what am I thinking?!??!

my preparations and thoughts as I prepare to compete at Primal Quest '06

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

more race outline/report

Last we left our fearless racers, they were about to embark on Leg 10, the mountain bike. But before then, remember that horrible walk from TA7 to 8 I described? Here is a picture that well captures it:

Can you feel how hot it was?

Leg 10: mountain bike - 60-something miles. We started out on this leg in mid-afternoon after I got my eyes irrigated and numbed. I had no glasses or contacts at this point, so my plan was to just ride behind Pete for the whole leg, even knowing that there would be technical sections. I've ridden with Pete enough to trust his riding. In fact, he's the only person I would trust enough to follow like that. The leg was long. We were fortunate enough to be out on Golden Spike/Porcupine Rim in the dak when it was less hot, but that also made following the trail much more difficult. The leg had a super fun rappell/bike zip at the beginning.

And there was lots of sand. Part way through the leg, we had to pass through Moab. As most teams did, we stopped at Denny's to eat. This was also a continuation of our drama day. Lots of drama on day 5 - that seemed to be true for other teams as well. I guess sleep deprivation starts to get bad at that point. We did have a nap after eating and setting off for Pritchard canyon and the second half of the ride. Long, sandy, hot. Typical, actually.

Leg 11: mountaineering - 40-something miles. We were so excited to get to TA9. Jonathan and Sheryl were there, and it meant some time away from the heat. Kip was also there for an unexpected visit. The leg took us 41 hours, but included two naps totally 7 hours (more than half our total sleep for the race). Serious shale, lots and lots of climbing up peaks. More cursing Don Mann. Gorgeous aspen groves.

Leg 12: bike - ??? miles? Fun descent down road from TA10 (after a good transition). Long ass climb back up to next valley where we got views of where we were eventually going to end up. This was a good leg for us.

Leg 13: trek/ropes - miles?? (i can look up the mileage on the PQ site, and I'll fill these blanks in later) We got wrong information on how long this leg was going to be. Unfortunately, we had it in our heads that it was a short leg and we would be done. I was super cranky on this leg as it stretched on and on and on. We had a quick (20 minute) nap on the endless approach to the ropes. We all woke up once we got to the rock. The rope section was amazing. Truely amazing.

After the climbing, rappelling and zipping, we had to follow the ridge on a 'trail' down to the valley floor and then had a very hot walk to the river where we got in the inflatables for the paddle to the finish.

9 days, 13 hours of sleep, not nearly enough food or water, great teammates. Yep, I'd do it again. But maybe not in Utah in the summer.


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