In early October when triathlons are hard to come by, Jonathan, Francesc, and I decided to do something new and exciting to end the season – our first adventure race! The race details were a bit vague but as far as we knew we were in for some trail running, mountain biking, and canoeing. The race was held in Brandywine Creek State Park in Wilmington, DE and we lucked out with some beautiful sunshine on race day. The race consisted of four segments (in this order): bike, team challenges, canoeing, and foot. We were given 6 hours to hit as many checkpoints as we could and had to remain within 100m of each other for the duration of the 6 hours. And just to up the challenge, the aerial view map of the park’s trail network we were given was outdated by over a decade. Awesome.
The highlights of those crazy six hours are as follows (in no particular order):
-We spent over 2 hours on the mountain biking portion because these 3 Yalies were so hopelessly lost. We just couldn’t figure out the map resulting in our team finding only 1 of 9 bike checkpoints. And that was just the first leg of the race….
-Because someone had to put the adventure in this adventure race, I wiped out in a mudslide which dumped me (screaming) into the cold river. I came out with a bloody finger, muddy behind, and bruised back. No big deal.
-Francesc carried Jon on his back and had to run 50m. Can you picture it? Are you laughing?
-We were faced with a decision to spend time running to the bridge to get to the other side of the river or to be “men” and cross the river by foot. We were over 5 hours into the race so didn’t have time to spare. Yes – of course we crossed the river. The water was a bit chilly and waist-high (at least for me …Jon was only ankle-deep) but it IS an adventure race after all.
-The running portion of the race was not so much running but more like plowing through the woods with sticker bushes stabbing our arms and legs the whole time. At one point, a branch caught on Jonathan’s backpack and nearly strangled him with stickers. Luckily, Jon won.
-As a team, during the race we consumed: 5 Clif bars and 4 Butterfingers. Not bad.
At the end of 6 hours in the woods we were tired and covered with scrapes, bruises, and mud but we enjoyed every second of it (well except maybe when we were terribly lost). As the race results reflect, the 3 of us should stick to triathlons but we did have a ton of fun and I would definitely take on an adventure race again.