Brendan’s recount of the E2C

I am blaming it on the winter. While planning my races for this year I discovered this “Adventure Race”. It was quite an adventure, but in reality it is a rogaine.

So, the day of, we started off a little late. Being rookies nobody realized how much this was going to add to our challenge. We, in haste, decide a quick plan of doing the Southern lake series (For the Bonus points), and plan to grab some of unrelated the checkpoints points along the way if they close or high value. So, anyhow on the drive in I made some notes (circles, triangles and stars) on the map. Boy we had big plans!!!!!

So, we got to the start just in time to hear the briefing, sign in, and get a team photo.

The first checkpoint we hit in 17 minutes! We pumped up to be on the board so early in the game. We bushwhacked (a term meaning using a route that does not consist of a road or path or common sense!) our way to a boggy second checkpoint 20 minutes later. There was a delay here which was followed by a conversation about how and why to cross a river. But we got moving. It was here we reminded ourselves that you can’t trust the map for small details. In total a 70 minute, including a boggy bushwhack for maybe a distance of 700m. But with all the twisting and turning it was so much more. So that was the start of our day. We found the next two easily. Then we had a picnic of PB and Pringle sandwiches. Everybody was in good spirits! Probably got both checkpoints completed within an hour or so.

Then it was time for the MAJOR bushwhack! It called for us to enter into woods head in a direction hit a creek, follow the creek to a lake, skirt the lake and then bear almost due north of the lake for about a klick. At least 3K worth of bushwhacking. Everybody put on safety glasses, gloves and did up buttons, I even put on my toque. This was going to be some thick brush, with branches and twigs poking at us for every direction. Well is was for the first 20 meters, it opened up right away to a beautiful mossy area. Anyway we made great time through that part, hit a creek and hit a lake, bore north and you guessed it, we hit the checkpoint dead on!

Then we still had to bushwhack our way out, we continued to bear north. Hitting the road we planned on hitting. We passed a two man team just leaving the road and bearing south. The first people we saw in at least 90 minutes. Upon hitting the road we scooped up a very hilly checkpoint and another lakeside one within the next hour.

At the lakeside one, we changed socks, took inventory of ourselves. Some blisters and some pruned feet, but high spirits. Another quick snack here as well.

After those two checkpoints there was a 4K walk along rough road. We found a stream going under the road. The distance was about right one the map. So we followed it in. 17 minutes later we score again.

Another bit of a walk until the next checkpoint. As we were about to leave the road. Some mentioned we should have our head lamp ready. It will probably be dark by the time we hit the checkpoint. This looked fairly easy, and at times we could hear voices of another team, but it took a little longer for some reason. But still after climbing over a massive rock I spied it.

As we made our way out of the woods it was dark. And on came the headlamps. We caught up with the team whose voices we heard, and yet another team. This was a team that had does this thing before. Somebody their team asked us how many checkpoints we had completed. I quickly said “one” They laughed so, I told them, “10” and they had 10 as well. Well not to bad at all for rookies!

The next one we hit was a fully night time bushwhack. And it when very well TOO WELL. We decided to push it and go for the last of the lake series in the section that we called the eastern loop.

We tried. And everytime someone voiced an idea we tried it, but alas we couldn’t find the checkpoint, let alone the lake in the darkness. By the time we returned to the road, Trish’s voiced that her ankles were “sore”. So we lightened her load to help out. Shortly later we met up with the ATV patrol and again it was nice to se people. Anyhow, I told them the route we had planned, and the distance I figured it was. Yup they confirmed it.14K back to our base camp. I told them to keep an eye out for just in case then. Ryan and I quickly had another sock change.

An hour later, we were still making headway. Ian’s feet and my hip joined Trish’s ankles on the “we work right now, but we might not in another hour” list. Our speed was way definitely off pace. I broke the bad news on how much longer it was to get back to base camp at the new rate of speed, without getting any slower. So, we had to ask ourselves was it worth it.

So that was it. It was a group decision. So we made a quick little camp amongst some boulders. And I set my Turtle light on to strobe alongside the road in case we fell asleep.

Less than an hour later the ATV patrol came by. Both suburbans were busy pulling out other teams. So they offered to take Trish to the medical tent, and let us continue on. I admit, the idea was tempting. But we realized how cold it actually was (and we were) now that we had stopped moving. So all of us agreed to wait for suburban. So we toughed it out for another hour and forty minutes.

The first thing we did as we did when we got back was make a B line for the medical tent. A big smile from Trish as we made our in through the tent flap. The army medic even treated our blisters as we waiting for Trish’s dry footware. Then medic then said another bunch of people were on the way and needed all the cots, and politely kicked us out.

So, we were definitely challenged. Collectively we managed to put a camp together and survive the cold for two and half hours out of stuff we had in packs. Although we all admit if we stayed any longer we would have to built a fire.

See ya next year Wink

I put Trish’s photos and mine into an album in facebook in case you don’t use Ringo you can access them there


About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two