This whole pandemic thing has thrown a huge wrench into 2020 in many ways. The race season is just one of the many things that came to an abrupt halt. However, although almost all of my swimrun, off-road triathlon and adventure races were canceled, it seems they are finally starting to come back to life, but not without changes.
Racing safely is a difficult thing to accomplish with many sports. Luckily, my three favorites, have figured out ways to keep the races safe and comply with local laws.
My first, non-virtual race back was the Venture Quest 5-hour adventure race. With a 5-hour cutoff and 32 checkpoints to obtain, this race in Virginia, just outside of Washington DC was a bit of a haul to get to from my neck of the woods. Beggars can’t be too choosy, so I made the long drive to do the race and I wasn’t disappointed. The folks at EX2 Adventures put on a kick-ass race that I tackled as a solo entrant. Nothing like going into a race alone to test your orienteering skills while pushing the pace as hard as you can. I made my share of navigation mistakes and learned valuable lessons with every single one of them, primarily through the pain I self-induced by pushing the pace to try and make up for lost time. In the end, I finished 4th solo and 8th overall. Check out the highlight reel:
The next race on the agenda was the Blairsville Extreme Adventure Race (BEAR) put on by AR Georgia that I raced as part of team Mountain Goat Adventures. Lisa and Bill invited me along for this one and we just had a crap-ton of fun. Like most longer-ish races, there were falls, low points, high points and everything in between. Check out the video for the highlights of said antics.
This grueling 24 hour race included between 12,000 and 14,000 feet of climbing, 11 miles of paddling, 67 miles of mountain biking, 21 miles of treking/running in order to capture 41 checkpoints. I think the toughest part of this race was the pure amount of climbing involved. The trails and terrain weren’t extremely technical, but the hills just kept coming. Great training for bigger and longer race.