Adventure Race 11:45:00 
MISSION w Bob and Jason. 1st coed 2nd overall.
my job is in a v busy phase right now so i couldn't leave as early as we wanted, i had the boys pick me up at the office and we left about 2:30pm, almost assuredly late for the pre-race mtg and dinner. thankfully our friends on Big Dogs team took notes and had the dinner buffet kept open for us (and some others)...THANK YOU!! w no maps before this race we headed over to the hotel, prepped gear, and slept.
Brian announced 2 sets of information about CPs to gather on foot, each one had a distance, bearing, and clue, but not necessarily in the right combination. i said out loud "oh great, my favorite adventure racing skill...guessing". but honestly it was not that bad, we picked the 230* bearing info and figured it out with a pack of people. ran back to TA and plotted next segment
SEGMENT 1 - BIKE
i was using flat pedals for the first time in this race so Jason and I plotted while Bob changed shoes. headed out on bikes in the lead i think, got the first CP alone and then a bobble going to the second (we chose to ride a trail around while bikewhacking was shorter/better). got that sorted out and rode back to TA which was in a slightly different location than the starting line
SEGMENT 2 - TREK
headed out in 2nd place to CP4, at the archery range which was a surprise archery challenge. we met team We Will Survive here as they were shooting arrows. we finished the challenge first (Jason shot 3 targets) and trekked out in the lead. this section was a pretty long point-to-point trek. we debated route choices up at CP5, comparing a perceived shorter road route with the more obvious climby trail route. i think the road route was better but def glad we picked the trail route, the trails were really nice despite some really steep climbs. we moved really well on this section i thought, we got passed by MRA 2-person male but i was indifferent bc they weren't co-ed. my stomach was off for most of this section, i grabbed some TP from the pit toilet near CP6 but ended up not needing it, thankfully!
we ran past a horse pasture, and i whistled to the horses like i always do, and they came trotting up to the fence! so of course we had to stop briefly and pet them.
then closer to the TA, we met a woman riding a mule named Jane, she tried to tell us that the trails were closed to "racers" but we politely didn't believe her (she suggested a re-route that was over 10k!!!). i did get to scratch Jane's nose though, she was so sweet.
got to TA in 2nd about 10min back from leaders.
SEGMENT 3 - PADDLE
the night before Brian had said he would transport 3rd seats to the put-in. i was like "third seats? no banana boats?!?!" and evidently Brian has his own fleet of canoes now, with only 2 seats. i had looked through race comms and saw no mention of recommending a third seat. oh well. in TA i convinced the volunteers to let me take an extra PFD to sit on and that worked fine. we had also not brought any kayak paddles (i forgot mine in STL, Bob has a 2-piece he didn't want to carry, and Jason has a 4-piece that we forgot to pick up at the start of the trek). it turned out that the paddle was short (plus Jason and Bob are excellent single-blade paddlers also) so it didn't much matter and actually i think was better to not carry paddles on that long trek. we plotted 2 points and the remaining 2 were plotted on the water from distance/bearing. we weren't really confident in our water plots and that cost us some extra time at the north end of the lake, but got back reasonably well.
at the take-out, it was busy! we had a special challenge. one person had to be blindfolded and remove/replace a pedal and the rear wheel of their bike. Bob was nominated and he did a great job, really fast. other teams were around and some of them had to wait for canoes because there weren't enough :( we left TA about 20-30min back from the leaders.
SEGMENT 4A - BIKE
the instructions mentioned a lot of trails but we thought the road route would be faster, so that's what we did. we double-towed on almost all of the pavement which was awesome. the trek was pretty hard and i wasn't quite recovered from it yet to push so having help was great. we hit all of these CPs fine while i focused on eating a lot.
SEGMENT 5 - TREK
we rolled into the TA and got a pre-plotted map w 5 CPs. heard gunshots in the distance, and the volunteer told us there was a shooting range nearby. we set out for the first CP and walked right into the middle of an active shooting range...uhhhhh...whoops. fortunately Jason kept calm and asked the shooters to stop, which they did, we were all caught off-guard, but no injuries/fatalities. we got the CP and went straight back to TA to tell the volunteer to instruct the remaining teams to attack this CP from the road and NOT the woods. honestly the road was probably a better route but we had gone redline anyway. we headed into the woods, had a bit of trouble with the flat spur CP (22??) and had to re-attack, but otherwise fine.
SEGMENT 4B - BIKE
short n sweet bike back to start/finish line. we were speculating that there was more biking and a ropes section remaining
SEGMENT 6 - PADDLE
when we got back, MRA was hanging out under the finish arch, evidently done! we got the instructions and all that was left was a super short paddle in the camp lake. so we knocked that our quick (again sitting on PFD for me) and then finished about 11hrs 45min!
when we were chatting after the race, i suggested the possibility of driving back to STL tonight, the boys were stoked, we all showered really fast and jumped in the van, making it back to STL by midnight! total score.
overall this year's race was super fun, i really enjoyed racing with Jason and Bob! everything was relaxed and we kept positive attitudes through the minor struggles of stomach issues and small nav bobbles.