173rd Support Team
Dedicated To Jeff Scherrey serving in Iraq
As the starting pistol fired, the fog was beginning to burn off revealing a near perfect day for the 30 adventure racing teams who took part in the Chaffee Challenge Saturday morning.
This eight-hour race (8:30 AM.- 4:30 PM.) at Fort Chaffee pitted two and three-person teams against each other in competition, which included land navigation, mystery events, mountain biking, hiking, water challenge and a military leadership reaction course.
The race started with a navigation leg which Lee plotted and we were on our way on a 18 mile mountain bike ride. The first part was on pavement for a mile and half then we hit the dirt roads and a few goat trails for the next five miles. We hit the first creek crossing with about ten other teams, the far side of the creek had a steep bank with a hemp rope hanging down so you could pull yourself and the bike up, the problem was there were so many people crossing at the same time. NO problem Lee climbed up the bank dropped a cord he had with him, we attached it to our bikes and Presto! We had ourselves and the bikes up in no time. Then back on our bikes we rode a few miles more than hit a steep goat trail which we had to walk the last 300 meters. Then we were given three navigation points to find in the woods, and with our Head Navigator Lee this was not a problem even though we had some tough terrain to negotiate through. Then back on the bikes for a few miles to the grenade throw. Pat was the designated grenade thrower since he had done it last year and had made a perfect throw into the circle so we had absolute confidence in him to do it again, and of course he put it square in the middle and were we not given a ten minute time penalty. Back on our bikes we headed back to the transition area but first we had to cross the same two creeks again and then sprint back to the TA.
We finished the first bike leg in about 15th. place. Next leg had a water challenge and a military leadership reaction course. We biked over to the reaction course and preceded to finish that event in about 4 minutes, we had 15 minutes to do it so we did it fairly fast. Back on the bikes over to a small lake which we had to swim across. Then back again to check in at the TA area.
Next up Land Navigation. But before we left to go on the land navigation we had a mystery event which was a puzzle challenge. Take 24 toothpicks to make a square remove 8 of them and make 3 squares!! Brother Pat figured this out without too much help from myself or Lee!! Then off to the the land navigation but first Lee plotted the two points we had to find. We jogged and walked fast to the two points and made it back to the TA in a little over 1 hour.
Up next another land navigation. Three points to find this time. This land navigation leg was about three miles away and the points were well hidden in the deep woods. Lee put us right on them with no real trouble. Then back to the TA bushwhacking through the thick stuff.
Last leg mystery event and 2 land navigation points to find. The mystery event was KARAOKE!!! We sang Splish Splash!! Then off to the final 2 land navigation points. A little bushwhacking and some fine navigating by Lee we found the 2 points and made it back to the TA with a few minutes to spare before the time cutoff.
It was a FUN DAY especially with two great people to do a race with, Pat Scherrey and Lee Torbett. We finish in First Place in the Masters Division and also won the Mystery event.