So let's just say those were not exactly positive memories.
Then we signed Bryden up for ARK last spring, culminating with ARKfest, which was a 1 hour choose your own adventure race to get to as many checkpoints as possible and a very low key way to get re-acquainted with orienteering. Poking around the Don't Get Lost site, I thought the adult events looked kind of fun.
A few weeks ago, I saw a post on the Burly Trail Runners FB group, a team for the half raid was looking for a 3rd member, was anyone interested? I replied, thinking they would choose someone else, but it ended up being me and I was committed.
|Team Missing the (check)point!|
I met up with Blair and Matt 2 weeks ago for a short run at Dundas Valley, confirmed a million times that my plodding slow running pace wouldn't piss them off and that was it until race morning.
The race start was at Saltfleet High School and they did not give out the maps until 8:30 on the dot. Then we had until 9:45 to study the maps and plot a course. Since I didn't have a compass (except on my Garmin), I could only offer tips on what terrain was like in specific areas.
We got bussed to the start (King's Forest near Albion Falls) and we were off. The section in King's Forest was a little bit technical, my legs got a little scratched up (as I was expecting) and people would NOT stop commenting on how I shouldn't have been wearing a skirt.
For most of the race, I was running behind Matt and Blair and basically not having to do any navigation. We got to checkpoint 6 (out of 13) in just under an hour, that was very quick considering we were thinking the whole race would take 3 hours.
The second half of the race started with a choice of 2 checkpoints in an area that I am very familiar with - I ran nearly all my hill repeats on that section of BT this past summer and ran there the Thursday before the race. I thought the south CP was easier to access, even though it was at the top of the big paved hill, but I was outvoted and we went into a forest via a little singletrack directly across from the BT underpass and found the CP...HOWEVER..then we had to get up the escarpment. Off trail, on small loose rocks, bendy little tree branches. I went up on all fours and was so glad I had 2 guys as teammates to pull me over the top.
|Matt going down the escarpment, off trail.|
We finished 19th of 50 teams, and well under 3 hours. I don't think I'll give up ultras for adventure running, but it was certainly a fun change of pace and thank you Matt and Blair for giving me the opportunity to try something new!