Castlewood Race Report

I will have to admit that when I committed to doing this race, I was very skeptical about how things would go.  Orienteering….nay, paddling….I don’t think so, Mt. Biking…..HELLZ YES!  So 1 out of 3…..not the best odds.

Lucky for me I had Bob Jenkins as my teammate!  Bob’s navigational skills were outstanding and I am still here today to tell this epic tale.

The night before the team headed up to the Alpine Shop to check in and get our maps, instructions, and packets.  Each racer received a certificate for 30% off 1 item in the store.  Unfortunately my budget did not allow me to purchase a new Specialized Epic or  Specialized Tarmac, so I settled for some nice wool socks.

The team then headed to The Pasta House for some pre-race carb loading.  After a plateful of pasta and a salad we headed to the wonderful amenities at the local Super 8.  For those who are looking for a nice hotel to stay at, this one is not the one.  But the price was right and it served its purpose.

The night was spent getting the pack ready and double checking our lists.  Decisions were made about what to wear, what to pack, what to eat, and were the checkpoints would be.  Beers were consumed and stories were told.  The night flew by and before we knew it, it was after midnight.  We were looking at 3 hours of sleep before the race day was upon us.

Morning came way to early.  We scurried to get our S**T packed and get the bikes to the bike drop.  Surprisingly that went off without a hitch and we arrived at the race headquarters.  Adam ran up and signed in since we was a late arrival Friday night (another reason why he is fired from the team).  Everyone else made there way to the start finish line to get the passport and rethink their opening moves of the race.

Everyone sang the National Anthem and they said “GO”.  Bob I am took a different route from the “Real” team virtus.  We made our way up the ridge and followed it around.  Bob had his thumb compass and map in hand and directed me where to go.  We seemed to sail to the first checkpoint without a hitch.  Bob planned our route to #2.

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We seemed to sail through the first 3 checkpoints with no problems and Bob was spot on with his navigation and checkpoint plotting.  The 4th checkpoint was the bike transition.  We headed out on a sweet downhill and headed into some sweet ass trails!  Binder has nothing on the trails we were on.  We were cruzing through checkpoints right and left.

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As we came to checkpoint 15 we were given the option of finding about 4-5 more checkpoints for bonus at the end or continue on with no bonus. Bob and looked at each other and said “We got this”

The awesome volunteers gave us the clues and maps and we sped off.  Bob was instantly energized and I almost had to tell him to slow down.  I was struggling to keep up with him on his bike.  Bob and I totally dominated the bonus checkpoints.  We found them in what seemed to be lightning speed.  We stopped at our last bonus checkpoint and reminisced on how great our day was going.  We grabbed a drink and ate some power bars.

Next was the feared paddle.  I was especially concerned about this portion of the race.  I hadn’t been in a canoe in years…let alone paddled down a river with our bikes in the middle.  Bob and I found a great way to get the bikes in.  Unfortunately I can not disclose our secrets.  But our canoe was balanced and we felt strong as we paddled downstream.

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Things were going smoothly till Bob said “Hey Robby….our map is floating about 10 yards behind us”.  I think my response was…”Are you serious?”  But level heads prevailed and we slowed our blistering pace down the river and manuvered the boat enough to get the map back inside the canoe.  Lucky for us Bob Jenkins is the man and sealed the map case correctly.  We paddled hard for the finish and made landfall at the last paddling checkpoint.  I successfully pulled our canoe (with Bob in it) out of the river.  We unloaded and passed the mandatory gear check (though Bob had trouble finding his light).  Turns out that Bob had his light in his pocket….not his pack.

We saddled up headed to what we thought were the last checkpoints of the day.  Bob looked at the map and said “You better eat now because we have a lot of climbing coming up”.  I pounded down a powerbar as we headed for the hill.  This so called hill had never met “Team Virtus” because Bob and I crushed this hill.  Everyone else was walking their geared bikes and Bob and I crushed this on our single speeds!

Bob crushing "The Hill" on his SS

Bob reaching the checkpoint at the top of "The Hill"

So after we said “F**K YOU!” to that hill we had the finsih line in site.  The day was ours and we had had a great race.  We had heard rumors of another bonus section at the end of the race.  What we did not know was there was 8 more checkpoints to be plotted and found.  As we sat down to plot the last 8 points our spirit was a little crushed.  But I told Bob…”Get your mind right!”  I think this energized Bob because he was a checkpoint plottin MOFO!  With a little help from me (reading the plots) we had 6 new checkpoints plotted.  2 of the 6 were ones we had already found earlier in the day.
As we headed out we stopped in and grabbed a couple slices of pizza (the only pizza we got this fine day) and a gatorade.  Once again Bob was right on with his point plotting and navigation.  He pointed us toward the first checkpoint and as I punched it, he already had the next one in mind.  We breezed through the first 2.  We chose to get the first 2 we had plotted since we already knew where these were.  As we headed toward the next checkpoint (the 2nd of the first 2 we had found) we encountered a lady who was lost.  She was looking for the start/finish line.  We consulted the map, did the honorable thing, and pointed her in the right direction.  Time was winding down as we found the 3rd of 8.  The day as getting long and the light was starting to dim.  Time was not on our side and we (as a team) made and executive decision to grab one more and head for the finish line.
Bob had it scouted and as we got to the creek bed Bob said “It’s just up here”.  I had no doubts that he was right and we headed up a small creek bed.  Sure enough….Bob was right once again.
As you can see this was, in my opinion, the best checkpoint of the day.  Bob Jenkins is the man!  He was right on and once again our day was going great!
After reaching this checkpoint we decided to head back and finish the race.  For every minute past 4:30 were were going to be penalized 1 point per minute so we did not want to be late.  We decided to take the road up as it would be easier then hiking through the woods.  About a quarter of the way up Bob said he wasn’t going to make it.  I was feeling great so I litearlly pushed Bob up this long, never ending, hill.  Once we got to the top Bob went back to work and navigated us back to the finish line.  We crossed the finish line with about 5 minutes to spare.

Team Virtus dominates again

The day was ours any we did the best we could.  Bob and I were extrememly satisfied with our day.  Bob even said “Thanks God for your beard Robby Brown.”  What a fun and exhausting day.
We headed for the pizza only to find there was no more pizza.  All had been consumed, but that did not damper out spirits.  We got in some nice group photos

The whole Team Virtus

We had a great day!  No real problems and a lot of fun.

A huge thanks to Bob Jenkins and Luke Lamb for accepting me into the team and getting me out there.

Luke telling us his adventure story

Bob relaxing after a hard day of racing

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Posted on December 17, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Dave (The Tardy Rooster)

    Awesome job guys, the Tardy Rooster missed out on a great race!

  2. You guys kicked butt out there. I’m glad Robby’s first AR got to be such a great experience and Bob got the monkey off his back…or whatever the expression was…. :)

  3. Sorry, but you can’t leave this report with “Everything worked out perfect”. There must be more adversity, Maybe a bigfoot sighting. Just sayin. :-)

    Congrats guys.

    Kelly

    • Kelly, don’t worry. I made a BIG mistake in our race. Actually, it was a rookie mistake, and I feel terrible for making it. But you’ll have to wait until I finish my race report to read about that… Hopefully sometime within the next 12 months.

  4. Great write up, Robby! I can’t tell you how glad I am that you guys had a great race. We, The “Real” Team Virtus, wondered if you guys were doing okay MANY times throughout the race. I was one of the highlights for me to see you guys run across the finish line with smiles on your faces. Can’t wait to do it again.

  5. Awesome write up! I knew you guys would have a blast, anytime you get to race/ride with Bob it is a great time. Getting to hang out with Luke, Bob, and Casey back at the Berryman was quite the adventure.

  6. Trust me Kelly, we had pretty low expectations going into this thing. I specifically told Robby there was a good chance we’d get lost and miss a time cutoff early in the race. You never could’ve told me things would go so well. Thank goodness Robby Brown had a beard, or we would’ve surely been screwed.

    I can’t even tell you how nervous I was in the days leading up to this race. And then when I realized Luke & I had different routes picked for the 1st o-section, I was really doubting myself. But after we started finding CP’s, my confidence skyrocketed.

    I still can’t believe how smoothly our race went. I have no doubt we would’ve cleared the course had we been pushing the pace, but I wouldn’t change a single thing about this day. It seriously couldn’t have been any better.

  7. Great write up man. You are able to tell the story with fewer words than I. When you say “the whole Team Virtus” what did you mean? Were Darin and I kicked off the team? If not the caption should’ve said “both Virtus teams” or maybe “Team Virtus” or “All of Team Virtus competing this day.

    Bob – great job with the nav. You’ve come a long way. You know what you need? A race in New York.

    • Yes Casey, you are correct…the “Whole” team was not there, I should have the said Team Virtus and the real Team Virtus. My bad. The only team member that was fired is Adam.

      As for the wording…I did not want to get to long winded. It could have been much much longer.

      • I feel so much better now. I was worried Darin and I got fired for failure to show up at the race. I wasn’t criticizing the brevity of the report. I think it was well told with fewer words than I use. I need to learn how to say more with less. I wish I could’ve raced; it looks like it was a blast.

        I liked the beard.

  1. Pingback: One More Race Report Done …. 7 months past due. | Orange Lederhosen

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