October 31, 2004
Dillon State Park
The Dillon Fall Sprint Adventure Race began at the civilized hour of 10:00 am with an exciting mountain bike ride along the singletrack trails to the turnaround at the marina. There was no need for intermediate checkpoints as navigation across the leaf covered forest floor was challenging enough. The heavy leaf cover not only obscured the trails, but the numerous roots and rocks as well - leading to a few surprising (or maybe not so surprising...) tumbles off the bike. Despite the challenges, every team made it to the turnaround before the 2 hour cutoff and sped back to the START/FINISH for the paddling leg. People's Burn Foundation was followed closely by Team Vultures into the first TA.
High winds forced a shortening of the paddling leg, which turned out to be more of a "mud-walking" leg for some teams as they encountered sand bars in what looked like the middle of a big reservoir. Amazingly enough, only one team capsized in the stiff breeze. Off the water it was People's Burn, followed by Vultures with Joe Smindak battling the high winds in a single kayak.
The final element was the orienteering leg where teams had the time remaining to them before the four hour cutoff to visit as many Cps as they could find. Foot travel was unrestricted in this leg and some took advantage of their road running ability to make short work of the course. It was Joe Smindak, who must run about 5:30 mile through the forest, who made up over 27 minutes, collected all of the "O" points and arrived back at the FINISH before the three hour mark. Somewhere around elusive orienteering checkpoint "GT" that the Vultures got ahead of People's Burn Foundation and finished second. Team "Only MOSTLY Lost", running fourth off the water, had just enough time to visit all seven Cps and finish in 3:55, placing them in fourth.
At that point, many teams did not have enough time to visit all of the orienteering Cps and were ranked according to the number of Cps they visited and then by their finish time. Karen Svab and Gaila Sunkle of "Fabulous, phFit & Forty misunderstood the race format and stayed out for nearly 6 hours in a dogged effort to find "GT" - this resulted in 21 point deficit, meaning that they will have to race at least three more races in 2005 to make up for it
Hot food and cold drinks awaited all at the finish line, and everyone enjoyed a hour or so or socializing before heading home at the end of another great event. Of course, as soon as everyone left, the winds died down and the lake was mirror smooth as the sun sank slowly in the west.