Sunday August 8, 2004
Lake Hope State Park
Beautiful clear weather - and cool for July - graced the Ambush Zaleski Sprint Adventure Race at Lake Hope State Park on August 8. We were happy to see several first time adventure racing teams and hope we didn't beat them up so bad that they won't return for another.
The race format consisted of a several hundred meter run to the boat docks and then a circuit around Lake Hope to visit 4 checkpoints distributed around the perimeter of this very scenic body of water. There were some fisherman who may have wished they had picked a different day for their bass tournament, but at least all the commotion gave them a good excuse for not catching anything.
After the paddle, it was a short run back to the START/FINISH area and off to a long uphill ride up a gravel forest service road to the start of the Sidewinder singletrack trail. The Athens MTB club really seemed to know what they were doing when they built the trails at Lake Hope, and the Sidewinder trail is one of the best bike trails in Ohio. The trail was dry and hard and very fast and provided a good ride for all.
Following the bike ride, which took most people about an hour to complete, it was back to the central TA and then off on the navigation element. Eight CPS were placed throughout the forest and teams had until the four-hour-mark to find as many as they could and return to the FINISH. Checkpoint "E" proved to be elusive, but most teams managed to find their way to at least a few of the others. There was a penalty (loss of CPs) for returning after the four hour deadline, and several teams lost credit for some of their hard work by returning late, but in the end everyone says they enjoyed it and learned a lot.
Since everyone finished within minutes of each other, we all had time together to enjoy the hospitality of the Lakeside picnic shelter, munch on snacks and sandwiches and compare notes.
Many thanks to Jason Schaefer and Teri Kaczor who volunteered and helped to make this a successful event, and a special thanks to Randy Zeisler and the staff of Lake Hope State Park who worked hard to keep everyone safe.