Green Paw AS Plays Catch Up to Win 2011 Championship

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-Staff Writer-

DE LEON SPRINGS, FL -- Racing from behind for most of the way, Green Paw Adventure Sports put a lid on the 2011 season with a wild win at the Turkey Burn AR.

De Leon Springs, FL was the setting for this year's 12 hour finale and with a quick pace and competitive finish, the top teams may have brought the mythical fountain of youth to life through their virile gamesmanship.

After falling behind early, Green Paw had to dig deep to claw all the way back.

"I don't think we were any slower I just think everyone was faster," said team captain Tim Buchholz. "With all those teams up front...we were pushing hard the entire time."

The team estimated they fell 20 minutes off the pace within the first hour and a half of the race. They finally pulled even with Florida Xtreme (FLX) almost seven hours later before the final orienteering course.

"We split up (with FLX) about 2 minutes into the (final) trek," said teammate Ken Kandefer. "We all went different ways and then it was not knowing who was back yet or not."

The final trek was a rogaine course with nine control points (CPs) spread out evenly. After seeking several opinions, course designer Dave Brault concluded that there was no definitive way to tackle it. 

Despite being in a virtual tie at this point, Green Paw had no idea who would emerge from the trek first. Teams following close behind, including Primal Instinct & Florida Xtreme 2 (who finished second and third respectivley), still had a major stake in the finish. 

"It was fun having so many teams, all together, flip flopping for first," said teammate Anna Nummelin. ""We had a really tough time on this last orienteering section and we knew we had to move really fast because Dr. Ron (of FLX 2) was gonna come in and nail everypoint"

They were right to fear Dr. Ron Eaglin because he guided his team to the best time on that trek nearly ten minutes faster than Green Paw. (Read more about FLX 2's race at Ron's blog).

Because the final trek was so open ended, many of the teams ran into each other from all different directions creating a hectic unknowingness in their minds.

"We didn't know we won till we got to that tent (the end)," Tim said. "We didn't know if they (FLX) got in an hour ago or what."

But in the end, Green Paw did pull out the win despite missing a key member, Jason Willems, who suffered an injury days before the race. Luckily, they added Ken to the team late or otherwise they wouldn't have qualified to race in the Premier division.

Racing for the first time with Tim & Anna two weeks prior at The Leach, Ken excitedly accepted an invitation to do the Turkey Burn with them.

"Tim just asked me out of the blue if I wanted to race the Turkey Burn," Ken recalled. "I hadn't raced the Turkey Burn in 4 years due to work/injury and in 2007 our team took a hard fought 5th place (time penalty) so I had a little personal score to settle. Add in being able to race with elite level racers like Tim & Anna and it was a no brainer."

It was also Ken who correctly predicted the fun surprise Pangea had planned for the race.

All of the racers did a singletrack time trial portion on the Chuck Lennon Mountain Bike Trails. A rarity in adventure races (and a first for Pangea), incorporating a singletrack into the race was a great success.

The trail was restored and is maintained by John Petersmark & Kevin Phelps representing the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA).

"We've spent many hours working on the trails getting them into good cross country shape," Phelps said. "It's a constant job keeping the trail cleared from overgrowth, making sure erosion doesn't occur and keeping the overall safety for bikers and hikers."

Their time is apparently well spent after recieving countless glowing reviews from the racers.

"We knew the Turkey Burn event was going to have the bikers really test their biking skills here and it did that," Phelps said. "We saw some teams struggle a little but most did very well and had fun doing it. Some looked pretty nervous going in but most had smiles coming out."

As for the time trial itself, Primal Instinct won the elite competition in 37 minutes while Bear butt took the sport crown in 20 minutes.

But in the end, the 2011 Turkey Burn was a showcase of the ultra competitive adventure racers from Florida who love nothing more than to take each other on when the stakes are high. It would be hard to recreate the battle these friends shared on Saturday anywhere else. 

For Pangea, uncovering beautiful lands, keeping things fresh, and bringing in new people to experience adventure racing is the ultimate goal. If the 2011 Turkey Burn AR is any indication of what's to come, then expect 2012 to be even better than the last.

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Comment by Tim | November 30, 2011

Great article, thanks! I'm glad you included a link to Ken's twitter prediction :-) With Jason's "old man back" acting up, Ken is our new favorite teammate.

Comment by Ron Eaglin | November 30, 2011

Also this is hopefully not the last time we incorporate single track into the race - I'd love to see more challenging single track in races. Everyone in FLX2 really enjoyed the single track.

Comment by Ken Kandefer | December 7, 2011

The story behind the Twitter prediction is that I have a friend from Deland who keeps talking about these trails he likes to ride. One day while I was doing some Google Maps recon of Deleon Springs I saw Chuck Lennon Park. Being so close to the MTA I was pretty sure we were going to ride there!

I may be Tim's favorite teammate but have you asked Anna that? I'm pretty sure I'm the worst person to sit in front of in a canoe!

I second that great article. The best part was the sense of urgency going into the last foot section. Even well into the foot section our team and Mark , Marghi & Tom's FL Xtreme team both only had 3 CP's to go. They really made us work hard the entire race.

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