With temperatures in the low 30s at race start Pittsburgh would be the first ever Hi-Tec adventure race with snow flurries during the race. The race again started with the kayak having all 300+ teams converge at the starting lines with kayaks in hand. There was about ¼ mile portage to the water where the fog covered lake awaited. We departed the water in 6th place as we hit land with another ¼ mile portage. Finishing the kayaking we had the “deflate” special test where all we had to do is deflate the kayaks. Once this was done we were off to the first 3-mile trail run.
We made our move on the trail run and quickly past some of the teams and worked our way into 3rd place. Coming off the run was a special test we call “penetration” where we were required to get a 4”x4”x8’ beam through a 4 1/4” x 4 1/4” hole. We slid it through the first time without touching the edges and made our way to the mountain bike.
The first 3 miles of the mountain bike headed out on the road and then we hit the technical single-track. Roots, Rocks, Logs, Mud, Hills in all combinations was encountered on this section of the trail. It was slow going and technical. MakeBreak.Com caught up to us on this section and we would stay neck-n-neck the rest of the race. Coming off the bike we had a special test that required us to remove the front tire of all three bikes, Climb a 12-foot rope ladder, cross a cargo net and climb down the back side. This went well except that Tracey got her hand caught in her spokes during the crossing. We had a slight lead on MakeBreak heading into the second run. I missed a turn and fell about 20 yards behind. We stayed in this position for most the run with Dave and Tracey leading the way followed by MakeBreak, and then me bringing up the rear. We hit the final 3 special tests in a tie
The first of the final three special test was a 12-foot rope-ladder we had to climb to get over a log and then back down the ladder. MakeBreak took a slight lead here. The next special test was the “Kings Finger”. 12-foot tree trunks were mounted in the ground with a tire around the base. Each team had to lift the tire off the finger and then return it using a different teammate. We raced through this test and caught MakeBreak, which left just the wall between us and the finish line. Steve and Butch were to the wall first but couldn’t get up the wall without Sue. I was the first up the wall with the help of Dave and Tracey, but MakeBreak got their 2nd and 3rd over before Dave and Tracey could make it up. It was a fun close race with MakeBreak.Com edging us out at the end.
NEXT: On to the series final in NYC!