Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Central Coast Sprint Race Report May 16, 2010

Central Coast Adventure Race
Sunday May 16, 2010 my sister, Chrys Hawk, and I signed up for the Central Coast Adventure race in San Luis Obispo, Ca. Yishai Horowitz was the race organizer and he is known for putting on great races. The format of the race was, well, you do not really know until the morning of the race. So Sunday morning we get to the race and receive the race maps.

The first leg of the race was a kayak section. Choose three out of the five checkpoints. Some points were farther away than others so it was crucial that you choose the right points. I used a ruler to determine the shortest distance. Next we determined the direction of the wind, so we did not have to fight the wind on the way back, and whala... made a decision. Shortly after this the race was about to begin, so we grabbed a couple of life vests, and lined up at the race start.

We ran around the parking lot, and then jumped into the 'sit on top' kayak. We were third place, in the direction that we were going. Many other kayakers went off in the other direction. There were quite a few going our way too, so I felt good about that. We had the check point in site (ok, we actually just followed the two kayaks in front of us), and got to the first check point.

The first place kayak overshot the second checkpoint but I knew right away that they overshot the checkpoint and shot straight for the flag along with another set of speedy gals in front of us. When we got back to shore, we were fifth out of the water.
Out of the kayaks, there was a 'special challange' in which you had to fill up a tube with holes in it and get the ping pong ball out of the top of the tube. This was very tedious and my sister ended up getting multiple waves of water dumped into her face and body, trying to fill up the tube.
We finally got the ball to the top and started off on the bikes.

Chrys' derailer kept acting up, and I was suprised that it did not snap off!! We had to keep her bike in low gears, but we managed to get to the crazy steep first ascent of the bike. I say ascent because the hill was insane. Most everyone walked. Chrys had the heaviest bike in the world and it took two of us to push it up the hill. We got up to the bike checkpoint. Some guy at the top snapped his chain. I offered a chain tool, but he did not know how to use it, and I was not about to give a chain fixing clinic in the middle of a race. So the best advice I could give him was 'it's all downhill from here, just coast it down'.

Chrys and I bombed down the hill, passing some that kicked our ass on the hill climb...sucka!!
When we got to the second leg of the bike, the hills for Chrys were getting a bit tiring (with a 50 lb bike, that thing was a tank), but we kept on pedaling. We were back and forth with another pair of women, one of which was having bike trouble. I passed her in the grass because she would not pull over. Chrys attempted to pass her, and she ended up falling head first off a sleep ledge into a bushal of poison oak. A couple of girls following us, were super nice and pulled over to help her out of the bush. Thanks Gals!! Fortunately, Chrys was not hurt, and we finished off the bike without any other drama.

The trek was amazing. We spent a bunch of time trying to follow the pink tags, littered among the bushes as we ducked and crawled through shrubs. A few mens teams were lost and headed in the wrong direction (or just cheating), and other teams asked us if we knew where we were going. Looking at the map, I inclined to say, that we were still going in the right direction, and others followed us too.

We were right. We made it to the lake were someone had to swim across the stinky pond to get the the check point. Fortunately, Chrys was covered in poison oak, and she used it as a great opportunity to was off.

The last leg of the trek, we were climbing down rocks with stratigically places ropes, jumping into thigh deep pools of water, and swimming one more time in a river (unexpectedly).

Chrys was fatiguing, and her gracilis muscle (inner thigh muscle), started spasming, and we had to stop a few times to massage them out. Chrys was unsure if her legs were going to hold her up, but they did, and we ended up finding the road back to the finish!!!
And just when we thought we were done, we had to climb up and over a ropes section. I was glad that I did not fall off at the top....and finally the Vanderkittens finished!!!

What a great adventure!!