We get on our bikes… well almost to be greeted by another flat for pete. Fix than and once again are on our way. Slightly behind Appalachain AR, we soon overtake them as they deal with a flat and re take the lead.
Bike some more covering some of the same road we ran early along earlier in the day when we were supposed to be “paddling”. Stopping and knocking on the door of a complete stranger to get water for our water bladders within our packs. “We only need to use your garden hose, no thanks we dont need you to bring us water, we dont have a lot of team, we are being chased.” Its always fun trying to explain to people what we are doing and for how long.
We wind our way to a parking lot alongside the Toccoa river collecting relatively easy checkpoints along the way. At times see Wedali and at time them seeing us. Rather amusing. At the parking lot we ditch our bikes and for the 1st time have access to food in a zip lock bag we had turned in on friday night at check in.
Here we trade bikes for running shoes again (Which we have been carrying in our packs this whole time) and begin a mini orienteering course (well, when i say mini, we start around 7.45pm and then finally get back here around 2am) this section was tough, lots of elevation gain. NO TRAILS. lots of bush whacking, difficult navigation and very different travel. We began this section with a hand lead over Wedali but soon had to worn down at they approached us on the 2nd Checkpoint (CP) in this section.
I was not in good shape of this section. THAT WEIGHT was beginning to take its toll on me. and i was sleepy. With the exception of the 100 miles ultra in march i realised this was the 1st 30 hr AR i’ve done this year. GULP!!! that’s very unlike me. But injury had kept me away from racing too. So by now i had sleepmonster real bad. And we were falling behind Wedali.
Pete & Michelle stopped and let me take a 5 minute nap to try and beat the sleepmonster. Well. IT WORKED. and i awoke after 5mins of shut eye and was ready to go. We made some ground on Wedali and were soon back and forth with them over 1st & 2nd place. Both teams finished this section back at our bikes within a few minutes of each other. A little mad that 2 points in that last section were unable to be found, and later we found out wrongly plotted and mis placed.
Arrrrggghhhh this happens way too often in AR and there is no place for it. Its very demoralizing and bad for the sport. We would you race if you plotted accurately only to find CP’s are in the worng place. By now Wedali was a little more mad than us and informed us that they were heading back to the finish line.
We were determined to win and get the max points. So we went the other direction on our bikes to find 2 more points then several others that took us past the now busy parking lot that this time we didnt need to stop at. seeing many teams that were now 7-8 hours behind us. Amazing.
We got a couple more CP’s on our way to the upcoming nasty bike whack. Think reallt difficult bush whack and oh… add in your bike.
that is up coming soon.