As with most summer days in the Okanagan, the sun was shining down on 17 teams who gathered in Penticton, BC for the fourth Salomon Adventure Challenge of 2002. Most teams hailed from British Columbia but the field also featured competitors from Alberta, Washington, and Oregon.
The racecourse was shorter than most Salomon Adventure Challenge Series races to date, however, the elevation gain and loss over the 35 kms totaled 2,200m! From the start line at Rotary Park in Penticton, teams canoed the 5 kms to Three Mile Point along the east shore of Okanagan Lake. First out of the boats and winners of the e load Fastest Canoeing award
, Team Try Not to Suck
of Washington were all smiles.
The pack shortly followed and were treated to the most challenging part of the racecourse - a 7.5 km mountain bike climb from 360m to 1080m. Hammering hard in the late morning heat, teams Fresh Air Experience
of Kelowna and Mission Rackishites
of Mission reached CP2, atop the mountain, in just over one hour. Further back, teams JAM
, and Oh No!
battled, worked together, and reached some much needed water at the CP - even jumped into a nearby stream for some relief!
What goes up must come down of course and after a fast ride over looking the valley below (incredible views!), teams descended toward CP4/TA2, 520m below. The downhill switchbacks tested all teams' ability to negotiate washed out roads at high speeds but all were careful and reached the transition area safely.
Still pushing the pace, teams Fresh Air Experience
and Mission Rackishites
were joined at the start of the trek by teams First Try
of Quesnel, Coast Mountain Sports
of Coquitlam, and Tsunami
of Calgary. Before heading out to CP5 and CP6 in and around Mount Campbell (teams could chose to reach these in either order), the watermelon at CP4 was absolute heaven as commented by many teams - thanks for that volunteers!
Team Fresh Air Experience
drew upon their triathlon speed and their navigational prowess and returned to the TA (now CP7/TA3) in only 37 minutes (taking the Fast Fuel Trailburner Award
). This proved to be the deciding factor in separating them from their rivals Team Mission Rackishites
, who arrived 16 minutes later. Team Fresh Air Experience
cruised the last 10 kms on mountain bike and on foot to victory in a total time of 3 hours and 35 minutes- our first coed team win this season! For the win, the team receives a half-price entry into the 2003 Raid the North Adventure Race Series event in Western Canada
The most inspirational finish was that of Team Blissful Ignorance
, our Salomon Spirit Award
winners, who would not slow the pace as they ran to the line in obvious exhaustion. In all, each of the 17 teams reached the finish line and were exceptionally happy with their Salomon Adventure Challenge experience.
See you June 23rd, 2002 in Parry Sound Ontario!
Post Race Comments:
"Awesome value! I want to try a Raid the North now."
"I'm hooked…looking forward to doing more Salomon Adventure Challenge events."
"Excellent competition, well organized, an overall great time!"
"Great beginner intro to adventure racing."