Salomon Adventure Challenge
Frontenac (Sharbot Lake, ON)
Sunday, September 7, 2003
Capping Off a Huge Season!
It was a very special event that ended the Salomon Adventure Challenge Series season at Sharbot Lake, ON - one which attracted 79 teams from Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and New York. It's been quite a ride in 2003 with record numbers each race and an increased presence across Canada as the Salomon AC has become the largest adventure racing series in the country. Thanks goes out to all participants, volunteers, and medics - your support has been incredible!
Many of the Series' regulars were out to cap off their 2003 racing season while a few others were getting a taste of authentic AR for the first time. It was certainly a stroke of good luck that the weather in the month of September has been so sunny and dry - this made the 49 km racecourse incredibly fast.
After bussing to the remote start line, the race began with a 4 km trail run along Alf's Bay Rd to CP1. From here, it was a 2.5 km off-trail trek through relatively flat, yet sporadically swampy terrain to CP2/TA1 where canoes awaited. Route choice through the bush was important as there were two distinct routes: 1) straight line to the CP through whatever gets in the way; or, 2) head northwest to the drier ground and contour the intermittent lake.
Some teams such as Flash 5 of Midland, Tri-Guys of Kingston, and Canyonero of Toronto made quick work of the opening run covering 4km in just over 20 minutes. Things changed in the bush, however, as speed isn't necessarily the only factor in getting from point A to point B. Teams X-Carbs of Milton, Adrenalin Rush of Barrie, and P.A.C. of Ottawa sprung from the bush in short order as their route choices turned out quite nicely. As well, Team Peak Experience of Kingston (1 of 7 all female teams...and the eventual winner in this category!) made incredible time and moved from 38th to 9th - the surprised look on their faces turned to determination as they quickly transitioned and jumped into the canoe toward CP3/TA2.
The canoeing portion of the race was a 12 km paddle from Kirk's Cove at the southwest end of Big Gull Lake to a marina located just south of Big Gull Lake Dam. Seemingly straight forward, there remained a choice for teams as they moved from one end of the lake to the other: Do we take the north and longer route around Long Island or travel south of it and negotiate the shallow water and narrow throughway?
It was now Team Simon River Sports of Montreal's time to shine as they zipped past the three leading teams, giving them a 5 minute window of extra time in the transition to mountain bikes. Strong paddlers like Teams Terranauts of North York, Kinetic Konnection of Windsor, and Black River Adventurers of New York put in strong efforts while Teams Flash 5 and ESAR.CA of Mississauga made up huge ground after some trouble in the bush.
All that remained between CP3/TA2 and the finish line in Sharbot Lake was a 30 km mountain bike section but strategy still had a large role to play as to how the final order of teams would pan out. Specifically, after a 15 km ride along Ardoch Rd to CP4, teams had to make a final choice: Route A or Route B to CP5 in Oso? Route A was the longer route but was relatively flat as the majority of it was on a rail trail while Route B was a more straight-line choice but featured several ups and downs along the way. Teams left CP4 hoping that they had selected the superior route but only time would tell.
Team Simon River Sports hammered along the paved road and elected Route A, 17 minutes prior to Adrenaline Rush selecting Route B. By CP5, Adrenaline Rush was only 11 minutes behind but ran out of racecourse to make up any more ground as Simon River Sports cruised to victory. Similar stories played out over the final portion of the race and many rankings changed for the 75 teams that finished the racecourse. Which was the best choice? Check the stats to find out!
Thanks to all participants across Canada and the US for an incredible season. You've made this Series what it is and we can't wait to bring you more in 2004!
TOP TEN RESULTS
For Full & Detailed Results CLICK HERE! Make sure to click through each page in the spreadsheet to see all sorts of statistical information.
||Simon River Sports
||3 hrs, 35 min
||3 hrs, 45 min
||3 hrs, 49 min
||3 hrs, 50 min
||3 hrs, 53 min
||3 hrs, 54 min
||3 hrs, 59 min
||Jack of All Trades
||4 hrs, 1 min
||North York, AB
||4 hrs, 5 min
||4 hrs, 7 min