Hope Furnace Adventure Weekend
Sat - 8 hr AR
Sun - Buff Betty Women's AR
Lake Hope State Park
THE BUFF BETTY WOMEN'S ADVENTURE RACE RESULTS
May 15, 2005
Lake Hope State Park
CORRECTION: It turns out that the team of Holtzapple/Duval visited 5 orienteering CPs, however one of them was punched very faintly, and it was only after this story was published that the mistake was noticed. The addition of another point puts H/D into second place and knocks a couple of the lead teams back a notch. Sorry for the oversight.
In other late breaking news...
It turns out that Mimi Ruwe (one of the original Buff Bettys) has a broken bone and some soft tissue damage sustained when she turned her ankle on a rock on the way to the finish. She is OK, but doesn't expect to be racing much until late, late in the summer. Best wishes for a complete recovery.
The adventure weekend actually started out on Saturday afternoon with about 20 women who showed up for the skills clinics to learn more about paddling, mountain bike repair and navigation. The rain held off until the end of the clinics and all in attendance enjoyed some delicious hamburgers under the shelter while wondering what the next day's weather would bring.
Amazingly enough, Sunday dawned clear, cool and bright with perfectly beautiful weather for the race. The Buff Betty began with a footrace to the boat dock where racers put out onto Lake Hope and headed for the four CPs on the water, surprising more than a few fishermen on this normally quiet lake. After approximately 3 miles of paddling, Noelle Bartlam, racing as a solo, was the first off the water and soon the rest were back to the START/FINISH for their bikes and off to ride 10 miles of the best mountain bike trails in the state. Riders were constrained to a specific set of trail by the presence of special mystery CPs, and a few teams became so engrossed in riding that they blew right on by and ended up adding a few more miles to their route. Holtzapple/Duval dominated on the bike and picked up a sizeable lead on Bartlam and the rest of the pack. They finished the bike leg in a little over an hour, and within another hour, most of the rest were once again back to the START/FINISH for the "rogaine-style" finish.
The "rogaine-style finish is designed so that all teams finish at or about the same time; in this case 16:00. The way it works is that teams complete the first part of the course (paddling & biking), and then have as much time as remains in the race to visit, in any order, and by any route they choose, a series of checkpoints throughout the forest. The team that visits the most checkpoints in the shortest elapsed race time wins the race. Ties are decided by finish time. Loss of points for a late return keep people from being too ambitious, although we have never had as many "lates" as we did at this race.
This is the element that separates the women from the girls, and like at almost all Ambush races, navigational ability is the key to a good finish. Noelle put the hammer down, was the only one to visit ALL of the orienteering CPs, and ran into the finish with nearly a half-hour to spare to win the 2005 Buff Betty Women's Adventure Race. Kathryn Connolly led first-time adventure racers Amy Glover and Jennifer Szostek to second place, and Heidi Schilling, running as a solo placed third.
No matter what the finish order, there were a lot of smiles and excited talk at the post-race picnic. Congratulations to all who came out to try their first adventure race - we hope to see you in 2006 when the Buff Betty will expand into a 6 race national women's adventure racing series.
Please see Adventure Race Reports for other first-person accounts of this super fun event...and remember that we award a $50 race credit to an Ambush contributor each month. It is a random drawing, so you don't have to be first, best or even longest - just get your story up there and share YOUR experience with other teams and those who couldn't attend the race.