Storm the Trent Adventure Race – A one of a kind adventure! It was a day of fun, mud, puddles, bushwhacking, nonstop precipitation, perseverance and team bonding. This race was not for the faint of heart. This race required embracing whatever nature threw our way and I am proud to have faced it with my friend Nate and our 14 year old sons, Caleb and Ben. Storm the Trent took place outside of Peterborough in the town of Warsaw, with three different distances for different abilities. We embarked on the mid-sized, Trek Race. The details of the event were kept under wraps until we arrived Saturday morning. Due to the forecast of rain all day, the canoe paddle portion was scheduled first.
Here is our adventure race recap – Team: Mom R We There Yet? completed the 60 km race in muddy glory, non-stop rain and successfully found all 13 Check Points :
- Canoe Paddle: Caleb and I worked as a team in one canoe; Nate in Ben in a second canoe. It was a mass start in the river with major congestion as everyone paddled along the river to the first check point (CP1) and used our electronic chips to check in at floating stations. A 180 degree turn and a hard paddle back to the start point was successfully executed. One canoe capsized en-route, due to the congestion.
- Mountain Bike – Section 1: We pulled the canoe out of the water, transitioned to our cycling gear (life jackets removed) electronically checked in at CP2 and headed out as a team on our four mountain bikes. This section involved locating one unstaffed Check Point (CP30) and finding our way to CP4 with only one wrong turn along the way – thank you to Ben for guiding us the correct way!
- Run 1 and Locating Maps: At CP4 we transitioned to our first run section. Along this out and back run to Rotten Lake, we needed to locate four maps off the trail (using a satellite map of the run route) which provided vital information required for a later run section where we needed to find four hidden check points. Caleb and Ben were in charge of recording the information found at the four map stops – a permanent marker and a waterproof map bag were essential during this section as the rain increased in intensity. At Rotten Lake we checked in electronically again (CP31) and we were back off running to our bikes.
- Mountain Bike Section 2: This was a long intense mountain bike portion of the adventure race. Mud, rocks, puddles, streams and twists and turns made this a very challenging ride. Rain continued to pour down on us relentlessly. We cycled through puddles that were so deep that we were literally up to our knees in water. Sometimes we made it through the puddles, sometimes we fell. I have never cycled through water like this before. We did our utmost to cycle through the rocky terrain, but for some sections we resorted to walking and running with our bikes, after several falls and a bloody knee. This was challenging for the most experienced of mountain bikers, which sadly, we are not! Three more electronic check points were reached during this ride portion and finally we made it to the second run section. At this point we were fully drenched, mud caked and cold.
- Run 2 and Orienteering: Transitioning to the run was a relief, however, getting running shoes on was extremely challenging as finger dexterity was gone. My “easy” laces were not so easy and I could not open my shoes. My lovely teammate Nate even tried to use her teeth to loosen my laces – with much assistance I finally got my trail runners on and we were off searching for four hidden checkpoints. Here we used the information that we had gathered earlier, during our last run. It took us a while to find the first check point; that success boosted our spirits! The running warmed my numb feet and a caffeine power gel energized Ben, who had been fading during the last bike. With all of our spirits rejuvenated, we were off running as a team to find the next check point in the creek bed (very hidden). Thankfully other teams helped us find the check point. Next we were bushwhacking with our compass to find the third check point. After being lost for several minutes, Caleb got us back on track and we successfully orienteered to the last two check points along this run route. Then it was a quick run back to the bikes – a switch of the shoes – and we were off riding again –
- Mountain Bike Section 3: This was our third and last mountain bike ride; this one to the finish. This section consisted of dirt and paved roads, a huge relief after the technical sections we had navigated through during the last ride.
- The Finish LINE: Team: Mom R We There Yet? made it across the finish line in 5 hours and 45 minutes. (race results to be posted at Stormthetrent.com)
We finished together as friends, mothers and sons.
Thank you to my awesome team-mates for their great attitudes and persistence. Each one of us had our highs and lows along the route, but we stuck together. As a group we suffered only one bloody knee, many falls in mud and puddles, one blood sugar crash at around the three hour mark and one stuck shoe – not bad for a tough race! – no major casualties and another successful adventure accomplished!