This past weekend was the Trioba Sprint Race near Ellensburgh, Washington. I raced with Aaron and Matt as DART-nuun. We ran hard and biked harder and were able to edge out Team Mergeo who was comprised of Mike, Ruaraidh and Matt (All great guys!). It boiled down to navigation and we were able to move through the course pretty swiftly and nail just about everything, except a couple slight mishaps early on. Our team manager, Erik, was on hand providing real time race reports via an extension of our team site on the DART-nuun News Site. After the fact I had a chance to get caught up on his reporting and found it to be right on.
We had our heads down and almost marched right past CP2, in fact we did and Matt realized we passed it by seeing some yellow Montrail marker flags that the directors use to surround their check points. This put Mergeo about 45 seconds in front of us up to check point 3. From there we jockeyed with them back and forth all the way into the transition. I think we got into transition a minute or two ahead of them and left seconds before them...support helps in TA's. They had adventure racing extraordinaire AV in the pits for them getting them out and on our tails. Props to AV for my posted pictures...he is moonlighting as a photographer now inbetween drag racing, adventure racing, Mt biking and Dancing with the Stars.
The bike had climb after climb and was right up my alley. Did I mention I like a good hill climb? There were some route decisions to make and we ended up opting for the most direct route on all of them. Particularly after check point 14 we shouldered our bikes and headed west about 100-200 meters through the forest to pop out to the road that 15 would be off of. This did not take long and had us back in the saddle in no time. (Any body else do something different?)
We also bikewhacked after CP 16 down to a road that lead us straight into CP 17, I would bet most teams did this as well, it was smooth enough to ride so we stayed on our bikes. Aaron got a flat at CP 17 and we tried to throw his bike on my shoulders for the trip in, then matt tried to run with his and aaron's bike, then Aaron ran with his and finally he opted to ride it in on the rim...we were looking over our shoulders the whole time expecting Mergeo to swoop down, but we had built a cushion that allowed us to get into the finish in first.
The Yeager brothers put on another exceptional race and we LOVED the course. The treking was all off trail and required some good navigation, the biking was all rideable and also had some route choices. Good stuff.
I am still not sure how much I like the open category, it was fun and different, but I think I enjoy the more traditional coed format that Adventure Racing was built on. That's not to say it was right or wrong...I guess just different.