over the weekend i crewed for j. and her team for a 24-hour adventure race
. she's been racing for a couple of years and so have her teammates, but this was the first time they'd raced together.
this race had 5 transistions (which is more than normal apparently, the order of legs went like this:orienteering
scramble (get any 2 of 4 possible controls) followed by a kayaking section
orienteering, bike or foot, 9 checkpoints
bike, 3 checkpoints
teams had anywhere from 1 to 4 members, with most, including j.'s, being 4-person coed (at least one woman).
the race started at 2:30 p.m., and our job (there were 2 of us), was to drive the cars to the various transition areas, have all the gear, clothing, and food for the next leg ready to go, fill water bottles, and do whatever else the team needed, (bike maintainence for example), then clean up and organize everything and drive to the next transition area and do it all over again.
adventure racers are crazy; no sleep, crappy conditions, (it didn't rain, but everything was soaked from the previous weeks of rain), no sleep, weird food (pringles and ensure?), physical abuse, and sadistic race directors (it took most teams over 6 hours to get all 9 controls in the orienteering section, one of them was down a narrow, 30-foot long hole in the ground that opened up into a cave) to name but a few.
it looks insanely fun, and it was surprisingly hard to just be there watching and not doing. i felt like a slacker.
but i had a blast, and j.'s team got 3rd, finishing in just over 19 hours, with 10,000 feet of climbing, and something like 70 miles, which is pretty freakin' impressive considering that it was their first race, and the two teams that beat them were semi-pro.