|Pretending like we know what to do!|
|The official map with checkpoints handed out one hour before race start|
About 10 minutes before the start we had somewhat of an idea about the route we wanted to take. There were 27 checkpoints and about 5 of the checkpoints had Amazing Race style challenges that you had to complete as a team. There were a few divisions (2 person co-ed, 2 person male, 2 person female, and 3 person teams) and 202 teams overall. We had three hours to find as many checkpoints (flags) and complete as many challenges as we could within the time limit. If you complete more checkpoints in a longer time you finish ahead of a team that completes fewer checkpoints in a quicker time. If you get all the checkpoints then you will cover a distance of around 5 miles. When the gun went off everyone was sprinting down trails and through the woods. We were following our compass and map. The first few checkpoints we were able to find without issue while making good time. It seemed like we were doing well. Then we set off to get one of the checkpoints awhich was pretty far away and since we did not have great orienteering skills we just went in a straight line through the woods and thorns. We eventually found the checkpoint and our clothes were ripped up!
|Mid race south side of lake|
We continued working our way around the property and the lake finding all the checkpoints. Our first challenge was putting a milk crate on our outer foot and sharing one milk crate for our inner foot, sort of a twist on a three legged race. We had to go around a track without our feet touching the ground. This took some time because we had to wait in line to do the challenge. We completed that skills challenge and moved on to more checkpoints, challenges, and routes straight through more thicket and thorns. We realized that we had missed a checkpoint / challenge at the beginning of our route and we would have to do it at the end. This turned out to be a good thing as I will explain later. We missed another checkpoint two thirds of the way around the property and had to backtrack to find it. The other challenges entailed scaling around a rock wall, going in a tree house and finding signs with letters posted in the woods while scrambling the letters to come up with the message, snow shoe (run because there was no snow) around a trail loop, and riding a fat tire bike around a lake. Doing all of these things made the time fly by quickly.