Sep 2, 2008
Coast Raid Race Report
August 21-24 2008
4 days, 300km
Lower North Shore of Quebec, CAN
Team Yogaslackers: 1st place mixed team of 4
Left Vancouver BC 8am August 18: Arrive Blanc Sablon August 20 4pm
12 hrs of flying (2 planes)
2 ferries: 9 hrs
approx 30 hrs of driving: 1 state and 4 provinces
8 hrs sleeping in a park in Sidney Nova Scotia
Lots of Nuun/U, PB and J, wheat thin crackers and tim hortons
Music, sleeping, movies and random ramblings
I will only touch the surface of these stages as it is difficult to put into words what exactly happens throughout a race...its personal, unique to each team and just so amazing and touching that words just can;t capture the true essence of it all...so enjoy what words I do provide along with pics and imagination.....
The Towns of the Lower North Shore out did themselves by opening their doors for us racers. We were welcomed into their schools every night. As well as fed some amazing home cooked meals each night! It was amazing to hear their stories, and the lives they are able to live in this very secluded part of Canada...
This day began with a kayak and was filled with amazing terrain, tough trekking, unique biking and beautiful kayaking. We managed to pull into the lead following the first trekking section. My teammates are amazing at coasteering and boulder hoping so they pushed me along and we quickly made ground on the beautiful coasteering section of the course. The extreme section proved to include a tough but grand trek covering a lot of open terrain. I have never run on squishy mossy/swamp like ground for so long before....It is tough on the legs!
Beginning on bikes we again covered alot of ground,...We had a long portage with our kayaks and yet another ropes section but the highlight of this course was the adventure swim! We pulled on our wetsuits and literally swam across to an island for about 25 minutes....it was cold... I believe we one of if not the only team that truly swam this section. Most teams brought inflatable mattresses or even mini inflatable rafts with paddles...I felt pretty hard core to just use my body as propulsion without another piece of equipment...We were able to increase our lead at the end of day 2! We celebrated with Pringles, Wheat Thins and jelly beans! Woohoo!
A seafood buffet awaited us at the local museum.... What a wonderful community!
This day proved to be a day of chasing the other teams and somehow through perseverance, team work and great navigation we managed to pull ahead of the competition in the last trek section...It is a different type of race when chasing rather than being chased. I'm not sure which I enjoy better. Also, the pressure was starting to build to keep our lead...Sometimes its nice to be the underdog and beable to sneak out on top in the last push with noone really watching...on the other side of things its pretty neat to be the team that everyone is watching it gives you an added feel of confidence and hence energy... I must say the highlight of the day was swimming across the bay with my teammates. We chose to swim across about 600meters of cold atlantic ocean with no lifejackets, no wetsuits, packs and shoes and all...now most might say this was not a wise choice (quite stupid actually) but it not only saved us time but increased the trust between us...it was the slackers against the atlantic and I must say we won!....
Before the night stage we got to enjoy a wonderful home cooked buffet, drinks and desserts, Mill Bay also made t shirts for us as well as beautiful posters all over the town...
We began at 10pm and had 3 hours to finish the course...we could choose our mode of transport (bike or run) and get the points in any order...We started off doing really well..I personally love racing in the night (when in posession of a quality set of lights) it is just so different than the day with added difficulties which means working as a team is that much more important...we were moving well until the four of us failed to acknowedge a glow stick and just walked right on passed it to only turn around 15 minutes later to realize it was the check point all along....it cost us about 15 minutes which in the whole scheme of things isn't much...
This day was tough,...lots of biking (in this particular race our weakest event), high winds, and our first encounter of the Lower North Shore Fog. The race started with a bike, kayak and trek where teams mostly stayed close together.....following the trek teams broke out to only encounter each other on the ropes section. What followed was lots and lots of biking, against high winds on long roads and some steep steep hills....The last trek proved to be the toughest but also the most exciting. We almost managed to lose our map as the winds swiped it from Jason's hands...I have never seen Daniel run so fast.... Rolling into the finish line was just awesome...the locals were a welcoming site....We managed to hold our lead and placed 1st in the mixed team of 4 division....What followed was well deserved beers and an unbelievable jome cooked buffet, awards, songs and laughter.
Despite our surprise of a stage race (rather than an expedition style race) this was just a fabulous experience. The race was so well organized, the communities so welcoming and my team just out of this world. Thank you to all who heled make this happen (Steed cycles, Nuun, Helly Hansen, Inov-8, Ibex, Ergon, Prana, Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks)...
Live, Love, Laugh,...DREAM!