The race started with a 200 meter LeMans run to our bikes, then a road ride around the reservoir from Lantana Lodge to Ray Roberts Lake State Park. Lots of pace riding and a little bit of tire rubbing. Someone apparently dislocated their shoulder less than 1/4 mile from the start - that's a bad way to start a race.
We transitioned to a tough open water paddle on the reservoir. A fair bit of wind created a white-capped lake. We bypassed CP5 with Nuun and Bushwhacker, and got it on the way back (after doing a 1.5 mile portage, getting CP4, and another 1.5 mile portage - most sections were Score-O format). Steering the boat in these conditions was especially taxing. We brought 3 double bladed kayaks for this section, but Biz only ended up using half a kayak paddle on the same side of the boat for 90% of this section just to keep us going in the right direction. We didn't lose too many spots, but we were a bit worried about our earlier portage. In retrospect, it likely saved us a few miles of paddling, which felt better in the long run.
We then biked around a finger of the reservoir to complete a short trekking section. This orienteering leg was on a peninsula in Ray Roberts SP. We made some pretty good time and caught back up with the leaders despite the scratchy/thorny terrain.
Not knowing how close the next team behind us was, our bike back to Lantana Lodge/finish was done with haste despite the muddy conditions. We came into the line at ~6:40am, with a racing time of 23:40 for a very respectable 4th place of 67 teams.Good race for us overall, but the thick vegetation and tough paddle took it's toll. It was awesome to see a lot of other teams out there throughout the race, even if it wasn't under the best circumstances for either of us at any given time. Congrats to Granite AR for rocking the course.
We all agreed that it would have been fun to see what the course would have been like without the rain two days before the start - this course was understandably heavy on biking, with a total of 108 miles for us. Trekking sections will be remembered for the gnarly conditions and the open water paddle for the blowing wind. The stiff competition and Texas itself won't be something we'll "mess with" anytime soon, but we were happy to come away with a great experience. Thanks to all of those who followed us throughout the 2009 season!