My First Adventure Race

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- Greg -

While scouting for the Treasure Coast AR this year, I was reminded of my very first adventure race, which was held in Jonathan Dickinson State Park.

My first AR was an 18hr Race. I was part of a 2-person team with a friend who had done a couple shorter races before. I let him talk me into this one. Being new to the fitness arena, I had no clue what proper race attire was. I wore camo pants, a wicking shirt and heavy running shoes. I thought I was good to go. I borrowed a steel bike that had no front or rear shocks.

All excited at the start, we ran very hard on a short loop that returned to the Main TA to transition to the bike. I thought we were doing great since we were the third team in at that time. Being out of breath and thirsty, I downed a quart and a 1/2 of Gatorade. After about 10 mins on bike, I deposited all the Gatorade on the side of the trail. I kept pushing on and about 45 mins later I got off my bike, laid down on the trail, and fell fast asleep. My teammate thought I was done. But to his surprise, 10 mins later, I woke up and was good to go, but at a reduced speed. Kinda funny looking back...having puked and passed out and we had only visited 2 control points at the 2 hour mark. We were in last place at the next manned CP and stayed behind everyone for the remainder of the event.

There were several navigation errors yet to come. First, we followed a bearing from one checkpoint to the next checkpoint, which caused a major 2 hour bushwack through thick under-brush and portions of waist-deep water. We should have referenced the instructions that said for us to follow the blue trail. I discovered this error after the event when I reread the map and instructions. Several times we left control points looking at the map and walked right past the correct trail. Then, not knowing where we were, ended up completely lost in the woods.

No doubt looking back it was a comedy of errors with all the other teams and voluteers wondering what in the world we were even doing there and sure not ever expecting us to return. However I loved it and have been adventure racing ever since.

There were several key points I learned:
-Know your body and how it reacts to the fuels you consume.
-Reference the instructions with the map as they usually provide many clues
-When lost, stop moving forward and return to a known point.
-Keep racing, and have fun.


PS: Feel free to share your own stories. We all learn from each other!
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My First Adventure Race
I'm just napping

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