what am I thinking?!??!

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

Monday, July 17, 2006

a race outline

I'm finding that I'm getting foggy about parts of the race. OK, I admit that I was getting foggy before the race was even over. By day 5 or 6, I would think of things that happened in the first two days and wonder if it was the same race or a different one. Trust me, sleep deprivation does crazy things to your brain.

So, for my benefit as much as anyone's, a few brief notes on the various legs.

Leg 1 - horse trek, 23 miles or something close to that. Our horse was named Kimmy and she was pretty lazy. And she broke Pete's rib, so that's not very nice. But she was pretty sweet, and after hearing about some other team's horses, it seems we did pretty well in the horse lottery.

Leg 2 - trek, another 20-something miles. Hot Hot Hot. It can be summed up by one word: SHITTY. Heat exhaustion, extra water stop, long way around, navigator getting turned around momentarily, TA that would never come (ok, that was true of most legs), feet that felt like we'd been racing for three days already, not just one.

Leg 3 - bike, 60-something miles. Fun first section on the road with deep sand. Less than stellar scenery and then long pavement section after water stop to get to Green River. Lunch at Blimpie's.

Leg 4 - white water swim, 8 miles. Nice because it was short. With transitions, about three hours. And cool water. And not terribly strenuous.

Leg 5 - paddle, 40-something miles. Nasty mosquito infested portage. Mostly in the dark. Watch out for gravel bars! Pretty uneventful overall.

Leg 6 - canyoneering - ?? miles, whatever it was, it seemed endless. First time to see the food box since the race start. We had to swim across the river from the TA to the start of the trek. We had a hard time finding the road on the map so lost a bit of time finding the first CP of the section, but after that we just moved along steadily. The path after the first TA was over a huge mound of slickrock that was just amazing - the first really stunning part of the course. Also the first ropes section - a rappell down to the river and an ascent out of the first canyon. The trek from the top of the ascent to the water station was unbearably hot. This is where my hallucinations really started, as I imagined the water stop 4 times before we actually reached it. The canyon we hiked out of was unending sand that crushed our toes and sucked our energy. We had a short nap in the only shade we could find. True suffering on this unending leg. But the slot canyon section was amazing - beautiful (except for the wag bag smell. Yikes). Another river swim back to TA and the food/gear boxes.

Leg 7 - paddle, 40-something more miles. Even with a nap before the leg, we sleeppaddled through most of the leg. Definitely made it take longer to be sleeping most of the way. I mastered the art of peeing into a sawed off gatoraid bottle.

Leg 8 - canyoneering, 20-something miles? maybe? The infamous Hell Roaring section. We started out at the hottest time of day and walked up through the boulder field to the base of the rappell, passing 7 or 8 teams along the way who were taking advantage of the shade. Up the ascent, along the marked path to the HAMBURGERS and COLD COKE!!! The route led us through a campground where the hosts were taking advantage of the hungry, parched racers walking by and set up shop selling hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken. And cold pop. Oh My God. It was amazing. On to the rappell, and out hell roaring in the dark. This was our drama night. Conflict, sleep deprivation, and the start of my serious eye problems. A typical leg.

Leg 9 - Damn Don Mann to Hell. We had to carry all of our paddle gear, swim gear and trekking stuff from TA 7 to TA 8. Only a two mile walk. But 2000' of elevation to gain. Did I mention we were carrying everything?!?! Much cursing.

OK, this is turning out a bit longer than I expected it to be. I'll finish in a future installment. Stay tuned.


  • At 5:38 a.m., Blogger Rabes said…

    What the hell is "wag bag smell?" Do I want to know?

  • At 6:21 a.m., Anonymous Kipley Fiebig said…

    Short answer:
    No, you don't want to know.

    Long answer:
    Racers were given "wag bags", designed for the purpose of carrying their waste out of environmentally sensitive areas such as the canyons. The bags contained the waste, but were not so good at containing the smell, especially with the triple digit heat. Ain't this sport glamorous?


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