jump to navigation

Want To Be a Better Mountain Biker? January 22, 2010

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

I just found an in depth guide to learning and honing your mountain biking skills.

The Complete MTB guide – Julien Lallemand has created a very detailed and illustrated guide to mountain biking.  All the content is on the California ARA site for new and experienced racers to use.

This has something for everyone who either wants to be a mountain biker, or is already and wants to improve.

Advertisements

Adventure Racing August 13, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, ar guide, extreme sports.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

I just read a new article on Adventure Racing and thought I would pass it along.

Brush up on Your Navigation July 10, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, orienteering.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

There is a new product available to help you brush up on your navigation skills when you can’t get outside to do it for real.

It is billed as a “Table Top Adventure Race and Navigation Challenge”  and is available from ARNavSupplies.com

Check it out!

Race Report: Desert Rage Camp Verde Adventure Race March 30, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Events, extreme sports.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

Jonea and I competed as Team GO-AR on  Saturday in the DR Camp Verde Adventure Race put on by Sierra Adventure Sports.  Though we are old enough to be master’s, there weren’t enough to make the division, so we raced in the Co-ed 2-person division.

The race started off in the Verde River with a 10 mile paddle.  The flow rate was well below average, and we were told to expect to have to portage a few times.  We got off to a good start and were in a group of about seven vessels that put a little separation on the pack early on.  When we hit the first rapid at tree-island we felt what it meant to have this low a flow as we literally bounced down it on the rocks.  Dave, Windy and Brigid of Team Big Fish Creative were right with us, then suddenly they weren’t…..we found out later that Dave’s kayak had taken on too much water and they had stopped for him to dump it out.  The YogaSlackers and a solo jumped out to a lead over the rest of us, leaving a canoe with a 2-Male team, a tandem kayak with a 2-Male team, and us in our tandem kayak.  The canoe slowly pulled away from us, and for a long way, it was just us and Team Equipe Tortue, neck and neck.

We were actually side by side as we approached a section of rapids that was probably plenty wide for both of us, but we decided to let them go ahead as a courtesy, just as they had done for us on one prior.  Well, on this particular rapid, they hit a couple of big rocks and it threw them sideways and stopped them in their tracks (wakes?).  As we maneuvered around them, we asked if they were okay and upon finding out things were fine, continued on our way.  A while later I thought I heard them catching up with us again, but it turned out to be Team Those Guys instead.  They made a pass on us when we over-steered on a bend, and they pulled up to the bank at the takeout spot about 5 seconds ahead of us.  We carried our kayak the 200 meters up the bank and to the TA faster than they did however, and were 4th place overall after the paddle leg.  We were very happy to be in that good a spot at that point in the race.

We took a while to transition to the bike leg, and at least 2 teams that came in after us left before us, including Big Fish and Equipe Tortue.  I plotted the 2 CP’s that weren’t already on our map, and off we went.  We had a very small downhill, then a 3.5 mile 1000′ climb to the CP2.  Jonea hadn’t been on her bike much at all lately, so we agreed that I would tow her when I could.  At the beginning of the hill, I hooked the tow rope up and downshifted………

After about 500′ of climbing, I heard someone coming up behind us and moved over just as Team FLG went by us with Scott towing Amber.  Shortly after that we met the solo racer returning from the out-and-back, then 2 minutes after him was Big Fish.  We kept climbing and met YogaSlackers, and a 2-Male team, then FLG, and then just before we got to the CP, we crossed paths with Equipe Tortue again.  On the way down, we saw many teams climbing, and as we passed the location where we had met Big Fish, I noticed we were 23 minutes behind them.  When we hit the main forest road again, we bombed the long straightaway, and then hooked up the tow again on the climb toward CP3.  Just before we got to the cattle guard, I was pointing out to Jonea the trail we would be taking later on when a team rode out off of it, and I said, “Are you guys short course?”  They said no they weren’t, and then they started to follow us….I said, “If you are long course, then you want to go that way to CP2!”  They asked if I was sure and I hollered back that I was and good luck.

We arrived at CP3 which was a bike drop and a trek to 4 and 5.  I had forgotten to put my shoes in my backpack, and was forced to do the trek in my mtb shoes. Good thing they are soft soled!  On the way in, we again crossed paths with Big Fish (time check). We made quick work of scaling along the rock wall above Chasm Creek to get to CP4, then made the steep climb up to CP5.  We passed Equipe Tortue at 5, and then headed back out the canyon. When we passed my time check point, we were now 25 minutes behind Big Fish. We went on out to CP3 to pick up our bikes and continue to the other point we had to plot, CP6.

On the out-and-back to CP6, we crossed paths with the 2-Male team again, and then as we were pushing our bikes up the very steep and loose rocked hill, Team FLG came down it, and I could smell hot brakes as they went by us.  We picked up 6, and headed back.  On the way down one of the hills, I crossed paths with a big green pickup, and then as Jonea came by it, a huge dog stuck its head out the back seat window and snapped a her, almost getting her on the arm, and scaring he be-geesus out of her!!  We turned off the forest road onto the trail (barely) by the cattle guard, and headed down the last 2.5 miles toward the TA.  About halfway down, another 2-Male team passed us, and I had lost track of where we stood in the rankings at that point.

We changed shoes, fueled ourselves and picked up the map and directions for the orienteering leg.  It was a map showing Point A, and then had bearing and distance measurements (based on true north) to the next point, and so on, to all the subsequent points.  Had I been thinking, and not in such a hurry, I would have gone ahead and drawn in all the lines and plotted the points, then figured the most efficient route…..but remember, I said had I been thinking!  We took off in a hurry toward where we thought A was.  On the way up, we saw Team FLG on their way toward the finish, and knew they would win the 2 Co-ed division that we were in. This new map was a different scale, and I took us about 4oo meters too far up the trail then off in the desert to look for it.  After wasting about 10 or 15 minutes, we discovered our mistake and then zoomed through the 5 points without any further difficulty.

It seemed that my error in navigation was enough for the Equipe Tortue team to pass us on the orienteering leg and finish a few minutes ahead of us.  We finished in 2nd place in our division, and (this is a guess until results are posted) about 8th overall.

It was a great day of racing and as always a ton of fun to hang out with fellow adventure racers!

Verde River Adeventure Race Coming Up March 25, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Events, Just Stuff.
comments closed

I will be racing with one of my AR teammates this Saturday in Camp Verde.  Jonea has recovered from her Coastal Challenge event with Project Athena in Costa Rica, and is ready to tackle the Verde River Adventure Race that is put on by Sierra Adventure Sports.

Though we have done many races together, we haven’t done that many races as a 2 person co-ed team, so it will be interesting to see how things go.  Hopefully the water flows will improve on the river in the next few days, I would rather paddle than portage any day!

Official Results of the Go! Off Road Duathlon March 17, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

It took me a couple of nights to sift through the time sheets and get it all put to spreadsheet, but I am happy to announce that the Official Results, including splits are now posted on the GORD site.

You may remember that I wrote last week that I thought a 40 minute split would be hard to do on this course?  Well, I was being a piker!!  There were 4 racers under 40 minutes, and the two top men did it in 34 and some change…..seeing as how my best is just under 45, now I am going to have to go back out there and try it again!

There were some seriously strong athletes out there on Saturday, and it was really neat to see people of ALL levels having a great time and interacting at a fun event.

Prescott Off Road Duathlon is Coming January 23, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Events, Mountain Biking, Trail Running.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

Registrations are pouring in for the Go! Off Road Duathlon to be held March 14th in Prescott, Arizona.  Entries are limited to 150, so don’t delay! We also are looking for able bodied volunteers who want to get out on the course and make sure racers do what they are supposed to be doing…..that’s right, YOU get to be a Marshall!  (Sorry, no brass stars).

Thanks to Barry at the Runner’s Den in the valley for putting up our poster and for his enthusiasm for our event.

Thanks to Bill at Hensley & Co. for agreeing to make us up some banners and some promotional posters as well.

And another thanks to Matt at Buzzmug.com for his ongoing support.

Other sponsors that we are grateful to:

High Gear Bike Shop

TriSports.com

Hammer Nutrition

Clif Bar

and there are new sponsors signing up all the time.  In fact, you or your company could get in on the action and be one!

Robyn Benincasa Talks About Teamwork January 21, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, team challenge, Trail Running.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

I was scanning through the Primal Quest web site and found a very good article about the Importance of Teamwork in Adventure Racing.  This article was written by veteran adventure racer Robyn Benincasa.

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago in this post Robyn (along with one of my AR team mates) is on her way with the Project Athena Team to Costa Rica to participate in The Coastal Challenge strarting January 31.

I couldn’t agree more with Robyn’s article…..teamwork, and an understanding of your team mate’s strength and weaknesses is the core of AR

Duatholon Gets Another Sponsor January 19, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Events.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
comments closed

One of the top multisport product suppliers has joined with us at the Go! Off Road Duathlon as an event sponsor.

TriSports_official_oval_sbrsThey are TrisSports.com located in Tucson, Arizona.  TriSports is known throughout the world as the place to get the best deals on the best multisport gear.

For your Pre-Race 10% discount on gear, please enter the following code when purchasing online from TriSports.  G09-R

Entering this code does two things, first and foremost, it saves you money!  Secondly, it shows TriSports that their sponsorship of our event is good for business, so they will be back next year!

Adventure Racing Tidbits January 16, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Just Stuff.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

Here is a quick overview of the History of Adventure Racing, that I found just tag surfing this today.  While it only really covers the big expedition events, it is a decent primmer.

Wikipedia has a much more extensive article about AR, and it even has a link to a race that I am the director of, the Gilmore Adventure Race.  Speaking of Wiki, we all know not to trust it as a reliable source right?  That is because anyone can go onto it and change info at any time…so reading from it is more like saying, “Someon told me……”  Lots of good info in Wiki, just use other sources to verify it!

Also found this article called Why I love Adventure Racing, and You Should Too! This is a re-publication of an article that world class adventure racer and all around AR stud Ian Adamson wrote a while back.

Duathlon Course Map January 13, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Events.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

I just finished mapping the course for the GORD in March.

The Pink route is the initial Trail Running leg of 1.5 miles.

The Blue is the next part of the course, the Mountain Biking leg 8.1 miles.

The Yellow is final Trail Running leg of 2.2 miles.

The course map for the Go! Off Road Duathlon

The course map for the Go! Off Road Duathlon

Racing With the Best January 4, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, team challenge.
Tags:
comments closed

My friend and adventure racing teammate, Jounea Mounsey, is going to be racing with Robyn Benincasa at The Coastal Challenge.  They are racing as part of the Project Athena Team.

Checkpoint Zero has a blurb on it HERE.

Sand Storm Race was Tough! October 22, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, orienteering, trails.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed

I raced with Jonea as Team GO-AR in Tucson on Saturday.  Actually it wasn’t in Tucson, it was east of Tucson on Reddington Pass Rd.

We arrived at the race site at about 6:00am and began to get our gear together.  At the 6:15 pre-race meeting the race directors Aaron and Rick told us that those of us doing the long course would be doing things in the following order:  A short “scramble” to two points to pick up our checkpoint card at one, and a ziplock baggie for trash at another, then a mountain biking leg with a bike drop in it, at the bike drop there was going to be an orienteering section, then biking back to the TA, then a final trekking section.

Looking around, I noticed that the terrain was going to be a challenge.  It was rocky with lots of grass that had cat-claw and cactus hiding in it, and it most certainly was not flat!  The directors had suggested that racers have slimed tubes, and now I could see why.

The first two points on the scramble could be retrieved in any order, so at the start teams went two different directions.  We chose to run down the road, and let the uphill be on jeep trail.  Within about 100 yards, teams were already spreading out, and the white and yellow streak ahead of us was the last sign of Dave and Windy on Team Big Fish Creative that we saw all day! Not far behind them were 6 racers all racing as 3 different Adventure Racing Concepts teams.  We picked up our ziplock baggie (this was to help us control our snack and goo wrappers) and headed around a hill toward the next point.  The map we were using was an USGS topo that was old and did not show all the roads that were actually there now, and instead of trusting my sense of direction, when I saw another team coming down a road toward us from the point, I just assumed (yes, I know about that word) that was the right way to go….oops. It actually did take us there eventually, but not until we had gone half a mile farther than we needed to.  The silver lining behind this cloud is that two other teams that have great navigators on them (Rick Eastman on Sierra Adventure Sports, and Ron Birks on Team Tubac) both made the same mistake, so I was in good company in my errant route choice.  We got the checkpoint card and headed back to the TA to transition to mountain biking.

Rather than actually plot the biking points, I just looked at the coordinates and eyeballed the point locations so we could get to pedaling.  We biked a couple of miles up Reddington Pass Rd. to B1, then took a nice piece of single track that was part of the Arizona Trail down a long ridge.  We got B2 then continued down to a jeep trail that started back up the next ridge over.  Jonea had something weird going on with her breathing in that she was panting and out of breath, and 4 teams passed us as we headed for then found B3.  When the jeep trail hit Reddington Pass Rd. we crossed over and back onto more single track that was part of the AZ Trail again.  This trail climbed up, and up some more to B4 where another 2 teams passed us.  Then we started a descent that was filled with water bars and rocks, with a very tight hairpin thrown in for fun.  Right after the hairpin, we came upon a “rec course” team of two girls, and one of them was hurt.  She must have gone over her bars, because she had scraped up the knuckles on one hand, torn loose a fingernail on the other, and had a huge dent right in to top of her brand new helmet!  We stopped and checked on them, asking if she could see ok, and if she could move everything.  Once we were sure that they didn’t require emergency help, we continued down the trail.  Let me tell you, this single track was very challenging because not only was it filled with obsticles, but the grass on both sides of it was knee high.  When the trail ahead of you is straight, no problem….but when there are turns in it, you can’t see the trail ahead because of the tall grass. There was also a section that was thick with puncture vine and cat-claw on the trail, boy am I glad we listened about the slime! We got B5, then B6 was where the trail dropped us out on a ranch road.  As we turned onto the ranch road, we saw Team Tubac stopped and stretching out Brad’s leg cramps.  We asked if they were ok, and then headed toward the bike drop.  On the way there, we saw one of the teams that had passed us heading back toward us.  As we passed, he asked if we was sure that we were going the right direction. When I said “absolutely!”, they turned back around and passed us again….they didn’t know where it was!  Meanwhile, it appeared that Jonea had recovered and was breathing fine again.

At the bike drop, we were given a map and punch card for the orienteering section.  The Tucson Orienteering Club was going to have an O-meet the next day, so Monsoon Adventures had collaberated with them on this section, pretty cool idea!  We found O1 right away, then somehow on the way to O2 we lost the punch card!  While we backtracked to find it, Team Tubac passed us again.  Luckily, I found the card that had blown into some grass by the side of the jeep trail we were following, and we continued on toward O2.  On the way to O3 we caught back up with Tubac, and then dropped down into the wash that the point was in, then followed it up to the point.  We got there about 30 seconds before Tubac!  We headed up the wash again toward O4.  I took us too far up the wash, and we had to go up a different canyon than I had planned to get to the saddle that O4 was on, so we were pretty sure that Tubac was ahead of us again.  As we traversed a hillside on the way to O5 we could see a team ahead of us, but it wasn’t Tubac, it was someone else. Both our camelbaks were out of water, but I was carrying a small bottle in my hand, so we sipped on that the rest of the way.  We got O5 and headed down across a valley toward O6.  Now we could see the other team and ahead of them, we could see the guys of Team Freedom.  We went up over another ridge to get O7, then back to the bike drop.  The volunteers told us that Tubac had not come in yet. They also had lots of water there, so we refilled our camelbaks, and changed shoes again for the ride back to the TA.  We had done the 4 mile orienteering section in a little over an hour and a half.

We knew it was going to be a long climb, so we hooked up a towing system so I could help Jonea go a little faster up the hills.  When we were almost to the top, I could feel the toll that running out of water earlier and the hot mid-day sun was taking on me.  Nauseous and dizzy, I was about to bonk!  We unhooked the tow strap, and walked up the last steep hill slowly while I tried to get some electrolytes and water back into my system.  We rode into the TA, having done 16.6 miles on the bikes, and I sat in the shade beside the truck while I changed shoes again and then plotted the points for the upcoming trekking leg. We ate some bagels, and again topped off our packs with water.

As we headed out toward T1 I could feel the beginning twinges of a cramp in my left quad….bummer.  We got up to T1 when I tried to unzip the pocket of my shorts to get the checkpoint card, it was jammed.  I even broke the pull off of it trying to unzip it!  We need that card!  I had to take out my knife and cut my pocket open so we could punch T1 and continue.  We went down and across a small valley to a saddle where we got T2.  In looking at the map, I figured that the best way to get to T3 was to go across to the top of the canyon that it was in and just go down the drainage to it.  As it turned out, this descision probably cost us about 10 minutes, because the canyon was chocked full of manzanita and oak brush!  We battled through the thick brush and made it to T3 eventually.  We then continued down the canyon and across another wash to the bottom end of a ridge that would take us to T4.  We climbed for what felt like forever up this interminably long ridge, and caught up with another team just as we topped out and found T4.  It turns out that this other team was also a “rec course” team on their trekking leg.  I found myself feeling sorry for anyone who was using this “rec course” as their very first race!  At T4, we rested in the little spot of shade we found before our assault on the 5th trekking point that the race directors had labelled BFM.  They said that stood for Beg For Mercy, but after plotting it on top of a mountain, we knew that it stood for something else entirely!  We made the climb up to BFM by just putting one foot in front of another the whole way up.  I plotted our course on my MapTech topo program this week, and found out that the hill we climbed straight up to BFM was a 56% grade.  My cramping quad was killing me on this ascent.  At the top, we took a minute to high-five and look around at the amazing view of all the territory we had covered since the start of the race.  This was a very beautiful venue for an event.  The last point was on top of a smaller hill between us and the finish line, so we headed back down the other side of the mountain toward T6.  We picked up T6 and made the short trek to the road where we ran (barely) in to cross the finish line 7 hours and 43 minutes after we started.

We finished 3rd in the 2 person Co-ed division to ARC (Jim and Jane) and Big Fish (Dave and Windy), and figured that anytime you can podeum with those 2 teams, you are doing something right!  We were just glad to finish the entire race.

We Made it Back Alive October 20, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Events.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

This is just a quick post to say that Team GO-AR successfully completed the Sand Storm III Adventure Race held just outside of Tucson last weekend.  Tired and sore, but alive!

A full race report is in the works. The full race report is HERE

Looking Forward to Sand Storm III October 17, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

Tomorrow is the Sand Storm III Adventure Race near Tucson.

Produced by the guys at Monsoon Adventures, it looks like it will be another great race in an awesome venue.  We have learned that it will be held in the Chimney Rock area of Reddington Pass.  I have never been up there, but the topography looks like it should be a challenge.  Google Earth shows what appear to be a whole bunch of great single track trails, so I am definitely looking forward to the mountain biking.

Kent will not be racing with us this weekend, so team GO-AR will just be Jonea and me.  They don’t have a master’s division, so we will have to race against the young guns this weekend.  We are usually pretty strong in the navigation, so we are hoping that there will be tough enough navigation to help level the playing field a little.

Look forward to a race report!

Night Adventure Race October 12, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

On Saturday Jonea (my female teammate) picked me up at the hotel in Scottsdale where Tracie (my wife) and I had a room for Saturday night.  While Tracie was at a work related dinner and meeting, Jonea and I headed up to McDowell Mountain Park for the Extreme Heat Night Race put on by Rick at Sierra Adventure Sports.

The race started just before dark at 6:00pm.  To start, teams had to punch their card at 5 points that were shown on our first map.  It was a mad dash, as all 5 points were easily attainable in less than 5 minutes because they were all around the perimeter of the huge parking area.  Then came our first mystery event.

Teams were allowed 1 frisbee per team, the object was to throw your frisbee into a 4′ fire pit about 40′ away, and each team member had to make it in the pit. This was pure chaos, as all the teams were lined up, throwing and retrieving the discs.  People were running in the way and getting hit as they were trying to pick up an errant throw.  Someone was yelling “on per team!”, intending to let us know the one disc per team rule, but confusing some teams into thinking that they meant one make per team.  It was really rather hilarious.  Jonea made her 3rd throw, and I think I took about 5 throws, and then we got the next map and were out on the bike leg.

We took the longer but faster pavement route partway to CP1, and arrived there just as there was no more light at all in the sky.  It was a gradual uphill the entire way to the CP, and Jonea’s legs were having a hard time getting going.  She was frustrated that she was struggling, but kept pedaling, and eventually her legs muscles decided to get in the game, and we pushed on to CP2.  We were now 8.8 miles of up hill into the ride.  On the way to CP3 we were crossing a whole bunch of little sandy washes, and some of them were pretty soft and deep.  Every time I would hit one, I would yell out to Jonea, “sand!” so she would know it was coming.  After I barely stayed on top of my bike going through one, I heard a yell from behind me, and when I looked back, Jonea’s bike was still upright, but facing perpendicular to the trail.  The sand had almost put her into a huge cactus!  We caught up to one of the teams that passed us earlier at CP3, then started the 2+ mile descent toward CP4.  The other team made better time than we did going down the ridge, but we were still really moving fast for it being pitch black and a single track trail.  We got to CP4 just in time to see some other team’s tail lights heading down a trail that we knew was the longer of the two ways that we could go. This gave us a spark, and we blasted through the campground then headed back toward the TA.  In the last half mile, Jonea’s front tire finally succumbed to the cactus incident, and she flatted.  She was yelling to me that she had a flat, and I was yelling back that I know and just keep riding!  We made it to the TA, and on to the next mystery event at CP5.

In this event, each team was allowed to have five pieces of 2×4 that were about 12″ long. With these they had to move from behind a line and around a cone about 15′ away and back across the line without touching the ground.  I have done something like this before, but it involved bricks on an uneven surface.  This was smooth wood on fairly smooth concrete, so I just stood on two of them like skis and bent over and grabbed the front of one as I slid my foot forward then did the same with the other.  This worked great, and I was done in about 1 minute.  Jonea was employing a different method using the other 3 blocks, but switched to the lift-n-slide after she saw the success that I was having.  We were done in a jiffy and then went to change our shoes for the trekking leg to come.

As soon as we got CP6, we turned off our lights and used the bright moonlight to see the trail.  We ran down a trail that paralleled a wash then at CP7 when the trail crossed it, we took the wash itself further down the canyon.  In the wash we came upon team E-Lyte, where Hollon’s team mate was lying down in the sand while Hollon was stretching out her leg cramps.  We asked if everything was ok, or if they needed anything, and then kept on toward CP8.  In an attempt to operate in “stealth mode”, we only used our lights when we needed to check the map, hoping other teams wouldn’t see us and either know how close we were getting to them (wishful thinking), or follow our lights (more likely to really happen).  The route from CP8 to CP9 was on the competative mountain biking trail in the park, so it was pretty gnarly.  We climbed up and over a ridge and were all the way down the other side punching our card at CP9 when we saw the first lights top out on the ridge behind us…..or….where other teams using stealth mode???  hmmmmm.

I am not a runner.  It hurts my knees, I get cramps in my calves, and I really don’t enjoy it.  BUT, for some reason at this race, I had some weird mojo going on and was able to run about 80% of the 6.1 mile trekking leg.  We had to look around a little for CP10, but once we had it, we were finally headed for the finish line.

We finished the race in 3 hours and 15 minutes, which was good enough for 3rd place overall, and 1st in the co-ed division!  Not bad for two old timers!

This was a super fun event, and racing in the moonlight was amazing.  I look forward to trying another night race.  The volunteers were great as always, and Rick and Kim put on another successful event.  If you haven’t tried it yet, sign up for a beginner friendly adventure race and get addicted!

Busy Weekend Ahead! October 9, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Events, orienteering, trails.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

This weekend, one of my adventure racing teammates and I are going to race in the Extreme Heat Night Race in Phoenix on Saturday night, and then on Sunday my wife Tracie and I are going to take part in the Orienteering Meet that the Phoenix O Club is putting on at Coon Bluff!

I will return with full reports of both activities.

Gilmore AR was a Sweet Success! September 23, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, orienteering.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

I just finished putting on the 7th Annual Gilmore Adventure Race this last weekend, and boy oh boy was it awesome! The weather was great and the scenery was stupendous!

We had over 185 racers compete in two different length courses.

The short course was 3 miles of trekking, followed by 10 miles of mountain biking (some teams turned this into 12 or 13), and there were 2 mystery events thrown into the mix too.  Then after that they were given a map with 13 orienteering points marked on it and told to find as many as they could before their 2:00pm cut off.  So total distance for short coursers was between 13 and 18 miles!

The long course was 4.5 miles of trekking, followed by 22 miles of mountain biking (1mile of which was a tough hike-a-bike down a narrow rocky canyon), and they also had the 2 mystery events.  Then they were given a the nav map with 13 orienteering points marked on it and told to find as many as they could before their 3:00pm cut off.  So total distance for short coursers was between 27 and 32 miles!

At the beginning of this post I said “I” just finished putting on the race……well, I was the race director, but there is NO WAY that the event could have gone off without the unbelievable efforts of our awesome volunteers!  They are really the ones that put on the race, I just put it and them together.  Thank you guys!

The vibe at this year’s race was really great.  Many racers brought their families and friends to cheer them on, so we had lots of people and lots of fun.  I didn’t expect so many people however, and we ran out of food and snacks.

Here are just a few photos that will be available to view on the GAR web site as soon as I get around to putting them up there!

Rocks Lurk Below September 15, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Day Hiking, orienteering.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

Kent and I were joined by our buddy Pat yesterday as we vetted the freestyle navigation portion of the GAR.  It was an absolutely beautiful afternoon. The sky was a bright blue doom from horizon to horizon and the temperature was about 75°F.

The grass and weeds that have grown so well this year due to all our monsoon rains are now turning from green to yellow-brown.  What looks like a nice smooth hillside as you approach it is really a rock strewn, ankle-twisting nightmare masked by the grass.  Not only are there rocks lurking below the “surface”, but there are also shin high catclaw bushes that grab at your legs, ankles and shoes with every step.

Now that I am done whining about the hiking conditions, I can tell you that despite a few scratches and pokes, we had a great time on our walkabout.  We spent the better part of the afternoon on hilltops, in canyons and amongst the trees, spotting several deer and other creatures as we hiked.

It will be interesting to see if any teams can actually clear the freestyle nav. portion of this course.  It will require someone that is good with a topo map and compass. It is pretty spread out, and in some tough terrain.  We will know on Saturday!

The GAR is Almost Here! September 14, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

Less than a week now to the Gilmore Adventure Race near Prescott, Arizona.  Kent and Bob and I did a mountain bike ride on the short course yesterday, and everything is looking good.

Teams are coming from all over the state and southern California to be a part in the what has become the largest (in attendance) and longest running (in years) adventure race in Arizona.

They will begin to arrive on Friday about mid-day, by Saturday at sunrise, we will have almost 200 people revved up and ready to go.

This year’s event will send teams of 2 or 3 persons out into the mountains where they will mountain bike, trek, hike, complete mystery events and finish up with a freestyle navigation leg that is very similar to an orienteering meet.

The weather gurus (yeah right!) are predicting perfect weather for the day.

I can’t wait!

Making Sure the Course Works August 14, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

Yesterday evening Kent and I decided to ride part of the mountain biking leg on the long course for the upcoming Gilmore Adventure Race.  Despite all the recent rains and the surplus of vegetation that has popped up because of it, for the most part the course was in very ridable shape.

In fact, I worry that maybe some of the hard core adventure racers will think that maybe it is too easy.  We keep the location and course info secret until just days before the event, so am I giving away too much information with this story?   Or maybe I am providing a little misdirection?…..hmmm

Now is the time in the preparation for the race that I have to start looking for volunteers, so if you are within driving distance of Prescott, and you want to lend a hand, just let me know!

This will be the biggest race yet in the 7 year history of the GAR.  We are expecting approx. 75 teams to compete.  It looks like it will be almost half and half when it comes to long or short course, but I can tell you this, both length courses will offer up some challenging terrain and navigation.

Granite Basin was Gorgeous Today July 23, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

Ray and I were the only two to show up to ride this evening.  Maybe because today was so hot, maybe because people were on vacation….who knows?

We went up the 349 today.  This is a trail that I have ridden down about 98% of the time, and hardly ever gone up.  It was really beautiful today, plenty of shade and because we weren’t bombing down it (yet) we had plenty of time to see things that are usually just a blur.  There are some big old ponderosa pine trees in there!  On the way up, Ray and I were talking about Adventure Racing, and I told him about the Gilmore Adventure Race.  He thinks he wants to get a team into it this year!  I told him to hurry though, as it is almost sold out for 2008.

When we reached the pavement we went down the 351 (lots of fun) to the Cayuse area. Then we chugged up the hill to the 2 gates.  Luckily it was getting a little cooler by then.  We absolutely bombed the “10 jumps” trail today!  What a gas!  From there we headed back towards the 351 and down towards the lake.  Part way down there is a little social trail that cuts over to near the camp host’s spot.  We headed across it and then started our climb back up the 350.

The 350 is always a pleasure because it is a “no horses” trail, which means that it is not torn up by horse hooves, and is smooth as silk.  Ray was climbing like a mountain goat, and I could feel myself running low on fuel.  We took the turn onto the 349 heading west (today was the first time I have ever actually made that climbing turn without dabbing). As we topped out before the big downhill, we admired the view of Granite Mountain and figured that the mountain lions that live on it have it made.  What a great habitat.

Ray and I bombed the 349 all the way to where it comes up over a little saddle facing west again.  That has got to be one of the funnest rides around, swoopy, and narrow with lots of ways you could easily blow a turn and end up in the pine needles 50 down an embankment.

From there, we played Michaels “coasting game” again.  Ray made all the right turns this time, I guess I just forgot to tell him not to pedal until you come to a complete stop…..that is the point, to see how far you can coast.  Michael’s record still stands.  I had a real chance at it, as I was carrying lots of speed into the last corner, but I started to wash out and had to dab to save it, thus blowing my momentum.

From there, we just road the pavement back around to the cars.  Great ride today, thanks Ray!

Stats:

  • distance 10.49 miles
  • total riding time 1hr 8min
  • avg speed  9.2 mph

Gilmore Adventure Race is Only 2 Months Away July 17, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

I will have to be spending some of my time out on the course of the Gilmore Adventure Race in the next few weeks, so my blogs might be a little cryptic.

Because we don’t release the event location until 4 days prior to the race, I will have to make sure that my blogs don’t give anything about the GAR away.  I will continue to blog about my outdoor adventures, but try to be vague enough so that racers don’t figure out where I have been……yes, they are like that!  I have had racers try and trick me into divulging the location in the past, so I know that they will often go to great lengths in order to know the location in time enough to either get out and scout it, or spend many hours on the internet pouring over maps and aerial photos.

I will tell you all this much.  This year, as always, it will be a lot of fun!

Is PQ back pedaling? June 18, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
comments closed

It seems that there has been enough outrage over the aforementioned decision by PQ to allow GPS receivers that they are backpedaling it. See the PQ blog here.

Take (and view) a poll on this subject HERE.

There have been lots of rants and dissension among the ranks in the AR community over this. One of my favorites is one written by a member of Scarabs named Jason Quinn. Jason is formerly of the Silly Rabbits, and will be racing PQ with Team Bones this year. In it he says what many racers and race directors across the world are feeling. His comments are HERE.

It looks as if PQ management is feeling the pressure of the AR community.

Is PQ watering down Adventure Racing? June 18, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

The Primal Quest directors sent out a message to team captains this week that could lead a watering down of what Adventure Racing is all about. It reads:

Important Message for Captains

Primal Quest Race Management has made the decision NOT to prohibit the use of GPS units in PQ Montana. This decision was made due to the fact that the course still has a great deal of snow covering trail and road markings, and we need to ensure that competitors do not wander into avalanche and cornice hazard areas.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about safety, BUT this is Adventure Racing for God’s sake! The participants know the dangers, they know how to navigate, and they know what kind of epic event the PQ is!

I am sure that I wouldn’t be able to finish the PQ, and I know I am armchair quarterbacking this, but won’t it be like a 10 day Hi-Tech or Balance Bar race if GPS receivers are used? My 4 year old grand daughter can follow the arrow on my GPSr.

My personal feeling (in case you couldn’t tell) is that Adventure Racing is about using a map and compass to navigate. Pure and simple. If you have an area on your map that racers are not allowed to go into, mark it in red crosshatch, and let that be enough. They know at any given time where they are, and where they need to go, especially at PQ!! These are the best of the best!

My Rant is done.

One Week to the Fiesta! April 9, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

I know I write about mountain biking and other pursuits in the woods, but there is one road riding activity that I just have to do year to year and that is the Rosarito to Ensenada 50 mile ride.  This is a ride that friends and I do that ends in what might be the world’s biggest fish taco fiesta!  They do it two times a year, but we have only done the one in the spring, as I am always tied up as the Gilmore Adventure Race Director in the fall.  There are slated to be over 5000 riders this time, and it is always a hoot to see the different bikes and outfits that people wear.  Check it out.

Finally got my bike back April 5, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

Monday I dropped my bike off at the lbs, and told them how bummed out I was with the troubles I had with it at the Desert Rage Adventure Race.  I told them I was going to be busy all week and that I wanted it fixed more than I wanted it back in a hurry. Remember it gave me fits at the race, and  Team Gilmore Adventure Race (that’s us), didn’t have time to get all the nave points.

Well, I went and got it this afternoon, and can’t wait to get out and see if it’s 100% again. A full week off is killing me.

Desert Rage Adventure Race March 30, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
comments closed

Finishing the Bike LegMy team just raced in the Desert Rage Camp Verde yesterday, and WOW
what a blast!

Our regular third couldn’t race with us, so Jonea and I asked a race
director named Jeff Hobbs to race with us as team Gilmore Adventure Race in the Masters Division.

The race started out with a 9 mile paddle down the Verde River. The
river was flowing at about 550cfs, so we had a few sets of rapids that
were a little rowdy and fun, but not enough to really scare us. Our new
partner flipped his boat about 10 minutes into the race, and we spent
some time recovering his paddle and waiting for him to make it down to
us so we could continue. The rest of the paddle was just pure fun;
water over the bow and into our laps, beautiful scenery, and a little
adrenalin too.

From the take out, we had to carry our boats up a hill and about 100
meters to the TA. Here we dried off and transitioned to the Mountain
Bike leg. I had just had a new cassette and chain put on Friday, and
started to have trouble right off the get-go. My chain was jumping
all over the cog set anytime I really pushed on the pedals, and I
couldn’t get onto my small front ring at all! Two miles into the
biking, we had to drop our bikes and trek up into a canyon. There was
a very cool waterfall and swimming hole. We scaled the rock around
the side of the swimming hole to get CP3. On the way back down, our
replacement team mate Jeff inadvertently took a dip in the swimming
hole when he slipped of the rocks. From there we climbed up a
hellacious steep rocky trail to CP4, then back down the canyon to our
bikes. The out and back trip to CP5 was on a dirt road scattered with
loose rock that went up and down across the canyons like a roller
coaster. At CP5, we hooked up a tether so I could help Jeff on the
long uphill sections on the way back. When we were almost to CP6, I
could feel myself about to bonk, and quickly ate something to help
refuel. I had to sit down for about 5 minutes in order to go on. We
got CP6, then absolutely bombed the downhill on the way back toward
the TA. I don’t think Jonea hit her brakes at all, way to go!

At the TA, we changed into our trekking shoes and headed out to get as
many of the 6 trekking points as we could before the 5:00pm deadline.
The alergy medicine that Jeff took did the job for him, and suddenly
I was the one holding us up. We figured we could get at least 4 of
the 6, and headed out to do so. When we were almost to the first one,
suddenly Jonea was on the ground, and I thought she had broken her
ankle….instead,she said she had something stuck in her foot. I took
off her shoe, and there was a piece of wood almost the diameter of a
pencil sticking through the sole of her shoe! It had given her a
puncture wound in the arch of her foot. We dug out the giant splinter
and off we went again. We got the CP (1 down) and were off the the next.

On the way to the next point, we saw a team ahead of us, but they
headed up a different wash than I thought the point was in. We went
to where we thought it was, and lo and behold! There it was! (2 down)
We decided to head up that wash to the power lines and then make a
decision based on time left from there. When we got to where the
power lines crossed the wash, we had a choice: try to get the point up
on top of a mesa about a mile away, or head out of the wash the other
way and forget about the point on the mesa. Based on the time and how
we felt at the time, we decided on the second option. We came out of
the wash along the power lines, followed them to a trail on the map, and
from there we took a compass bearing and walked (yes walked..not ran)
to within 30yds of the point we were looking for. (3 down)
Again we evaluted the time left and our physical condition and decide
that 4 would be enough and that we did not have time to get the sixth
point possible. We took another bearing, and trekked (sounds better
than walked) right to it. From there it was just a matter of making
it back to the Finish in one piece. We ran (yes ran….after all,
people were watching!) across the finish line at about 4:05.

There were several teams that managed to get all six points, and our
hats are off to them!

As it was, we ended up winning the Masters Division!

Another great day of racing!!!

A Couple of Good Adventure Racing Blogs March 16, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

I have a couple of new Adventure Racing entries on my blogroll from blogs I found interesting.  The first is from a team that I have watched on several multiday races like Primal Quest, it is Team Racing With Giants.  The second is called the Weekend Warriors Guide to Adventure Racing, and it has got all kinds of cool tidbits in it.

There are many, many good sources of info about Adventure Racing out there, and I am sure that some of you know of great ones that I have yet to see, so if you do, please let me know!

Sand Storm Race Report March 12, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

The final climb to the finishTeam Gilmore AR was made up of Kent Keegan, Jonea Mounsey, and me Dave Sewell. Not sure, but I think we might have been the 3 oldest racers that day. We started out with an uphill run of about 600 yards to pickup our passport, then out into the hills to pick up 4 other CPs in any order. We jogged down part of the Arizona trail past Kentucky Camp’s old adobe buildings and out into Kentucky Gulch. There was a point high up on a ridge, and we chose to go up the ridge-line to it. Once we had the point, we bailed straight off into the gulch and then followed it about a half mile to the next point. By now, my knees couldn’t run anymore, so we fast hiked. From that point we went over the shoulder of a hill into a narrow gully that we followed uphill to the 3rd point. We climbed out onto a road and followed it for a few minutes then descended into yet another draw to get the 4th and final point. From there it was half a mile up the road to the TA.

We transitioned to bikes, remembering to pack our trail shoes for the trek we had been told would be somewhere on the bike section. We headed out down the same section of Arizona trail that we ran down before. No sooner had we turned up a rocky forest road than my back tire felt mushy. It was going flat. We stopped and began our best pit crew impression and got it changed is just a few minutes. Then back on the bikes and up into the hills. The we arrived at the next CP at the same time as 3 other teams, it was on an old piece of equipment in a field by the road. The other teams out-climbed us to the next checkpoint, but the blew right by it and we got it before they figured it out and came back to get it. Shortly after that, there was a big nasty rocky section that we had to hike-a-bike. At the top, we stopped to make a route choice decision and while we were doing that 2 teams went by us on up the forest road. 2 other teams were also looking at their maps and we all decided to to take a single track down to some hairy-steep switchbacks that went down into Gardner Canyon. We got onto Gardner Canyon Road and followed it up to the third biking checkpoint which was also our bike drop. While we were changing our shoes, the teams that had chosen to continue on the forest road arrived.

The first trekking point was back down the road we had just ridden up about a mile then up a canyon to the mouth of a cave. Only one team member was required to go into the cave to punch the passport, but all three of us wanted to see the cave! So we probably gave up about 5 minutes so we could enjoy the experience. After that, the next point was back on the other side of the bike drop at the very peak of a mountain. We decided to to go to the drop and get rid of our helmets (they were required in the cave). From the bike drop it was about a mile and a half of up hill, and more up hill on a seemingly never ending rocky forest road. We encountered teams coming back down as we were going up, and vice versa. One the way up, Kent said he saw something in the road ahead of us, and then it was gone. A minute later he saw it again (hallucinations?), nope he did see something, it was a grey fox trotting a few yards ahead of us up the road. It had a huge bottle brush tail. We got several good looks at it until it left the roadway on a bend and disappeared into the tall dry grass. Coming down was hard work, it was steep, and hard on the knees and feet.

We got back on our bikes and had to ride another 3 miles up Gardner Canyon Rd. At the 4th bike CP we had to take a hike-a-bike trail up a creek-bed then switchback up through a fairly recent burn area to a junction with another forest road on the spine of ridge. We road down the forest road and crossed the creek several times, getting another CP along the creek. Then we followed the road back around the mountain to the Gardner Canyon Rd again. Here we followed it back down to the base of the same hairy-steep switchbacks we had descended earlier in the day. Now, we pushed our bikes up them. We got to ride about 5 miles of the Arizona Trail on our way back to the TA, and it wound through some beautiful country. The final hill up to the finish was enough to put me over the top, as my legs had turned to silly putty. We finished in 6 hours and 12 minutes though, not bad for a team whose combined age is 136 years!

Adventure Racing is Hard to Beat March 10, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

Our team just raced on the long course of the Sand Storm II Adventure Race in southern Arizona, and boy oh boy was it cool!

This race was put on by a company called Monsoon Adventures, 2 guys that have raced in the Gilmore Adventure Race the last few years under the name of Team Chupacabra. They did a super job of organizing and hosting this race. It was very challenging (for our team anyway), and took us through some very scenic country.

When most people think of Arizona, especially southern Arizona, they think of flat, hot desert. Well this was anything but that. We started at a place called Kentucky Camp at an elevation of about 5200′. The terrain there is rolling hills leading up to steep mountains that still held snow on the NE face. At one point in the race we were up as high as 6000′.

Once I get my photos sorted out, I will post a complete race report, but until then, I will just say that our team comprised of 2 forty-five yr olds and a forty-six year old were very proud of our finish.

Arizona Adventure Racing March 6, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

The sport of Adventure Racing has introduced me to a really wonderful group of people.  Back in 2001 when we opened the Gilmore Adventure Race up to the public, I got my first taste of who and what Adventure Racers are really about.Now 7 years later, I can tell you that being both a racer and a race director has allowed me the privilege of becoming a member of the Arizona Adventure Racing Family.  I say “Family,” because that’s what it feels like, both out on the course in the heat an event, and any other time that I am around other Adventure Racers.

I have never seen another sport where your direct competitors cheer you on or even help you during the event!  It is amazing how you can be running up a rockstrewn canyon in the middle of nowhere when another team passes you, and as they do, they say, “Good job!, Keep it up!”  Don’t get me wrong, teams are competitive, but never it seems, so competitive that they would ever wish bad luck on their opponents.

Another great thing about this adopted family of mine, is that without exception, every location I have ever either raced, or hosted a race, has been picked up and left cleaner than before the event took place.  Adventure Racers don’t wait for someone else to clean up after them, in fact, they take the initiative and clean up after both themselves, and those other users of our great outdoors that seem to throw things anywhere they want to.

I am very proud of my Arizona Adventure Racing Family.

Heading Down to the Sand Storm AR March 5, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

This weekend my two team mates and I will be driving the 265 miles down to Kentucky Camp to compete in the Sand Storm II Adventure Race.

We have done very well the last 12 months in the co-ed division on the short courses of the Desert Rage Series, so we are going to move up and try our luck on the long course this time.  They promise us 30+ miles to be comprised of mountain biking and overland trekking with some surprises thrown in to boot.  We (or should I say “I”) don’t run very well, so on the trekking legs we have to depend on good navigation and smart route choice.  We usually do fairly well on the mtb legs.

Our female team mate broke her foot not long ago, but swears she is ready to go.  I am sure she is because she is one tough cookie.  Our other male is strong on the bike and on the treks, but has had some problem keeping fueled well enough on longer outings, but he too swears he is ready to go.  After writing about my two team mates, it occurs to me that I am definitely the weakest link on our team.  The must just keep me around out of pity.

Good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise, I will live to tell you all about how it went.

Primal Quest 2008 and more… March 2, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
Tags: ,
comments closed

I have just added the PQ blog to my blogroll.  They just announced that Primal Quest has also decided to put on a PQ Sprint Series.  They will host two races in 2008 and 8 races in 2009.  The most exciting aspect of it from my point of view is that it will undoubtedly bring more attention to the sport of Adventure Racing.  As a racer and a race promoter, this is good news all around!

Phoenix Urban Adventure Race March 1, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

Tracie and I just got back from a fun day as volunteers at the Phoenix Urban Adventure Race that is put on annually by Rick Eastman of Sierra Adventure Sports.  I race in AR several times a year, and am the Race Director of the Gilmore Adventure Race in Prescott every September, but I don’t find the time to volunteer very often.  We had a great time out there.  We manned two different CP’s, one one the mountain biking section, and another on the scooter or skate section (remember it is urban!).  There were several first-timers, and they all did very well!

Arizona Adventure Racing February 25, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

Whenever I meet new people, in the course of discussion they almost always end up asking me, “What is Adventure Racing?” Well, here is the Wiki definition. Here in Arizona, we have a very active AR community. Most races are what fall under the “sprint race” category, meaning that they are less than 12 hours in duration, however, contrary to the Wiki definition, several of the Arizona races require teams to be very good at navigation and UTM point plotting.