For the 2015 AXS Moab 12-hour Adventure Race on 4/11/2015, Katie Ford Ferrington and I (Ian Hoag) raced together in the 2-person coed category. Although we had never raced together before, as two veterans of the sport and as parents of young kids, it was pleasure racing together knowing that we both knew what we needed to do.
After checking in on Friday night, we plotted the checkpoints picked our route and went out for a drink and a snack before getting to sleep at a reasonable time. I camped at the starting line, and Katie had a room at the nearest hotel to the start. On Saturday morning we were ready to go with 20 minutes to spare, so got in a short warm-up ride.
As expected, the fast cyclists took off from the start at a really fast pace, led by Ken Boyer, Michael Dawson, and Kyle Peter. We were in the front of the chase pack trading off pulling with Tecnu Extreme Adventure Racing's 4-person team and a few other good cyclists. We took it easy for the first 3rd of the 2000’ climb up Long Canyon, then hooked up the tow line and continued the climb at a strong pace without killing our leg muscles. At one point we passed one of the camera crew’s Razr’s when he got stuck at an especially steep spot.
Once on top of the climb, we picked up the pace, easily found the first checkpoint (CP), as it was in the exact same spot as last year. We continued on to CP2, dropped our bikes and packs and changed into running shoes. We did the run and the spectacular 300’ rappel wearing or carrying all our mandatory gear in our jersey pockets, including a water bottle. We had a great run, and by the end of it we even caught up to a few of the really strong bikers who had pushed too hard on the first bike ride and struggled through cramps during the run. We also found out we were ahead of Tecnu!
The 2nd mountain bike leg took us along one of the new mountain bike trails called 7-up. The map showed a shortcut through a small maze of trails to get onto 7-up. We gave it a try, but unfortunately the trails were not labeled, and it took a little trial and error to find the right route. So, it wasn’t long before Tecnu caught up to us, and eventually pulled away. We did our best to keep up, but the rocky trails of Moab were taking their toll. The long downhill along the road and bike-path should have been relaxing, but a head wind filled in, making it harder and harder the closer we got to the river.
We set out on the kayaks a few minutes behind Tecnu. The headwind continued to frustrate us for at least the first half of the paddle as we struggled to make up some ground. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to make those boats go any faster above their maximum hull speed. We finished about 5 minutes behind Tecnu, likely the fastest team in the country! We also took first place in our class and proved that Journey Racing is a team to be reckoned with this year!
Big thanks to all our sponsors: #Altra, #xx2i, #RudyProject, Lake Town Bicycles.