Sunday, November 12, 2006

100 Year Storm

The Moab Xtreme Expedition Race was suppose to be my first introduction into expedition style racing. The plans was for me to enjoy and learn from the experience in hopes that I would be ready to compete in 3-5 day races in 2007. Mother Nature had other plans for this race. The worst storm to hit the Moab Desert in 100 years and I got to experience it! The race was scheduled for roughly 3-days of racing for 300 miles. I was teamed up with Martin Buhr, Mike Chan and Marna Kagele from nuun-Mud and Flesh Wounds.

Teammates Marna, Martin and Mike

My current AR team gave me the green light to race with them as the pace would be a bit slower than I'm used to, but give me a good perspective on how my body would react to 3 days of racing. The race director was continuously trying to re-route teams and find other options, so that all of these adventure seekers could continue on! He finally had to surrender to Mother Nature's wishes early Saturday morning around 1am. For safety's sake, racers were returned back to the start/finish line to complete the race.

Marna and me in a brief DRY moment of Zen before race start!

The race was insane. Roads have been completely washed out, boulders were falling from all directions and slot canyons turned into raging rivers. We pushed our bikes through shin deep mud, summitted an 11,000ft peak at 2am while soaked and trying to hide from the wind and scrambled up a cliff side while trying not to get blown away by the 60mph gust of wind.

Over the shoulder shot of a Marna on bike tow.

Flash ruined the images, but the altimeter was reading 10,700'

However, in all the disaster, there was beauty. The white river rafter section was amazing. The red rock canyon walls turned into amazing water falls. Hundreds of rain induced waterfalls were raging over the tops of the cliffs. There definitely was dissapointment that we could not finish the race, but we had fun and the team work very well together. The trip was not a complete waste, as the weekend turned out to be beautiful and we had an amazing hike in Arches National Park on Saturday and an epic ride along Poison Spider Trail on Sunday.

Hike at Arches National Park

Sunday ride on Poison Spider Trail