The race started at 3am for the team with a quick run to the dock of the lake for me as I tried to get enough cell coverage to check my messages. No Baby yet. We then ate a hearty breakfast of Eggo's and juice and were off to the South beach of Bon Echo park.
At 4am we were off with a run to a nearby monument to get a date. After some brief confusion, due to my inability to read at 4am, we were in a canoe for a short crossing. Once across the river we started the bushwhacking stage in the dark. The dim light of a headlamp made the bush seem very thick and made for slow moving. After about 15min we seemed to be in a small swamp and the first incident occurred. After proclaiming "These woods at not made for me, I'm like a wrecking crew" Jason proceeded to lose a shoe in the mud. I have never seen a person get that dirty after only 15minutes of racing. At this point things started to get better as we moved through the wilderness until we made a course correction but went 10degrees the wrong direction. It was not until about 30 minutes later that Jason noticed the error. All in all we ended up in roughly where we intended. The rest of the hike was uneventful and went pretty well for us.
Next stage was a paddle. Go Banana is not known for their paddling especially for 3 hours of it. Since I forgot the middle stool I sat in the middle of the boat. However I did have to listen to Jason telling me that the race was all my fault and that with 20km to got I would get a punch in the back of the head. We hit a few shallow areas where the boat had to be dragged though. Props to Jason and Thomas who got out of the boat and pulled me though. You see I am small and if I get wet and cold things don't really go well (I am kind of like a kid that way). We did however find an old pool noodle on the side of the river for me to sit on. At the first portage Thomas stopped for a pee and we narrowly managed to escape getting passed by 2 teams, longest pee ever! The rest of the paddle was very quiet as we tried to keep focused. Also we finally discovered which banana has he largest bladder, it would be Jason who did not pee the entire paddle, that can't be said for Thomas and I, it seems the bailer makes a good potty.
We docked our boat and took a moment to change and eat. This was a turning point for Jason who changed his wet shorts but sat on the ground first (see previous post about hit butt). We were pretty excited to be on the bikes, this is our thing. We made good time on the road section but I still had to listen to Jason blaming me for the race distance, it seems I am responsible for all his problems. We hit the checkpoint for the Advanced Course and finally achieved one of out team goals. "It is always nice to be asked". We were offered the advanced course, a first for our team! After about 5 seconds of deliberation we decided to skip this section and hit the ATV trail. The ride was fairly slow as we were all tired from the paddle and Jason's butt was sore. We hit a few intersecting trails and props to Jason for picking the route for us. Thomas and I are a bit more structured than Jason and would have been looking though maps for a direction, Jason just kinda decides which way seems right and goes.
At the end of the bike we hit the last paddle, it was really uncalled for actually. With an attempt to ignore the pain we paddled on. At a few points we ended up taking a team break as we did not seem to be making any forward progress. Thomas spirit was then crushed as we rounded a point and realized that it was not the finish, longest lake ever! Finally we docked our boat and strolled to the finish line.
All in all this was one of the Banana's best races ever and there were no major mistakes. We did however learn a few things:
- If you change wet shorts don't sit on the ground and get your butt dirty
- Jason's butt is very tender
- Brian is responsible for any pain endured during the race
No baby yet!