Dare Mighty Things

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Teddy Roosevelt

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pawtuckaway Trifecta

Pawtuckaway State Park, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Several months ago the NH-12 adventure race scheduled for this weekend at Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham, NH was reschedule to September. In it's place, the folks at Racing Ahead decided to hold a triple O-meet (or trifecta...their term) consisting of 60 minute foot, paddle, & bike rogaine's. Always needing the nav work and tapering for Pineland Farms 25k next week anyway, I took the hour drive south to one of my favorite NH state parks. Pawtuck' has a great mixture of paddling, singletrack, and some of the coolest glacial erratics you'll find anywhere. The plan was to race all three rogaine's taking no more than a 30 minute transition between courses. My first course was the Foot-O and it's 20 controls. The plan was to tag the 4 controls in and around Neals Cove and then head over to the Big Island and attack the 8 CP's on the southeast side of Burnham Marsh before cutting over to the northwest side of the marsh and the 7 remaining CP's. I started well, but couldn't locate CP4. Turns out I had seen it, but thought it was a paddle CP and didn't bother to go and get it. Things on the southeast side of the marsh went very well with use of terrain association, aiming off, and compass headings. At CP 8 I came to an important decision. With about 30 minutes remaining it became evident that all 7 controls on the other side of the marsh probably wouldn't be attainable. In fact, I quickly made the decision to forgo CPs 9 & 11 in favor of a more obvious (and shorter) attack point to CP 10. From CP10 I aimed off in a northerly direction to the marsh to travel along it's banks to CP12 before crossing the small section of land to the other side. After 3-4 minutes of struggling to find the right knoll I bailed on CP12 and headed to the other side of the marsh with less than 18 minutes left. I easily picked up the Fundy Trail and raced westward toward the road taking brief side trips to tag CP's 13, 16, and 18 before heading back to the START/FINISH. I clocked back in at 57 minutes and change with 11 controls (55 points). After a 30 minute break I clocked out for the Paddle-O. Again, it was a straightforward clockwise attack. Without a great deal of paddling experience it's hard to judge how fast you can travel in a kayak in flatwater. I made the decision (perhaps too early) to skip CP's 11 & 8 figuring they were a little too far off the beaten path and that there were plenty of other scoring chances bunched together near Mountain & Neals Cove. The paddle nav was very clean. At CP2 with approximately 20 minutes to go I made the decision to also skip CP3. It looked a little too far down Mountain Cove and I felt it may cost me a chance to pick up two CPs (CP1 & CP13) positioned along Neals Cove. I clocked back in with an uncomfortable 8 minutes to spare. As it turns out, I probably should have made an attempt at CP's 11 & 8 because I probably had the time. My point total for the Paddle-O was again 55 points (11 CPs). During my final 30 minute transition I ate a little snack while I studied the Bike-O map. The bike controls appeared to be positioned on or near parts of the expansive trail network at Pawtuck'. I honestly haven't spent much time on the bike this year and I let that negative thought creep into my head before I started. And I immediately paid the price for the negative karma. I bobbled mightily on CP4 locating it after a devastating 5 minutes of backtracking. When I finally reached the sweet singletrack off the Fundy Trail (I wish I could remember the name, but I'm planning to head back there soon to ride it again!) I was quickly running out of time. The original plan to ride the entire length of singletrack to Round Pond Trail never materialized. With 20 minutes to go I turned around after punching CP8 and rode back in the same direction I came. I had just enough time to ride back up the main park road to tag one final CP (#9 and my 9th of this course). I clocked back in with 2 minutes left. The total for the Bike-O was a disappointing 45 points (9 controls). My "trifecta" total for the day was 155 points. I'll guess that will put me in the middle of the pack for the day. Despite the mediocre finish position, I was very pleased with both my technical & physical performance. I ran, paddled, and rode up to nearly every control I located. And with the NH-12 Adventure Race scheduled at the park in September I know I gained extremely valuable recon (and and O-map) of the lay of the land.

[Photo creds: O-sign, Foot-O map, Paddle-O map, inlet of Pawtuckaway Lake]

PS. Pawtuckaway Trifecta >>RESULTS<<.

1 comment:

  1. Chris, Great job. I don't see how you figured you were in the middle of the pack. You were the highest scoring non-team to complete all 3 events. In my book that's a W!