Jun 9, 2010

Wild and Wonderful.

Report by Val Chapa, team Calleva.

The Wild n Wonderful 24hr race was a good experience for all of us, especially me and my navigation! Due to Dima's inability to avoid a stationary wall on his bike (he luckily only broke one rib), Team Calleva was down one member, our best navigator for sure. Vlad, Karen and I made the journey down to Ace Adventures outside of Oak Hill, WV. This is a very well established outdoor venue with wonderful whitewater, miles of trail running available, and some of the best single track around on the eastcoast. Odyssey race organizer Ronny Angell put together another great race course. At the start of the race, Karen did a great job with the swimming leg, and the land navigation portion of the race. Vlad and I basically supported her and helped with pointing out visible reference points to help us along. We finished this portion of course in the top 5. Midway through the bike leg we climbed up to first. On the bike legs, I navigated some and did okay but once it became nightfall I made a critical error in not counting the forks in the road! This would lead us to spending 2hrs. at the farthest lake trolling in beaver water for a phantom checkpoint!! Earlier in the evening we stopped racing to help a local man re-harness his dogs...this gesture would later help us as we then could use some advice. After learning of our missed turn we headed back found the checkpoint within minutes and then headed to the transition to learn that we had fallen way behind the leaders. Our last section of the race was a night orienteering leg that befuddled us because of the necessity to use local maps that were not orienteering maps, so the became confused in the wee hours of dawn when we realized we were much lower than required when trying to get one of the mandatory checkpoints. Disgruntled with our performance and with little time to get make it to the next bike orienteering section we enjoyed ourselves as we strolled back to the finish line. The bigest enjoyment of this race was racing with Vlad and Karen, some of the whitewater rapids, the beautiful views and the great single track. Hope to see ya'll racing.
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