ranked higher.
With fingers crossed that other lead teams
would screw up and allow us to sneak back into the lead, the team
headed out on the mountain bikes once again. This leg would be much
more difficult and longer than the first. Two of the CPs would also
require running to bag them. During the second of the two Brian's
left foot locked up and literally forced him to a crawl. The team
was not dismayed, and with stellar team-work, Kyle threw
Brian on his back (literally) and carried him to the CP and then
back to the bikes, while Leslie carried all three back-packs.
Incredible team chemistry working together like a fine oiled
They eventually pulled into another
transition for the third solo orienteering leg. By this point, it
was pitch dark. This would add to the difficulty but Kyle was
up for this one. After 48 minutes, Kyle came screaming into
the transition saying , " Pony up Tecnu, Pony up," with the
best split of the day for that section! Spot on nav Kyle!
The team then set out on the last leg: what
was estimated to be a 10-12 hours of bushwhack/run. Riding
high from Kyle's previous orienteering leg, the team was motivated
to yet again knockout a best split. Using teamwork to back-up
Kyle's spot on navigation, the team smoked the leg in just under 8
hours! This pulled the team across the finish in about 21.5 hours
over 4 hours faster than any other team. With penalties assessed
and splits counted, the team finished third overall.
The team left Georgia with mixed emotions:
frustrated by the race's missed CPs, but happy with the efficiency
and speed of everything else. The race prep was flawless and fast;
the team moved through most of legs so fast other teams looked as
if they were standing still; and the navigation back-up provided to
Kyle was right-on! We are excited to see where this season takes us
as the team seems to be near top form heading into the 2nd race of
the season, the LBL.
The next race is the LBL Challenge in
western Kentucky in early April. Be sure to stay tuned to the
team's Facebook Fan Page for updates and pictures!
This race and the rest of 2011's races
would not be possible without the support from the team's title
sponsor, Tecnu Extreme. Their support has been tremendous! And
their products kick butt too! We know this from experience
(Northern California's coast is littered with poison oak!).
Above all else, the team also wouldn't be
able to do what they do without the love and support from their
family and friends. Thank you, all!!