Let me start by saying how much fun I had competing in my FIRST Adventure Race. I emphasize the FIRST part because I plan on doing many more. Kevin and I had a blast doing this race together and are already planning our training for next year. Two words - HILL WORKOUTS.
Backing up a bit...Friday, Kevin and I drove out to Cumberland, MD - which is about two and a half hours west of Baltimore on Friday afternoon and had a great dinner in downtown Cumberland. We found this cute little Italian place, Ristorante Ottaviani, and were lucky enough to score a table by the window. What great, summer-like weather we had in this area over the weekend!
Fresh Italian bread was immediately brought to our table and served with olive oil and fresh parmesan for dipping.We started with a house salad served with a Romano Vinaigrette, which they were kind enough to split on two plates for us.The menu was extensive, so there was a good amount of time spent looking through all of the options.I decided on the Capesante con Pesto which was Pan seared scallops with a pesto and fresh tomatoes served over linguine.It was just OK and after eating all the scallops, I picked at the linguine because the sauce wasn't as flavorful as I had hoped.Afterwards, we walked over to City Creamery for homemade ice cream. I decided on a small cup of their flavor of the day - Take 5 - after the candy bar. It was scrumptious.
I forgot to mention that after reading about the race equipment required (on our drive out there) - we realized we both needed whistles. Our time would be penalized if we didn't have them for the race. We were lucky enough to find a dollar store downtown where we each got a whistle for a $1. These would come in handy later..
Check-in started at 7am the morning of the race, so we decided to grab breakfast in the hotel restaurant, which opened at 6:30am. No pictures, but I had a full breakfast, since the race didn't start until 10am. Egg and Cheese on a bagel, fresh fruit, and coffee.
The race took place in Rocky Gap State Park, which is home to the Rocky Gap Lodge & Resort. It is absolutely gorgeous there. The temperature was supposed to get up into the mid - upper 80s, so we knew we had to have plenty of water. We each planned to wear our camelback hydration packs for the entire race. After receiving the rules of the race, we headed to the transition area to rack our bikes and set up all of our gear: helmet, gloves, more water, change of socks, and cherry energy jelly beans.
About an hour later, we received our map, which laid out all of the checkpoints on the course. The entire race was going to be 14-16 miles total - running/trekking, mountain biking, and paddling.At this point, I felt overwhelmed and nervous. I mean - we had no idea where we were and had never been on these trails! We only had an hour and a half to map out our OWN course. Basically, each team was designing their own race!
The main rules:
- You had to hit all 6 numbered checkpoints in numerical order.
- You could visit colored checkpoints at any time, but must go to 6 out of 8 colored checkpoints.
- Each of the numbered and colored checkpoints had rules associated with them. For example, you could only trek/run to Checkpoint 1 (CP1).
- You didn't have to use the trails and could go off course to find shortcuts.
Around 9am, I was hungry and ate a Lemon/Vanilla/Cashew Clif Nectar bar to make sure I had enough energy. At 9:50am, all of the teams headed to the start, but it was crazy to think that people were going to be headed off in all different directions!!
Before we knew it - it was 10am and we were OFF....
Part 2...will be coming as soon as the race pictures and results are posted. I really want to show you the pictures of the course as I talk about it. We didn't carry a camera, but I wish we had so I would have pictures to share now.
As a side note: My new job is going great, but I am very busy since I am new and trying to learn everything. The days are flying by and I am loving it, but it doesn't leave much downtime during the day.
I will be back as soon as the photos and results are posted!!! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend...