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Great Adventure Challenge

Team Bikeman - Race Reports

8/15/15

Men age 17-34

My coworker emailed me the information page for this event one day. I flipped through the webpage, noticed the kind of high registration fee, then noticed that all registration proceeds went to a center that helped adults who are intellectually challenged. I thought that was a great cause and with the fun sounding course decided to give it a go.

The format of the event was a 2.5 mile kayak, followed by a 16.5 mile mountain, followed by a 2 mile round trip from the bottom to the top of Shawnee Peak and back. I had been running and biking all summer long, so those events I figured I'd be all set on. Kayaking on the other hand I've never done anything resembling competition with. So I borrowed a kayak and headed up. Registration was well run, everything was labeled really well and directions on what to do were great. The pre-race meeting was just as good with a funny race organizer giving all last minute instructions.

After a quick bus ride down to the start of the kayak, we were ready to go. In my kayak and on the start line I was feeling nervous because I knew this was going to be the hardest leg for me. As the mini cannon went off to signal the start there was a bit of argy bargy before everyone settled into a spot and we started cruising. It was a very different experience for me, no rest for the whole leg, just constant paddling that I am not used to doing. Needless to say my arms were rather tired heading back to the beach.

Once done with the kayak, I went through the timing line and got on my bike. This was definitely the leg that I was most comfortable with, so I got focused and started riding hard. I started passing people and finally saw a person 500 feet in front of me that I wasn't catching too quickly. He became the carrot in front of my face and I chased him for about four miles. Then we hit the one rather technical downhill and by the bottom I was right behind him. The rest of the race we rode together exchanging pulls on the many dirt road sections. When we got to the switch for the run, my girlfriend was really excited because I had made it all the way up to fourth overall!

The the run/hike started. It was really hot and very little shade in the mowed path right on the main trail of the ski mountain. I've never really noticed how steep the mountain was while skiing, but it was very noticeable while trying to get to the top as quick as I could. I only got passed by one person as I was going up and no more while going down, so I knew I had finished in fifth overall, which I was really happy about.

After looking at the results I had the 29th fastest kayak time, the 2nd fastest bike time, and the 11th fastest run/hike time for a 5th overall placement and a 2nd in my age category. Come to find out a little later, 1st place in my age category, and the guy who got 1st on the bike, is an Olympic nordic skier. Considering I was only 30ish seconds slower than him on the bike I considered it a very successful day.

I highly recommend this event to anyone for next year. Good atmosphere, great cause and a fun course lead to a great day in the sun.

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