Friday, September 21, 2007

4th Dimension Adventure Race

Last weekend saw the introduction of a new race, the 4th Dimension 24 hour adventure race to the Pacific Northwest. Produced by Roger Michel and Glenn Rogers (Fellow DARTer) this was the real deal in 24 hour racing. It was a very challenging course accompanied by some difficult weather and especially visibility at night. I needed a fog light.

Here are the pictures that I took, the first 3, and then Roger subsequently took the rest with my camera when I left it in the TA with my PFD by accident. I really let myself and the team down by leaving the camera behind...we try and subscribe to the philosophy of "no camera left behind!"
4th Dimension AR

This was one of those courses that you will not forget easily as there were a lot of decisions to make from a navigation standpoint from start to finish. This kept us on our tows and off our toes I guess. The race started with a 16 mile paddle, follwed by an epic 69 mile bike section that climbed over 10,500 feet and finished with an extra large Rogaine.

We rode most of the bike with the exception of pushing our bike up the Church Creek trail and right around check point 9 where the grass was 4 feet tall. It was great to see so many familiar faces on and off the race course. There were lots of local racing stars at checkpoints around the course and helping out with the race in general. (ie: Duncan, JVG, Tyler P., Patrice, Stacy(in by association))

We held the lead for most of the race or shared it with the two person Mergeo team (Dave and Peteris). Did anyone do the bike whack from CP9 up the hill? We started the climb with Mergeo 2 person and then backed down at the alders and overgrown road. The option to ride the hill proved to be worth its weight in gold...our first big mistake was at CP13 where we bombed the hill right past the overgrown road and had to climb back up a couple of kilometers to get it. After that we had the 4 person mergeo and the 2 person mergoe team running around with us. Too bad they caught us as we made heads or tails of the geography and figured out CP 13. We put it on a silver platter for them. It probably did not make much difference in the end.

We finished the bike leg strong, transitioned lightning fast and paddled into the last TA to the trek/rogaine transition about 25 minutes ahead of Mergeo.

This is where the wheels came off a bit. We were moving fast but focus was not with us (Very sleepy) and we made the 2nd big mistake of the race by chosing to navigate the south controls first and hopefully move to the north section in the morning. In retrospect the more concentrated controls up north were the place to be at night and we should have gone there first.

We got turned around a couple of times in heavy fog with a couple of sleepy choices and ended up running out of the time that we needed to bushwhack to the north side. In the end we simply did not cover the amount of ground we had planned on. It looked so easy on paper ;-)

We've decided it is time to work on the Rogaine a bit. They seem to be a bit more prevelant in Adventure Races these days and in my opinion they are a good way to allow the field to finish close to one another, instead of 12 hours apart. Shane who produces the Wicked AR series is asking whether or not racers liked it here on his web page.

We ended up gathering 10 controls and fell short of Mergeo's 13 controls to take 2nd in the 4 person co-ed division. Mergeo looked strong everytime we saw them and they nailed the rogaine...we are looking forward to the next time we meet.

Now on to Tahoe for the Big Blue 12 hour adventure race...2nd to last race of the season.

I would bet we see more Rogain style finishes in AR in the future,


Gary Robbins said...

Let us not forget about Helly Hansen-MOMAR's team of two co-ed, Todd and Lina, finishing 2nd overall, and having paddled solo kayaks...I know, I know, it must be tough to give props to a Canadian team!!

DARTvg said...

I thought they lost their other two team mates out on the, Todd and Lina crushed it! We saw them after CP 13 getting close to the CP and then in a sleepy haze i saw them in a loaded car taking off...They should get 1st for driving back right after the race.

garobbins said...

They actually used that car between CP's 13 and 14...doesn't matter now right, standings are final aren't they?