Sunday, March 29, 2009

Odyssey One Day Xtreme

Odyssey One Day Xtreme 30 hr race in Hiwassee, VA started off in extremely cool weather for Jan. 17th. It was -8 F at 7:00 am when the whistle went off for the start. As we were driving down, all I could think of was "do I have enough warm clothes". We did stop and buy more clothing.

We were all concerned about our water freezing. We had to keep our bladder hoses and bike water bottles tucked into a couple layers of clothing. This worked well until you pulled the bite valve off and couldn't find it. Sorry Ernie, no Sustained Energy for you.

The race started on foot so we were able to get warmed up before heading out on the bikes. After coming into the TA in 2nd place and leaving on our bikes, I made a bad nav. error that put us on top of a mountain and 45 mins. behind. Come to find out that we would be back here later on during the last trekking section. There was multiple stream crossings that we had to do and not all of them were completely frozen. So carrying our bikes and jumping over icy rocks made it a bit challenging. It was a good thing that Ronny, the race director, had canceled the paddling section for this event. I, for one, was not looking forward to doing this section. If we or any team had dumped, the race would have been over. Trying to get warmed back up after that would have been next to impossible with wet clothes.

After a long while of stream crossings, we came to our next TA. Off on foot to get 4 CP's in any order. We manged to complete that before dusk. At the TA there was a fire. "Fire Bad. Stay away from Fire. Fire Bad." Half hour later, we were back on the bikes heading into the night. The cold was catching up to us. trying to stay warm on the roads, eating and drinking became a task. We made it back to the last TA where we cooked up soup and hot chocolate. After recouping from the cold for 1:45 mins., we headed out on the last trekking section. We were able to get 7 out of the 10 CPs, of course our last one was at the top of that mountain, before Ernie left the contents of his stomach on the mountain side. The weather had finally gotten to us, but we were able to still hold on to 4th place.