Atlanta – 2001
The Atlanta race started out with a ¼ mile mad dash to the lake while carrying 2-kayaks per team. Image over 300 teams (900 people and 600 kayaks) fighting for their spot behind the starting line. The second catch was that once we reached the water we were required to swim the kayaks into the middle of the lake where the paddles awaited floating off-shore. The third catch was that there were no buoys in the lake. The kayak section was indeed an orienteering paddle where we had to locate 3 orienteering markers hidden somewhere on shore with the use of a map. We had a strong paddle and finished with the top teams (Sevylor, Red Bull, Balance Bar, and Sobe), but in our haste we left our map in the boat. It turns out Sevylor did the same as we both lost valuable minutes to the leaders.
Next up was part 1 of a 6-mile mountain bike leg. But first we had to re-assemble one of our bikes that we were required to disassemble to a flight ready position (both tires off and seat removed). A good portion of the bike course was on the shoulder of the road, which enabled us to make good use of our tow system. Following the bike was the 6-mile trail run. At this point we were neck and neck with team Timex as we really pushed each other through this event.
Back at the transition area we encountered the electric fence special test and the slipper wall. The electric fence is a 4-½ foot wall that all three team member have to get over without touching. The trick is in getting the third person over the wall. The infamous slippery wall (aka Crisco mountain) needs no explanation to those who follow the series at all. The slipper wall is a 12-foot wall on a steep angle that is covered with Crisco vegetable shortening. Not only is it as slick as ice, but the Crisco gets over everything and smells. Since this is a crowd favorite – it will always show up a few times a year. To make a long story short – we struggled and struggled on the slippery wall and ended up dropping into 6th place.
Last was part two of the mountain bike course, only this time we were covered in Crisco that made shifting almost impossible if you have grip shifters. Following the bike was a special test that had a carabineer 12 feet above the ground dangling from a wire. The object was to remove the biner by lifting one teammate and then replacing the biner by lifting a different teammate. Dave is strong and has no problem lifting me so we had no problem with this. The last test of the day was the 12-foot wall. We thought we had all our wall problems figured out, but we never expected the Crisco to make this so difficult. The wall, and ropes were quickly covered with grease making it almost impossible to scale the wall. After about 6, 7 or 8 attempts – we were finally able to get Dave up and over the wall. Shortly after team Balance Bar came to our rescue and helped Tracey and me ascend the wall. It was a rough day for Team Ultima Replenisher, but we still managed a 6th place finish and were able to hold onto our 4th place series standing.