Whereís the water
The biggest surprise in Sacramento was when you first saw the lake (or lack of a lake).† We knew we were in for more sand this year with the low lake levels.† It didnít take the pro/elite teams long to figure out that we were going to do orienteering at the start.† There were no course markers leaving the starting line.† Sure enough, right before the start of the race the maps were handed out.† After nailing the orienteering section last year in Sacramento, it was hard to believe that we could improve.† But with precision accuracy, we went from point-to-point-to-point without wasting a step.† The only way we can improve next year would be to find one of the wild cards (if they really exist).† The funny thing is that after the race we found out that a team in the coed division decided to follow us, not realizing that there are more than one courses to follow.† When they got back with a red 5,6,7 they soon found out that they needed a black 10, J, Q.
We finished the orienteering in third place and quickly got underway on the 3-mile trail run (part 1) to chase down Team Hi-Tec.† About halfway through the first run, and Ĺ dozen water crossings, we finally worked our way into first place.† We finished the run leading the way into the kayak section.† We did notice the day before that every boat had two seats so we were expecting to only take one boat.† What we didnít expect was the special test before the kayak (Swim, push, pull) that required two teammates to swim the boat (with the 3rd teammate inside) around a buoy and back.† Balance Bar (masters of the shoreline) outsmarted us by running in the water along the shoreline.† We quickly realized our blunder and used their idea for the way back.
We were correct about the kayak portion (overboard), as we were allowed 1-boat and one person had to be in the water at all times.† We jockeyed back and fourth with Hi-Tec for second place until Red Bull passed both of us.† We tried to use the shore one last time to gain on Balance Bar, but the move didnít pay off and we settled into 4th place.† After the kayaks there was a special test where we had to get up a 6-7 foot wall and then cross a cargo net with the kayak.† After that we set out on the second run which we were hoping to use to catch back up to the leaders.† The second run turned out to be shorter than we thought, but we still managed to pass Hi-Tec back to get into 3rd place.
The next special test was the balance beam with a twist.† Halfway through there was a small square.† The first teammate to reach the square had to be the last one off the beam.† The last one to reach the square had to be the first person off the beam.† We did fairly well here and crossed it on our second try.† Next we were off on the bike section and back to the plethora of water crossing and plenty of sand to push our bikes through.† Needles to say we were happy to move away from the lake and hit the dirt trails.† A few more teams caught and passed us on the bike including Hi-Tec, Timex 2, Your Logo Here, an all male team, and Sevylor.
Coming off the bike we encountered a special test with the longest instructions we have seen called Disaster Scenario.† The scenario was an accident scene where teams had to create an emergency strategy.† One team was unconscious and had therefore had to be carried back to the transition area, one bike was totally inoperable and also had to be carried.† We passed Sevylor on this special test to get back into 5th place.† Once through the transition area we only had two special tests left (the teeter totter and the wall).
This special test requires all three team members to be on the teeter-totter and pass a heavy bucket from one end to the other without having either end touch the ground at any time.† I think there were 4 teams at this special test all battling for 3rd place.† Immediately upon arriving at this test we saw Hi-Tec still on the teeter-totter and asked if they wanted to work together.† Both our teams quickly raced through this special test and onto the wall.† We flew over the wall despite having a first timer (this was Toniís first ever adventure race) and raced to a 3rd place finish.† It was a close race as the 3rd-6th spots were less than 1 Ĺ minutes apart.