CCAR Round 1 Cootehill, Cavan – Race Report

Posted by on 12 November, 2010
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Despite being from Cavan and running cross country races at Tanagh Adventure Centre down the years I had no idea what Ivan had in store. Nothing new there so!

We arrived before 9am and the place was buzzing with activity. Everyone busy preparing their bikes, organising race clothing and food. 34 teams had entered for the race. The shorter adventure race format appealing to the masses. We registered and Ivan gave his race briefing to a packed audience. The start would involve a foot orienteering section followed by a short kayak. Then we’d be back on foot for the remainder of the foot orienteering and finally onto the bikes for MTBo. All the bonuses were on the MBTO section so it was going to be a course suited to the bikers.

We lined up at the start and waited our turn to dip before collecting our maps. The race was packed with strong teams so it was going to be fast and furious from the off. Map in hand we raced down the hill and across the road into the forrest. Teams were closely bunched together for the first control but the soon spread out. Myself and Karen settled into a comfortable pace well up the pack. We found ourselves sitting in third place arriving at the kayak section. Before we hit the water we had our first special task of the day. Each team had to eat half a packet of cream crackers. This was feckin tough and everyone struggled… some more than others. Some teams had special magical powers that could make crackers vanish into thin air? Karen was doing alot better than me and in the end I resorted to regurgitating the final few crackers.

In the kayak and on the water in good position we found ourselves in hot persuite of “5 Minutes to Midnight” (Andreas and Mel) who did amazingly well on the cracker task. The paddle was a straightforward out and back. Not fans of sit on tops we just wanted to get the paddle out of the way. We had a bit of a ding dong battle with Andreas and Mel all the way on the paddle and this resumed when we got back on foot. We pulled ahead but made an error almost missing CP10. We backtracked undoing all our good work but more importantly we got the “mandatory” CP. We had no idea what the penalty would be for missing it but it cost us 10 minutes going back for it. We raced to the bike transition were we completed a short obstacle course before getting to the bikes.

Changing into our SPD’s we were joined by “Bikedock Belle-ettes” and “Mr. & Mrs.”. I think “5 Minutes to Midnight” were already out the road. It was a real close race. With all the bonuses on the MTB section it was going to be difficult to compete with Melanie and Ryan but we’d give it our best shot :) We followed the “Bikedock Belle-ettes” out of transition passing them once we hit the main road and off in search of CP12, the first bonus control. We were moving well on the bikes and picking off controls with ease. Karen got her first taste of Cavan’s rolling hills but didn’t let them slow her down. We passed “Seans Team” (Sean and Mark) who were in the process of fixing a puncture (the first of 4 they got on the day!). Bonus controls complete we were now back in the forrest for the remainder of the race.

Someone described the forrest as a rabbits warren it was so difficult to navigate around. Everything looked the same. The map board was covered in muck and it was tough going. Alot of attention was paid to every turn we made. It slowed us down but I think everyone had slowed at this point. We picked off the controls fairly fast some requiring a little bit of searching but they were all in their correct place. Another special task. This time it was following a rope through the forrest while blindfolded and identifying objects attached to the rope. There were 10 items. We got 8 so we received a 2 minute penalty. Back on the bikes for the remaining CP’s and we were meeting teams coming from all directions. It was difficult to tell who was ahead of who at this point but it was funny watching teams go in opposite directions. Alot of teams were getting puntures throughout the day and we had been lucky enough to escape up until now :( Karens back tyre went flat and we lost a few minutes replacing it. As we did team “Mr. & Mrs.” whizzed by. Punture fixed we set off for CP28 which was back at the start of the Kayaking leg. Here we had our final special task of the day to fill a pipe with water and retreive a ball. As we were completing the task team “Hollywood Heroes” (Mick & ROse) were completing the kayaking section. They had missed the first kayak wave but made up considerable time on the bikes. Interresting! We joined them on the bikes and raced off for CP29. They pulled away from us as we left CP30 but we later passed them fixing a punture. Bad luck! Still CP31 was very difficuly navigation wise and a long way away. We wasted some time searching for it distracted by some tape leading us astray but we got it in the end. Now on the home strecth we picked up CP32 and raced hard to the finish. The final climb to the finish was lovely :)

It was a great race in difficult conditions. The course was excellent with loads of concentration required for the nav. Team “Dogleap” with the 2 Peters were well out ahead at the end with 20 minutes to spare over closest rivals “Passing Wind” (Billy & Gerry) “Mr. & Mrs” finished an excellent third overall and first place mixed. Team “No race for old men (Enda & Sean) following closely in 4th. We finished 7th overall and 2nd mixed team. We were delighted! Fair play to Melanie and Ryan they had a great race and were worthy winners. Thanks for bringing tubeless tyres to our attention, I’ve identified a conversion kit for my DT Swiss Rims! “Hollywood Heroes” finished 3rd mixed and were hot on our heals with less than 2 minutes to spare! Well done lads it was fun racing with ye.

Thanks to Ivan and crew for an excellent race. It was great to see such a large turn out. Joanne, the buns were savage! The only thing we would ask for is a few bonus controls on the run section :)

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