Adventure Racing race 23:40:00 
Wilderness Traverse. Team Shed Coffee Bar/NHrace
Shedman, Ursula and I lost our teammate Laval a week ago, but after some scrambling were lucky to land Jackson5 (Alex P) as our 4th.
Went into this well trained, well tapered, caught up on sleep and fully packed days in advance, so I had high hopes with a good team. As always, WT has the best pre-race procedure ever, with discipline order /length e-mailed days in advance and pre-plotted maps. Take note, other overnight event RDs!
Lemans start to get the primo boats- J5 and Urs took off in the last 100M while us old guys carried the packs. Not a big fan of sprint starts to long AR, but was up with the leaders until then.
On the boats we moved up to 3rd behind Snowpants and Salomon. After a fantastic paddle and lots of scrambling over take-outs and drag-overs, we traded back and forth with Salomon a bit and got off the water just behind them. Urs and I were able to hang with the boys OK, and Shedman helped us manhandle the boats.
Fast 3 min T/A and we were on the trek. Shedman wasn't feeling good, but solid AR teamwork got him through and kept us moving OK, and with J5 and Urs it felt like we'd been teammates for years. J5's nav was great, and he and I dispensed meds, e-caps, tums, water etc. Urs is an amazon, carrying 2 packs for most of the trek, and Shedman suffered along solidly with cramping and nausea. Beautiful trek with some wonderful open ridges. One swim from CP5 was refreshing, but on the longer swim to the T/A I felt my leg on the verge of cramping.
Another fast T/A and we were cruising down the road with my aero 'Bent out front. As soon as we hit the first climbs on the singletrack my wheels fell off- it was my turn to cramp up as Shedman flew up the hills and bombed the descents. I felt worse and worse as my legs were shot post-cramping, and I got nauseated and dizzy. Didn't help that my 'Bent doesn't do well on slimy deep mud ruts. The others would ride the narrow bit, but my back wheel would just get sucked into the rut and throw me down. I took about 5 hard falls into the slime, which messed my drivetrain and was hard work to catch up. Shedman gave me some much appreciated pushes up hills. Even in my pathetic state we passed Salomon with a mechanical, but that was temporary. I was too sick to get much food down, and could barely hold it on the road until we got to the T/A, shockingly still in 5th. Worst bike leg ever for me.
Had to do the T/A lying on the ground as I couldn't even sit up. Closest I ever came to dropping out of a race- I really didn't think I had anything left, but the guys somehow got me out of the T/A quickly, and back staggering on my feet like a drunken sailor. When we paused at an intersection and Alex found me curled up in a fetal position on the ditch, he gently said "Rich, there's no time for that". Lots of positve encouragement. Alex took some gear, and Urs carried my pack. We had planned a route with more roads, but we'd missed hearing that it was out of bounds...
Once on roads, my legs seemed to remember how to run without using the shot biking muscles and we picked up the pace. I was able to take my full pack back,so Urs took Shedman's pack.
Into the bush, with Alex solidly leading. We met TRL in there, looking a bit wet and cold. Couple more swims, but in the dark we'd gone off bearing and overshot the CP. We'd drybagged our shirts for the swim so we were warm and dry, and J5 located the powerline and got us back to CP12 after about 90 minutes of error.
Salomon had passed us, but no sign of TRL or Beowulf. (TRL had gotten lost and cold, and camped out until dawn. Sadly, Beowulf DNF due to injury in Trek 1)
Still nauseated, but this ride went a lot better. Less clay, more sand and dawn breaking. Glad I was able to recover a bit.
Back on the boats for a perfect misty calm paddle. We kept the hammer
down in case TRL was hot on our heels. We decided to tour the town on the portage, but even with the long route we still had the fastest final paddle.
At the line we found out we had a 2hr penalty for "crossing private property that wasn't marked out of bounds and didn't confer a significant advantage", which was fair. Bit of a nailbiter as Kinetic Connection was almost exactly 2 hrs behind us, but they had issues too.
We ended up 3rd Co-ed. Congrats to Pentathlon and Salomon (Nothing seems to stop them), and also for Pulllin' Foot, who put in a very solid clean race for 2nd overall.
All in all, a great course. Great team racing, and Urs and J5 were rockstars. I didn't know J5 well before, but he was excellent. Solid nav, real team player, very supportive of ailing teammates, strong in every discipline, well organized. Urs is as nice as she is fast and strong, which says a lot.
Shedman and I both had physical issues, luckily at different times so we could help each other out, and team spirits were always 100% supportive. This was one of the most scenic races I've done in Ontario too.
I still don't know what's wrong with me on the bike- why do I keep cramping up only in multisport racing recently? I really worked on biking for WT, but it turned out to be irrelevant as I had no power after cramping up and getting sick.