Daily Archives: July 30, 2008

Lessons Learned – Ocean Blue

A few recommendations …

Arrive earlier than the recommended time.

Bring a tarp for the transition area

Bring a kayak backpack with all mandatory gear. But leave it in the kayak. Have a second set of mandatory gear in a running / bike pack.

Hydrate as much as possible during the kayak stage, without breaking stroke. Have a hydration system at your mouth.

Priorities in order: 1. No injury. 2. Stay on route. 3. Go fast.

Have a red pen AND blue ball point handy for adding markings to the map.

In case of doubt, take an extra minute or two to reconsider all options. Have a second navigator double check your guesstimated route in case of doubt.

When one team stops to micturate (look it up), the rest should too, if possible.

Carry some sort of “salt” tablet. Consider gravol for the kayak. Pain relief tablets too.

Towing highly recommended by all experts. (Perhaps link a retractable dog leash to the bike saddle.)

In advance, get the most detailed topo maps available. Compare those against the official race map.

Some competitors wrap emergency duct tape on the bike.

Consensus was that best Team order from front to back is: Andy, Dave, Jeni, Morgen. Keep this order, if possible. Andy must constantly monitor that he does not get too far ahead of Morgen. Andy backtracks in case of emergency. Andy waits on Dave in any question of navigation. Everyone has loud whistle to communicate in case of trouble.

Leave a comment on this post with any other “lessons learned”.

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more Tahoe photos

More pics have been added to our Ocean Blue, California flickr photo set from both Rick and Andy’s cameras.

Rubicon Trail run, Lake Tahoe

Rubicon Trail run, Lake Tahoe

see all the photos

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from The Adventure Blogger

Kraig Becker from Texas is the top blogger on “Adventure” on the WWW, in my opinion. His site — The Adventure Blog — is highly recommended.

He worked on the website this year for Primal Quest Montana and will be part of the organizing committee for future PQ races.

I asked Kraig for FART advice. Here’s what he sent me by email:

Congrats on attending your first adventure race. …. The “Big Blue” races are good ones to get started and offer something for all level of racers. It’s an excellent choice.

Now days, there are a lot of choices in the “sprint” category, which are the 4-8 hour races and the 24 hour category. I’d say that you definitely want to get a couple of the shorter races under your belt first then gradually move up to the longer events. Team chemistry is very important on the longer races, and when you’re sleep deprived, you want to make sure you can get along well with the other members of the team. I’d start by looking for other races in your immediate area though, as I’m sure there are a number of good ones. Of course, from a biased perspective, I’d recommend the Primal Quest Sprint Series, which we’ll be expanding next year, and the Blackwater: Escape and Evasion race we’ll be launching in November. 😉 When you’re ready, there will be the PQ expedition race which I got back from earlier this month. …

There is a lot of other advice that I can offer. Adventure racing is a crazy, but fun sport. The first thing I’d say is don’t skimp on the gear, although I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that. While more expensive, it’s probably worth it in the long run. Of course, take care of your feet as best you can, which is more important as the race lengths get longer. Communicate well with your team. Let them know when you’re struggling so they can help, and be prepared to do the same for someone else. Train together when you can, as that helps with team communication. Race your own race, as often times the tendency is to get out of the gate in a hurry, but that ends up burning a lot of teams out. Most of all have fun! That’s what it’s all about after all! 🙂

If you have specific questions, or if I can help in any way, do not hesitate to ask. It seems like you have a good group already, and I know you have the skills and stamina to enjoy the races. It’s a different sport, but very rewarding as well.


Kraig added Dave to the mailing list for future PQ and Blackwater events.

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