I’m totally joking with the title of this post. Kind of (relax, mom).
If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you have probably heard about my slight lack of judgement in agreeing to be on a 4-woman, 26-hour adventure race team. Yes. You read that correctly. TWENTY SIX HOURS STRAIGHT of adventure racing. My friends that know me best literally laughed in my face when I told them this. See, while I may look in shape, it’s all due to my metabolism. Sure, I was a college athlete but ever since I have never voluntarily worked out a day in my life. I know, I know…I’m very lucky, but eventually my metabolism will fade and everything else will start to go with it. You can see the problem this race hands me. You can’t just walk up to one of these things without training like I usually do with 5k’s. This requires daily training and not just going for a run. Mountain biking, canoeing, hiking…yup, I have to do it all. And I have been over the past couple months.
What exactly is adventure racing? Well, it’s nothing I have ever done, but for some reason I thought it would be “fun.” I’m extremely competitive and enjoy outdoor-sy stuff in general, so why not, right? Most races consist of canoeing, trekking, mountain biking, hiking and navigating. Along the course you will have check points (some mandatory, some optional) that you have to find and navigate to (This requires use of a topographical map and compass. I totally should’ve paid attention in geography) and check off on your passport. Your total score is calculated based off of how long it takes you to finish the course and how many total check points you hit. Adventure races can start as short as 4 hours and graduate up to multi-day races. And for my first ever adventure race I decided a 26 hour event was a GREAT place to start. I’m officially crazy.
Tomorrow I fly out to Luray, Virgina where I will meet up with my teammates (Eliza, Survivor alum, and Jodi and Sarah, both from Amazing Race). Oh, and have I mentioned that all of us have never adventure raced before AND we have never raced together. FUN TIMES! And for good measure, here’s the weather report for our race:
You see Saturday and Sunday? Yup, that says 40% chance of rain and thunderstorms on the day we start the race and a 70% chance of rain all the way through to the finish on Sunday. Awesome. Being soaking wet, in the middle of the mountains, in the middle of the night, in 50 degree weather sounds like the best way to spend this upcoming weekend. In fact, here’s a look at what this weekend entails:
100+ miles of racing. BRING.IT. ON. Saturday morning we start our race with the 5-6 hour canoeing portion. Canoeing in rain and thunder, another brilliant idea (are you sensing a pattern here?). We then head off to do some trekking, hiking and mountain biking…this will all probably be done through mud since it will be raining, but hey, why not?! Here’s a sample of what part of our mountain biking portion will be like:
Our main focus is going to be keeping up our pace in order to make it to a big mountain we have to get over and down before nightfall. It’s going to be almost too steep to bike so we will be pushing our bikes up it. If we don’t make it down before nightfall, we will have to walk our bikes down the backside of the mountain (which will take way too long & use more energy, energy that we probably won’t have) as opposed to being able to ride our bikes down if we still have some light. Once on the back side of the mountain the ideal plan would have us resting a little and eating some food before we take off to find a bunch of optional check points. I’m guessing we will have next to zero energy and will hate our lives at this point, so we may not really go for any of these. So then…we wait. Once day break hits we push our bikes back up the mountain, ride ‘em down and head to the finish line. Again…I’m crazy.
How did I get involved in all of this? Whelp, that falls to Champion System and Rev3. A while back I was asked to be on a “celebrity” (HA!) racing team for a clothing company, Champion Systems. They wanted to pull together “celebrities” that enjoy being active to wear their gear and participate in a variety of physical competitions, which led to the launch of ACT (Athletic Celebrity Team). I figured I’d do a 5k here, a 5k there and would enjoy the free clothes. Plus, who could say no to being on a team with THE Zach Morris?! Champion Systems has a great connection to Rev3 and Rev3 thought it would be just SUPER to put together an all-female team to tackle their 26 hour Epic Adventure Race. And now I’m here, a day away from possibly being attacked by a bear, freezing to death, eaten by ticks and learning all sorts of things about my body I never wanted to know.
In all seriousness, I’m REALLY excited for this. Of course I’m also freaking out inside but I know I have amazing teammates, have TOTALLY (I think) prepared for this, will be wearing great clothing to keep me warm & (fingers crossed) dry compliments of Champion System and will be grateful for the equipment and support of an amazing racing family in Rev3.
We have no idea if we will have cell service throughout the course but I plan on taking photos and video and pushing them out through my Twitter and Facebook pages so you can follow along and see how we are doing! Think of it like living in one of the Districts during the annual Hunger Games where you get to take a look at people fighting for their lives…except with our race there won’t be any deaths…hopefully. (Side note: after reading Hunger Games and seeing the movie it TOTALLY made me more excited for this race. I think I’m going to get a mocking jay pin and bow and arrow to wear during the race just for fun. I’m so channeling Katniss.)
If you want to get updates from us during the weekend be sure to give us all a follow on twitter:
Rev3 will also be posting general race updates so give them a follow, too, @Rev3Adventure. And because they are an awesome sponsor and can get you set up with virtually any clothing you would need for a competition, check out @Champion_System.
Keep us (and all the other racers) in your thoughts for a safe and fun adventure. After my body is done recouping and I can move, I will be sure to post an update on how the race went.
Wish us luck!