This race is my Everest. I get nervous/excited before every race but I get NERVOUS NERVOUS/excited before this bad boy. It’s long and physically and mentally challenging. But, and there is always a but, I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF THIS RACE!
Let’s start at the beginning – I have done this race 4 times over the last 5 years. I missed the race in 2012 because one of my BFFs (and bridesmaids) got married. The race never gets easier but I fall more in love with it every year. I already can’t wait until next year’s race!
The Great Adventure Challenge consists of three legs:
- 2.5 mile kayak
- 16+ mile mountain bike
- 2 mile hike up and down a ski mountain
Generally I do better on the bike than I do on the kayak and hike which is weird because I’ve only mountain biked four times in my life (the four times I’ve done this race).
This year, I woke up bright and early Saturday morning to perfect race weather, it was sunny, warm but not hot and not humid. I packed up my arsenal of race snacks and supplements the night before so I only had to worry about eating breakfast in the morning.
In order to avoid committing the ultimate race day sin (trying something new) I tested the nuun the night before, liked it, and made a couple water bottles for race day. I packed up two packages of my favorite Black Cherry Shot Bloks in my bra and in my bike pouch. I saved the Quest bar for post-race and never ended up eating the Gu.
The Almond Pecan Crunch was delicious but I found it wasn’t great for race day, too dry. I was struggling to get in enough water as it was so these were mostly saved for post-race. So with my snacks packed up I was ready for the day.
The race starts down on the beach were tons and tons of volunteers help everyone get their kayak in the water. Once everyone is set at the start line, there is a cannon blast (sorry to all those trying to sleep on a Saturday morning) and we were all off!
Due to the whole water situation, I didn’t take any pictures but I did see a loon and a loon baby at the beginning! I also get hit by someone which knocked my kayak into a sideways position so I wasn’t off to a great start. The kayak portion is never my best so instead of get mad, I righted my boat and kept paddling.
It was pretty windy so I struggled a little staying on track but it didn’t really matter. The day was beautiful and I considered myself lucky just to be out there on the course.
My kayak time – 38:31
My past kayak times:
- 2010 – 34:53
- 2011 – 36:00
- 2013 – 41:49
Stay tuned throughout the week for the bike and run recaps!
Have you ever done an adventure race? Do you want to try one?