Monday, June 8, 2009

Impossible Panther Race Report

This was a 6 hour adventure race in the uwharrie national forest. The race was to start at 1:30 and run until 7:30 so lodging was not required, although it probably would have been a good idea to have something for after as I didn't get home until after 11pm and with a 5am wake up, 4 - 5 hours in the car and the 6 hours of race I was exhausted.

note: I started this entry with the above a week ago and then my daughter got the flu and gave it to me so I am just getting back to this now.

got to the race site at 11:30, checked in and got our map and passport. Mapped out the checkpoints and decided to canoe first, then head to the rappelling section, then come back for the orienteering course. We had some time to relax and prepare before the race briefing at 1. They informed us that the rappelling was only open till 6, that there would be 2 ropes and that at least two members had to do it to get full points. Answered some questions and told us that the O course map would be handed out just before the start. We moved the canoe into position and got our canoe gear ready to go. At 1:30 we got the O course map and race number and were ready to go.
After the gun went off we headed down towards the water with the canoe on a hiking trail that said it was about .25 miles. Started off on the canoe with me in the back, Eric up front and Tim in the middle on map duty. We had 3 paddles but really only 2 could paddle and the canoe was smaller then I expected or that we had at the Flying frog so we were taking in water the whole time and when we hit a big wake from the water skiers we would almost sink. Remember next year, kayaks would be a better choice. We made our first of many mistakes in the canoe and went to the wrong Island, and wasted about 15 minutes searching for the target and even more time as we went about a mile out of our way. We managed to figure out our mistake and headed to the correct Island where the target was waiting for us. Tim was now in front and Eric in the middle as we went to the next of 3 targets, found those easily and then Eric took over the back and I got a break on the way back in.
When we got out of the water we started heading back up to transition with the canoe and missed our turn, we got to carry the canoe and extra bit and added some more missed time, not the best of starts, but we got all three water targets and were on our way to the rappelling section.
We planned to hit one of the mtn bike targets on the way but after a series of missed turns and then when we got to where we thought it was, we couldn't find the target, we back tracked to the road and tried to come in from the other side of the trail. No luck from that side either and now it was time to head to Rappel before it was too late. Got to the rap station and there was a line. We were told there would be two lines running and that it wouldn't take that long, but when we got there the lady said it would be about an hour. luckily she changed the requirement from two members to only 1 member had to do it to get full points so we say and waited.
After Eric went, the plan was to head back and try to get as many orienteering pts as we could before the end. The road back to camp was long and very hilly, by the time we got to transition we had about 30 minutes left.
Found the first target ok, the second target no luck, we looked for an easy one and thought number 8 would not be too hard since it was by a re entrance and a building, but once we got there we had 5 minutes to find it and... no luck. So we hauled ass back and made it in with 30 seconds to spare.
It was a bit frustrating not to find the targets, but we are still gaining experience and learned some valuable lessons from this one. All in all the race was well run and we had a awesome time. Only complaint was with the rappelling section only having the one rope going.