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2002 Race Report by Doug Theis
Team Ragged Glory

Summary:  Team Team Ragged Glory  (TRG), Date: September 14, 2002 Location: Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Length: Approximately 50 Miles

Event Directors Michael Sapper and Greg Arnold kept racers on their toes during the third annual Indianapolis Adventure Race on Saturday, September 14, 2002.  The race they delivered was diverse, challenging, and very fun.   Here's what happened on the long course event:
Racers began arriving at Eagle Creek around 6:30 am.  The day started cool and sunny with some haze.  The 165 racers prepared their gear in anticipation their race, either the "long" 50-mile course or the "short" 25-mile course.  Michael distributed maps, course book, passports, and sealed envelopes at 7:15 am.  Racers studied the maps and course book and made their plans.  The disciplines and their order were:
2002 race report  -An unknown first leg
         -Bike leg to Eagle's Crest - about 6 miles
         -Orienteering leg at Eagle Creek West -10 of 11 controls and about 4 miles
         -Another Bike leg to southwest Zionsville and back - about 26 miles
         -Canoe north, then to the west side - about 5 miles
         -Orienteering leg at Eagle Creek West - 6 of 7 controls - about 3 miles
         -Another paddle leg from the west side to the reservoir beach - about a mile
         -45 foot rappel from the rowing tower
         -The last paddle from the beach to the marina  about a mile
         -A climb on a portable 24-foot climbing wall

Racers returned to their planning and packing.  The mandatory gear list was pretty light though not as light as in prior years.  Racers did have to carry their climbing gear for the entire race.
When the gun sounded at 8:30 am, the teams opened their sealed envelopes to discover a map for a short orienteering course with 4 controls and about 3 miles worth of running.  Teams quickly adopted attack plans and took off for the controls.

After gathering the four control punches on the first leg, teams returned to the marina to transition to a bike-orienteer-bike segment.  Racers put on helmets and grabbed bikes.  The total distance racers would travel in this segment before returning to the marina would be about 35 miles and about three hours.

The first bike leg took racers to the 79th Street Bridge over Eagle Creek to a control punch, then to Eagle's Crest for the second orienteering leg.  Teams received maps and control cards for the orienteering, which included 9 controls all north of 65th Street.   Teams attacked the controls in whatever order they chose and needed to find only 10 of the 11 controls to complete the course.  After returning to Eagle's Crest, racers packed up their orienteering maps and climbed on the bikes for a 26 mile trip up to Hope Church, then north on Lafayette Road, then north and west of the park, then to south end of Eagle Creek West in the cemetery, then back to the marina.

Teams rested, fed and reloaded at the marina transition area. The temperatures had risen to the high 80s.  Navigators plotted the final orienteering controls from a master map.  Teams then picked up and portaged canoes about 250 meters to the water. 

The paddling leg took racers back northeast to the bridge at 79th Street, then back to the west side of the reservoir directly west of the marina.  Racers climbed out of the canoes and headed back into the woods for the final orienteering leg, complete with stinging nettle and poison ivy still thriving in the warm weather.  Most teams completed the orienteering leg in about an hour.  Back in the canoes, teams paddled to the marina to check in before the final two fun events, the rappel and the wall climb.

From the marina, teams paddled south less than a mile to the rowing tower by Eagle Creek Beach.  Greg Arnold and Jim Dill set up a 45-foot rappel from the top of the tower.  Jim said most everyone had a smile on their face as they descended the rope on their way to finish line.

Back in the canoes for the final leg, teams paddled north to the marina, then beached and portaged the canoes back to the racks.  The final discipline, the climbing wall, was a 24-foot portable wall with four ropes and three different routes.  Each team member had two chances to climb to the top and touch the chains.  Climbers clipped in and scaled the wall.  When all team members completed the climb, the team crossed the finish line and their race was complete.

Local team Mother Juggs and Speed, anchored by Jerry Lyons, dominated the race, getting out front early and staying there.  Team Shackleton Endurance with long-time Indy racers Michelle Folz, Chris Grieves, and Tom Adams, overtook several teams during the race to take second.  Seventeen teams of 29 completed the full course. The race was challenging in its diversity.  Racers were switching disciplines often.    Director Michael Sapper promises a much different race next year.  He, Greg Arnold and all the volunteers did an excellent job to create a memorable race.

Our team, Ragged Glory, completed the course and finished 15th out of 29 teams, right in the middle of the pack.  Although as a team we didn't have our best race, Steve's navigation was spot on and Leslie's consistency and positive attitude gave us what we needed to finish the race.  During the second orienteering leg, the team saw a coyote and Leslie saw a black snake.  On the second canoe leg a grasshopper rode along with us from the west side to the east side of the reservoir.  Team Ragged Glory spawn Team MMM! beat us to the finish line even after having two flats on the long bike leg.  We enjoyed seeing lots of other friends including Mother Juggs and Speed, Shackleton Endurance, The Way, Lost and Found, Salomon/Galyans, and  We made a lot of new friends, too.  A big thanks to Dave Kauffman for taking so many great pictures. 

Doug Theis
September 2002