July 13-17, 2016
Written by Ian Hoag
Team Members: Julian Tonsmeire, Katie Ferrington, Ryan Ognibene and Ian Hoag
Cowboy Tough was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, race of the year for Journey Racing. The squad, touted by Adventure Medical Kits as being the strongest yet for Journey Racing, consisted of Katie Ferrington, Julian Tonsmeire, Ryan Ognibene, and Ian Hoag. Four of the top ten teams from last year’s ARWS Championship were our competition. They were expected to take the first four places. We were among about 8 other teams expected to round out the top ten places. We owe a big thanks to our sponsors for supporting Journey Racing and helping to make races like this possible for us: Altra Footwear, XX2i Optics, Rudy Project, Oveja Negro, Lake Town Bicycles, Criterium Bicycle Shop and Yeti Bicycles.
The extra sleep had refreshed us, and we made good time on the bikes along dirt roads to an orienteering course where we made good time despite a couple minor mistakes. Then we were back on our bikes for a monster bike ride that took most of the day. We kept a good pace even during the heat of the day with very few stops: at checkpoints and to refill water. For a good part of the ride we had the wind at our backs, but then turned a corner and had to ride into the wind for a few hours. We were able to get a good paceline going among the four of us and still make good progress into the stiff Wyoming wind. Toward the end of the day, I tried relieving myself while cruising along at 20 mph. Bad decision! My front wheel started to shimmy and then went sideways launching me onto my face and chest. Somehow I survived the crash with only scrapes, but the impact felt like it might have caused a minor concussion. I was still able to ride, but had to take it a little bit easy on the orienteering course that was just a couple more miles down the road. Luckily the orienteering course was easy and we finished it and got back on our bikes before sunset.
As we finished up the orienteering course and then headed out on bikes, thunder storms started rolling in all around us. We were riding along the top of high wide-open plateau with nothing taller than a bush. One lightning bolt was followed by thunder in less than a second. This was when I got scared. We were riding along the edge of the plateau, so after we passed by one ravine I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to take cover in the second one and I wasn’t taking no for an answer. I jumped off my bike and ran a little ways down into the ravine. My intrepid teammates were able to convince me that the storms were dissipating and that it would be best to keep riding. I think they also just wanted to get to lower ground as soon as possible, although it was going to be another 40 minutes of riding before the road started to descend. I was pretty upset over the incident, but eventually got over and I hope my teammates have forgiven me for yelling at them. The good news is we didn’t get struck by lightning and we were able to put it behind us and come together as a team again.
The final part of the bike ride was a 4,000’ climb in the middle of the night. We were all getting really tired again, but pushed on up the climb and finally stopped for a 20 minute nap after we had climbed so high that we were exposed to a cold stiff wind. All we found was a large bush to block the wind. Perhaps we should have stopped earlier because Katie got really cold during the stop. The nap didn’t really help much and we ended up walking our bikes up much of the last half of the climb.
We started the final orienteering course shortly before dawn. This was the hardest navigation of the race. Some of the trails did not match the map, and our confidence was shaken trying to find the very first checkpoint. Ryan and I worked together to reset ourselves and eventually found the checkpoint. We messed up on one other checkpoint, but cleared the orienteering course, got back on out bikes for one final climb and a big descent on pavement into town to the finish line with about only a couple hours to spare and earning 7th place!
I am so proud of the team. For me, this year’s Cowboy Tough was my best finish in an expedition race! Additionally, this was a World Qualifier race and it was exciting to compete against such a phenomenal, international field. It was an important test as we plan to race Cowboy Tough again in 2017 which will also be the AR World Series Championship. It will be about 50% longer and is expected to also be more difficult, but showcase some of the best places Wyoming has to offer. As the 2016 AR World Series Championship is just finishing up, I am getting really excited to compete against all the best teams from around the world next year in Wyoming. Go Journey Racing!
Dark and early, 3 relative strangers, Stephanie Surch, Ryan Campbell and me, Chelsea Luttrall, met at the trailhead for our first single-day attempt at circumnavigating Pikes Peak. Our mission was to utilize as much of the Ring the Peak trail system as it exists and connect it logically to create a giant single-push loop around Pikes. Our route would use a bit more trail than the unofficial bike race that is held annually, and would start and end on the RTP trail.
The air was crisp and the temperatures were polarized. On hills, the sun emitted comfortable warmth for shorts and T's. In the canyons and low areas it was frigid cold with icicles to show for it.
After a short and steep bike-whack to avoid Hwy 24's narrow shoulder ride, we eventually found ourselves at the base of the Mt. Esther climb. A long and arduous hike-a-bike up a hiking-only, boulder laden trail. 1000 feet up. We stood up tall, shouldered our bikes and began the climb. Step by step.
Stephanie would later report that the Mt. Esther climb was the most difficult section for her as her height made it difficult to shoulder the bike without the wheels catching on the giant and awkward boulder steps. I know I had a tough time, and I know a few inches shorter and that would have seemed a monstrous task! She was strong, stuck with us, and we peaked at the top.
We "wasted" some time taking pictures, but it would have been wrong not to. The day was just too gorgeous to let it go uncaptured.
Next, we'd climb out of the lake basin via the Raspberry Mountain climb and over to the crowded Crag's Trailhead. We passed some tourists where we witnessed them touching their very first "Colorado Snow!" There were tiny patches of snow dust from a snow 2 days prior. Barely enough to call snow, but enough to get excited about if you're from the south, apparently :)
Up and over another two major climbs to descend into the amazing Horsethief Park. This downhill was fast and narrow past old cabins, supra-alpine points, and along a running stream that would then lead us to the exciting Horsethief falls trail downhill to the parking lot.
Ryan took the lead for much of this next road section and helped slice through the wind. And victoriously...and a bit noodle-legged, we arrived at our watering hole- the mental half-way point.
The watering hole is a spring next to the road. The water comes up through a pipe into a large trough. We filled up on the deliciously clean water, and gorged on the calories we were deficient in, and headed back out.
Along the road, past fields of horses and creeks, golden aspens and panoramic views with all sorts of majestic beauty, we encountered our first bike trouble. Stephanie had gotten a metal piece stuck in her tire. The hole would not seal, so she changed her inner-tube. While holding her bike, I just couldn't help but be overtaken by the gorgeous yellows and golds of the aspens on the South side of the peak. I wish I had taken a picture, but I didn't. So this much better picture that some fantastic photographer took will have to do.
Bike patched and hoping we had paid our dues in bike mechanical issues, we journeyed on. On to our highest point on the trip. We had a nearly 1500 foot climb to our highest point of the day @ 11,256 ft at the base of Almagre Mountain. Exposed as it is up high in this area, I was thankful for the perfect weather conditions! Those high elevation parks are scary in adverse conditions.
AND we'd finally earned it! 20 miles of pure mountain downhill! Down some of the fastest, squirliest, most monumental trails in the area. Some call this section of the ride "Jones' Downhill" and they shuttle up to ride down. I took the time to air up my broken shock (I started with it broken) before descending and then let loose. What an incredible downhill! And even better, my front shock didn't blow up during some of those fierce drops!
And boom! After a sick downhill....after all that hard work of going up hill, we were back in town.
Following that downhill, I began having difficulty with my breathing from my asthma. But luckily, we only had a few more miles to go. Even if I did the uphills slowly, I knew I could finish this. We did our last 10 miles of Section 16 to Intemann trail and the trail spit us back out at our car. A long route choice to get to exactly where you began, but what an incredible day on the bike with 2 incredible people! I can't wait for next year's Ring the Peak trip!
On September 17th Journey Racing toed the line for the North American Adventure Racing (NAARS) Championship hosted by Gold Rush in Long Barn, California. Our squad consisted of Melissa Miller (the team mom/nurse), Fletcher Hamel (captain/strategist), Colin Hamel (mule/towing machine), and me, Ian Hoag (lead navigator).
We owe a big thanks to Altra, Rudy Project, and XX2i Optics for providing great shoes, helmets, and eye protection. Special thanks to Chelsea & James Luttrall for creating Journey Racing and coordinating the sponsorship.
Although there was little coverage of the race, by now most people know Journey Racing placed 2nd behind Columbia, the #2 ranked team in the world. Posts on Facebook tell how we quickly realized the road to CP1 was not as shown on the map, and thus got a great head start while most of the field went charging up the road to who knows where. As a result we were in the lead for the first third of the race until Columbia’s speed allowed them to catch and pass us during a nearly 4,000’ climb on the bikes. The photos below show us arriving at the boat ramp, paddling and departing the boat ramp still in first place! We didn’t mind getting soaked as the wind picked picked up for the last bit of paddling as we had a hot dry climb ahead on bikes.
What the Facebook posts don’t tell is how many times we caught back up to Columbia, and how Julia Crytzer who was racing solo stayed on our tail for the first half of the race. Julia arrived at the TA for the trekking and ropes just before we left. After dropping our bikes and transitioning to the trekking leg we had a great deal of climbing to get up to the ropes course. We soon got to a clearing below the ropes course and could see the massive outcropping far above us. At this point we had to leave the trail and head straight up the side of the mountain without a clear path through a scrub oak covered clearing. We chose to head up just inside the treeline on the right side of the clearing where we were pleasantly surprised to find cairns marking a climber's route. We could see Columbia ahead of us on the ropes course and it drove us to keep up the chase. We made quick work of the ropes course with Julia close behind, but this would be the last time we saw Julia. We were extremely impressed by her ability to race so fast on her own.
At the top of the ropes course we had a long steep off-trail descent through a pine forest down to checkpoint 11 (location pictured below). As we approached a stream junction, we saw Columbia heading up the stream toward us! We had caught up to them! Oddly, they were speaking softly in English just loud enough for me to hear them say something about not being able to find it. Hearing them speak English was odd because they normally speak Portuguese. While I paused to verify that the narrow point in the canyon we were approaching was a good catching feature, Fletcher walked twenty yards in front of me where Columbia had just been, and there in the bushes just out of my sight was the checkpoint! We were once again tied for first place!
The next leg of the trek posed a large route choice. We could climb up the other side of the canyon to a road that would lead to checkpoint 12, or, we could follow the gentle slope of stream to a county border where there would “probably” be some sort of trail leading to the next checkpoint. We had been planning ahead as we descended to checkpoint 11, taking note of a good route up the steep granite slabs on the other side of the canyon. Dusk was fast approaching, with less than an hour of light left, we had decided to climb up to the road which would be much easier to follow in the dark.
As we headed up the steep slope it appeared Columbia had not made up their minds on their route choice and they paused for a short discussion. To our dismay, they followed us and soon passed us again. Upon reaching the top of the granite slabs we were faced with about two hundred meters of bushwhacking through, and at times, on top of scrub oak, while wearing shorts and getting stung by angry bees. At this point we had lost Columbia, it wasn't until we reached the road and saw their headlamps about 100 meters to our right that we realized they were again hot on our tails. Columbia would have to go a little farther to find the road as we hit the road right at the outside of a sharp bend. We turned off our lights and took off up the road again. We were getting tired and lost track of a few bends in the road and the side road to our next checkpoint was labeled with a different number than the number shown on the map. As a result, we went a few hundred meters too far up the road where we stopped to talk to a hunter. After a short discussion we decided to bushwhack down the side of the mountain to the road we had passed. As soon as we got down to the side road Columbia was headed back to us. They had just found the checkpoint. The race was getting intense.
Throughout the trekking at night a wide variety of large spiders were out on the trail to cheer us on. Two checkpoints later, we once again had to find a trail that was not in the location shown on the map and was only marked by a cairn in a saddle where it was not entirely clear there was a trail junction. We noted there was in fact a trail leading away from the cairn in the correct direction, but we also went back 100 meters to verify that there wasn't a trail at the location indicated on the map. We decided to take the trail by the cairn and within minutes were joined from the right by Columbia who had apparently been bushwhacking through the forest. We found this checkpoint, unfortunately Columbia was in such close proximity they quickly realized we had secured the CP and they followed quickly behind. This would be the last time we saw Columbia.
One small mishap occurred on the way to the final trekking checkpoint. We missed a fork in the trail and went off in the wrong direction for about half a kilometer. We recovered by backtracking to a trail intersection and following a ridgeline over to the checkpoint. Unfortunately, the ridgeline route required many short bouts of bushwhacking through scrub oak and route finding around small cliffs. We were relieved to discover the CP and quickly continued on the right track.
We arrived at the transition for the final bike leg about an hour behind schedule, and realized we didn’t have time to clear the course, so we decided to skip the first checkpoint of that leg which involved a long out-and-back with significant climbing. Two more minor errors resulted in us finishing 15 minutes late and losing credit for two checkpoints. It was a nervous wait to see if anyone had gotten credit for more than 22 out of the 25 total checkpoints. We were happily informed that our 2nd place finish was official and we enjoyed a great post-race party with lots of prizes and raffle items for everyone.
What an amazing race, great teamwork, spectacular venue, breathtaking views, and wonderful memories. Thanks to Doug Crytzer of the North American Adventure Racing Series, Gold Rush Adventure Racing, our amazing Team Journey Racing, all the sponsors who made this race possible, and to Team Columbia. Our hard fought battle over 30 hours and 130 miles was a success.
This bike section was the toughest for many reasons, but primarily because we lost Fletcher for a while. Heat, exhaustion, lack of proper water/nutrition, etc took over his body. We had to drastically slow our pace, take an extra nap, and make our route decisions based on what would be easiest for Fletcher and for the team to take care of him. At appropriately named Hell Hole and with the guidance from our buddy, race staff, Paul, we chose to alter our course away from a 10 hour hike a bike up 3000ft (one that Team Bones had been lost all night on) and opted for a much much longer but paved route. My guess is that this route was at least 40 miles out of the way, but indeed paved. We cruised down in elevation 2000-3000 feet before starting a massive climb to the entrance of the Rubicon Jeep trails. This road was creepy! Never before have I seen such clean, perfectly paved roads in the middle of nowhere that had zero road kill and zero animal noises at all. We had been warned that mountain lion activity was strong in this area, so I spent a majority of the climb chanting “here, kitty kitty.” At 2:30 am, just after we woke from a 1.5hr sleep, we learned of the purpose of those creepy roads. Logging trucks begin their day at crazy hours and those trucks make some noise. Naaaaaahhh nan a nana will ever be imprinted on my brain. And oh yeah, they move fast. One almost got me as I couldn’t get over to the right side of the road fast enough. Anyway, the climb continued with Julian towing Fletcher the majority of the way until sunrise. At this point we had realized that our planned 24-30 hour bike section was going to be more like 45-50 hours, so we didn’t have enough food. Julian and I worked hard then to buy food from local logging workers and campers at the Rubicon trail. Well worth the effort as we were rewarded with a pound of turkey, loaf of bread, granola bars, grapes, watermelon, etc. We had a breakfast feast and then set off, on foot, pushing our bikes up the Rubicon. This jeep trail system was tough, especially in bike shoes, and as the day pressed on, the heat rose and we barely creeped our way up to TA 5 on the Pacific Rim trail just before sunset. We had started this bike over 2 days ago…holy crap.
Now here’s a good time to shout out to the race volunteers and medical staff…they were amazing!! At this point we really looked forward to their bright shiny faces, words of encouragement, and medical attention. Never before have I done an AR where the volunteers outnumbered the racers and were ready to take care of your every need. I had assistance getting a bath in a bucket, fast food delivered to me, and foot/hand/etc care. We were cheered on extensively even when we left the TA and weren’t sure what direction to head. They hugged and kissed us (Olof and Fletcher more than anyone) and cleaned up our trash. The race was epic and amazing in so many ways, and the volunteers were tops!
Good bye bikes forever, onto foot. Pacific Rim trail while sleep deprived, not a good idea. Don’t get sleep monsters when you have 100ft plus drops inches from your right foot. We napped 2 hours on the trail 12-2am, woke up frozen, and climbed as fast as we could to warm up. Fletcher had returned to himself for the most part and had taken over nav, but we continued to monitor him and carry a lot of his weight. At times this caused some tension as Fletcher felt he was being babied, but to Julian and Olof, we needed to do whatever it took to keep him healthy. Just before sunrise, we arrived at a gas station off the trail. COFFEE!!! Oh, magical coffee and hot burritos. Everyone fuel up and let’s get going. To me these transitions were really slow, and if in the future we’re in a close fight for placement, I’d recommend not making these stops. The warm bathrooms and difficulty in making food decisions added a lot of time to the clock. Lucky for us, we weren’t close to second place, and 4th place we had learned was hours behind. In any case, we just needed to keep moving. Olof and Fletcher had a little issue about an hour later over a route choice, and trekking poles went flying. The nice part of that though was Fletcher’s anger added a boost to his march, and he took off up that mountain. 30 plus miles later, the guys had kissed and made up and we were approaching the end of our trek/start of final paddle. Hey guys, “we are going to be done with this mother f@#$J%I race TODAY!!!”
We stopped by Taco Bell in North Lake before the final transition to boat, and then slowly made our way onto Lake Tahoe. The winds had picked up and the sun would be setting in a few hours. I thought the plan was to eat up, bundle up, and drink a hell of a lot of caffeine to make it to the finish. I had brought music loaded on an old i-phone and a splash resistant blue tooth speaker (best decision ever) for Julian and I. We were happy and singing when Julian noticed some “issues” in the other boat. OMG guys…we’re so close to finishing??!! Olof and Fletcher weren’t as stable in their sit on top kayak with the waves capping pretty big, so they had a hard time adjusting clothing and eating. They seemed to be yelling at each other also. Ugh. At one point the choice to turn around and go back to shore was brought up. I’m pretty sure I would have jumped out and swam the lake to the damn finish if the guys had opted for that. Instead, we made a slightly dramatic stop on some rocks so that the guys could load up on food and layers before dark hit. Can we please finish now??!! Music back on, questions going back and forth between boats, and splash tactics to stay awake. Olof and Fletcher learned that they both know every word to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” which was one of the funniest acts I’ve ever seen. Whatever it takes to get us to the finish. The lights on the far shore seemed to take forever to get to, but alas, at 12:15 am on August 28th, 8.5 days after we stared, we finished. We all collapsed on the beach (after washing the pee out of my wetsuit…hey, it was 7 hours in that kayak), and then frozenly shuffled our way up to the state line and Hard Rock Hotel for the best AR finish ever.
To everyone that organized and helped with the race, thank you for the most epic race ever. Part of my heart was left on that course (as well as my toes), and I will never forget the memories created during those 8 days. To my team, you guys are amazing and I’m pretty sure I would not have had as many laughs and cries without you. We worked so well together and always had each other’s backs. Julian, you are such an incredible leader. Your ability to take care of the weakest link, motivate us all, and come up with conversation that kept us mentally rolling for over a week is amazing. Olof, thank you for being so tough and racing through your sickness. As Julian said, you are a fearless warrior. Fletcher, your laugh is infectious and your ability to roll with the punches and rebound from bonking is pretty unique. And last, to my family, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to fulfill this dream. I know you sacrificed a lot to let me go and you put up with a lot from me as I go through my post-race depression/recovery.
Cheers to us all,
Result: 1st place in Division; 2nd Overall
Raced by Katie Ferrington & Thomas Mckeen
Written by Thomas Mckeen
I’ve done this event about 6 or 7 times since I started racing AR. Now that I moved here a little over a
year ago, it’s a hometown race for me. Most of the terrain covered in the race is the same one I use day
after day for training purposes! If I like it enough to live here, I certainly like it enough to race here. The
BV race has always been one of my favorite 12-hour races due to the awesome class 3 kayaking, 400+
tyrolean traverse and the stunning vistas from the high-up-top O-course. These are all things you just
don’t find in other events of this length…
Every year I’ve done this race I’ve teamed up with my brother-in-law Dan. We have been quite
successful in the past and have the winningest record here. Now that we race on the same team
(Journey Racing) we have even more reason to keep our foot to the floor. When I called Dan about
securing our spot for 2015 he told me he’d been battling hamstring issues and rather than exacerbate
them, he was going to take time off to recuperate. Later it turned out he was dealing with a sciatic
nerve, which is easier to deal with in terms of long term effects… Anyway, after hearing that I contacted
Ryan, another team member to see if he would go. Ryan won solo last year and has been quite
successful in BV other years as well. He was racing mtb in Grand Junction, so no go. Later that
afternoon during a run Katie’s name popped into my head and though I knew she would just be coming
off an Iron Man in Texas, thought she might be recovered enough to give it a go. Only one way to find
Katie said yes right off the bat so now we had a team. She and Ian won Co-ed in Moab this Spring so her
entry fee into BV was covered. Mine mostly was after volunteering in Moab at the bike to run
transition. We shot a few e-mails and texts back and forth, but we’ve both been doing this long enough
that we didn’t do any big picture planning at all until the night before the race. In fact Katie and I had
never raced together in the past. Against each other, yes, but until this year have never been on the
same team. I knew she was strong from her results over the years, though.
She got to town the evening before the race with her baby-sitting parents in tow. We plotted the maps
and talked strategy for an hour before heading out to the two transition areas (TAs) to drop bins and
gear. The race was going to start in BV at Riverside Park and we’d run from there to Wilderness Aware
via trail and dirt road to the TA there. We’d switch from running to white water kayaking in the
ubiquitous duckies. From there it was down to the next TA and a switch to mountain biking. We would
ride to the O-course, do our navigating and then ride to the tyrolean traverse. After completing the
traverse it was a short ride to the finish line…
The next morning we arrived at the start nearly an hour before the start. I always like to be early and
luckily so does Katie. We had plenty of time to settle on clothing choices (dress for the second mile, not
the first!) and to run some hill intervals to get the legs warmed up. We saw plenty of our fellow
competitor friends and chatted while waiting for the start. We carried only the mandatory gear of space
blankets and cell phone for the start leg. Looked like most folks were carrying the gear they needed for
the whole day! One of the benefits of having done a bunch of these “sport” length races is knowing
what you can get away with NOT taking!
At 8a the metaphorical gun went off and all racers headed up the hill. It was a bit chaotic as both the 12
and 6 hour events went off at the same time with all their different categories. Katie and I made great
time up to the Midland grade with me checking a few times to make sure the pace was okay. It was.
We had a really quick run to the TA and pulled in behind one solo racer and a 2-man team. I punched
while Katie got her wetsuit on, we chugged a bottle of Gatorade and grabbed a boat. By the time we hit
the water there were people all over the place so we had no idea of what our placement was. We had a
clean run down the Arkansas (the Milk Run) and the water was pretty much at a perfect level. Quick,
but not scary fast. Not like last year… Pulling up at the takeout we were told we were the first team in!
We quickly shucked out of wet gear and put on dry stuff for the bike ride. It was going to be flat for only
a couple miles, so we knew we didn’t want to overdress. We felt like we got out in a reasonable time,
but once again it was chaos in the TA so we really had no idea. Hitting the steep hills of CR300 right off
the bat got us warmed up in a hurry. Wasn’t long before I realized I’d forgotten sunscreen. Oopsie. I’d
scouted these roads a week or two before the race and had a good idea of what to expect. Katie was
having a bit of a tough time with the sand since she had spent most of her bike training time on her tri-
bike. We hooked up a tow and we started making some good time. Catching one solo rider I was
surprised to see only one set of tracks ahead of us – and that was a rider I could see. We never caught
him, but did pull in to the O-course just as he was heading out. We’d had a pretty good ride.
Katie knew she was point for the O-course and since it was rogaine style and was mandatory we stay out
at least an hour, we opted to just get as many points in the hour as we could. There were 120 points
total and with her steady nav we got 90 in just 55 minutes! We spent the 5 minutes extra eating and
putting our harnesses on for the traverse coming up… Back on the bike we flew down Shield’s Gulch
and across the Midland single track. This was sweet and mostly downhill as we caught a few punches
along the way. A quick jaunt on Broken Boyfriend for 2 miles of technical riding and we arrived at the
traverse in 1st place.
I quickly (for me) hauled across the rope. The span is maybe 400’ across and close to that high. Very
airy! We had a nice tight rope I was pleased to note. It’s always a tough haul to get across, but this was
the best I’ve done it. From arrival at the bike drop to returning from the traverse and run back was 12
minutes for me. Katie made good time as well and with the solo racer right behind us we flew down
into town and the finish line. We took first team overall and second to the solo racer who had more O-
course credits. Still happy to beat ALL the teams, especially the 2-man ones. Katie was a solid racer
all day and we worked well in all disciplines. Happy she was able to come out to BV and play!
Later that night I went back and competed in the RMOC night orienteering competition. It’s been a
bugaboo of mine in the past and with hard work I was hoping to improve on one DNF and one DFL from
the last two years. I started off a bit slow but quickly found my rhythm. The 3k length course flashed by
in short order and before I knew it I was done. As I was the first competitor out I had to wait awhile to
see how I did as all racers went out in 2 minute intervals. After the last short-course racer was in they
ran the splits and I was the winner. Wow, never would have put any money on that!
All in all a very good Saturday of racing. Thanks to Journey Racing for the support and to our sponsors at Altra Running,
XX2i Optics and Project Rudy. Used their gear all day and it was first class. TT
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.
Journey Racing - AXS Moab 2015 - Preliminary Split Times - Results - RaceSplitter
AXS Moab 2015 - Preliminary Split Times April 11, 2015 08:00:51 AM Moab, UT Other 60.0 mi 134 Participants These are Preliminary split times for the 2015 AXS Moab Adventure Race. These are not Final Rankings. Passports are being verified for official results and ranki… Read More These are Preliminar…