Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Team

Over the summer (2012) I was searching the internet for one of those “mudder races” to compete in.  Along the way, I found the website for Pangea Adventure Racing and quickly decided that running, biking, and paddling while navigating through the woods sounded far more interesting than crawling through mud, climbing walls, and being shocked with hundreds of other people.  I sent an email to several friends who might be interested and three agreed it was something they would like to do.

After struggling to find a race in which we we could all compete we settled on Resolution AR in Clermont, Florida held on January 19, 2013.  Due to scheduling problems and an injury, the team was narrowed to me, David Hill, and Jeff Bates, and we took on the name Running on Empty.
Jeff is an experienced endurance athlete with triathlons, marathons, and ultramarathons under his belt. I had little recent endurance experience, but after 18 months of daily Crossfit training and about 15-20 miles a week of running I was in pretty good shape for a 51 year old.

Given that neither one of us had any experience navigating with a map and compass we spent three weekends practicing on a Florida Orienteering course at Kelly Park near Apopka, Florida. Jeff was obviously a very strong runner, and I was improving rapidly, so we decided we would do nothing to prepare for the running section of the race other than our normal weekly running.  We would, however,  need to practice trail riding and canoeing.  Given the holidays and our busy lives we were able to get in one trail ride at a local mountain biking trail and two brief canoe trips.  In all our preparation for our first race was three visits to the orienteering course, one 7 mile trail ride, and two canoe sessions.  Ready or not we would compete in the Resolution AR.

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