2-22-03 Greenleaf State Park-- Gore, OK
WAS COLD, IT WAS WET, IT WAS FUN!!! Eco-Oklahoma held their first race of the
year on February 22. Somehow they managed to hit right between one day of
steady, heavy rain and one day of sleet and snow. That's what clean living will
do for you. With rain finally stopping at 4:00 AM the morning of their race
things were muddy and cold for this one. The weather was supposed to warm up as
the morning progressed but actually the temperatures kept dropping and at 11:00
that night everything was icing over. Most racers were either finished by then
or had dropped out. There were several teams still out with the last team
finishing at 2:00 the next morning.
Arky Hogs (our team name) had a fairly good day in spite of the conditions. The race started around 8:00 AM with a 2 3/4 mile road/trail run up some very steep, long hills. Bryan took off a little too fast for me but he settled down to a steady pace once the hill started to slow the pace and I decided to stay with a slow but steady pace, no need to blow up on the first part of the race. We finished the run in the last third of the teams but that is fine your not going to win anything in the first 25 minutes.
That put us in a pretty good position without too much effort spent. The next part was a choice of carrying a mountain bike back up the very steep hill or wading out chest high in the frigid water to claim a token. We, along with most teams, opted for the water. It was an easy decision for me since Bryan was going to do it. We transitioned quickly with the help of our crew "TONY" , Josh plotted canoe points and we got out on the water in a canoe we had rented. The canoeing seemed to freak both of us ( myself and Bryan ) because we started out going towards the bank instead of the open water, we seemed to like to go sideways. Just Kidding!!. Josh and Pat in the other canoe liked to hug the grass beds and shallow banks!! I guess in case they tipped over! The last thing we wanted to do was wind up in that water. We did not so I felt good about that. The lake had a dam to portage over twice and was about 5 mi. long. The wind was strong and at times we felt we were not moving at all. We checked in off the water and seemed to have move up in the standings. It had seemed to me that we had past several teams during the canoeing.
Another somewhat quick transition and we hit the bikes for a 16 mi. muddy pedal with several points to be found. Josh did a really good job of navigating us through some sketchy areas and he and Bryan did some extra biking a couple of times when they went into the woods to the points and myself and Pat waited as the blowing cold wind chilled our bones. We arrived at the obstacle course midway through the bike in the middle of the pack. Although the bike course was not really that bad the mud was causing us to burn a lot of energy without gaining a lot of speed, it is tough to come off a hill and still have to pedal hard just to cut thru the mud.
We were a little concerned about the military obstacle course because not knowing what to expect. When we arrived we checked in and headed for the huge ladder that had to be climbed. It's about 50 feet high and sways in the wind. We made it OK then we started knocking off all the other obstacles. One was an over and under a log ladder which was not too hard. Another was jumping onto a big fat pole and pulling yourself over, this was not designed for short people!! The last obstacle was a straight up wall with a skinny, wet rope to pull up on. It was about 15 feet high. We all made it fine with a little help from teammates at the top. We heard later that a lot of people struggled with several of the obstacles but we did not have a problem with any of them.
We checked out of the course and hit the bikes for the return to our TA. We finished the bike and I think had moved up a little in the standings.
After changing shoes and putting on extra clothes and a little too much time in the TA and Josh plotting the 2 points we were given we headed out as quickly as I could with frozen feet. They felt like blocks of ice at that point and it took the first couple of miles before they thawed out. The land navigation started out on the wrong foot as we forgot to punch our card at the first checkpoint and had to double back and get it punched. We reached the manned checkpoint and received our other points. The land nav was not easy and not without a few missteps but the team made it even though we did not take enough water and our flashlights were not the best. But we learned a lot. We got back around 10:00 pm.
were nine teams in our four men and three men division and we finished in second
place. There was 2 man, 3 man, 4 man and coed division a total of 47 teams - 121 competitors from 8 states competing in
This race, as all of the EcoOklahoma races are, very physical with tough terrain to negotiate through. Another thing you can count on is being fed very well after one of their races. They had pots of chili and mounds of desserts. There was some nice gear given away in a drawing also. I won a pair of waterproof gloves and Bryan won two tires.
As always our devoted TA crew, "Tony" , contributed so much to our race and his smiling face was a beacon of light at the end of a long, hard day. Josh, Bryan, Pat and myself can not thank Tony enough for all he did for us. Thanks also to EcoOklahoma for a really fun race!!
Being in a Adventure Race is a lot of fun but being able to do one with two of your sons and a brother and another brother being your support team is more than one could ask for.
Southwest Times Record
Chaffee Challenge 2002
Race Gets Thumbs Up
As the starting pistol fired, the fog was beginning to burn off revealing a near perfect day for the 78 adventure racers who took part in the Chaffee Challenge Saturday morning.
This eight-hour race at Fort Chaffee pitted the three-person teams against each other in competition, which included land navigation, mountain biking, running, hiking water challenges and a military leadership reaction course.
Race organizer Mark Bliss says there were a few changes made to the racecourse and format from last year. "We've got two creek crossings this year." Bliss pointed out. "We've changed the land navigation course up and in the leadership reaction course we have two sections that they have to do instead of one. We've changed the canoe leg up. Last year they did the loops in the lake and this year we've got some creative things for them using inner tubes and rope."
Bliss said he thought the first bike leg of the race would prove to be the most difficult for the competitors. "Because you've got two creek crossings and the first creek is really tough." Bliss elaborated. "They also have a land nav point that's not an easy land nav point to find. It's about 500 meters, but it'll take them a little while to find it." Most of the racers agreed that the biking was rough, but they seemed more surprised by the bushwhacking."
Chaffee Challenge Results All-Male-- Team Superman comprising of Bryan Scherrey, Chris Bell, Kevin Bell came in second. The team Beastmaster 254th comprising of David Scherrey, Pat Scherrey, John Brehmer came in 4th.
Newcomers to the world of adventure racing John Brehmer and Pat Scherrey said they enjoyed the challenge and were eager for next year's challenge. John who had been bike riding in competition for ten years was quite strong in the mountain biking. Pat Scherrey who had only six weeks to get ready for the challenge showed his determination and grit and finished the day strong. Team Captain David Scherrey was very pleased with the teams 4th place finish.