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Summary: ARC Kawarthas - 18 October 2003

Here's the race summary for our final adventure race of the season.  This one was hosted by Adventure Racing Canada (ARC).  It was an Enduro race, which is billed as a 6-8 hour race, based out of Golden Beach Resort on Rice Lake in the Kawarthas.  


We showed up on Friday night and set up camp.  It was pretty cold, but after we all hunkered down for the night, you could barely notice.  We awoke at 7:00am and started to get our gear ready and eat.  The captain's meeting was at 8:30, where we got our maps, and race instructions.  We got an hour to work the maps, and the race started at 9:30.  We started off on foot, trekking to several different checkpoints in the bush, before emerging into the first transition area to Shelly's supportive cheers.  From there we picked up the paddles and a canoe and set off on the lake.  One thing that you should know about using kayak paddles in a canoe is that you get pretty wet.  When you couple that with the 7 or so degree temperature, it made for an interesting couple of checkpoints.  We emerged in good form however, and found out from Shelly that we had gained some ground in the canoes.  We picked up our bikes and headed off for what looked like a pretty routine journey.  However, the cold, coupled with a teammate's injury slowed us a bit.  We biked for about an hour to a checkpoint where we dropped the bikes to enter a navigation section on foot again.  


The next 3 checkpoints were on successively taller hills.  Some good compass work was required here, but all in all we performed pretty much bang on in this section.  The final portion of the race was some additional biking, followed by a "hike-a-bike" section, in which it is impossible to actually ride your bike.  My teammate's injury had progressed substantially, so we hooked a tow line up to my bike, and I helped him along the course.  This bike was pretty much straightforward with the following exception.  One of the checkpoints had a mandatory skill testing component to it, which consisted of teams having to remove one bike wheel, deflate it, pull it apart into rim, tube and rubber, and then put it all back together again.  This was meant to demonstrate that teams knew how to use the mandatory gear that they are required to carry.  We did fine, but managed to screw up the valve of my front tube while we re-assembled it.  The result was a slow leak in my tire, which required pumping at several points.  After a 2nd pumping session, the valve broke off of the tire, which meant we were at the side of the road changing the tire again.  This cost us some time!  


We ended up finishing 16th out of approximately 75 teams, and 7th in the open male category.  I've attached some of the pics of our team (Mike Cortese, myself and Caleb Suter), as well as our 2 most loyal fans (Nixie passing time at a check point finding a bird and a pic. of Shelly and Nixie apres race).  Mike and Caleb, go to to see the write-ups of some of the previous races.  I'd like to thank the team for letting me be a part of this successful group, and I look forward to racing with you guys next year.  A special thanks goes out to everyone who cheered for us this season, or took any interest in this crazy sport!