Sunday October 3, 2004
Mohican State Park & Forest
Many first time adventure racers were blessed with great fall weather and a fantastic venue for Mohican State Park's first adventure race.
The race began at 10:00 with a mass start for the mountain biking leg. Amazingly enough, there were no crashes as racers sped down the park road on their way to the Hemlock Trail. The Hemlock Trail is normally closed to biking, but the park was kind enough to allow its use for this event and the first part was really too much for some to handle. It was very rooty and rocky, and any slight miscalculation resulted in a 3 foot fall off the bank into the Clear Fork River. Most people ended up walking that section, but it got better as they approached the campground and soon everyone was back on their bikes for a most excellent ride.
Racers were advised to be careful of the other park visitors, but when traversing the campground the lead team barrelled over a camper's tent guy lines, trouble soon followed. The irate camper soon had a park ranger divert the rest of the pack around his campsite. Although they did not have to then cross the river with their bikes, they lost a few minutes going out and around on the highway. The team that ran over the tent was penalized 5 (number of teams that had to go around) X 3 minutes (amount of extra time it took them) resulting in a 15 minute penalty.
The race proceeded up to the Pleasant Hill Reservoir for a very short, yet scenic paddle to locate three CPs located on the shore. They ripped back down the Pleasant Hill trail to the final transition area and were off on the foot navigation leg.
The final orienteering leg is designed so that teams try and visit as many checkpoints as they can in the time remaining. They can visit the checkpoints in any order that they wish. The top 6 teams managed to visit them all and their finish times are ranked by time.
For those teams that did not have enough time left to visit all of the orienteering CPs - their finish order is based first on # of CPs visited, and then on time. The orienteering, as always has a way of mixing up the results, and some teams that arrived at the final TA late really put their nav skills to good advantage to pass other teams that arrived ahead of them.
At the end everyone enjoyed hot soup, sandwiches and snacks and socialized a bit in the warm fall sunshine before heading home at the end of a great day. The newcomers were uniformly enthusiastic and seem to have wished they had learned of the exciting sport of adventure racing a little earlier in the year.