In the early morning of a sunny Saturday, 20 pairs of adventurers took the start of the Adventure Race, a 3.75-mile run, a 2-mile canoe and a 6.25-mile mountain bike course in the lush forest of Lake Wauburg South Shore. Along the way, each team’s strength and wisdom were put to the test through various challenges.
The mosquitoes were thirsty and the adventurers were restless, jumping over roots, avoiding crawling creatures and making their way through fresh mud. After a briefing and course walk led by the race directors, Andy Karch and Steven Whitman, the adventurous partners began their race at the sound of the gun.
The first two laps of the run were fierce as competitors fought to position themselves early in the race before the first challenge. Toward the end of the second lap, the first challenge had to be successfully completed to pursue the adventure. A minimum of eight riddles (out of 12) had to be correctly answered. A wrench was thrown at the participants as mosquitoes were invited to the party and enjoyed some fresh (and sweaty) human delicacies, while participants attempted to solve the brainteasers. Upon completion of the challenge, participants completed a third running lap.
It was with heavy legs and a desire to sit down for a bit, that the pairs swiftly put on their life jackets, grabbed their paddles, picked a canoe and off on the water they went. The water was calm and sun was blistering. The challengers rowed to the buoy, where a cue was awaiting them. After making their way back to shore and setting foot on the beach, with heavy arms, participants rushed to the orienteering maze before jumping on their bikes.
The maze required precision, focus and speed. Armed with an orienteering compass, participants had to find the position of various objects scattered around the maze. While the task seemed easy at first, the challenge turned out to be a game-changer for several teams who found themselves stuck and had to run laps around the maze to discover which object(s) were incorrectly located.
After finding their way out, the bike portion started. Before crossing the finish line, each team had to complete five laps through the lush forest, sinuous trails, sharp turns, muddy downhill and steep climbs. On their first bike lap, contestants completed the third challenge, which required them to inflate two balloons and transfer them, without hands touching the balloons, to the other side of the transfer zone. Interesting techniques were used to avoid having to do drills and start over if one of the balloons was to escape.
An uneventful second lap was completed before partners could tackle their fourth special test, in the middle of lap 3. This time, partners needed to create two stacks of marshmallows by using two straws, strategically placed in their mouths. With extreme dexterity and drooling mouths, the pyramids were completed (and devoured in some cases) and the final lap was completed. But before the adventurous pairs could cross the finish line, at the end of lap 5, their team synergy was put to the test as a blindfolded partner had to be led through a maze, garnished with dangerous rubber chickens, foam noodles and ropes. Upon successfully completing this final challenge, the partners rushed together, hand in hand, to the finish.
Then the competitors faced a critical time. The teams had to decide whether they had enough strength to climb the 55-foot climbing wall to deduce some time off their finish time and hopefully make their way up in the ranking. With a choice of an easy, moderate or hard route, the adventurous souls completed this epic Adventure Race.
After working hard and surviving the punishing course, participants were offered refreshment and sustenance. Massages from the RecSports Massage Therapy team were also provided to relieve the adventurers sore muscles.
In conclusion of the event, prizes and other goodies were handed out to the top 3 teams in each category (men's, women's, co-ed's).
By looking at the smiles and muddy silhouettes, this Adventure Race was a success! Thank you everyone who participated, volunteered, spectated and organized. See you next year for another adventure time!