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.
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.
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.
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.