Saturday, September 19, 2009
The Challenge of the Cap City Challenge
It's such a fun race... hard as hell, but fun. This was the 9th year for the race, my 3rd; Donna's 4th, and Steph's 2nd. Steph had her first experience at podium -- we were 2nd female overall, 2nd female masters. (Yup, the Master's women rocked the course). There were 4 Master women teams and 4 female teams. In my 3 years racing this, it amazes me how they come up with different challenges all the time -- its the challenges that make this race really tough. We rode mountain bike for 23.5 miles (a lot of road), ran maybe 4 miles (?), and canoed maybe 3 miles -- but the challenges were definitely the hardest part of the race. 4 of the challenges were at the Wildwood Fire and Rescue training center. We first crawled through a dark tunnel, then rappelled (easiest challenge for all of us). Next was one of the hard parts; we had to push one of our team mates in a wheel barrow around maybe a dozen cones. One team mate had one handle and the other had the other handle. Steph, being the lightest of us, had the honors of the sitting in the wheel barrow. It was tippy, and it took us a few seconds to figure out how to balance her. Carrying Steph in the barrow was really killing me and Donna's back, but we managed to finish. Then we had to flip/flop a tractor tire for maybe 25 years, then carry the stinking thing (it was heavy) for another 25 or so yards, then roll it back to the start. Hard! The next challenge was swimming with the canoe into the river to a buoy, then get in the canoe in 8 feet of water. Not too bad except Donna was cramping - ouch! After the canoe, we were told to start a fire with flint, magnesium, a knife, and a little pile of shredded paper. No-can-do; the teams before us had the flints wore down to nothing so we all were left go after the mandatory 10 minutes. None of the teams that were there with us succeeded in starting a fire. Finally, the last 2 challenges on river front. The first was these 8 ft long 4x4 boards with pegs on the sides, suspended with ropes down the middle of them between two trees (sorry I can't explain it better). Suffice it to say it was the hardest of them all. We had to crawl across this thing (it would flip over from time to time if you weren't completely balanced in the center of a 4 inch board? wah!?) from one end to the other. Poor Donna cramped in the middle of it! She screams quite well. What made this one even more challenging is that the 3rd place Master female team was on our tails (they actually passed us in the canoe) and were doing the challenge at the same time. So we felt kinda pressured. DONE! at last. The final challenge was a rope net we had to climb up and over from underneath. Skinny girls on the team just crawled up and over -- fat ass struggled a little and with a little adrenalin and a really loud scream, I got over the top. Finally -- the finish in about 5 hours and 10 minutes. We were absolutely thrilled to be 2nd female team in. It was a fun but hard, beautiful day and my team mates were awesome. thank you girls! I had a blast. This race was truly, a "challenge," but I loved it.