|1||Beowulf Reloaded (tie)||1||ADIDAS DIVAS||1||Simon River Sports|
|1||RaidPulse.com (tie)||2||2||Three times the Fun|
|3||Mountain Hardware/Xplore||3||3||Tree Huggers|
|4||Priority One||4||4||Kinetic Konnection|
Lather. Rinse. Repeat -
Congratulations to all of the competitors who participated in
the Salomon Adventure Challenge Long Course in Marmora!
What a great weekend for our second Salomon AC race of the summer season.
The temperatures were the exact opposite of what we faced last year in Marmora. By mid-day Saturday, we were dealing with 38 to 40 degree temperatures. Despite the heat, and numerous mosquitoes & deer flies, the racers were ready to conquer the course. Although the extreme heat added a whole other dimension to the race, the competitors pushed hard to conquer the 90 km race course. Competitors viewed the race as a challenge and agreed that all in all it was an exciting and competitive race.
The 100+ competitors were bused to a remote location for the 4am start. As they emerged from the buses, competitors saw Race Director Geoff Langford standing atop a rock outcropping, and looked the other direction for the start of the course – and stared right into a wall of thick Ontario bush!
Plunging into the dense brush at the sound of “GO”, the teams disappeared quickly, and were quickly spread out. Mark Honsberger’s Team Intrepid cruised through the bush to arrive at CP1 first, in 32 minutes, with the always-competitive all-female team ADIDAS DIVAS just one minute behind. Teams continued to reach CP 1 over the next four hours, with the last team passing through at 0829. Tough section!
From CP1 to CP2 was quick for teams that found the old ATV trail, and with the sun rising, the quick swim across the narrows at CP1 would be a fond memory later in the days as temperatures climbed and climbed. Simon River Sports, well known for coming from behind, jumped from 18th at CP1 to 8th at CP2.
Dawn at CP2 must have been beautiful, at the drainage of a lake, where hundreds of fallen trees over the years had created an amazing logjam bridge for competitors to cross, continuing along an ATV track and out to CP3, where they would transition to bikes – if the bugs didn’t drive them insane first. By this time, the pack was really spread out. First in to CP3 was Beowulf Reloaded at 0620, followed closely by RaidPulse.com at 0623. Three Times the Fun and Kinetic Konnection were only minutes behind, making it a very speedy transition to bike. Recurring injuries had claimed a few teams by this point, and many more were to succumb as the day continued to heat up.
A long, varied, and beautiful ride followed, heading south for over 40kms to Moira Lake. Probably the most riding variety we’ve ever had in an Salomon AC, this ride featured twisty old roads, a long, straight, grown-in railway trail, some mucky snowmobile trail connectors, fun, undulating ATV tracks, hydro line trails, and even a strange rock amphitheatre that served as a CP. Finishing off with a short fast road ride to clear the mud, teams began arriving at CP6 as early as 0848 – having put over 50kms of racing behind them in 4.5 hours. A blistering pace for an adventure race!
ADIDAS DIVAS held their lead of the all-female category, arriving at CP6 at 0907 in 5th place overall, followed closely by Team Tree Huggers, recognized by all for Richard’s unique cycling style. Is this momentum going to send the sale of recumbent bikes through the roof for teams wanting to know the secrets to a podium finish!!??
CP6 brought teams onto Moira Lake as the transition to paddling. A short portage led to a short upriver paddle which led out onto Moira, for a fabulous lake paddle along cottage-lined shores and under an old trestle bridge. Retaining their lead, Beowulf Reloaded was first out of the water at CP7, completing 12K of paddling in just 84 minutes. Since the early part of the bike, RaidPulse.com and Simon River Sports were hot on Beowulf’s tail, driving this hectic pace, despite the 30+C temperatures.
CP7 was the Advanced Decision Point - teams that chose to do the advanced section of the course had a short swim across Moira River following the paddle, providing a refreshing break from the heat! Teams’ bikes were waiting on the other side of the river. The others went straight from the takeout onto their bikes for a quick ride into the last TA.
The mid afternoon heat was becoming unbearable and got the best of a few teams. There were a few mild cases of dehydration and heat exhaustion forcing some competitors to call it a day. Luckily we had a large medical team for this race, as they were probably busier than they’ve been in years with both injuries and heat-related issues.
Proving the need to be thoughtful when naming your team, Team Lost, But Not Forgotten spent most of the race between CP 1 and 2, but our crew didn’t forget them! A search by course designer Max Mader proved fruitless, but CP2 staff found the team and brought them out to TA1 for some clean water and TLC by the medics.
Regular and Advanced teams met up again at CP8, leaving the bikes behind for the final trek to the finish line. Just to prove you should never let your guard down as the end is in sight, Simon River Sports managed to sneak past Beowulf Reloaded and RaidPulse.com between CP8 and the finish to take the lead. A tough trek with rocky sloped terrain, some swampy bits to negotiate, and reeds you could lose your teammates in, this section of the course was as relentless as the rest.
The first team to arrive at the finish line at Marmora Memorial Park was the coed team Simon River Sports, finishing this grueling 90+ km course in just 9 hours, 36 minutes. Team Captain Benoit Letourneau had pushed so hard to come back from their position of 18th early in the race, he nearly collapsed from exhaustion at the finish line.
In a tie for first in the all-male team category were Beowulf Reloaded and RaidPulse.com, in a time of 9 hours, 47 mins. In the Salomon Women Will category, the ADIDAS DIVAS once again captured first place like proud gorillas on a mountaintop, in an chest-beating time of 10 hours, 13 minutes.
A huge, special thanks to our volunteers who ended up working twice as hard as they planned, due to the course stretching out so long with teams crossing the finish line while others were still searching for CP2! Thanks for sticking with it, in the heat and bugs – top honors!
Big thanks also to our medic crew who finally were kept busy all day, and to Anja and the staff in Marmora who contributed in so many ways to make this a successful event!
We hope to see you all out at Deerhurst for the first Raid the North of the season, or for another memorable Salomon Adventure Challenge, on the weekend of July 22-24.
"What can I say - another fabulous
event and some great competition! Nothing like excessive heat,
swarms of mosquitos, snorting cows, and massive swamp crossings
to spell adventure. Oh, it was also fun to compete with the big
dogs as an all-female team!"
"Marmora was my first Salomon Adventure Challenge and I loved it! The last trek in the 30 degree heat was a bit taxing, but otherwise, totally fabulous. Thanks so much for all your organizing and I hope to see you at another race soon."
"Thanks and congratulations for putting
together one heck of a good race course for the Long SAC in
Marmora! Having done RTN, SAC and the Long Format, I have to say
the Long Format is my favourite event.
Can't wait for the SAC champs!"
"First and foremost, let me tell you
that mosquitoes notwithstanding, I had a great time Friday
night/Saturday. Nothing like a late night hike in the woods
carrying 50 lbs to get a woman in shape :-)
The remote CP was exactly what I was hoping for, and finding the lost team ourselves was the cherry on the sundae. I seem to enjoy finding myself right in the middle of the action as a volunteer. I'm looking forward to the next occasion."
volunteer, CP2 staff