About two days prior to the race, Scarlett called me to see if I would be interested in joining her and her husband Damon at the Baton Rouge Adventure Race. I agreed.
I've never really done a race quite like this, so I had no idea what to expect. Damon and I had a long phone conversation prior to the race to go over all the details and to decide what jobs everyone would have. I was in charge of the passport and getting it punched, Damon would navigate and Scarlett was our pack mule...sort of...she was in charge of carrying water and other supplies.
Adventure racing is different from any other race I've ever seen. You are given maps, a punch card, and directions about 10 minutes prior to the start of the race. You sit down and try your best to map out the course quickly. This particular race was held in Baton Rouge. It started on LSU's campus, where you did a short run (about 2 miles) then you grab your bike and get on the levee. From there we went downtown and just left our bikes on the side of the levee. We had to get a few punches on our card at the Old Governors Mansion, then on to the YMCA where we had our first challenge. We had to get on a exercise ball and go from one side of the room to the other, using only our hands. I have no upper body strength, so this was tough. Then once you got to the other side of the room, you had to do 10 push ups. This was pure torture!
The next challenge took place at the fountains in front of the Shaw Building. We had to fill a tube with water, but you could not use water bottles, shoes, camel backs, etc. Damon and Scarlett are very fit, so they were comfortable taking off their shirts and using that to catch the water. I do not take off my shirt in public, so I just used my hands. I was pretty useless on this challenge, but we finished it and were on our way.
We made a few navigation mistakes and ended up running about 3 miles that we didn't need to run, but needed to bike instead. Once we got on our bikes, we were doing good. We went to Memorial Cemetery, Raising Canes Dog park (where we had to unscramble some clues to get our passport punched), Varsity Sports (where there was a rope wall to climb), and then to the lakes at LSU (where we would canoe).
After the canoe, we biked back to the transition area on the LSU campus. We had a short run after that, and we were done!! It took us almost exactly 4 hours to finish the entire thing.
I think the race was supposed to be about a 15 mile bike, 5 mile run, and 2 mile canoe. I would guess we biked about 18 miles, ran about 8 miles and canoed the 2 that was required (Damon and Scarlett...please feel free to correct my numbers here....I'm not good at estimating).
Ok...now for some pictures.
Getting ready for the race. Scarlett is ready, the rest of us are not so sure.
Mapping out our course. I'm no help! Not sure what I'm doing even looking at the map.
I think our team name was "Bite Me." We were filling in for a team that couldn't make it (which is why there was a last minute request to do the race). GO TEAM BITE ME! HA!
I love this picture. Scarlett is looking good, I'm giving the thumbs up, poor Damon is just hanging in there! We just finished our first 2 miles at this point.
We are looking good here! Jace (the photographer for the day) met us at the dog park. This is about 2 hours into the race.
Unscrambling the word...it was "your race has just begun." Um. We've been going for 2 hours, no way we are just getting started! UGH.
Climbing the rope wall. I did not do the Warrior Dash in the Spring, so this is the first time for me to do one of these things. It's a lot harder than it looks! And that lady next to me kept kicking me in the face.
This is a good shot of what the checkpoints look like. I had to get our passport punched 18 times during the race...and most of the checkpoints were just orange flags in a tree.
The team in the canoe. While I've been in a canoe before, Jace never would let me paddle. Damon and Scarlett didn't have a problem with me paddling this day. Thanks guys!
After the race was over....Go TEAM! I had a great time! Hopefully we can do it again sometime.