Monday, May 10, 2010

Annual Return to the Roots....Buena Vista Gravity Play Race

So I try to return to adventure racing at least once a year and this year it worked out to do Gravity Play's Buena Vista Adventure Exstream race. Heather is fired up to qualify for the Checkpoint Tracker national series race held in Colorado this year so I tagged along for a race on some top notch wildwater training on the Arkansas from town to Fisherman's Bridge aka Town Run to Milk Run.

The race started on foot with a 10K trail run/orienteering section to the paddle start. I shared the run with 2 military guys named Ryan and John. Ryan was active Army just back from Iraq and just from the cauliflower ear in his right ear called him out as an ex wrestler who shot his single leg with his right leg...sure enough he was an grappler from North Dakota. John was an active Air Force Academy cadet in his last year. Both of them were great company on the brisk run and we had a hoot scrambling down the cliffed out route we chose to descend into the river bed and having a fun time chatting about my Vietnam era Marine Corp dad Super Dave and the trials and tribulations of the career soldier. Army Ryan and I were simply getting punished by fleet footed Air Force John so I called an audible after CP2 and Army Ryan and I vanished into the slot canyons on a strategic evade and elude move after letting Air Force John get 30 seconds ahead of us. If you two guys read my blog this week... I forgot to thank you and all past veterans for your service to our country and the freedoms that service brings. These guys are solid and I wish them the best in the sport of adventure racing.

That was the last I saw of my running mates and I zoned out to let it rip on the paddle and bike to the finish. With really low spring water levels, I really had to stay on top of my line through the constant boulder fields. Sorry Bruce over at Coal Creek Collision Center in Boulder...I finally did some real damage to the bottom of the awesome new paint job you did for me this year.

I forget how much fun adventure racing is when the pressure isn't on for all the hoopla and I just enjoyed being out there with the other racers taking in all the great vistas and roller coaster single track in Buena Vista. The cyclocross setup on the my Gary Fisher Superfly from in Boulder is just bomber on adventure races with gnarly single track minus big rock hits at 40 mph. You just point the Superfly in the direction of the finish and just her do her magic in the twisty turns. Gary Lacy was on my tail on the water and that guy just is ageless. I guess that's what happens when you race your sons every weekend!

Team KEEN slid in first overall in a smooth 2 hours 37 minutes. Heather won the solo female and is on track to meet her goals. Is it a problem if my own girlfriend may beats me one day? I think it's in the near future. Results at Adventure racing continues to thrive as does the Gravity Play series with over 250 racers at each race. Maybe next year Team KEEN will expand from 1 soloist to a team of 4;) Keep your eyes peeled racers!

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