I’m going to be lazy and just use what Ron Eaglin, one of my teammates, wrote shortly after the race. I will include a couple of my own before and after photos, though!
Here’s the gear on the office floor before I flew out to SD:
It got more organized after that… :-)
Two days before the race, Brian and I did part of the trial course to try to get familiar with the land, so here are a few shots from that:
Ok, on to the race itself….
Obligatory pre-race selfie:
And now, being lazy, here is what Ron wrote:
Here is a short analysis and recap of the 24 World Rogaine with some course info. I raced with Brian Thompson and Sean Butler – a great race team pairing.
Leg 1 -Shown on map is route choice (not exact) and time on each leg. We elected to go south, which had higher point controls, but a lower point density than the northern sections. A difficult choice since all the area is mapped as white, so any variations in terrain and runability are essentially hidden. We started with a pretty good pace and our navigation was pretty much spot on – though Brian did most of the front navigation during this section and I stayed back but kept a close eye on the map to avoid an big errors.
Leg 2 – This leg contained a very interesting long no road or trail section from 103 to 93, this was an interesting and enjoyable leg and did not pose any real navigation challenges. Our pace slowed slightly during this section – but much of that was due to terrain.
Leg 3 – The essentially flat and open terrain made the route through 74 pretty straightforward, and our time reflected that. I was starting to feel overheated with some stomach issues around 74, but was still able to keep the pace.
Leg 4 – It was on the approach to 92 that the bottom fell out for me. Brian and Sean were doing well and pushing the pace. By the time I got back to the road from 92 I was stumbling and ended up vomiting the contents of my stomach on the road north of 92. My physical condition reflected the pace from 92 to 81 and the fact that we skipped 56. At this point I wanted to get the team back to the hash house for recovery, but that was not an option as we were a solid 12K as the crow flies from the hash house – so we stuck with the original course plan skipping 56.
Leg 5 – I was essentially useless this leg, delirious and sick. I know I vomited again somewhere along here. It was dark and I was just following. I am not sure how Brian found 46, I do remember stopping a few times and then he gave a reassuring – “I know it is this way” and then I was punching the control. We never found 63 – I simply remember searching for a while and there being a lot of re-entrants. The team did let me rest here and I even think I slept for maybe 5-10 minutes. The total time from 46 to 106 was nearly 130 minutes. When we came out to the road at the stream road intersection – I felt better and even navigated the 106, which I did overshoot – but easily corrected from the backstop. The road section north and the water stop gave me even more recovery, but my strength was definitely near gone – and I had no food or water in my system.
Leg 6 – The potential climb(200 meters) to 48 was near impossible in my condition, so we re-routed and headed to 42 and 70. There was a little bit of debate as to route, but Brian mad some corrections and I was at least in good enough condition as the sun started to come up to actually navigate.
Leg 7 – Some good route choices by Brian and a bit easier terrain was helping my physical condition, though I really wanted to be done here – the team was supporting me well, carrying my pack and even getting some food into me. I had been able to hold down a 12 ounce water bottle, so I was a lot less dehydrated. Brian and Sean looked very strong and were keeping me moving.
Leg 8 – A lot of road here – which was good. I think Brian went down hard at 73, I heard something, but he was back up and moving as we left there. I wanted to contour around toward 104 from here – but we instead went down to the road. I did note some other teams did successfully contour this section. We attacked 104 across the saddle – and that was probably my favorite section. The entire course had deadfall, and it was bad here – but there was no point in complaining about something that was pervasive all through the course. After 82 I wanted to head back the the HH, but the team talked me into 61, 51 – which turned out to be a good call.
Final leg – We probably could have optimized this a bit better – but we managed to get 51, 32, 23 and make it back with plenty of time to spare.
Overall assessment – Brian and Sean both were physically stronger than me, and having that assessment at the start could have helped as we distributed the weight of food, water, and gear. The point density to the north was higher, and it possibly could have yielded more points had we started that way. But – I really liked Brian’s strategy if hitting the high point controls – even if we did not get as many points overall, the high pointers were much more interesting legs – and added to the overall enjoyment of the race.
I would definitely do more Rogaine races – and overall the race was well organized. The maps did lack some details I think they could have had – especially with unmapped roads, which made some route choices a gamble. Brian and Sean were great team-mates, understanding and supportive when I was sick – but encouraging enough to keep me going.
Post race the RD had some serious issues with the electronic controls and scoring, but eventually the results were published and we were 64th out of 175 teams. Not bad considering how sick Ron was. I really thought that we’d have to quit about 10 hours in, when Ron started dry heaving and acting all discombobulated. But we decided to just walk back towards the start, which was 12km away by road, and pick up some controls on the way. While Ron never fully recovered, he did get to the point where we were able to continue on and get more controls, for just about the full 24 hours.
I had guessed we covered maybe 30-35 miles. We did lots of bushwhacking, and the terrain was pretty rough with a tremendous amount of deadfall. So not very speedy. But route analysis by the RD says we did a little over 50 miles.
I’d definitely like to do more Rogaine’s, and envision a world championship in my future. :-) (Probably not, we did finish 25th in the 40+ age group, so have a long ways to go!)
A few post race photos:
Somewhere around 4 hours in, I noticed a hole forming in my Altra Superior. This may be the 1st race in 10 years I didn’t have any duct tape, and I really worried about how long the shoe would last. But somehow it made it the full 24 hours.
Here’s what the feet looked like under those shoes:
Kelly and the kids flew out after the race, and we got to see and do cool things in SD like visit Mt. Rushmore:
Visit the Badlands:
Hike up to Harney’s Peak at 7200′:
And go to Jewel cave, 3rd largest cave in the world.
Ok, see you at the next adventure… Hinson Lake 24 hour run in just a few weeks!