The Hogback AR

Hey guys, I really need to stop for a sec.

What’s going on, Bill asks.

It seems I have a little chaffing issue I need to take care of, I answer.

Is it bad?

Let’s just say that the tip of the spear has been buffed to a high gloss.


No worries, I continue, if it comes down to it I have a bagel in my pack that I can shove down my pants for the rest of the race.

And so began our final big bike section for the 24Hr Hogback Adventure Race in Ocoee, Tennessee.I have been looking forward to racing the Hogback with Ana since I first learned that Adventure Capitalists were putting it on. Not only would the race be in a beautiful section of the Smoky Mountains, it would also include guided whitewater rafting as part of the prologue–awesome sauce!

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to work it out where Ana and I could go, and I was extremely bummed. Then, at the last minute, I was asked by Craig Sheriff if I’d like to race with him and Bill Dean. Why yes I would, thank you. And luckily for me, Ana was gracious enough to let me race it without her…what an angel!


Bill, Craig and I met at Quest Expeditions, race HQ, the afternoon before the race. I, having returned from Boston the night before, had a car full of unpacked gear and food and a bike that needed fixing.  All of which I had thrown into the car at the last minute.

At 4PM, we were given the map, a massive 1:24k scale squiggly lined monster that had more contour curves on it than this Florida boy had seen before. We were also given a sheet with UTM coordinates for every checkpoint, except those of the orienteering course, which would be plotted during the race.

We quickly scrambled to our hotel room at the Whitewater Inn to begin plotting CPs and trying to make route choices. Actually, Bill and Craig did this, I was still sorting out my crap.  We had to be back at Quest by 6pm for the prerace briefing, a team-building exercise and dinner. The prerace brief was quick and efficient and the team building exercise would determine the order of raft that the teams would be in for the start of the race. Josh Braun, the race director, had a great idea. One person from each team raced to pick up a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle in a ziploc bag and bring it to the rest of the team where they worked together to solve the puzzle with no image to work from. We quickly put together an image of a large rubber duck and ended up being the 2nd team finished. This put us in raft #2 the next day.


“I will not try to stand up in the Ocoee” our guide had us chant together prior to launching into the cold river leading to Class IV rapids that were once part of the ’96 Olympics. I had no intent of falling in the river at all, so I wedged my feet even harder into a crease of the inflatable raft.

Down the river we cruised, plunging through rapids with names like Smiley’s, Slam Dunk, Humongous and Godzilla before spilling out and hitting Edge of the World. Water sprayed everywhere as we crashed into wall after wall of whitewater. Most times I hate getting wet prior to an adventure race, but this was well worth it. We yelped, and hollered, and paddled and laughed a lot. This was by far, the best start to an AR that I have done! Our guide, Clay, from Quest Expeditions was very professional, well-trained, humorous and fun. I look forward to taking my whole family there and recreating the experience. Especially because I’m too dumb to figure out how to operate a GoPro and ended up recording the flattest part of the river trip rather that the most exciting. Bummer!

(More info on the rapids found here)

BIKE 1&2

Like drowned rats, we scrambled off our raft at TA1 to find our bikes and start Bike 1.  We flew south on I-64 and hit the Brush Creek Trails just south of the highway.

Craig led the navigation, and we nailed this section with Bill’s eagle eyes picking off the CPs visible from the trail.  We quickly made our way to TA2 where we transitioned to Bike 2 along the Tanasi Trail System, an IMBA Epic.

Tanasi Trail System

Many times I lit up my brakes crashing down the rocky, rooty trail but mostly it was an uphill slog that the race director aptly named Granny Gear.


For some reason CP14 gave us, and a few other teams, a lot of difficulty.  Josh had said that he expected mid-pack teams to be able to clear the course if their navigation was clean, so we weren’t eager to give up on this checkpoint.  We first stopped at a reentrant we thought was the correct one.  However, there were other teams there and they said that they didn’t find the CP, so we tried a different reentrant a little further down the road.  When we weren’t able to locate the CP, we went to a known intersection and backtracked to re-attack the CP.  It was getting frustrating.  We decided to attack one more time, using a straight section of the road as a marker, and this time we went right to the CP (off the reentrant we stopped at first).  Happy that we had found it and were still clearing the course, we headed off to TA3 and the beginning of the orienteering section.

 Foot 1

Well, this is where it all went to hell and it started with the very first checkpoint.  CP16 oh how I hate you!  Of course, we hit the o-course as it’s turning dark, which is never a good thing for me.  Those little orange and white markers are hard enough to find in the daytime, much less so at night.

We thought CP16 would be straight forward–hit the peak of the mound, keep going due west, cross an old trail and bam, there it is.  What we got was a big heap of NOPE!  I don’t think that I have ever ran into so many brier bushes in my life.  This was like trying to hug a porcupine and I had my RailRider Bushwacker Pants on (which are awesome but that’s a review for another day).  Anyway, we attacked the CP from the east, we even tried from the north, but in the end CP16 bested us with her prickly defenses and we wasted too much time on it…so much for clearing the course.

From CP16, things somewhat picked up, we were able to get CP17 without an issue.  However, finding the trail that led to CP18 was problematic.  We found a trail but then it seemed to disappear, or not go in the direction we wanted.  After awhile, and confirmation from another team that the trail did indeed exist, we found it.  This led us to CP18 and CP19 and by then we were done.  We realized we were sucking on the foot nav and headed off to the Bike 3 section where we hoped the nav would be easier.

Bike 3

Feeling somewhat defeated from the orienteering section, we hit Bike 3.  Craig again took the navigation and we cleaned this section without much difficulty except for the hills.  By now, my legs were about exhausted. The ups felt like forever and the downs were white knuckled descents of gravel, hairpin turns, and darkness.

Over and over again we blasted down gravel roads and I had to constantly remind myself to not brake in the middle of a turn.  This is also when I had my chaffing issue that we don’t need to discuss further other than to say a sock in the pants helps enhance one’s manliness and provide an extra barrier against chaffing.  What did you expect me to do, throw duct tape on it?

 Boat 1

You know, if there’s one thing I really like to do after spending almost 18 hours on a bike it’s sitting on a hard plastic canoe seat and paddling for 3-4 hours.  We launched our canoe shortly before sunrise right beside Team Ad House Adventure.

To be competitive in this race, we knew we would have to make some strategic decisions.  Craig suggested that we skip the closest 2 checkpoints and head towards the furthest CPs we thought we could get in the remaining time.  That way if we got pressed for time, we could make a last minute decision to skip CPs and race for the finish.

This section went really well.  Bill sat in the center and navigated us to the checkpoints without faltering, Craig kept falling asleep in the back and would almost fall into the water, and I paddled in the front barking at everyone to keep paddling. I like to think I was kindly cheering everyone on to victory, but you know, everyone’s got an opinion.  We wanted to be back on land by 9:45AM to give us ample time to get to the finish at 11AM and this meant that we scrapped the furthest checkpoint on Mitchell Hill.  In hindsight, I’m confident we could have cleared this section too.  We were paddling very strong, hitting 5MPH on the GPS.


After the boat, we just had to pick up two checkpoints on the race to the Finish.  We picked these up and rolled into the Finish after 22 hours and 46 minutes of racing.  My GPS logged 85.5 miles traveled with 9200 feet of elevation gained.  After the results were tallied, we ended up 2nd in the Open Division (yes, there were more than 2 teams in our division although the picture below doesn’t make it seem that way).

As a trophy, we were given these awesome, custom made Hogback AR coffee mugs from Forman Pottery.  They look amazing and my coffee has never tasted better.



This was an amazing race.  Josh and his team put together one of the most professional, well-organized races that I have been in.  The scenery was beautiful, the course was well laid out, the whitewater rafting prologue was epic.  I can’t say enough good things about this race.  The transition areas were well stocked, our gear was available on time, mid-race someone gave me a beer…I mean, it doesn’t get any better.  Well, you could have taken out those damn briers on CP16.  But, probably the most important thing I learned is that Josh can sing the complete Happy Birthday song without ever changing his pitch.  Honestly, it was like listening to Stephen Hawking sing it…amazing.

A big thanks to Josh and all the volunteers that made this race so successful.  We will DEFINITELY be back in 2016 and I’m bringing my amazing wife with me this time!


 24Hr Hogback AR GPS Track

(Yes, the GPS was approved, sealed in a bag and never visible during the race)



90 days until USARA Nationals and we just completed the first month of our new training cycle.  I’ll call it the easy month, although it never felt easy.  Our training plan has been based on Don Fink’s book, “IronFit Secrets for Half Iron-Distance Triathlon Success” but modified to fit adventure racing activities.


In Fink’s book, he has three workouts: The Competitive Program, The Intermediate Program, and the Just Finish Program. Given our commitments and available free time, we are doing the Intermediate Program with an average of 9.4 hours per week spent training and a max week of 11.8 hours.  Some of the changes we made were swapping the swimming workouts for canoeing and the road biking for either spin biking or mountain biking.  With two small boys, we don’t want to eat into our evening family time so our longest workout during the week is 1.5 hours with one long workout every Saturday.  This is very similar to what I did to prepare for the Blue Ridge Mountain AR and I felt well prepared for that event.

However, I’ve reluctantly come around to addressing nutrition. So, for month 2 of our 4-month plan we’ll start looking at food.  I’ve recently read Matt Fitzgerlad’s, “Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance” which has led me to his follow-on book, “Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes




I’m pretty sure that this is going to be the tougher month.  I don’t know why it is so hard to eat nutritious meals.  I guess it’s more of an issue of how convenient it is to eat bad meals.  Since I wasn’t sure if the first cookbook would have enough good stuff in it, I also ordered “The Runner’s World Cookbook.”  It was also highly recommended on Amazon.


What I really want is a cookbook that is 1 month of recipes, breakfast lunch and dinner with an attached weekly grocery list and calorie count/nutritional facts.  In other words, I don’t want to have to think about it.  Just tell me what to buy for the week and then give me daily recipes to follow.  Oh, and don’t include sweet potatoes…those things are disgusting.

If you’ve found a good workout or nutritional plan, I’d love to hear about it.  Post in the comments below.  And if you know of a good cookbook for athletes, post that as well. If you really want to know how our workout schedule is progressing, check out The Motivator box on the sidebar—>

It links to our training log on Attackpoint AR, training and competition logs for adventure athletes.

Lastly, if you want to check out these books, click on the links above and buy from Amazon.  They’ll send us a couple of nickels and that will go towards Nationals.



Teammates Wanted!

Finding good teammates is rather difficult. Not only do you have to find people committed to adventure racing, but candidates have to be a good fit physically and socially. Ideally, they would also live in the same area so that the team can train together.


We think that there are 3 main traits a good team member must have:

  1. Gotta have passion: If there is no passion for adventure racing then there is little commitment for it either. Given the time and money required to race, passion is paramount—which leads me to my other two traits.
  2. Gotta have time: Racing takes time. There is training time and racing time. Most sprint races are on a Saturday, which means we’re traveling Friday evening, racing on Saturday and traveling home Saturday evening. That makes for a pretty long couple of days, but it gets us back to our families sooner. We also train 6 days a week with weekday sessions lasting an hour and one long training session either Saturday or Sunday that can be from 2-5 hours long.
  3. Gotta have money: Adventure racing can be expensive, especially if you’re just starting out. There is gear to acquire to cover the multi-sport aspect and then there are race entry fees, transportation costs, hotel or camping costs, food, etc. We plan on one race per month and these races can cost between $50/person to $350/person. We typically limit ourselves to 1 or 2 expensive races per season. Lodging and travel costs are divided equally among the team members.


While the three items above may dissuade you from getting into adventure racing, let me be the first to encourage you to give it a try. For us, there is no other sport like adventure racing. I have tried to describe it, but my words never capture the essence of it. It is something that you have to try and then decide for yourself. All I can tell you is that we were hooked from our very first race. The combination of the physical and mental challenge mixed with team dynamics, the beauty of the natural environment and exploration of the unknown are what makes these more experiences than races.

Intrigued? Want to give it a try? We’re looking for teammates. We are not Ironman fit podium placers. Ideally, we are mid-pack finishers but sometimes we fall short of that goal as well. If you’d like to know what we’re about, check out our Team Creed. If you’d like to train or race with us, drop us an email at

Florida Xtreme – Reunion with Rice Creek AR

Rice Creek

 We came in 1st!

Out of the 57 teams that came and raced the Florida Xtreme, Reunion with Rice Creek Adventure Race, we absolutely dominated the competition.  The 2nd place team didn’t even finish until 45 minutes behind us.  Go check out the FLXAdventures website for the latest race results and it’ll show how we obliterated the pack!  What’s that you say, there are no results posted on the FLX website.  Hmm, funny that.  Well, you’ll just have to take my word for it then…guess you should have been there.


Actually, the term “Guess you should have been there” was what I was thinking throughout the entire race.  Really, you should have been there.  When FLX announced that they were going to host an AR on remote and unused portions of the Sea to Sea race and that they were limiting it to only 20 teams, I was up at the crack of dawn on registration day to make sure that Team Disoriented would be one of those 20.  I then waited for the race to sell out, but it never did.  In fact, only 6 teams registered for this race.  Six!  So, my initial fear that we wouldn’t be able to register for the race turned into fear that they would cancel it.  Ana and I hadn’t done an AR since October 2014 and we were itching to do one.  Luckily, it wasn’t cancelled and we were rewarded with a beautiful day for racing with temps in the low 80’s and no rain.  You should have been there.

Race maps and descriptions (to be posted)

Bike to Boat

The race started off with a quick bike section where we had to pick up 2 of 4 controls on the way to the boat TA.  It didn’t matter which two, but it was a strategic choice.  3 out of 4 CPs were on the way, but the other one (CP3) required an out and back.  With fresh legs for biking, we opted to go for CP3 and then CP4.  Plus, CP1 was placed high in a tree and racers were getting delayed as they waited their turn to climb the tree and punch it.

 Boat 1

Rice Creek is a very shallow creek that twists and turns through primeval marshland.  We went slow on this section, allowing other teams to go ahead of us and scare away the water moccasins and gators.  Yep, that’s why we were slow…seriously!  With all the turns in the creek, and having to portage over partially submerged logs, it was difficult for me to keep track of distances and we struggled finding CP5.  Once we found it, I fine tuned our canoe navigation.  And by that I mean that I thought, “Boy, it took us much longer than I imagined to get to CP5.  It’ll probably take us even longer to get to CP6.” Yep, that’s about as in-depth as my navigating/orienteering skills in a canoe go.


Almost to CP9 (the last CP on the boat section) we got passed by 3 teams heading back to the take out.  So, we’re thinking that we’re in 4th place.  But, at the boat take out we learned that one team decided to portage from the power lines close to CP9 all the way back to the take out.  Yeah, that’s right, over 2 miles of carrying a canoe.  Ana would have to beat me with an oar to carry a canoe for 2 miles.

Back at the Boat TA, we grab our bikes and raced to pick up the two CPs that we left.  This is when we found out that Sonia from Dead Reckoning went all Evel Knievel off the Rice Creek Bridge on their way to CP3.


Luckily, Sonia just missed landing on a cypress knee–those roots that stick straight up 1-2 feet and look like little stalagmites.  Undaunted by her test of gravity and hard surfaces, Sonia brushed herself off and continued the race.  Below is a pic of the Rice Creek bridge in case you wanted to imagine launching yourself off of that.


Bike to Foot 1 TA

From the Start/Finish TA, we were to bike to Foot 1 TA picking up either CP10 or CP11 on the way.  We decide to get CP10 and I made the mistake of biking the Florida Trail (red dashed lines) instead of the parallel forest road (red solid line).  Damn maps and their symbols.  Luckily, I realized that we needed to be on the forest road instead and we bailed from the trail just north of CP10.   After finding CP10, we bike-whacked to the hard-pack road (dark red solid line) and raced on to Picknick Table.  At Picknick table we were given the option of doing either Foot 1 or continuing on bike to Foot 2.  Not being able to process options on the fly, we decided to stick with our plan and do Foot 1.


Foot 1

At Foot 1 we’re told that we will be given UTM coordinates and we’ll need to plot the CPs on a new map.  UTM stands for Universal Transverse Mercator, which I believe is latin for WTF, but you’ll have to verify that.  I’ve never had to plot UTM for an AR before so I was a little nervous about making a mistake, which I did, but that’s not something we need to talk about.  After plotting the coordinates we were off.  We also had to collect CP10 again on foot which was cool because we already knew where it was.  It also allowed us to take a few minutes to locate CP11, since it was on the same trail along the way to CP10, and we knew we’d have to get it on the race back to the finish line.  We did Foot 1 counterclockwise and didn’t have too many problems locating the CPs.  CP13 gave us a little trouble mainly because the scenery was awesome and I got distracted looking around and lost my pace count.  I did get to see a wild pig though.  The best part was that the CP was inside of a dead cypress and Ana had to crawl in it to punch the control.  During this section we were just behind Nature Calls and got in a couple of their videos:

 Bike to Foot 2

Back at Picknick, before we could bike to Foot 2, we had to run to the Rice Creek Hilton and write our team names in the log book kept in a mailbox.11188480_925744807477365_9114689554283531119_n

Once we did that, we had to run back to Picknick and start a fire using a magnesium fire starting tool that we were given at the beginning of the race.  Having two small boys and being a fan of survival shows, we were pretty fast on this task and it helped us creep up from 3rd to 2nd.


Biking to Foot 2 we kept running into Team Jax as they were leading the pack.  They would be coming back from a control as we were just going for it.  We also knew that Nature Calls was closing in on our heels and since some teams opted to do Foot 2 before Foot 1, we weren’t really sure what place we were in and how close the other teams were.  CP19 and CP20 we picked up on bike and then headed onto the Florida National Scenic Trail to pick up CP21 and CP22.  This portion of the trail is beautiful marshland with small raised walking platforms that allows you to traverse it without getting mucky.


After clearing Foot 2, we raced back to the Start/Finish TA but had to first check in at Picknick TA and then grab CP11 on the way.  We flew through Picknick TA and Craig or John or somebody, I wasn’t really looking, yelled that Team Jax was just in front of us.  We were racing to catch them and to get CP11.  Having already scoped out the location of CP11, we knew where to go.  I ran into the woods, punched CP11 and popped out just in time to see Off in the Woods right behind us.  Damn!  Where did they come from!  Now, I was concerned about another team passing us right at the end.  We bike-whacked east through some of the muckiest, rutted marsh to the hard-pack road and flew to the finish.  Team Jax had already come in, beating us by 8 minutes or so.  To the winners go the spoils and Team Jax walked away with 2 sweet MS-1 packs from Out There.  Yep, you should have been there!


For a video recap of the race, check out Manny’s video…blatantly stolen by me.

A big thanks to Florida Xtreme for putting on this race.  Craig did an amazing job laying out the course.  In fact, this was our favorite short course so far (less than 24 hours).  The controls were placed in amazing locations requiring us to go inside of a cedar tree, traverse logs that stretched across streams, and climb trees to punch controls.  The location was remote, rugged, and beautiful.  Best of all, the duration of each event was spot on.  There was a perfect mix of bike, foot and canoe without any one section taking so long that we lost interest.  We got to plot UTM coordinates for the first time and the additional surprises of the fire-starting task and the sprint to the mailbox made the race really interesting.  Best of all, socializing with fellow racers, volunteers and race directors at the finish line.

You should have been there!

Team Disoriented’s Creed:

I just got back from volunteering at the Florida Sea to Sea 72 Hour Adventure Race where I saw 30 teams competing in possibly the toughest adventure race in the southeast.  As a volunteer, I was able to see many different team dynamics and it got me thinking about our team and specifically our guiding principles or creed.  I think it’s important that teams have guiding principles so that team members know what to expect from each other.  Some teams are in it to win it at all costs, which is fine so long as every teammate is on the same page.  Anyway, here is our creed:


I am here for my teammates and my teammates are here for me.

This is a team sport in its purest form.  There will be times when my teammates will need to rely heavily on me and times when the roles will be reversed.  In the middle of the night, deep in the back country swamp lands, suffering from hypothermia, I want you to know that I will be there to help you in any way that I can.  And I need to trust that you will do the same for me.  If it’s only about you, then maybe you should stick to triathlons.


We train as friends, we race as friends, and we finish as friends.

There are no large prize monies or accolades to be gained from winning an adventure race.  There are no lucrative contracts, no immortalization on Sports Illustrated, so there is no race worthy of losing a friendship.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t want to push ourselves to our limits, we do.  The challenge is what drives us.  It also doesn’t mean that we won’t get angry at each other at times, because that happens too.  It just means that there should be some threshold that we don’t pass.  We don’t want to reach the point that our friendship becomes jeopardized.  We may not remain teammates, but we should leave every race as we started it, as friends.


We race the course and not other teams.

We’re not here to beat other team.  Adventure racers are some of the coolest people around, they’re active, they’re outgoing, they’re risk takers, they’re usually sociable. Most of them are probably people we’d like to get to know better and hang out with.  Why then, would we take a cut-throat attitude about beating other teams?  Why celebrate at another team’s loss? What if we did beat Team Ultimate Adventure Racers United.  No one on this planet cares, no one.  Unless of course that team is composed of a bunch of smack-talking assholes, then yes, we do want them to lose and so does everyone else.


We race at the speed of fun.

It’s not always fun.  In fact, having to “embrace the suck” leads to some of the most memorable moments.  But, at the end of the day I always want to walk away with the feeling that it was fun.  Sometimes I have to dig really deep to admit that it was fun, sometimes I need a few beers to numb the pain before anything fun comes to mind.  But, in the end, adventure racing should always be one notch higher on the fun meter than the suck meter.  And, if I’m not having fun, it’s usually my own fault and I need to change my attitude about something, or eat another GU pack.


There’s no quit in here.

I don’t want to quit and I don’t want you to quit either.  I want us to train hard and to race harder.  I want us to leave it all on the course and come across the finish line running on fumes.  And if I can’t make it across the finish line then I want you to grab my stinking carcass and pull me across the finish line.  I want to train hard for my teammates and I want them to train hard for the team.  If we’ve prepared ourselves as best as possible, given our real-life constraints and commitments, then well do as best as we can do and that’s all that we can ask of each other.


I’d love to hear from any of you on your own guiding principles…post a comment.

We’re going to Nationals!

Team Disoriented is going to the USARA Adventure Race National Championship!


What!  That’s right folks, we’re going to Nationals.  One of the goals that I had for our team this year was to qualify for the USARA Adventure Race National Championship.  USARA sponsors regional adventure races throughout the year and teams that place high enough at one of these events gets invited to race the nationals.  We performed well enough at one of the races to qualify and we’re super excited, and nervous.


Many of the top adventure racing teams in North America will be at the USARA Nationals.  We, of course, will not be competing at their level.  But, it will be exciting to be in a race with so many high performing teams.  Did I mention we were nervous?  Yep, it’s going to be pretty tough and it will really test the limits of our skills (we’ve got skills, right?) .  But, ultimately, these races are done for the experience of getting out and testing ourselves, seeing some amazing scenery and meeting some of the coolest people around…like us!


Just by participating, we’ve already won.  Yeah, I know, cheesy right.  But, it’s true.  We race against ourselves and against the course, not against other teams.  Which is good because other teams just blow us away.

The race takes place at Pine Mountain State Resort Park in Kentucky.  I’ve heard rumors that they have mountains.  We’ll see how this flat-land Florida team handles those.  There is a 30-hour cutoff time for all teams, and I’m sure we’ll need every minute, and more, to complete it.  The setting is going to be spectacular and it’s close enough that we can make the drive in a day.


Anyway, we don’t have time now to keep chit-chatting with all of you, we got some training to do.  Plus, I gotta go figure out what this UTM thingy is.  By the way, you may have noticed a Donate button on the right side bar (yeah you can’t pretend to ignore it now).  We hate to be beggars, but the Nationals are going to cost a pretty penny, and a lot of ugly one’s too, so if you like the site and want to contribute to the team going to nationals, we’d truly appreciate it.


Mo’ Pain…Rogaine!

Our first Florida Xtreme Adventures event was the Rogaine Ocala , an 8-hour race that had us on foot for over 26.7 miles.  Some of those miles were ran a couple of times because I got a little disoriented, but what’s new.  Click on the map below to follow the action

Rogaine Map Small

Check in started at 7AM, we were handed our map, passport, and I committed my first mistake almost instantly.  Ana and I have never done a Rogaine before, so before the race I checked out a few blogs to get an idea of what to expect.  A rogaine is basically the foot/nav section of an adventure race.  You’re given a list of checkpoints, a map, and a finish time.  You’re job is to collect as many checkpoints in an alloted time as possible.  The order of collection and path is up to you.


Pre-race planning time is always nerve-racking for me.  I never feel like I know what I’m doing, unlike the guys below.  Look at the Canyoneros, just chillin’ before the race.  They’ve got chairs, a lantern, even a floor mat.  They probably have coffee brewing somewhere too.


So, I get the map and the first thing I do is highlight all the CPs so I don’t miss one.  What I didn’t realize though is that there were more CPs on the map than on the passport. Come to find out, it’s a two-stage race where after completing the first stage, we return to the Start/Finish and grab a second passport.  Once I figure this out, I try to “erase” the highlighter marks on the CPs that are not on the first stage and come up with a path plan.


At 8AM Ron yells out, Go! and people start dashing off into the woods.  We’re rushing to not get left behind and start bushwhacking to catch up with the other racers that I assumed were on the trail we want.  Come to find out, they weren’t on any trail at all, they were bushwhacking to their first checkpoint (probably 31).  I realize the mistake I’ve made and we start heading east to CP33.  Of course, I’m ticked at myself for feeling pressured to keep up with other teams.  We had come out to practice navigation and right out the gate I want to start following others.  Race starts always put me in a frenzy until I truly get my bearing and find the first CP or two.  It’s hard, being an amateur, to not follow the more experienced teams.


We find CP33 with little trouble and then realize that CP33 is not a checkpoint on the first stage.  I had forgotten to erase it and now we had wasted time trying to find it.  Three mistakes right off the bat and we hadn’t found our first CP yet.  Not a good start at all.  The good news is that after the bad start, we actually did pretty well for the rest of the first stage.  We found all of the checkpoints with little trouble.  What was really fun was that we didn’t end up running into another team that was looking for the same CPs as us.  We’ve been in races were lots of teams were looking for the same CPs at the same time, and it gets pretty boring.  We cleared the first stage in 5Hrs and 13 minutes.  I have no idea if that is a good time or not.


Back at the S/F, we get our second stage passport and start route planning.  Then I see Team Night Owls, who came in after us, leaving to go out.  Well, if they’re just going to grab their map and head out, then so will we.  And look, CP33 is on this stage and we know where it is, right?  As we head off to CP33, Ron Eaglin comes up from behind and takes a few photos before heading out to CP33 to get some pics of teams locating that checkpoint.  We see where Ron goes in, but it isn’t where we decided to attack the CP from and so we keep going.  When we get to our attack point, we take a bearing and head in.  I can see Ron sitting behind palmettos but for some reason I don’t go over there.  I don’t know if he’s being tricky or if he’s sitting on the CP.  Of course, he’s sitting on the CP and I feel like a dumb ass for not just going over there.  In the end, he got a good laugh at our inexperience and we got a good team photo 🙂


We knew we were running short on time so we made an abbreviated plan, trying to pick up CP33, 34, 54, 76, and a few more that I can’t remember.   Since I seem to have misplaced my map I can’t recall what our original plan was, but I’m sure it was stupendous.  It doesn’t really matter because after getting 54, we crashed and burned trying to get 76.  I lost my bearing when we hit on a trail while bushwhacking south, and I then spent 40 minutes trying to regain it.  I couldn’t figure out what trail we were on, which is pretty stupid in hindsight.  Oh well, we had to ditch 76 and could only pick up CP55 before heading back.


We ended up finishing the Rogaine Ocala in 11th out of 18 teams, collected 19 out of 28 CPs and covered 26.7 miles in 7 hours and 39 minutes.  More importantly we had a blast and discovered a new event that we definitely look forward to doing in the future.  If you haven’t tried a rogaine yet, go do it.  You’ll have a great time and meet some truly awesome people.


Rogaine Ocala here we come.



Nope, not that kind of Rogaine.  More like the, “pay money to go run and get lost in the woods for 8 hours” Rogaine.  Confused, yeah so are we.  We haven’t done one before but we’re actually pretty excited about it.  We figure it will give us a chance to practice our navigation skills, which are dearly lacking.  Most importantly, it will give us a chance to reconnect with our adventure racing friends that we haven’t seen for a long time.

So, my friend, slick back that comb-over and come get lost with us in the woods.  More info can be found here: Florida Extreme Rogaine Ocala and tell them Team Disoriented referred you…we’ll gladly take the race credits 😉

TA 1 Podcast

I just ran across TA 1 Adventure Racing Podcast, everything you ever wanted to know about Adventure Racing…and then some.  Interviews with cool people in the adventure race world.  I’ve listened to a couple of podcasts by Randy and they’re really informative, entertaining, and put together well.

If you’re an AR Junkie like me, check it out here: or click the image below.


You can also check it out on Facebook:


Tell them Team Disoriented sent you.  He won’t know who you’re talking about, but that’s half the fun 😉