Yuki Bar Adventure Race

This past weekend saw the action heating up just outside of Winston Salem North Carolina where the Zero’s converged for the Yuki-Bar Adventure race. This race was a combination of the Yuki Joy and Bushwhack races, both of which we have done in the past. Just like the LBL race, and Blue Ridge, neither of which I’ve written about yet, we had a little trouble putting a team together for this one and long story short, we created a 5 headed monster with Appalachian AR.

Chris showing his better side

Unlike most races, stand in racer Chris VonIns and I had a little trouble getting to the race. I had a dentist appointment scheduled for early Friday morning and usually they are quick, in and out in less than 30 minutes. I even took the effort to show up 10 minutes early in hopes they could knock it out even sooner. Suffice to say that didn’t happen. I waited 30 minutes before they called me in and took my bite wing x-rays. I could hear the hygienist that was to clean my teeth talking in the next room over and I knew from the sounds of the air tools that she’d be at least another 10 minutes. Looking at my watch I knew there was no chance I’d get out of there in time and did something I’d never done before. I got up and walked out. I probably should have rescheduled when I knew I was racing and avoided the situation, but sometimes I hope for the best. They ended up calling me several hours later and I got rescheduled for Monday.

Back to the race. Chris and I manage to leave Atlanta around noon and managed to get to the start line an hour and a half before the race was set to start. We knew that Russ was already there and had plotted the first set of points and we could copy his maps, but we still had to scramble to get the canoe situated and all our gear packed and sorted. With minutes to spare we worked up a quick strategy for the first part of the race.

The race format allowed for a fair amount of choice in how to attack points, but still was in a format that allowed one to keep track of how you were doing versus the other teams. The first leg consisted of eight points scattered around the YMCA camp we started at, with two points at the top of a 1000 foot climb. The other sections were clustered around TA’s separated by long road rides. This made for lots of miles, but they ticked away very quickly.

That's a funny looking train!

There were a number of misplaced points along the way, which I always hate to see, but the RD’s were apologetic and admitted the issues right away. I appreciate the willingness to admit mistakes when they are made and it goes a long way towards fostering good will. Still, I’d hope that things like mis-numbering a whole series of CPs would have been caught before the race. For those interested, CP4 was sketchy, I don’t know how the map lined up with reality, but it wasn’t where I expected it. CP5 had two sets of coordinates, one that was corrected and one that wasn’t. We had plotted the uncorrected ones and it took us 30 minutes to figure out the problem. I think CP17/19 (depending on what you called it) was off. The map was missing one switchback, which I didn’t really expect as it looked like a GPS created map. There was a lot of trail work going on and it could have been new, but I didn’t like that one much. I think 45 (Pilot Mountain CP with the flag) was a little high compared to the plot, but we did find it.

Highlights from the race included fording the waist deep fast moving Yadkin River, warm country ham biscuits at TA4, and some fantastic back country roads and views. The high ropes course at the YMCA was fun, although I was a little unsure of the “Matrix” when we were first told what we had to do. The Matrix consisted of 3′x3′ platforms suspended on 1/2″ metal wire and spaced about 5 feet apart. Oh, and 40′ in the air! The object was to get the whole team on one platform before moving to the next one. I think Michele got the raw end of that deal as when we huddled on the small platform her nose was right about the level of my arm pit. I’ve been wearing the same jersey for 2 years, and after a while those things just don’t come clean any more.

Riding towards Pilot Mountain

After some 20 odd hours we crossed the finish line with all the points in first place. With the string of bad races we’ve been having it was nice to have a relatively clean and successful race. Hopefully we can carry the momentum through to the Atomic AR where we will have our hands full carrying some 10 lb hunk of metal the race directors use to handicap the previous winning team. Can’t wait.

2 Responses to Yuki Bar Adventure Race

  • Don Childrey says:

    Nice race report, even if you do make winning a race sound easier than it is. Our RD team worked hard to present everyone with a quality event in a beautiful area. I could claim that we added in some challenges specifically for you guys by intentionally locating a few controls away from the UTM locations, but the truth is that our triple-checking procedures for keeping flag placements and UTM’s and passports all in sync still has some flaws. Turning out a perfect event setup is not unlike turning out a perfect racing performance. Sometimes we get pretty darn close to perfect, but we always see ways to improve how we’ll do it next time.

    We did end up with two CP flags that were placed at a different location than the UTM coordinates. You said CP4 was “sketchy”, but it was just plain in the wrong place. I had tweaked the UTM to the corner of the wrong field when preparing the passport, and then the flag was hung on the wrong corner of the correct field. We discovered this during the 24 hour race after hearing racer comments, and we moved the flag before the 12 hour race started.

    The CP’s marked on the Moore’s Springs Trail Map still had numbering from Course Version 3, while the passport had numbers from Course Version 13. My bad there. CP17/19 in particular was simply marked on the map in the wrong place. I checked the GPS’d trail line when I retrieved the flag on Sunday and verified that the trail line and switchback count were correct, but the flag and “four-log bridge” were actually located on the lowest leg of the switchbacks, not in the middle as marked on the map.

    Anyone who has been involved in designing a course is probably familiar with the amount of discussion and debate that goes into choosing “perfect” CP placements. I could probably write a book about the theory and practice behind this process! But what amazes me is the ability of great navigators to overcome flaws with CP placements and find the flags anyway. Your team found all 48 of the CP’s, without wasting much time, despite a few of them being placed wrong, numbered incorrectly, or being “sketchy”. That’s pretty impressive. I’ve lucked into misplaced CP’s before, and at least once have successfully guessed how a mistake was made and found a flag, but you guys seem to do this as easily as you drop into a pace line and disappear down the road.

    My goal is to make sure we do all we can to turn out a perfect course setup, and we certainly collected more “lessons learned” from this event. I want you to have to come up with something else to write about Bushwhack events besides CP placement issues!

    Congrats on another great performance!

  • These races are awesome. I’m researching adventure races and each article I read I become more motivated to try one out. Thank you for the report.