Three weeks ago, Brent, Bruce, and I headed south to Front Royal, Virginia for the 2012 running of the Rev3 Epic Adventure Race.
The race, which debuted on the AR circuit last spring, felt like a reunion of sorts.
First, we were teaming up with Jeremy Kuhlen, a Team GOALS staple of years past who comes out of retirement every couple seasons. He and Bruce have raced together dozens of times, and he and Brent had joined forces a few years ago. I’d only met Jeremy once before but had heard such great things about him that I looked forward to the opportunity to spend 26 hours in the woods with him. (Spoiler – he didn’t disappoint.)
And second, while this was the fifth race of the season for me and Brent, it was the first in the mid-Atlantic region, and so the first time since last fall that we’d be seeing most of our adventure racing friends and racing against the usual northeastern lineup. And holding true to last year, the race featured a number of the top teams in the nation.
Now, at this point, I’ve written a couple dozen AR race reports, and no matter how much detail I offer and how many photos I post (admittedly, often not too too many), I inevitably end up feeling like adventure racing defies written description.
Rev3 put together a pretty stellar video recap of this year’s race, so rather than doing a leg-by-leg rundown of my own, I thought I’d show you what a day-long adventure race looks like through the eyes of a handful of cameramen.
First, a few highlights (or lowlights):
1. The first six hours of the race took place under hot sun with rising temperatures. At 4 PM, a storm rolled through. It rained on and off through the early morning hours, when a steady downpour commenced and continued through the rest of the race.
2. The week before the race was one of the busiest of the school year for me, and I was operating in a serious sleep deficit from the start. By 10 PM, I found myself staggering down the trail, unable to keep my eyes open. I was able to run just fine, but whenever I slowed to a walk I was done for. Luckily, we ran most of the overnight orienteering loop.
3. I remain firm in my belief that honey nut cheerios and pita chips are the perfect race foods.
4. At various points throughout the race, members of our team struggled with some pretty serious physical issues. We made up for it with good strategy and route choice and Brent’s rockstar navigation. We rolled into the finish at 10:45 AM Sunday morning to a third place finish. All things considered, we all felt pretty good about that.
And without further ado, the video. I realize it’s a bit lengthy at nearly 14 minutes. If you have the time, though, check it out. It paints a pretty spot-on picture of adventure racing and offers some really entertaining sound bytes. See if you can spot the reality TV stars in there.
And true story – I did eat the cheeseburger.