Running race (WT) 5:00:00 
shoes: Salomon S-Lab2 XT Wings2
Back at it finally for WT. Hardly raced this summer and was gearing to go for this one. About a week before the race we confirmed our fourth in a recently concussed LaFemme. Whew.
As usual a complete breeze with registration, maps and all the parts of racing that generally just drain you. A few hours doing route choice and in bed by 11pm.
Countdown to 3 minutes to go on the gravel road start and what was all this talk about the paddle dams and what not?? Somehow in our haste last night I realized we had somehow missed including CP10into our route and where it was I cut off our map. One-minute to go... great. Without stressing about it too much we realized we could just go off the Algonquin map provided by race organization even though the scale wasn't ideal.
The mass start was pretty civilized pace-wise. I think no one wanted to lead and by the time we hit the bushwhack we were somewhere around 7th I think. Realized immediately how nasty some of the swamps were as we fell a bunch of spots back wasting 10 minutes before backtracking out of the alder jungle. CP1 and CP2 went reasonably well, we moved into 5th or somewhere, too early to be too concerned, we just wanted to make it off the trek in a reasonable position.
Enroute to CP3 we met up with The Shed and trekked near them. Bender and I managed to really bugger one another's navigation up and took this bearing way too far south wasting probably 30 minutes at least.
Onto the bikes somewhere in 10th I think, not feeling great about how the trek went but happy to be on the bikes. I asked 2-min how are the rest of the Ontario gang doing, figuring they had left a while ago. No Salomon, no MBR?? WTF, I guess we weren't the only ones who didn't nail the trek.
The biking section seemed to fly by. We worked well here, nailed all the navigation and made minimal stops without destroying ourselves. Just kept a steady pace...ended up passing a lot of teams, enough to put us into 3rd place a few minutes behind Beowulf and into the paddle in a good position, we thought anyway...
While transitioning the TA became a zoo, with most of the other top teams making their way in while we got ready for the paddle. Now expecting a sprint until the finish but feeling good about our chances. Unfortunately at the first portage we made our biggest error of the race and trusting a sign going right on the road instead of my map lost us a good 45 minutes. Also in the same mess were The Shed and Outeractive but no Kenetic, no Salomon. Efffff!! After contemplating canoe-whacking down to Plastic Lake via a research facility we decided to just stay on the road and keep portaging another 500m or so until another portage intersected the road and took us to the lake. By now we'd probably portaged half the circumference of this stupid lake.
Finally on the water with Shed and Outeractive the paddle continued to cause us more problems when we didn't identify the Sherborne Lake/Big Hawk Lake portage quickly and got stuck in all the shallows while heading to the dam and CP10.
Last TA and LaFemme charged us home setting a solid pace and holding us onto 6th spot, getting in just a few mins behind Logie and co.
Teammates rocked, it was great racing with LaFemme for the first time. She was always positive even when we hit our many low points and was super strong especially late in the race. Disappointed for getting sucked into the portage error and giving away those placings without being able to fight for them, especially when we had a good amount left in the tank for the run.
Thanks to Gstix, Bash and Dee for putting on another great race, can't wait to come back next year and fight it out again.