OK, holy wow, that was hard… Well, that’s to be expected. This time, Bryan and the MOMAR planning team brewed up a new kind of hurt for us to navigate through. The attrition rate at CP #12 was intense with a ton of hard working racers getting gobbled up by the time cut-off. It’s tough on the racing labido, but wow, nothing to be ashamed of. This course kicked our asses! It was glorious.
Self-Induced Mind Games
The level of anxiety on the day before was reaching an epic level considering the driving rain, which was quite brutal at times. I’ve raced in crappy weather before (Suburban Rush this year was fun), but this was going to completely redefine ‘Grind it Out’. Well, less than 8 hours later, It was as if Mother Nature herself waved her wand over our little MOMAR community as we drove down from Mt Washington through an absolutely gorgeous morning with blue sky and light fog; feeling better. This song crankin’ in the truck (this is super funny if you’ve read Sarah’s blog post)
Drop the bike (sit tight Binky, I’ll be back for you soon), catch up with my friend Sandra, and head down to the map pickup. A few high stress moments figuring out the kayak situation and into the water. It must be said that I kayak on average of … ahem, once per year (haha). Bang around a bit at the start, freaking out with stress, deep breaths, smash into a few more boats, hehe.
Okay, well after all that I felt I had my best paddle yet. No cramps, sing a song. “Oh hey Scott and Joel, how’s it going? Hey! Wait up, where are you… ah, yea, 2 crazies in a kayak are pretty fast :)”. Oh crap, housemates Garth and Shane are in the water! “Oh hey Sandra, crazy, awesome weather hey!? You’re looking strong! See you in the trails when you catch me no doubt”.
Punch CP#1 and I’m off (hey Dave!). Little jog along the beach, up on the dock and CP#2 done. Whoa, hey, Sarah Seads, I guess my paddle was OK :). Feeling a bit better about that. heh.. Trying to pick my way through the masses walking up the trail, pace a bit slow. Hey Bryan, what’s up man?! Punch CP#3 and Go! Some peeps having a little break. Clear trail ahead. Push up the hill, watch my bearing (ya, bit attached to my compass). Hit lower Queso and run down the trail to the junction. It sure is nice when you know where you are. haha!! Pass a few more racers (aka, fast paddlers), catch up to a couple o’ speedy dudes. Obviously blew by Stub Trail but hit the road fairly quickly. Recognizing the area from last years trek, only I have a little more juice this time, haha! Jog to CP#4.
Decide to run (he said run, haha) Miners. In hindsight, Cupcake may have given me less resistance? Meh. I’d been up here a couple times recently so it was familiarity that drove me here (GO!! Channeling Joe from Gojira, careful kids, this ain’t your top 40 auto-tuned bullshit…). Pass a few more peeps gazing at maps (This way!). Hello CP#5! Looking back at the map and after reading Sarah’s blog it’s pretty clear that the best line was Bear Buns with a little trek through the bush. I took Bucket as it seemed a faster trail run. Anyway, CP#6 done. Run down Off Broadway (Stay Left!). Run up to the ‘roaming control’. Haha. CP#7. Look for ‘man made feature’ (orienteering nerd) on the left, take the middle trail. Pass a few more peeps double checking their map. CP#8. Feeling good with a totally clean run so far…
Back in the Saddle
CP#9. “Hey Jeremy, great work man!” Binky!! Oh wow, it’s nice to see you buddy, haha. On the bike and I’m in my element. No messing around, in and out! Eat, eat. “Hey Sandra (running along the trail, nearly at the street), you’re gonna catch me soon, I know it. :)”. “Hey Scott Pierce. You’re doing great! Middle trail just past that out building! GO!!” “Hey Jeremy and Sarah. Super stoked to actually have caught you guys (brutally steep section was slowing the pack quite a bit, but of course, Jer was one-handing it while scanning the map, haha!!), wow. Doing awesome!”
Everything seems in slow motion when you’re riding up a steep section to a control doesn’t it. People cheering although it’s unlikely you’re actually moving, hehe… CP#10. Feeling really happy about my run so far. Physically, still in pretty good shape. Feeding off the positive vibes, hum some Bob Marley…
One good thing about music — when it hits you, you feel no pain.
Wookies Toothpick Backwards (best trail name ever)
I rode Wookies Toothpick recently but in the other direction. It was amazing, beautiful, and dry! I decided to go this route. Managed to pedal up quite a long way out of the check point. However, it wasn’t long and everyone is hiking. See-Sawed back and forth with a very strong couple, both North of 50 yrs, Wow. Inspiring! The cut to the trail was almost inconspicuous, but I recognized the side hill trail on the right for the Upper Queso trail (yet missing from the MOMAR map, Hmmm). Lots of hiking here at the start. Feeling a bit guilty riding on these bluffs in the wet. Lichen and Moss getting chewed up quite badly… Caught a couple dudes on the trail. Finally, the lake is in sight. “Bryan! hey man, holy crap, you get around dude! What? You want me to walk that sketchy bridge? But, but, there’s a super fun looking drop right there… Okay, for you, let’s do it.” Ham it up a bit for the camera’s and video. lol. Oh hey, it’s Dave Silver! Punch CP #11 and clamber over the boulders for that last push up the hill.
Oh wow, there’s the pain. Tingles of cramp start to glisten in my hamstrings (plural). Need to pay attention to the road junctions heading up to CP#12. “Water?”, Nope. Not until #18. The whole event was absolutely spectacular! But I think, if anything, there should probably have been some liquids here. Anyway, luckily I had a bit left in my hydro-pack and a splash in the bike bottle for the return trip. Head up into the trek. I chose to hit the controls ‘in order’. With some strategic bushwhacking, it seemed the fastest route. Ugh.. What the?! Still got my helmet on, haha! Hang on the nearest tree at the trail junction and head off to the cp. Oh hey it’s Bart Jarmula coming down the trail the other way. Hmm, perhaps my route choice wasn’t that great after all. Meh. Oooohh, couple other dudes hot on his heels (Justin and Jeff). They would eventually overtake Bart for the overall win. CP#13 seemed much farther down the trail than expected. Suck down another gel…
200 paces to the bend in the trail, another 200 and South into the bush. Nice and easy, onto the trail, down to the check point. Oh Wow!! Pause for a few seconds to gawk at the amazing view there of the waterfall. CP#14 done.
Back up the trail, straight North through the bush at the junction. Came out onto the trail with CP#15 20 paces to my right and in view! Cruise down the trail; CP#16. Out to Trent Canyon; what the heck!! Bryan again! I’m pretty sure this guy is holding back on his teleportation technology :). Another stunning view! Smile for the camera, CP #17 in the bag.
Motivational Mantra Time…
Really feeling the fatigue now. Go Go Gadget Legs. Oh hey, Sandra! Looking great in that MudBunnies kit! Trail is just there! go get it!!
Relentless Forward Motion
Relentless Forward Motion, you can do it…
That foot goes in front of the other one, rinse and repeat…
Really struggling now, crawl up ‘noname road 300′, continually looking back fully expecting to see Sandra lapping up the road behind me. hehe… Cut North into the bush, ear catches a wonderful sound. WATER!! I picked a fast flowing section and sucked up as much as I could slurp in 30 seconds and pushed on. Felling a little refreshed, but wasn’t that prepared for how much Switchback I had to clamber up. Hey, it’s Sara Seads! Stopped and had a little chat with Nick Walker. His partner, Eric, was just up the trail. Good to see you man! See you at the party. More Switchback. Eric passes by. Thank gOd, my helmet! Muster a little trot down to my bike. Yay!! Drain the bike bottle of every drop. Hi Laurie and Pascal, Team MudBunny! I think by this time the cut-off has passed and there are some pretty bummed racers getting the news. Grab Binky and stroll up to the trail head. Sandra! Right on my heels. So far she’s in second spot for solo Woman, but a strong downhill (her strength), who knows!
The Reward: Cumby’s Funnest Downhill Cross Trails
I push up the hill “Right on Jade!”, I hear behind me. Hey, Jeremy and Sarah! Sure nice to hear friendly voices when you’re that deep in the hurt. Thanks guys! I love the down. Sanity slowly returning, need to focus for this technical stuff. Fly down Switchback. Crashed near the bottom, took a soft sandy turn a bit wide. No biggie. Just lost focus for a second. Upper and lower Potluck. SO MUCH FUN!!! CP#18 WATER!! Probably put down a bottle right there! Filling my second and here comes Sandra! Come on, Sarah’s been through not too long ago. Let’s go!
Start our furious drop down into Thirsty Beaver and back up against a bunch of Sport distance racers. Managed to get by with relative ease but lost a couple minutes for sure. CP#19.
Got caught by 2 different Solo Men on That Damn Trail. Turned out to be #4 and #5 in the category. Oh well, having such a great time. CP#20 and around Allan Lake and onto Crafty Butcher. ALSO SO MUCH FUN!!! No teeter totter this time, need to just hammer. Bit unclear heading into the finish that we needed to drop our bikes but… MOMAR 2013 done, and in time. Sandra locked up #2 Solo Woman and I came across as 6th Solo Men. Couldn’t be more happy!
Thanks Bryan and and the Volunteers and everyone even remotely involved in setting up this amazing event. Can’t wait until next year!!
Peace! Don’t forget to leave a Comment!!
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