Team Virtus 1st Annual AR Race

I sat there in the parking lot… watching the minutes tick by. Zack and I were meeting at 7:30 so I could follow him to the “race” which was starting at 9:00.  I had no idea how to get to McCubbins Point, and I had the maps for the race.

It was 7:40 and I was nervous.

I called Zack… no answer.  So, I called Luke. He informed me that this was perfectly normal for Zack and everything would be fine. At 7:54 Zack rolled up and we were off.

To say that it was cold that morning would be like saying that Salma Hayek kinda has a nice rack. If I remember correctly, it was 8 degrees when we left Jefferson City.

When Zack and I rolled into McCubbins Point we saw Brandon and Ronda Lepage sitting in their truck waiting for us. No Luke and no Casey. Phil was late, too. Things were off to a bit of  a shaky start.

All my worrying was for nothing, though…within minutes everyone else was present and we were ready to get underway. A lot of us had never met, and it felt good to finally shake hands with people I had only ever spoken with on the internet. It turns out Casey is much hairier than I thought.

After some last-minute modifications to the maps we were ready to get things underway. Ronda and Brand would be running the “Supervised Short Course” with Luke  while Zack, Casey, Phil and myself would attempt the full course.

Dan from Oz Cycles was kind enough to get up early on his day off to deliver the kayaks to the race-course. We would be using 2 (2-man) kayaks for the first leg of the “race”. I had brought my own kayak, (borrowed from Red Wheel Bike Shop) but after much deliberation decided to ride in one of the tandems with Zack.

And so it became a 2-team race: Zack and I would be “competing ” against Casey and Phil.

Here we see Phil and Casey carrying their boat to the water:

Casey and Phil got a pretty good gap on us right away, as is evidenced by this photo.

Zack and I were undeterred. Armed with a brand new bag of Beechnut’s Moonshine-flavored long leaf tobacco, we raged forward and overtook them. Look at the pain in Zack’s face as he tries not to drop a doozer in the kayak:

The first CP was one that did not require being punched on the passport, we needed only to read the # on the control and write it on our passport. We found it quickly and moved on.

Cool pic off the front of the kayak:

Ckpt 2 would be a different story. Per the map,  ckpt 2 was at the end of a gravel bar right next to the water’s edge. The problem was that the entire cove was frozen, making the cp unreachable by kayak.  The decision was made to backtrack to the bank, beach the kayaks and proceed on foot to CP #2.  I snapped this photo as proof:

After some old-school style bushwacking/ unknowingly tresspassing on government property, Zack and I were face-to-face with a serious dilemma. CP 2 was about 10 feet off the bank underneath about 1/2 an inch of ice. Zack started taking his shoes off and I got my camera ready.

What a freakin’ animal. I never could’ve done that.

After that things got a bit hairy. Looking at the map, I was just “sure” I knew where we were going and exactly where CP 3 was waiting for us. An hour later  we were still looking for the damn thing because I was completely wrong. At this point Casey, Zack and I were walking around trying to find the CP while Phil was running wild thru the woods earning base miles for an off-road marathon later in the year. After running into Luke, Ronda and Brandon, we finally figured out where the damn thing was and punched the passport.

Damn you, CP 3…..damn you.

I’ve got a nasty habit of writing long-winded race reports, so how ’bout I show you some of our pics and letcha know what happened:

We stopped to snap a pic of this badness on the way to CP 3:

Zack punches CP 4

^^ CP 7 clue was “culvert”. I was smart enough to scratch my way thru a wall of thorns only to crawl into the wrong culvert about 100 feet up the road. Luke will pay for this someday.

Hard to believe it, but we found the CP!!!

After the race was done, Dan came to pick up his kayaks. Try to put yourself in his shoes: He delivered 2 very expensive kayaks to a group of total strangers, then had to come pick them up. When he showed up to get them he had to hike over a mile downhill to find them, then carry one BY HIMSELF back up a mile-long uphill climb back to his car. His wife thought he would be home hours ago and he was definitely going to get his ass kicked if he didn’t make it home with the groceries. Wouldn’t you be a little aggravated? Not Dan, he actually brought us beer and stood around in the freezing cold to shoot the breeze with us for a while. I can’t say enough about his kind of customer service. If you see this guy, shake his hand and tell him he’s the man.

Then it was time to head back to the cabin for some serious hanging out. Dan lead us out through a series of sketchy-ass gravel roads and across swinging bridges that had Luke and I dropping bombs in our pants. It was so crazy that we actually went back the next day to take pictures. Check this shit out:

Yeah, that looks safe.

Here’s the view from the bridge

I never would’ve thought that we would find Osama Bin Laden’s hideout in the middle of the Ozarks. Too-shay, Osama….Too-shay.

Tell me this isn’t creepy..this thing has electricity going into it, sewer pipes outside, and some kind of fan blowing air out the door.

Of course, the race is only half of the fun, so when we headed off to our cabin in the woods there plenty of shenanigans taking place. Casey brought me a souvenir from New York:

It was still very cold, and I think we were all a bit nervous when, even after Zack got the fire going, the cabin was colder than a well-digger’s ass in the arctic circle. It’s not everyday you can sit on top of a wood burning stove and not feel warmth:

Note the “mood candles” that Zack had strewn throughout the cabin.  I tried to use one to warm my face and lit my beard on fire…now my sideburns are all messed up.

^^^ Who would’ve thought that lasagna from a bag could taste so good? Casey is an official spokesperson for Mountain House camp food.

Three very hetero-men wearing spandex (post-race) with our brand new Beaver  Stix that we both forgot to use during the race.

Long story short, we had a ridiculous amount of fun and froze our asses off. You should’ve been there. Don’t worry though, we’ll be doing this again.

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About Bob Jenkins

Crusher of beers.

Posted on January 7, 2010, in Race Reports and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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