Seriously… We’ve got a problem, and the only solution is rogaine. No, not the hair-loss treatment. The only problem with my hair is that it’s all turning gray in a hurry (as you’ll see if you look closely in the photos below). I’m talking about a race – the 24 Hour Shawnee Extreme Rogaine.
“What’s that?” you ask. “What exactly is a rogaine?” Well, here is what I wrote in a post from last year:
“There are two stories behind the term rogaine. I have read that it comes from the first two letters of the names of the three athletes who supposedly invented the sport. Their names were Rod, Gail, and Neil. Rogaine is also an acronym. The letters stand for Rugged Outdoor Group Activity Involving Navigation and Endurance.
A rogaine is an orienteering race usually lasting 12 to 24 hours where each checkpoint has a point value. Teams of two to five can get checkpoints in any order they so choose, and the team with the most points at the end of the race is the winner. So, strategy plays a huge role in a rogaine race. Do you try to get all of the low-value checkpoints that are closer and easier to find? Or do you try to go for the high-value points that are farther away and more difficult to locate?”
Last year, the Brothers Lamb (Casey, Zack, and myself) all met up to do the Sleepy Hollow 12 Hour Rogaine in Ohio. It was our first rogaine, and it was the first time we had ever officially raced as Team Virtus. It was a brutally good time, so we decided we needed to do it again.
This year, however, NSF Adventures is offering a 12 hour AND a 24 hour rogaine at the Shawnee Extreme (which has replaced the Sleepy Hollow Rogaine). So of course we’re doing the 24 hour, and of course we’re in way over our heads yet again. Zack couldn’t make it this year, but Casey, Bob, Drew, and I are ready to go. Whatever happens, I know we’ll have a blast in Ohio.
To prepare, Bob and I ventured up to Rock Bridge State Park for some Orienteering practice.
To prepare myself to carry Casey’s pack again (you really need to read last year’s race report), I decided to carry my chubby son Otis on my back, although I still think Casey’s pack was heavier… Seriously, it was.
Actually, I pray that Casey doesn’t suffer cramps like he did last year. We give him a hard time about carrying his pack, but he was a stud to push through the pain. We were happy (well, not happy but we were willing) to carry his pack, because that’s what a team does. We pick each other up when we need to. I know Casey would do the same for me (Seriously, Casey, you have to carry my pack this year).
It was a perfect Fall day for orienteering in Missouri. We had a blast. We even had some run-ins with thorns and brush of which there will be plenty in Ohio, I promise.
At one point, we had to decide if we should cross the creek or backtrack at least a mile to get to the next checkpoint. Well, we chose to cross the creek, and obviously Bob decided to cross a downed tree, possibly the most difficult option for crossing the creek.
Bob came really close to getting wet, but he somehow managed to save himself. It was hilarious! He then came up with a new method to cross the creek – the Sit and Scoot. He used his Beaver Stick to clear the brush as he straddled the log and scooted on his ass. It worked beautifully.
As tempted as I was to cross the creek here as well, I just couldn’t risk falling in from that height with Ote Boat on my back. So I took my shoes off, hiked my pants legs up, and crossed the creek barefoot where it was shallower. The water was cold, but we made it.
We got some good orienteering practice in, and although we weren’t out there setting any speed records, we kept moving most of the time except for a few map-checks and potty breaks.
Otis loved being out in the woods… as long as we didn’t stop for too long. He would get pretty pissed if we stayed in one spot for more than 30 seconds. As long as we kept moving, though, Otis was as happy as can be. He must have gotten very comfortable back there…
I always love getting out there for some orienteering. I wish there were more orienteering races in mid-Mo. I know St. Louis and Kansas City have orienteering clubs, but it can be too much to drive 2 hours for an hour-long O-race. Maybe Team Virtus needs to start a mid-Mo orienteering club… Hmm… Anyone reading this think that’s a good idea? Anyone?
Anyway, we had a great time, and we’re now ready to dominate the Shawnee Extreme Rogaine this weekend. Okay, we’re nowhere near ready to dominate the race. The terrain is ridiculously brutal with crazy elevation gains/losses, and the brush, briars, and thorns are insane. Domination? Probably not, but we’re ready to have more fun than anyone else. And that’s what it’s all about.