The Cave Run Lake Adventure Race
Cave Run Lake
Daniel Boone National Forest
MUD SWEAT AND TEARS along the Sheltowee Trace
The weather could not have been better at the start of the inaugural Cave Run Lake Adventure Race - sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70's. 16 teams launched from the Stoney Cove recreation area near the dam and paddled south on picturesque Cave Run Lake. A hotdog on a jet ski slalomed in and out of the pack of racers, providing an unexpected "special test" and resulted in at least one capsized competitor. Several others decided to cut out a bit of paddling by portaging their boats up and over the Zilpo peninsula. this resulted in some odd looks from the people in the campground, but seemed to be an effective strategy as it cut several minute off the paddle.
Once out of the Longbow marina a steep uphill road ride faced the bikers as they headed up Murder Branch to the rappel site. Some cursed, but little did they know that that was good as it would get! Everyone later commented on what a spectacular rappel it was, although a few mentioned that they probably could have rappelled off the landing site as well- it was a steep, loose loamy slope and resulted in more than one "butt slide".
The Sheltowee Trace trailhead proved a bit tricky to find, but once teams did find it, they were off on a very long, very technical singletrack bike ride. Emma & Julia's Dads were leading until they realized that if they didn't do something fast, that they would have to ride 35 miles of muddy technical singletrack. Thinking quickly, Brett Besser ran his bike into a protruding stick. When he was sure it was firmly lodged in his spokes, he gave a mighty heave, bending his derailleur hanger and rendering his bike inoperable. His quick thinking earned him and his partner a car ride back to the campground saved him from the torture of 8 more hours of hard riding.
The Sheltowee got the better of several other teams, but around midnight the first riders returned back to the TA at the START. Aaron Rourke, who had started 48 minutes late due to difficulties in getting to the race was in first and set off into the fog in search of 12 CPs. The race format provided for a "rogaine-style" finish whereby competitors had until the 18 hour deadline to collect as many CPs as they could find on the orienteering course. Some teams had almost six hours and some got in too late to go out at all.
A hot breakfast of ham and eggs was served and the racers who finished had a chance to share their stories of woe and misery. as the sun came up and the morning fog lifted, racers packed up and went home, the last few remaining racers rolled into the finish and another great experience was behind everyone who was courageous to even start this very difficult adventure challenge.
Go Fast, Get Wet
credit 41 pts - misplaced CP
Island Without Roads
unofficial due to partner drop-out
finished modified course
first race - finished modified course
The Buff Bettys
Working Class Hos
Emma & Julia's Dads
leading until derailleur broke
Many thanks to John and April Haight of the Cave Run Bike & Kayak Shop without whom this race would not have been possible. If you are interested in biking, paddling, rappeling or any other recreational activities in the Cave Run Lake area, John is the man to see.
Stephanie Ross and members of the Bluegrass Multisport Training Club put in a lot of work to make this happen and deserve a word of thanks.
More thanks to Jerry & Sherry Simpson of Sportraxx and legendary adventure racer Jack Crawford.
Finally, Carey Loomis and the staff of the Daniel Boone National Forest, and Mark Barnum of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, provided valuable assistance with the permitting and permissions we needed to run this race and went well beyond the call of duty in helping to see that the event was a success.