Summary: Team Team Ragged Glory (TRG), Date: September 13, 2003 Location: Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Length: Approximately 52 Miles
Indy-based adventure race Team Shackleton Endurance
designed and hosted the fourth Indianapolis Adventure Race (formerly known as the Indy Sprint Adventure Race) at Indy's Eagle Creek Park on September 13, 2003. Michael, Chris, Tom, Michelle and Dave put together a more challenging long course that kept us very wet. It was fantastic. Although rain had been forecast for most of the week, race day weather was sunny and mild with highs in the low 80s.
Team Ragged Glory arrived to set up at 6am. At 7am we would receive maps and the course book. The pre-race meeting would be at 7:30 and the starting gun would sound at 8am. The rangers didn't unlock the Eagle Creek beach gate until about 6:45, so some racers hopped the fence while others handed gear over so teams could set up their transition areas.
At 7am we received our maps and the course book and found out the order of disciplines:
-Bike to Avon Community Park, with a hike-a-bike through the creek, some bike orienteering on single track, and then back to Eagle Creek Park. about 31 miles
-Paddle to the southwest end of the reservoir, then to the levee, where we would portage the canoes to the dam about 7 miles
-Rappel off the reservoir side of the dam into the water.
-Paddle back to the beach.
-Coasteer (that means wade in about four feet of water) from the Eagle Creek beach to the 56th Street causeway.
-Run across the causeway to the west side of the reservoir for a huge on-foot orienteering segment that would bring us back to the finish line about 14 miles
The race allowed three person coed teams only. There was a long course and a short course. Team Ragged Glory fielded two long course teams: TRG, with Steve, Julie and Doug, and TRG.com with Bob, Becca and Yngvar. Becca and Yngvar were adventure racing for the first time and were very excited and a little nervous. We had decided before the race to travel together as a group of six for as long as we could during the race.
There was plenty of excitement in the air during the race meeting. The gun sounded and we hiked our bikes to the end of the beach road. We jumped on the bikes and headed out of the park on country roads to Avon. About thirty minutes into the race, as we were passing a team, Becca slid out on her bike across the asphalt to the other side of the road. The team helped her get up and she was fine except for a little blood on the elbow. We continued on. What a tough teammate!
We rode through more and more traffic to Avon Community Park. We hopped down into the creek one-at-a-time with our bikes, got the first checkpoint punch at the railroad bridge, we hiked the bikes a quarter-mile up the two foot deep creek to the iron bridge. Slogging through the moving water was great fun; it wasn't your ordinary visit to the park. We received our bike orienteering map on the iron bridge and proceeded to pick up the five controls on the single track portion of the ride. Some trails were easy; some were technical. Yngvar took the lead while Bob and Steve navigated and we worked our way through the course. Just before the last control, Steve threw a chain then got a flat tire, so we all stopped, changed the tire, and ate and drank. We got the last control and headed back the fifteen miles to Eagle Creek Park, picking up checkpoints along the way.
The next leg of the race was the paddle/rappel/paddle leg. We transitioned quickly, and got in the canoes. The two teams stayed close as we paddled south, then west to pick up the control near the southwest marina. We then paddled to the west end of the levee, got out and portaged (carried) the canoes a few hundred meters to the dam. Three ropes dangled down the reservoir side of the dam into the water. Each team was allowed to use a rope. Both TRG teams went down at the same time; the view was incredible and belaying (holding the rope steady for the next person to rappel) in the water was great fun as well. Back in the canoes, we paddled north with a tail wind back to the beach for the final leg.
We refilled water, ate some Arbys and jumped in the water for the short coasteering (wading) leg from the beach to the causeway. The water was about four feet deep and we all banged our shins on logs hidden in the muddy water. We then ran on the rock and dirt part of the causeway west to the Eagle Creek West parking lot, then into the woods for the ten orienteering controls stretched from south to north. About thirty minutes into the woods, we made the mistake of following a creek to find the next control. As our two teams and about three others in the immediate area groped our way trying to find it, our two teams became separated. We would not see each other again until the end of the race.
As we were gathering control punches, Steve, Julie and I walked through Eagle's Hideaway, a reception/party rental house that the park maintains. A number of people had arrived for what we guessed was a wedding reception. A violinist was practicing, and Steve, our musician, complimented her playing. A man asked Steve if we were passing through. I don't think he wanted us to stay.
TRG.com figured things out shortly after that and immediately found the second control. Bob, Becca, and Yngvar gave a nod to the bride and groom as they passed the same wedding party.
Steve, Julie and I worked our way right to each control thanks to Steve's dead reckoning. When got to the northwest end of Eagle Creek West, we had to wade across the inlet pick up the last west side control. We waded another quarter mile, then went up and around to the Wilson Road nature preserve, then across Wilson Road and Traders Lane to under the I-65 bridge. We gathered two more controls and followed the surveyors tape to do our final bit of wading before gathering the last two controls on the east side of Eagle creek park. Near the last control, a team had run out of water and one member was dehydrated. Julie stopped and gave him water on the way in and out of the last control.
TRG.com had mapped out the same general strategy for the orienteering section, but used more intermediate attack points. Yngvar got more involved in the route planning and the team kept themselves on track.
Julie and Steve were strong and helped me make the last two miles to the finish line. We wondered whether TRG.com had finished before us. As we crested the last hill and caught sight of the finish line, teams began to cheer. That tremendous feeling brought us to the finish line with smiles on our faces.
Bob, Becca and Yngvar finished about 25 minutes after we did. The weather was perfect and we couldn't have asked for a more fun race. GlobalX Pro won the long course with Peoples Burn Foundation hot on their tails. Congratulations to all the teams who participated.