Thursday, September 27, 2012

Traversing Bellingham {Adventure Race}

Joseph, Tim, Judah and Eric close in on the finish line of the Bellingham Traverse.

Due to a scheduling snafu with Tim's Ski 2 Sea teammates last spring, they opted to give the Bellingham Traverse a go instead.  This multi-sport event's course supposedly follows the path of wild salmon including a few "urban challenges."  Two of the team's athletes had to drop out at the last minute, leaving Tim and Eric with the frightful prospect of trying to 2-man the 5-leg race.  Since neither of them were up for quite that much adventure racing, they recruited a few high school lads, Joseph and his buddy Judah, to join the team just in the nick of time.

Judah ran the first leg, and put up a very fine result as he handed off to Joseph after a 5.5 mile (mostly uphill run) in 41 minutes.  He raced from downtown Bellingham to Lake Padden, and kept his pace throughout.  With only a few days to train, one cannot help but wonder what kind of time Judah could put up with solid race preparation!

Joseph tackled the 6 mile single track mountain biking course, having spent a fair few hours preparing for the race on our neighborhood Galbraith Mountain trails.  The challenges along the route proved worthy of a few superb crashes, but Joseph escaped without any injuries to body or bike.  A 49 minute finish sat well with him and sent Eric off on the road bike with a few fenders to draft.

Eric's 18 miles on the road bike course were completed in a mere 54 minutes, without any sudden tube deflation or other worries of any kind.  Eric's would-be-competitor wife, Kristy, and their unborn baby (due in a few months!) spent the sunny afternoon as spectators and ice cream connoisseurs while Eric slaved away at the wheel.

A 3.4 mile trail run could have been the end of Tim -whose limited pre-race-day training barely toned the surface of his not-ready-to-race legs- but he volunteered to captain the kayak immediately following his 37 minute run.  In a superbly insufficient kayak, meant for kids to paddle on a lake, Tim fought through a 3.6 mile, choppy tour of Bellingham Bay.  Tim's 1:10 split might have been third-to-last overall, but that's not factoring in the handicap of competing in a kids' boat after nearly dying on the trail run.  He's a trooper!

The 4:19 finish time gives the team a number from which to deduct next year, if they decide to compete again as chums on the loose in the wilds of the Bellingham Traverse.

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