May 12 was the NCARS 2 at Lake Norman State Park. The Waterlogged Dogwoods team was represented by yours truly and David Parsons-Foresi, otherwise known as the ‘hyphenates'. This was our first time navigating outside of Umstead (which we don't really count) and opted to do the five-hour race. We left at 5am and headed to Lake Norman where the race started on time after a pre-race briefing. During the Q&A, a guy asked if he could drive his car to the O-course. He wasn't joking. Doug handled it well and since this was a beginner-friendly event, I'm sure after the race the guy understood why it was funny question!
I decided that our strategy should be to do the O-course first, followed by the paddle and leave our strongest discipline, the bike, for last. This turned out to be a good decision. We biked down to the O-course and after finding the first one right away, had trouble with the second. David held the map most of the time but we looked at it equally. When we were walking around for what I decided was too long, we opted to go up to the road where we could see where we were and use our compass to get a bearing (first thing – know where you are!). David did a great job and we walked about 300 meters straight toward it. Fortunately, there was a guy there already because I may have walked past it since it was under a log and not as visible from the direction I was walking.
We then tried to get CP12 but after searching too long, I decided that we were losing too much time and needed to get back to the road and try for CP11. As much as i wanted to keep hunting for this one, Marcey's call on spending too much time on it was correct and we had to scoot. Excellent call Marcey (DPF) This one had David getting another bearing from the road and we didn't waste too much time. We ran back to the TA because I felt like we were spending too much time on the O-course and we needed to hustle. We only got 3 of 6 CPs but I felt good that I kept an eye on the clock.
We rode back to the paddle TA and hopped in and decided we would only get one mandatory point of the three CPs to make sure we had time to get the bike points. We paddled as far as we felt we could in the shallow water. I almost took Marcey's head off not turning the canoe fast enough. Sorry Marcey (DPF). This is true. I was almost decapitated but thankfully limbo skills were A+ that day. We jumped out and made our way around knee deep muddy grass for about 150 meters. I'm sure we scared a few snakes. I spotted the CP and we headed back to the TA. Jay Anderson (volunteer) said we had time to get another and encouraged us to go. I'm glad we did because we also found it pretty quick. I'm not often the first to spot the CP flags so yesterday I felt great that I found so many. The energy burst is better than a double-shot!
The last bit was the bike course and it was FUN!!!! Kudos to the course designer, Mike Dickinson, for forcing people to ride the sweet, flowy singletrack at Lake Norman. The singletrack is killer – well worth a day drip from the 919 (DPF). The CPs were not far off of the trails and there weren't so many that it felt like we didn't get to ride. David went ahead since he was faster. At one point he hopped off the trail too early and I passed him but we didn't know it. We got a little separated and he had scary visions of me lying by the side of the trail needing emergency help from being eaten by a snake, bit by a spider or knocked out cold. In reality I was waiting at the CP wondering if he had stopped to get a pedicure. I was having a serious oh BOY moment – where's Marcey and is she okay? She was fine, waiting for me. (DPF) It was about 9 miles in distance and about 1.25 hours for us to ride and get the CPs. Many points I forgot I was racing I had so much fun just riding the trails. YEP!!(DPF) This was, by far, my favorite part of the race. I always feel bummed when I am on a course with great singletrack and my navigator makes me bikewhack most of it (yes, I'm talking to you, Major). Anyway, David and I felt like kids and can't wait to go back and ride those trails again!
We came in at 4hrs and 35 minutes and felt that our strategy for the day was the right one. At first I was disappointed that we didn't get more O-points but then I realized that it is also knowing when to bag it and deciding which points are possible in the alotted time frame. I have no idea how we finished and get impatient waiting to post my report so let's just say we didn't win but I don't think we were last either! I needed to be racing with Bob because I realized after we finished I didn't take a single picture 🙁
I conjured Don Childrey and Bob May throughout the race and there were several times that I said “Look what I did!' to Don since he has been patiently teaching me to navigate. David did a great job with the compass and once again we had a great race together and complement each other well. I have raced NCARS races 4-5 times and have never been an official finisher due to mechanical issues, DQs, not getting a mandatory point etc. so it was great to finally finish an NCARS! This was my first NCARS race and I'm looking forward to my next!! (DPF)
On the ride home I decided I needed a post-race milkshake since the last one I had was at Nationals in October when David and I were driving back. I was mildly obsessed with getting one at Chik-fil-A because I had one there two years ago but it was too far away so we stopped at DQ for a small peanut butter frozen hot chocolate (OMG) for me and a small butterfinger blizzard for David. We needed smalls because, well, it's bikini season for David 🙂 Bikini season indeed. Marcey is an excellent teammate and enjoy racing with her and the car ride to and fro is always good car time. DPF
Our only picture
For Lisa – one gal's cool is another gal's cadaver!
Waterlogged Dogwoods Adventure Racing Promo Video:
Check out our promotional video for the Waterlogged Dogwoods and the awesome sport of adventure racing! Special huge, giant, enormous thanks to Kevin Rader-Rhodenbaugh of www.kevinrr.com for the original music. To get the full effect, make sure you listen with speakers for the surprise at the end 🙂
On 9/11 the NC National Guard hosted a 5k, 10k and a 4hr sprint adventure race. Race Director was Major Bob May, our Waterlogged Dogwoods team captain. David Parsons-Foresi and I raced as team Rainbow-Bubbleship. We were excited to race locally where we could ride to the start and also to practice navigating for the first time prior to Storm the Eastern Shore 30 hr AR coming up in a couple of weeks.
The race started with a ride down to Umstead from the Guard building on Reedy Creek Road. We chose to bike first to make sure we were closer to the finish as the time slipped away. I chose to ride my single speed as it is faster on flats and uphills. The bike navigation was fairly easy for an AR but we didn't always choose the best attack points. We could tell because Brent Eishen and his daughter Zoe (who did great at her first AR!!) were behind us in speed but always seemed to get to the CP first. It was great to race in our back yard and bird-dog with Brent and Zoe, watching how they attacked a point vs. what we did gave instant feedback and made for a great learning experience. Lots of mental ohhs and ahhs. Most importantly Brent agreed that sausage pizza for breakfast is ideal race food. dbpf
At the Orienteering course in Schenk Forest we climbed the rock wall first. It was my first time ever climbing a rock wall and surprisingly I wasn't nervous at all and made it up pretty fast. Marcey rocked out the rock wall. dbpf I guess my fear of heights/falling is going away! First the ropes course, then a rappel at Linville Gorge and now the rock wall! We took off trekking and ran about 75% of it. I surprised myself with some correct nav strategy and even opted to bushwhack and it turned out to be the right move. We spent too much time on CP8 and found out later we were pretty much right on it but due to time, we decided to give up. Yes, too much time looking for CP8 – it's strange how time moves: real fast, then too slow. I think the hardest thing for us this race was deciding to bag CP 8 and start making our way back. I think it frustrated us both. dbpf We only had time for one more CP before we had to head back.
We had two special challenges: 1) write down the year of the first National Guard Militia in the US. I must point out that had I listened to David we would have missed this (1776) but I consulted Wikipedia on my iPhone (perfectly legal) and it was 1636 in Massachusetts. I would have bet money on 1776, I was thinking of Paul Revere and the Beastie Boys. Good on Marcey to check it out and confirm. dbpf 2) rebuild a lego structure that we saw at the rock wall. I screwed this up because I cannot draw 3 dimensionally (or even 2 dimensionally) and tried to channel my friend Angie Hedman but she wasn't listening. My drawing was not accurate so we missed that point. My bad.
In the end, we ended up winning by ten points. There was a 9/11 ceremony prior to the awards to honor those who lost their lives on that day and the days since. Major May did an outstanding job as RD, as always, with a great course and correct CP placement. There were several volunteers who helped out and the race couldn't have gone as smoothly without them. Thank you!! One can never say thank you enough to our service members! dbpf
Lessons learned: consider attack points, cap the time spent looking for a CP, do not rely on the Beastie Boys for historical information. And bring the iphone dbpf
Next up – Storm the Eastern Shore 30hr AR in Cape Charles, VA which will be a very difficult to navigate race with 15-25 miles of trekking, 60-80 miles of mountain biking and 25-35 miles of paddling. This will be a great race!!!!!!!! dbpf
The other day my husband and I went to the Rose Garden in town. It was the first time we had been there and had a nice picnic. We took some funny pictures of us smelling the roses and it made me think about the saying ‘take time to stop and smell the roses'.
I'm one of those people who doesn't really stop to smell the roses, but rather smells them as I am walking, running or riding by. I will choose a trail over pavement any day but I am not the type of person to stop and look at a flower or poke a turtle with a stick. One thing about mountain biking is that you are not really able to enjoy the view so much while you are riding. If I looked out over a mountain, that is the direction that I would go and what is the point if I am dead or hospitalized!
For me, the biggest part about being on a trail is being away from traffic and other people. When I lived in Washington, DC it was par for the course for trails to be busy but here I can run for over an hour and sometimes only see 1-2 people. I can ride in a local park by myself and not see anyone else for an hour or more if I go at the right time.
My husband is more of a stop to smell the roses kind of guy. This helps to balance us out. If it weren't for me, we may never reach our destination or finish what we had started. If it weren't for him, I may not notice the spectacular view from Looking Glass Rock. When I told someone that my friend Kobza and I hiked rim to rim across the Grand Canyon in 11 hours their response was did you even enjoy it? Of course I did, but for someone else, they may not have. Kobza and I are very much alike and for us, it is more about the feeling of accomplishment. In addition, seeing canyon walls for that long starts to just look like canyon walls.
K hiding in the roses
I think my attitude towards always moving forward comes from the way I was brought up too. I don't remember ever being focused on enjoying what we were doing at that particular time or looking at a view of something but more focused on the end result. If we were going on an 8-mile hike, we were focused on the end of that 8-mile hike. Not to get it over with necessarily but because that was the finish. Other family members may have felt like it was a different experience but that is how I remember it.
My husband refers to it as ‘on a mission'. He says my family is always on a mission and to me, his family his painfully slow. So slow in fact that one time I went out with them sightseeing and my back hurt from walking so slow! Probably a good balance is what we end up doing when it is just the two of us.
I've learned to slow my pace a bit and I've also learned to look at the scenery, which is much easier to do now that I am adventure racing. Sometimes there is a lot of standing involved when looking at maps, changing out gear etc. Plus, my teammate Bob is all about taking pictures which is a great reminder to me to actually look at what my surroundings are for their beauty (or unbeauty because you wouldn't believe how much trash is in the wilderness!).
All in all, I like how I am. I like that I am always moving forward and looking ahead. I don't want to ever stay stagnant for too long, physically or mentally. I want to get to the finish not to get it over with, but to feel the sense of accomplishment I get before immediately moving on to the next thing. Besides, I really don't even like the smell of roses.
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