Sep 22, 2011

East Coast Championship

This past weekend Dima and I headed up to Seven Springs Resort in PA for the 1st Edition of the East Coast Adventure Racing Series Championship Race put on by American Adventure Sports. The race was 18 hours long and we were looking for the win in our 2 person Co-Ed division so we could win the series overall. The race started at Midnight on top of the ski resort mountain and after coming out of a warm summer it was a balmy 45 degrees with wind at the start. The race started with a mandatory trekking leg with 5 points and then an optional orienteering leg with 6 points. We made our way through the first trek and within minutes we were both warm after a chilly start. After looking at the orienteering map we decided to skip one of the points and headed out for 5 of the points. Unlike many other teams Dima did a great job navigating this section and we wrapped up both trekking legs in roughly 6 hours and headed back to the TA and a transition to bike. The bike leg consisted of several mandatory CP's as well as several optional CP's on the way to Hidden Valley Resort. We headed out on the bike for a very cold but brief descent down the mountain. The first few points we in the ski resort with several more on our way to Hidden Valley. Daylight was upon us soon after we got on the bikes so we were able to put the headlamps away making navigation a bit easier. We got all the points on the way to Hidden Valley and started the climb to the TA. At this next TA we transitioned to another trek/orienteering course within Hidden Valley Ski Resort. Once again several of the points were mandatory and several were optional. As we headed out on the trek we planned to go for all the points since we were making good time. We hit the first 2 and headed for the 3rd point located on the northern tip of a hill top. This point was tricky and we spent an hour and twenty minutes looking for it with no luck. We decided to call it a day and headed out of the woods to our next point and then back to the TA. Once back at the TA we had a quick transition back to the bike. We headed out for the ride back to Seven Springs. We had several points along the way as we headed back into the resort for the long climb back up the mountain to the TA. By the time we got back to the TA it was about 3pm and we had 3 hours left on the course. We had 2 legs of the race left, a short orienteering trekking leg and a final mountain bike leg on trails within Seven Springs. We headed out on the trek for a pretty easy leg. The highlight of the race was at the end of the trek when Dima decided that we should take the ski lift back up the mountain instead of trekking back up. We had overheard Doug the race director say taking the ski lift was not prohibited so we went for it. We got lucky and did not have to pay the lift fee. As we went up the lift which went over the downhill mountain bike trail system we saw many riders bombing down the mountain. We got to the top and headed back into the TA with about 1 hour left on the race clock. We quickly transitioned back to bike and headed out on the final section which consisted of 4 optional points. With only an hour left our plan to was try and get at least one point before heading back to the finish. As we were making our way to the first point Dima discovered that something was wrong with his bike seat. He got off to check it out which resulted in the entire seat breaking off the bike. There was no way to fix it and if we had continued Dima would have been riding without a seat. The timing could not have been better to lose a bike seat since there were no mandatory CP's on that last bike leg. So we headed back to the finish and turned in our passport for an official time of 17 hours and 30 minutes. Overall I think we had a good race, winning our division and winning the overall division for the race series. We walked away with some cool swag and it was a great warmup for the real National Championship Race in Kentucky the weekend of Oct 21st. That race will be even harder with some great competition in the 2 Person Co-Ed division. We are going to have to be in top form and run a fast race to win. Stay tuned........

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