My usual race partner, Rachel Nypaver, could not race with me this year, and neither could another friend I had asked, Jessie Meeker. Then, Chris Tracey said he wanted to, then he could, then he couldn't, so I switched over to a single kayak. I had reserved a double for me and Jessie, then switched to a single when her or Chris couldn't do it. Well, Chris ended up being able to do it, but at that point I said we should just do it solo.
I was actually excited to race it solo this year, see what I could do. I was determined to finish in under 5 hours, and was shooting for a 4:45 because I knew I could do it. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, but it would have if the kayaking was in the River.
36 Miles of Cycling
I meant to draft off Chris for at least part of the race, but he took off in the mass start in the beginning and I didn't see where he went because I got stuck behind other people, and I couldn't catch up at that point. He is very fast, and maintained around 27mph for the whole thing...maybe I wouldn't have been able to keep up. So, I was out by myself for awhile, behind the 3-4 top guys, and in front of everyone else :). After awhile, a group caught up to me, and I pulled them mostly for a good 70 minutes. Mostly guys, too so I knew I was doing good! And my friends Lori and Mark were in that group on a tandem, and they are usually ahead of me from previous years, so I knew I was doing good this year! I had to take some breaks and let the guys lead, but I pulled them more. It started raining and getting really windy towards the end, not sure how many miles we had left, but I couldn't cycle strong in the wind anymore, so I moved over and let the guys go in front, and then I couldn't even hang on their wheels. I had done too much work. Oh well, it was still fun!! I am not sure what my bike time is yet, I think maybe 1:43, not sure. The results will be posted tomorrow. I was hoping to maintain 21, but the wind really picked up at the end.
6 Miles of Kayaking
So, usually the race is in the Maumee River, however, it was 2 ft higher than what the R.D. considered safe, so we were put in the canal. Awesome. The canal is dirty water, with a ton of fallen trees. The R.D. and boy scouts had cleaned it up a bit, but it was still hard to maneuver around the trees! I got stuck 5-7 times, and I had to get out a few times into waist deep mirky dirty muddy waters. Gross. And...because it's a canal, there is no water movement. You have to do all the work yourself, you don't have the nice downstream push of the river. So... my time was around 1:55. Everyone else was about 40min slower than usual, as well, because of this reason. Two solo girls had passed me on the kayak. This made me very angry because I was in the lead off the bike. They both had their own kayaks, though, I just rented. Their kayaks looked a lot nicer than my rented one, so it could be that, or I am just slow :)
8 Miles of Backpacking with 20% of my Body Weight
Did I mention my feet were frozen getting off the bike? They warmed up some while I was dragging the kayak into the canal, but of course, having to jump off my kayak to move it over trees left them cold again at the kayak to backpack transition. I took off my socks and shoes, and changed into dry socks and my trail running shoes, ate some gel, and was off with my pack and a bar to eat up the hill. I walked up part of the hill while eating an energy bar, then took off running. I was determined to catch up to those 2 females if it killed me. About 3 miles in I caught one of them, and 4 miles in I actually passed Lori and Mark (I have never done this, and they always win their category each year, so I knew I was doing good!). Also, the lead girl was just ahead and she was walking! Phew, I was gaining on her thank goodness! When I passed her, she said, "If I knew it was you, I wouldn't have gone to the restroom at transition!" lol. I continued on running, then around mile 5.5 all my weight fell out of my backpack! I used my brand new backpack, and the zipper must not have been zipped all the way at the bottom (When I go backpacking next, think I'll use a bunjee on that zipper just in case...). So, I had to stop and gather my weight, and put it back in. That female caught up to me. But once I was situated I took off running again. Around mile 6.5 I wanted to walk so bad, but I wanted to win it for the females, so I didn't stop running. OMG it was so hard, especially since I worked so hard on the bike this year. And getting out into cold waters on the kayak doesn't help tight legs, either! My run was around 12 min slower this year because of that. Ohhh well.
But, I still won! I was the first female, out of every class to finish first, solo, female-male, or female-female! And there were over 300 people signed up! I have finally finished first overall female, a goal of mine I've had for so long. Even though it was a low-key adventure race, it definitely still counts! So excited. Going to treat myself to ice cream tonight!