Perfect 10 ROGAINE, 2013, October
I hate to waste opportunities such as a Perfect 10 ROGAINE, close to home, but we had been racing 24 and 30 hour races for three weeks in a row now. Any sane voice would say “enough is enough!”. Friday morning, a wave of insanity came washed over me. I contacted the Thompsons to see if my ridiculous idea could become reality. Late for work, I’m on the Bonk Hard website signing up. Just before clicking submit, I think for a moment, ponder some more, then call Emily at work and ask, “so, would you like to leave tonight after work to run in the woods for 10 hours?”.
Now in my experience, if you call someone at work to ask if they can go out of town just after work for a race, the answer is pretty much no. This is exacerbated by the fact that we were both planning to go to a party that night. Knowing Emily, her energy and enthusiasm, I had a hunch things might be different. She hesitated for perhaps one second, then said “sure, why not?”.
|More than 70 runners raced at Perfect 10!|
We went to Doug and Sunny’s party Friday night and had a wonderful time with team 34 Down, around a fire and grilling steaks while listening to the final Cards game. Doug brings out a giant cookie with candles on it. It actually is my 49th birthday. I drink heartily, hey it’s my birthday and Emily can drive.
We finally peel ourselves from the party and start the long drive down to the Lake of the Ozarks in the rain. I think I have just as much fun sitting in the van chatting on the way down as I did at the party.
We arrive at the middle of nowhere, on a gravel road, just before 2:00 AM, in the rain. We set out our sleeping bags in the back of the van (yes, I did clean the junk out before the trip) and sleep for a few hours before our alarm goes off at 5:50 AM (how rude). Still, this is more sleep than I usually get before an adventure race.
|Our sweep route! 1:24k map.|
It is amazing that no matter how much time you we have, we always want more. Our planning slides through the rules explanation. Emily and I plan our sweep route. We think we can do it but we know it will be close.
We start running our clockwise route. The first couple of hours are a mostly brainless road running route. I don’t mind as we are chatting like school girls which is something I don’t normally get to enjoy as I’m usually trying to keep the team from getting lost. The simplicity of the first part surprises me because Gary loves tricky nav.
|Strava of our route: http://www.strava.com/activities/90131479|
After a couple of hours we run into Z of Off the Front adventure race team. It appears that we are doing the same route except that he now has one more control than us (Emily: Z went and got CP37 first thing). I know that Z is a good runner and I’m not sure how we are going to be able to make up the deficit. I start having thoughts such as “I guess racing for second isn’t a bad goal”. Shortly after we separate, the course becomes much more Gary-esque and the nav starts to get tricky. I realize that our deficit is not so great as I thought.
About 5 hours in (Emily: at CP12), we run into Diane Diebold and Jason Bettis of Team Fusion going in the opposite direction. We both inform each other that we are still on sweep routes. We are a little over half way through the course in terms of distance, but we are pretty sure that they are winning because they have the easier controls ahead of them. Suddenly, we are more concerned about them than Z.
|Approaching the finish line!|
After a couple more hours go by, it becomes clear that we are not going to be able to sweep. We pick 3 controls to skip and leave a fourth one as a maybe at the end. It was nice to get cowbells and cheering as we ran by the finish to get that last control. Thanks guys, but we’ll be back in a while.
|Possibly the worst finishing photo of Emily ever! Ha!|
We finish to see a waiting Diane and Jason. We quickly compare notes to find that we won by a very narrow margin. My hat is off to them as we had about as good a run as one could expect.
|Emily and David racing as Alpine Shop Lite.|
After a previous three weeks of map and compass racing, I was afraid that this event would seem like work. That is why I almost didn’t even go. Nothing could have been further from the truth. I am so glad that before clicking submit, I stopped to think for a moment, pondered some more, then called Emily at work to ask, “so, would you like to leave tonight after work to run in the woods for 10 hours?”
|Winners get first pick of the prize table! Thanks Bonk Hard!|