There’s a new race in town and it’s called the Cauldron, a 36-Hr race. I don’t have much information on it other than it is being hosted by Off the Grid Racing and it’s in Hawthorne, FL Click on the links below to check them out. I am not affiliated with this race or the race director, I’m just happy to see new adventure races being added in the southeast.
One of the biggest, baddest adventure races has returned–Primal Quest. This 7-day, 400+ mile race was one of the premier races back in the days when Eco-Challenge set the world ablaze with adventure racing.
Needless to say, I’m super excited for this event and I can only hope that it kindles a resurgence in adventure racing. I only wish I had $4k to register Ana and myself, oh and the physical ability to survive the race. But, those are small details.
I just created a public map where Adventure Racers can post their location and see if there are other racers in their area. Check it out and please add yourself. There is also a layer for adding race locations, if you’re feeling super productive. Let me know if you encounter any issues accessing or editing the map. The link to the map is on the top navigation menu or you can click the link below.
With the Arctic Blast bearing down on much of the country, it’s a little too cold for this Florida boy to go out and train. So, what I like to do is go to my YouTube Channel and put on an Adventure Racing video while I work out on the treadmill or stationary bike. Unfortunately, I don’t have a rowing machine yet to complete the tri-sport training set.
Anywho, some of the videos are not in english, which is okay since I usually mute the sound and put on some jams (yep, I grew up in the 90’s). Try it, you’ll like it. If you come across any other AR videos on the web, let me know as I’d love to link to them.
You can also go directly to the playlist from the Inspiration page tab in the navigation bar above ^^^
If you don’t feel like you’re going to throw up after finishing a marathon, then you didn’t run fast enough. In my mind, marathons are not supposed to be social events where participants are the main performers in a parade for their honor. Instead, they are gut-wrenching, muscle-straining exhibitions of one’s mental fortitude and desire to endure against their body’s need to quit.
Okay, maybe that’s a little overboard. But, for me, a marathon is not about having fun or enjoying the journey, although there is definitely some joy in the first few miles. Rather, the allure of a marathon is that it is a painful experience. An experience where sacrifices are made just getting to the starting line in race-ready form. One where participants train for months in preparation. The harder the achievement of the goal, the more satisfying the attainment. If it were easy, if it were fun, then the joy of accomplishment, or the sorrow of failure, wouldn’t be as great. And that really, is the point.
Anyone can amble their body 26.2 miles and slap a sticker on their car’s bumper, but it’s not the mileage that matters. It’s pushing yourself beyond the point of despair to cross that finish line in as little time as you are physically capable of that matters. It’s hitting the wall at mile 23, fighting the cramping legs and the heaving gut, gathering yourself for that final 3.2 mile assault. It’s about believing in yourself at mile 25 that no matter what, you will accomplish the goal you set out. Maybe you won’t make the cut-off time that you set for yourself, that’s okay. What matters most is performing to your upmost on that one day. Giving the best that you can and leaving nothing in the tank as you cross the finish line. It’s about looking like shit when they take that picture of you crossing the finish line and loving that ugly picture because it shows that you gave it your all.
Sometimes I think that we want things too easy and in so, we lessen the experience. There is adventure and awareness in adversity. There is personal discovery in difficulties. So, I encourage you to register for a marathon and to set a few goals for yourself.
My personal goals for the 2014 Space Coast Marathon were to:
1. Complete a marathon
2. Complete it in under 4hrs – Threshold
3. Complete it in under 3:45 – Objective
4. Complete it in 3:30 – Stretch goal
I didn’t make my 4th goal. By mile 23 I was at the point of exhaustion, fighting nausea and leg cramps. I was heartbroken as I watched my pace leader run off in the distance. I had carried an 8 minute mile pace for 23 miles and in the last 3.2 miles I couldn’t muster the strength to make my cutoff time. I struggled to keep from vomiting, knowing that if I just kept moving and got some fluids in me that I would cross the finish line. Maybe not in the time I wanted, but in the best time I could make that day. Four months of training had come down to this moment and I wasn’t going to make my goal, I was devastated. It took some time to accept the truth, but then I realized that my goals were self-imposed. Nobody cared what time I finished, only me. But, what I cared most about was training hard and preparing myself for this race and then performing the best I could that day.
So, if you’ve ever considered doing a marathon, do it. But, don’t be a pansy about it. Set some goals, make them hard ones, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make them all. It’s okay. Be proud of what you do accomplish. Most people can’t run for 26.2 miles. Most people don’t have the self-discipline to train for 4 months to get ready for a marathon. But, in the end, you’re not competing against most people, you’re only competing against yourself. So, believe in yourself and if you’ve fought the good fight, be proud your success.
We need your help! That’s right, all 3 of you that read this blog, we need your help. My running soundtrack has become stale and I need to get a good playlist for the marathon. So, take a second and try to think of 5 songs that you must have on your mp3 player when you work out and post them in the comments section.
Here are my 5 in no particular order:
1. Jet, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”
A little old but still kicks ass…kinda like me 😉
2. All Time Low, “Weightless”
…and i’m over getting older. Nuf said.
3. American Authors, “Best Day of My Life”
Reminds me of training with Stu. Miss you man! Even though you don’t read my blog, ya b@sturd
4. American Authors, “Hit It”
So, I’m an American Authors fan, so what.
Hilltop Hoods, “The Hard Road”
Ana doesn’t care for it, but I love it!
alright, one more ’cause it’s fun…
New Politics, “Harlem”
Shake it like a bad girl up in Harlem! How can you not like lyrics like that!
Do it, do it now. Take 5 minutes and give me your 5 favorite workout/running songs.
I’m having serious withdrawals from adventure racing. For some unknown reason I got this stupid wonderful idea that I wanted to run a marathon. Ana had already ran a full and together we had completed a half-marathon, but I felt that I needed to do a full marathon to mark it off the list. Well, I can tell you that I am regretting that decision. Marathon training consists of lots and lots of running…go figure. We got this book, Four months to a 4-hour Marathon and we’ve been using it to train for the Space Coast Marathon
The book is fine, it describes a basic running program that will get you geared up for running a marathon. But the training, my god, can it get more boring. Hey big fella, I got a great way for you to spend your Saturdays, go run 13 miles, oh and next Saturday go run 15 miles and the next Saturday after that, well just go out and run 17 miles. Good luck finding a 17 mile route that has anything interesting to look at. Nope, just go pound the pavement in suburbia, check out your neighbors grass, and come back in 2.5 hours. So far, our longest run has been 17 miles. Ana did it on a treadmill. I would rather poke myself in the eye with a flaming stick and wash it out with alcohol then spend 17 miles on a treadmill. I don’t know how she did it.
I don’t know how the Ultrarunners do it. 50 miles, 100 miles of running/walking down a trail…not unless there’s a Krispy Kreme and Starbucks after every 5 miles. Nope, I’ll take my adventure racing, where the course isn’t laid out for you, where there is running, mountain biking, canoeing, dodging alligators, battling water moccasins, getting lost, sometimes crying, always raining, always against the wind, always uphill, always an adventure. You can keep that boring running shit for yourself.
The long anticipated Team Disoriented YouTube Channel is now online. Check out https://www.youtube.com/user/TeamDisoriented for all of our latest race videos, gear reviews and most importantly, links to other adventure racing channels. I have also created a playlist of professional adventure racing videos.
I like to watch these for inspiration when I’m trudging along on the treadmill. If you know of any good adventure racing videos or YouTube channels you think I should link to, please leave a comment or send me an email.
I look forward to adding more content in the future. Stay tuned.
Can you believe that we actually made it to our first Adventure Race with time to spare? Yep, it’s true. We actually arrived early for the 2014 Coosa River Challenge in Wetumpka, AL. Probably helped that it was only 3.5 hrs away and there wasn’t a time change. Race check-in started at 4PM at the Coosa River Adventures with a pre-race dinner starting at 6PM. That’s right, dinner! Chicken breasts with wild rice, pasta, dinner rolls and steamed veggies. Oh and did I forget to mention the ice cold beer on tap. Boom, someone knows how to get a party started right.
Not only that, but they had live entertainment too. Jason Givens from Montgomery came out to play and he sounded fantastic. Checkout his website and sample his music. I think you’ll be impressed.
It was a beautiful night to hang out with good friends, eat good food, listen to good music and talk about the adventure race to come. Hats off Coosa, you started this off right!
This was going to be our first race with my buddy Lacy and his friend Jamal. This was going to be their first Adventure Race, and Jamal just bought his mountain bike 2 days prior to the race, so we knew it was going to be a true adventure.
Saturday morning we met at the Gold Star park for a pre-race briefing and a short bus ride to the race start. One of the cool things about the Coosa River Challenge is that they start you off in one of three groups: the “In it to win it” group, the “Competitive but shoes won’t be smoking group” and a 3rd group that I can’t think of the name, but I’m sure it was witty. We were in the competitive group which meant we wouldn’t be trampled by the kids with the pumped up kicks.
The race started with a 3-3.5 mile trail run. Jamal led the way with an 8:30/mile pace and we were feeling pretty good. After a couple of miles of running, we had our first challenge, The Egg Carry, where we had to use a spoon to carry an egg as we went over then under ropes stretched across a bridge. No eggs were hurt during our traverse and we quickly finished up the challenge and the rest of the foot section. The run ended at the starting location and we transitioned to mountain biking. And here’s where the magic began. During the foot section, we passed a good handful of teams, but we gave the lead right back to them on the bike section.
Lacy was the dominator on this section of the race. He bounded over the course but then had to wait for the rest of us to catch up. I never considered us to be bad mountain bikers, but I bet many of the teams behind us considered us to be bad mountain bikers. Perhaps if someone could take out a few of the rocks and roots and perhaps lessen the steepness of some of the uphills then we’d do alright. In our defense, there just aren’t that many hills in Florida to practice on. We tried to pull over and let faster teams through. At one point I think there must have been 8 riders behind us waiting to pass. Our slow train chugged along the trail and we counted the miles until we got to finish the biking section. Truthfully, the single track was amazingly fun and I can’t wait to go up there and ride it again.
After the mountain bike section, we ran down to the river to start the kayak leg. Since there was not going to be a rappelling or bouldering section, the race committee thought it would be “fun” to give us our kayaks and paddles on one side of the river but not allow us to use them until we swam them across the river. You ever try swimming with a life jacket on while pulling a kayak. Words can’t describe how much “fun” I was having. Actually words can describe it, not very nice words.
Once we swam our kayaks across the river, we had to scramble to the top of a boulder and leap off it before being able to kayak down the river. First, I don’t like heights. Second, I really don’t like jumping from anything high. Third, I really don’t like it when the safety guy is telling me to, “make sure you really jump out far because it ain’t too deep unless you get out a ways.” Now, I don’t know how high this rock is but I can tell you that once I jumped I had enough time to think, “Oh Crap!!! This thing is really high…wow it’s higher than I thought…wonder when I’ll hit the water…hmm i’m not so scared anymo SPLASH!!”
After the jump of death, we got in our kayaks and set off down the river. Since there wasn’t an orienteering section in this race, the organizers had us stopping along the river at certain locations where they posted signs guiding us to the next point. The first stop was Blue Mushroom Island where a map directed us to kayak upstream around an island and then downstream to Dead Beaver Island. Let me tell you, paddling upstream against the Coosa River current at this particular location was impossible. When we rounded the corner to head upstream, there were 3 or 4 teams in front of us, pointed into the current paddling as hard as they could and going nowhere. It was comical. To cross this particular section we all ended up jumping off our kayaks and walking across the channel. Luckily, it was only thigh deep, but it was grueling walking up current pulling our kayaks. We rounded the corner and could get back on our kayaks and head downstream.
On the way to Dead Beaver Island, we had to go through Moccasin Gap, the only Class III rapids on the Coosa. Check out this pamphlet that describes the river and rapids.
Lacy and Jamal hadn’t kayaked in years, if ever, and here we were throwing them into Class III rapids, cue evil laughing BWAHAHAHA! After Ana and I ran the rapids, we would turn the boat around and wait for Lacy and Jamal to run the rapids hoping for a capsize…I mean to cheer them on. Unbelievably, they crushed Moccasin Gap.
But then they capsized on the Pipeline, a smaller Class II rapid further down the river. Downstream we went, on towards Dead Beaver Island where they had us get off the kayaks and run to a spot where we had to crawl through a pipe that was 3/4 submerged in muddy water…yum! Back on the boats, we headed to our next checkpoint where we got to do some CrossFit games; monkey bars, log run, and 20 box jumps.
Back on the boat one more time and our next stop had us doing a small jog to a set of obstacles; a balance beam crossing, a wooden pyramid climb, and scaling an 8 foot high Berlin Wall. After these obstacles we went back in the water but this time without our boats. Instead they had us swim the final leg, passing under the bridge and ending in Gold Star Park. I have never known Ana to be a swimmer but on this section she was gone. I was doing everything I could to catch up to her but every time I did, she just took off again. There I was banging up my knees on the submerged rocks scrambling to catch up and she’s sailing down the river offering advice to me on how to go faster. What a sweetheart!
On to the finish line and a post-race reception at Gold Star Park where Ms. Lew Sievers and Ms. Muriel Belmont had provided sandwiches, fruit, Gatorade and cookies for all the race participants and volunteers. Thank you ladies!
For this race, they group your team by combined age and have 2 divisions 0-79 and 80+. Since we’re both in our f..f..f..forties 😦 we fell into the 80+ group and got 2nd place. On stage, we received our awards, two very nice hand painted tiles. We weren’t out racing for results in this challenge. Since this was Lacy’s and Jamal’s first race, we just wanted to make sure that everyone had a great time, which we did. You can check out all the race results here:
I can’t recommend this race enough. It was an awesome experience. The race committee did a great job laying out the course. The volunteers were excellent. The pre- and post-race were top notch. We loved the mix of events. We only wish that they would have been able to keep the rappel and bouldering and I really wish they had an orienteering section. Other than those small gripes, this is an A+ event and we plan on going next year as well. Hope to see you there.