We are now recovering with some spring snowboarding at Beaver Creek after our Moab Adventures.
The race was, well, a long two days. Friday we spent consolidating gear, registering, sorting gear, and getting ready for the event — surprisingly time consuming! It turned out that the race itself was a bit short on the "adventure" part. We never really had to consult a map during the race and it was impossible to get lost so it really felt more like an off-road triathlon or multisports event. (Complete Course Map)
That said, it was still Moab and mind-bendingly striking. Oh, and there was the 275 foot rappel.
We started at 8AM in a mad mountain bike dash from Gold Bar Rim and headed in a massive peleton for Long Canyon to begin a gut wrenching climb in the mist and rain on what was the beginning of some 43 miles of riding! Mahir was feeling the pain on the bike and coupled with some sub-par equipment, he was not a happy camper at certain points. We all had our ups and downs as the day wound on. The biking through Gemini Bridges was spectacular if at times demanding as we went through sandy river washes making our way to Bull Canyon.
From there we had to drop our bikes and carry all of our gear on a 5.5 mile run back up and around so that we could do the rappel. We managed to get the overhung section which meant that as you backed off the edge there came a moment of truth as you dropped off the shelf. It definitely got your heart pumping and in my case I ended up dangling like some odd cocoon twisted around facing outwards until I composed myself and started the long (and I mean long) drop to the bottom.
Once we composed ourselves it was back on the bike for many miles until we returned back to the Colorado River just on the border of town. From there we had an 11 mile flat water paddle in 2-person inflatable kayaks. We had planned to tie them together with our top paddlers (Durdam and Nick) pulling. It was a miserable twisted failure that left Mahir and I in a boat left to our own devices. Fortunately, the sun came out at this point and it made for a pleasant, scenic if exhausting 2 hours headed down river.
The finish was typically anticlimactic and the post-race meal in food-challenged southwestern Utah was downright poor.
All in all, we had a great time. So much so that we snuck in a ride on Porcupine Rim the next day before heading out back to Colorado.
Maybe it is time to try a 24 hour version!