Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Snowman Adventure Race

 Midwinter is a time for cabin fever and being sick so when I saw The Snowman Adventure Race show up as an upcoming event I had all the signup information filled in and the credit card number entered before I even got confirmation from my race partner that she was in.  Like it was ever in question.
The car is packed with sleds, a bike and a sledding partner.
Race day rolled around and it couldn't have been more perfect, well, except we were both sick.  It was a cold morning to keep the snow hard but it was warming up quick.  A combination of colds and work kept us from coming up with any costumes. 
Pre-race, full of excitement!
There was a little stress when they announced that the race would start immediately after the pre-race meeting and my bike was still in the car.  I rushed off to get my bike and worry to find out that the meeting was over and the race would start in 10 min, just like it was supposed to.
I'm 3rd from the front, far end of the course, green sled...sprinting.
(Picture by Pat Baily)
The bike leg was excellent with hard packed snow.  The mountain bike was the right choice.  I started out in 4th place and quickly moved to 3rd where I would stay for the remainder of the race.  I'm not sure about the people behind me but the people ahead of me were strong!  I couldn't catch them, nope.  In fact the gap between me and #2 was growing for the whole 5.75 miles.  For what ever reason, that flat, seemingly easy 5 miles went by pretty slowly, like 13.5MPH slow.  I was really surprised to hear that the first biker was on a fatbike.  I was less surprised when I found out it was a 27 lb, $6000 fatbike and he races in endurance events.  My mountain bike weighs in around 31 lbs
Bicycle action shot!
 I got to the finish line totally wiped out and tagged my partner, it was her job to win this race now.  She ran to the top and took her run.  After I cheered her through I milled around to catch my breath for a few minutes then slowly made my way to the top with the sled for the tandem slide.  I got to hang out with the #1 and #2 bikers at the top chatting about the ride and teasing each other about who would be in first.  The first runner appeared over the hill and it was MY runner!  Biker #2 wondered if maybe we'd just missed the first two.  I cheered her past us to the turn-around and took my place on the hill ready for her to return as a few other runners passed.
(what's taking so long?  The longer she's out there, the more chance there is for her to get passed) 
No worries, she got to the top of the hill well before any of the others, piled on top of me and we took our run down the hill to our victory dance which made the 6:00 news but has now vanished.

Post-race, full of pride.
I think I can honestly say that this is the first time I've been interviewed for a TV spot for winning a race.  That footage has also vanished, probably for the best.  The story still lives.(at least for a while, sorry for the potentially broken link for all those revisiting this blog several years... oh, nevermind) here:

Racers bike, run, sled through Portland

The after party and awards were pretty fun.  A free beer always helps.  We got some decent prizes for our efforts, a free bike tune-up and a free ski tune-up, unfortunately, I'll probably never use them because I do all my own bike maintenance and I don't own any current skis.  The free growlers full of beer had my interest, oh well.

Casualties: 1 green sled, sorry to the sled owner - we already have a replacement - it's a red sled now. 

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