Atomic 30 Hour AR
Team: Dave Ashley, Dusty Reppuhn, Greg Voelkel, Britt Mason
Report by: Britt
At the last minute, I was able to open up my schedule and do this race. Exciting because I had to miss the MISSION a few wks prior. It made for some long travel days, but it was worth it to spend some time in Blue Ridge w/some cool peeps. Got in Fri night. No maps or registration til morning, so planning was minimal. We were told to drop off bikes prior to registration, but when we arrived in the morning, we found the bike drop was cancelled. Track shows over 20k of climb. I don't think that's accurate, but it was a lot of climbing nonetheless!
Bike 4:32:00 29.8 mi (6.6 mph)
Course was modified to get us on the sweet singletrack before the rain came in later in the day. Instead of an early foot prologue and paddle, we started off on bikes, taking forest service and gravel roads to get to the SORBA trails. It is rare to experience a race with this much dirt and almost no pavement. FUN! Hit some CPs on the way to the singletrack. Bobbled the first one, allowing the teams who made a wrong turn in the beginning to catch back up. Once on trail, we were leapfrogging teams and going too fast for the heat and humidity. We backed off a bit and let CPZ go. Good call. They were only a few min ahead of us for most of the day. Rolled into Bull TA in 3rd. Times include transitions.
Run 4:33:00 9.0 mi (30:20 / mi)
O course #1. Attacked this CCW. More off-trail than not. Nailing CPs until we got to CP28. Clue was short fat spur. Our bearing was a bit off after a long bushwack, and we ended up reattacking several times, essentially checking every spur in the area. CP was really on more of a hillside. This point was a common issue for teams. Even w/a 30min attack, we didn't gain or lose time on this leg. Overshot 29 or 30 by quite a bit and ended up backtracking 2k or more. Rain started towards the end of the trek. Refreshing.
Bike 5:54:00 19.5 mi (3.3 mph)
Tough section. Greg warned us before the race that one of the bike legs had CPs on original trails while the main singletrack had been rerouted. The trails on the map were the original trails. Made a couple of the points pretty challenging. We were relying too much on distance and not enough on topo and elevation. After we cleared the singletrack section, we went south for some time looking for a trail that would be easier riding to the last CP and then to the TA. Ended up returning to the end of the singletrack and going north. From the final CP, we climbed Winding Stair Gap for ~6k, sometimes walking, sometimes riding. Slow slog up to Frying Pan TA, where we had access to a gear bin.
Trekking 9:35:00 14.9 mi (38:35 / mi)
O course #2. Brutal. Lots of thick bushwacking, azimuths, and long pacecounts. Spent a short time on the Benton-Mackaye and Appalachian Trails. When we got up on the ridge where CP39 was located (cool dead tree), the downpour began. Wind, rain, fog made for low visibility. Track shows we were all over around it, but we started the attack too far west. Rather than go all the way down and reattack, we moved on to the next CP. Saw an incredible amount of salamanders. The rain really brought them out. Nailed the rest of the CPs we went for. Skipped the 44 and 45 due to time constraints and significant bushwacks.
Bike 2:50:00 19.2 mi (6.8 mph)
Received the CPs for this section back at Frying TA. This leg was the bike portion from the Sport race. We were all experiencing some good chafe from being soaked through for the past 24 hrs. Not a clean section for us, even though it appeared straight forward. CPZ gained an hour on us here. I would venture to say this was the most challenging course navigation-wise we have seen in a long time. It kept the pressure on navigators virtually from start to finish.
Paddle 1:33:31 7.0 mi (13:22 / mi)
When we got to the put in on the Toccoa, we discovered there were no boats available to use. We received a time credit while waiting for the trailer to haul more boats to us. At this point, we felt we were solidly in 3rd, and it would be a leisurely paddle downstream to the finish. The Toccoa River is gorgeous, not to mention a blast to paddle. Lots of small rapids. Both of our boats came very close to dumping in the big set of rapids, but we managed to stay dry. Enjoyed the company and scenery all the way to the take out and finish. Upon arrival, we discovered that the 3male team in front of us cleared the O course but didn't make it to the paddle, which was worth 3 points. We tied for points but came in 10 min sooner. 2nd place OA to CPZ. The rivalry continues! I enjoy racing against them...they run 2 females most of the time like us too. Great race. Hats off to Pangea and their hard working volunteers for a challenging course. Perfect UNE tuneup! Thanks to our sponsors Rev3 Adventure, PowerBar, Honey Stinger, Suunto, Epic Paddles & Kayaks, OutThere Packs, and The Right Stuff.