After waking up early on Saturday morning and putting quality time in on the road bike in what seemed to be 100 degrees out, you have to love humidity sometimes, it was off for another road trip. The month of May always seems to be jammed packed and this weekend was no different. On the top of the old man ride sat a canoe and 2 bikes. The inside was packed with more gear thrills and topped off with 2 wild dogs. Pointed the car south and Shannon and I were off to the land of the Kawartha's. I'm officially on holidays for the week so my pace on getting to any destination is a little more flexible. After seeing a 4 foot Buddha on the side of the road we were slowed up just a little. With the wonderful rain coming in there seemed to be no real rush getting anywhere. A few hours later we were at Shannon's parents avoiding looking out the window to see what was coming for Sunday.
We got what we expected, a short drive and we pulled into a small beach resort on Rice Lake. Lot's of eager racers ready to play at this year's Storm The Trent, Shannon being one of them. A little bit of this and that, some pre race meeting where they announced that the paddle portion of the race was going to be cancelled. There was a huge sigh of relief and cheers from the crowd. I guess the 8 degrees temperature and 3 foot waves didn't look very inviting. Shannon was dressed and pumped, representing AWI Racing flashing the team colours. There should be a race report up on the team site soon about her thrills during the day. For me, I figured I would spectate from random spots on the trails, didn't take long for me to volunteer as the course sweeper.
In not so perfect weather conditions, Shannon and her teammate Mandy killed it, Shannon rocked the single track parts of the course, had fun on the trail run and finished in just over 3 hours. You'll have to read her report for the full details. As for me, well after the last couple teams finished up the first run leg and were out on the bike my day began in chase. It's been a long time since I've been around the adventure race scene, it was pretty cool. After CP2 the fun began as there was some fast flowing single track with 5 unmanned check points in the forest. We slowly watched the last teams come out of the woods.
Had a great reminder on how great it is to see bring themselves to new challenges. Helping the last team come in, a team that some might have said shouldn't have been out there, but they were. And they didn't give up, instead of sitting on their couch being lazy like other's they were out pushing themselves beyond what they normally would. They were given an option on a truck ride back but they refused. They were not riding carbon fiber dualies, not in compression tights, not nailing their nutrition right. They were just two regular people, two sisters. Even exhausted the one was already making plans for next years race. It was inspiring. They crossed the line with huge cheers, it was awesome when one of them said "we actually aren't last, there were teams that quit. They're last" They spent a hard 5 hours out on the bike. That's one hell of a long day. I'll have to remind myself about them next weekend during the 100 miler, if I hit a bad spot during the race, just think about what they went through. It's all in perspective of ability.
After a great post ride meal with the event crew, lots of stories told. It's amazing how small a world it really is, many shared acquaintances. Tired and dirty we started the long drive home. It was, well, long. Plans were also made for next year. If you're looking for a fun day or a start into adventure racing you need to check out Storm the Trent. Great organization, fun courses, a whole new challenge.
Time for some more coffee, what to do what to do.