AdventureMax 2010 8-Hour Adventure Race
I can finally call myself a Marathoner and now an Adventure Racer! This weekend I participated in the AdventureMax 2010 8-Hour Adventure Race at the Innsbrook Resort near Wright City, MO. Dustan and I finished the race in just under 9 hours.
This race included 2 sections of running/hiking/orienteering, 2 sections of mountain biking, 1 section of canoeing and (unfortunately) 1 section of sandbag filling and carrying.
The race officially started with an 8 PM meeting on Friday, where the final race instructions were given and we got our clue sheets. I had been waiting for this clue sheet for a long time. This sheet is a list of UTM coordinates and clues to find each check point during the race. It was our first indication as to what we had in front of us the next morning. We also found out our start time – 6 AM Saturday morning.
Our alarm(s) went off at 3:45 and we were out the door of the hotel by 4:15. Our first task of the day was to drop off our bikes at the first bike transition area. There wasn’t much sleep as I kept going over things in my head and, naturally, dealing with a low in the middle of the night. Perfect.
The race started promptly at 6 AM with a mass start at the Start/Finish area. At this point you were on your own.
The first section, 7 control points, was an orienteering section that mostly followed trails. We had a little trouble finding the 2nd control point, but after that we got our bearings and cruised through the rest of this section.
Next up, was canoeing on a beautiful lake. Crystal clear water. It was very nice. We had to paddle to 4 different control points and then head back to the bike staging area. It took us a little over an hour to complete the canoe portion, which included some ice breaking. Titanic came to mind a time or two, but we made it through fine.
After the canoe, we jumped on the bike for the next 6 control points. The mountain biking portion of this race was by far the most difficult part. The ride included a few (ok, a LOT) of up hill sections, which led to pushing the bike up the hill, some creek crossings and a few miles of riding on rocky creek bottom roads. I was very glad to be off the bike.
The bike ride led to the second bike transition area where we continued onto our second orienteering section. In this section we could find 5 control points in any order that we liked. These CPs were a little more difficult to find than the first section, but not too difficult. One of the CPs, was setup incorrectly and left all of the teams searching frantically. We decided to move on to the final CP and in the process we found the misplaced marker and then completed this section of the race.
Finally, we made it back to the bikes and was tasked with heading back to the finish area. We made one wrong turn on the way back, which made the ride longer than it should’ve been, but the worst part was the rough, muddy downhill sections. We’re VERY lucky that one of us didn’t wreck and go flying in the mud. Looking back, I’m amazed it didn’t happen. Also, I’d like to note here that if I *never* have to push a bike up a hill again, it’ll be too soon.
Our goal going into the race was finishing under 8 hours. We rode in on the bike at just over 8 hours. Sweet! Wait. What? We’re not done? No, we weren’t. The end of the race called for a “challenge”. Well, it was. We had to take an empty sand bag and walk nearly a mile to a beach, fill it with at least 30 lbs of sand, carry it back, and complete an obstacle course. Talk about an anti-climatic finish. The walk to the beach was filled with much cursing and complaining, but surprisingly on the way back with a 38 lb sandbag on my shoulders, it didn’t feel too bad. Now, the cramps experienced while crawling under rope courses were not much fun, but we survived and finished the race in just under 9 hours. We were better than half of the teams in the race and finished 6th in our division (2 person male). I couldn’t be more proud.
I remember looking at my watch during the race and seeing 4:30. I thought, “I ran a marathon in this time!” We were half way through. I really enjoyed the orienteering sections and absolutely loathed the biking sections. I’m no mountain biker. I think we’ll do another Adventure Race, but maybe only one a year.
As far as my diabetes management goes, it was tough too. I had decided to set my basal at just over half of my normal, everyday level. I planned to eat something every hour, but didn’t really hit that mark. I had a Cliff Bar at the beginning of the canoe without a bolus, which lead to my 290 getting out of the boat and the had a variety of GUs and an additional Larabar throughout the race. After the 290, I did a small correction and managed to get down in the lower 100’s by the end of the bike. By the time we got to the final orienteering section, I was starting to battle 70’s. I couldn’t get above 80 for the remainder of the day including testing at 72 before having to do the sandbag challenge. Ugh. It’s also interesting to note that later that night I was little low before going to bed. I ate 55 carbs, which is way more than I would normally eat to fix this situation, but I was tired of being low and wanted to sleep. I had lowered my basal by 50% for the evening. I woke up around 12:30 AM and tested at 160. When I woke up in the morning despite the lowered basal and the 55 carbs before bed, I was at 130. The race affected my BG for nearly 24 hours.
Doing an event like this as a Type 1 Diabetic was a challenge on it’s own, but without a doubt it is possible… heck, I did it! Keeping a very close eye on my BG and having plenty carbs on hand was key to getting though. I wish I could’ve been higher than I was at the end, but I never felt like I was out of gas or in trouble. I’d do some things differently, but I certainly didn’t expect my first 9 hours race to be perfect.
Next up… I think I get to run on a flat road… that will be a refreshing break!