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

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Reach The Beach

Hampton Beach, NEW HAMPSHIRE--The 11th Annual Reach The Beach Relay is in the book! And what an event it was...great weather, great teammates, and fresh legs. We finished 193/400 averaging 8:17's for 200+ miles (finish time of 28:40:38). The "other" acidotic RACING entry in RTB, acidotic X (Capt'n by Kurt Hansbury), beat us by only 11 minutes. It's worth noting that this was the first RTB for each of them making their victory over us even more impressive. Our 12-person team had 4 newbies and Erik ended up pulling a 4th lap when Bobby John went down with a hammy he suffered within the first 100 meters of the start of the race! Our group (Van #2) laughed the entire way from Cannon to Hampton thanks in large part to RTB lifer Nick and his RTB virgin wife Sarah. My face actually hurt at one point from smiling so much. Guess I need to do that more often. Karen was tough, as usual, and actually ran faster as the race went along. She claims the cooler temps were the difference, but I think we both have learned a lot in the past three years of the event with regard to pacing, nutrition, and resting. It was great to have Kevin, and his calming leadership, back in our van again. And of course Capt. Rousseau did not disappoint...once again. If there's ever someone you can count on to hammer hard for 28 hours it's Matt. He ran 6:09's for his final 2.0 mile leg. We barely managed to arrive at the TA ahead of him. Finally, I felt as good at this event as I ever have. The two doubles a week for the past two months paid off. Zero health issues, minimal soreness, and only a little leg weariness during my last 2.2 miler. My times were 42:06 (6.61 miles @ 6:22 pace), 1:06:15 (9.23 miles @ 7:16's), and 12:52 (2.2 miles @ 5:51s). Q: With 3000 something runners from all over the country spread out over 200 miles what are the chances of running with someone you know? A: Pretty good if it's Reach The Beach. With approximately 2 miles left in my first leg I caught PR Racing's Chris Benson and slowed to run with him 1.) because I didn't want to kill it the first leg and have nothing left for the other two and 2.) it seemed like bad mojo to catch him, chat with him, and then leave him in the dust. Not real neighborly. It actually helped the last few miles fly by very quickly. Chris is a great runner and doesn't mind the chatter during RTB. Turns out I saw him a number of other times throughout the rest of the event but never had a chance to run with him again. It was great to see so many acidotic RACING teammates representing us at this fantastic event. Here are the teammates that raced to the beach this weekend; acidotic RACING: Karen Dunn, Kevin Burt, Matt Rousseau, Nick Lavoie, Sarah Lavoie, Erik Roy, Marc Lesniak, Tammy Hickey, Ron Pelton, John "Bobby" Keely, Austin Stonebraker; acidotic X: Kurt Hansbury, Scott Graham, Dave Burns, Steve Sprague; and lastly Steve Wolfe, Rich Lavers, Jay Myers and Liz Hall racing for other entries. And thanks to our great friends at Redhook we enjoyed some cold beers at the finish!

Next Up: Pinnacle Challenge V

Thursday, September 17, 2009

NH-12 Adventure Race

Pawtuckaway State Park, Nottingham, NH--Last weekend Jay, Liz, and I raced the 12 Hour USARA Qualifier. It was Liz's first 12 hour adventure race and the first time Jay and I had raced co-ed together. We spent the first 6 hours on the mountain bikes riding some of the wettest, gnarliest, singletrack Pawtuck has to offer. Actually, "riding" is being a little generous. We spent a fair amount of time hike-a-biking. CP11, located on the Woronoco Trail, gave us fits and we ended up mispunching an O-course control. By the time we rode into the paddle TA the rain had been coming down for hours. Cold, wet, and tired we missed the cutoff for the full paddle course and instead were sent out to locate only CP's 11-16. This easy section took us roughly :45 to finish. After a quick change of clothes and a bite to eat we set out on the trek course and the final 5 hours of the race. I took over the nav for the first three orienteering controls and we essentially walked up to each of them. CP4 would be a challenge as we were forced to bushwack over 2 kms to Round Pond. With little trouble we located the control and headed to South Mountain for the special challenge at CP5. Upon arriving at the fire tower at South Mountain (CP5) we found there was at least one other co-ed team working to find the three special clues (A, B, & C) located in close proximity to the summit. A crude hand drawn map (with no features and not to scale) showed the approximate locations and clues to the three special controls at CP5. A was relatively easy to solve as it's answer was written on a trail sign within 25 meters of the tower. B, on the other hand, was turning into quite the riddle for us and the growing number of other teams who began to arrive at the CP. After 20 minutes of fruitless searching we were informed by the RDs (via the volunteer standing at the summit...in the rain) that we should probably proceed straight to CP10 and then the finish because it was likely the rain had "washed away the clues". Huh? By the time this turn of events was announced it was approximately 4:45ish and we had a little over an hour to cover 5 miles and make it to the finish before the 6:00 pm deadline. With maps that resembled oatmeal (from not protecting them well enough from the elements...NOTE: Mom, I need a new map case for Christmas) we hobbled down South Mountain in the general direction of the finish line. A combination of walking & running resulted in our 5:55 pm finish arrival. Although we finished off the podium we did manage a Top 10 finish (out of 17 teams) and I think we found a new female adventure racing teammate. Liz Hall showed why she is one of the top female triathletes in New England. Her physical strength was matched only by her mental toughness as she fought through a couple of hard falls on the mountain bike to essentially pace us on the way off South Mountain. She remained patient and supportive the entire day even when things weren't quite going our way. I was very proud of how the three of us competed. Full results can be viewed at http://www.racingahead.com/results.html.

NEXT UP: Reach The Beach Relay