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Jono and DoubleBellyBuster's Moraine Adventure Relay

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:47 am
by jonovision_man
What a day! Great weather, good times, and we finally pulled it all together for a great result.

Pictures here: ... 2?h=16bcbb

Race web site: <--- see you in 2013??? 8)

The Team: Blood of the Ridge

We have had people come and go each year so far, and this year was no different! But we have a really strong line-up now, our strongest yet.

Stage 1: The Canoe

We started off on the right foot (paddle?) - and then some! Our canoe pairing smoked out a good 5 minute lead on the next closest boat. They were just awesome, a real treat to watch. The shoreline was buzzing - who are these guys? Best of all, they were using the boat me and my buddy bought... proving that it really is a fast boat, and we're the problem!


Stage 2: Bike (me)

I waited a bit before starting, probably about 5-10 minutes, since there were no other teams who had come to the start yet. There is no penalty for this (transition time does not count against you) so it seemed like a good strategy.

Unfortunately when we did start, the guys around me were just too strong to hang with. I tried, but just didn't have it in me. I resigned myself to aiming for my target time, and managed to shave a minute off of last year's by the end of it.

This stage is very sandy - the first year I did it we didn't know that and I had the wrong tires (cyclocross tires). The wider tires definitely helped, I was about 10 minutes faster than my first go at this stage.


Stage 3: Run (DoubleBellyBuster) ... he rocked it out, besting last year's time by a lot (last year we got lost!) and the year before's by at least 5 minutes. A big improvement for us! It's a tough stage - net uphill with lots of sand - but he really stuck it out. I'll let him make his own stage report if there's any details he wants to add! :)


Stage 4 is yet another pretty sandy run, a bit shorter. Our guy again shaved time off of both our 2010/2011 times.

Stage 5 winds through some very rough overgrown sections... it's the one stage I've never really seen that much of myself, but our runner said it was very ingrown! And the part I saw looked really rough, I don't think that trail sees many people outside of race day. He smoked it though, cutting time off of both our 2010/2011 times again!

So at this point we were sitting pretty, with the worst of the navigationally challenging stages behind us! This was shaping up to be a great year...

... and then Stage 6 hit. A straight-forward bike, the guy doing it had done it in 2010, we had no concerns at all. He headed up the first hill, and I left to the next checkpoint in the van. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.... now I'm getting worried! Then we get a call that someone broke a chain! Ohhhh crap. I asked the organizers if he needed us to go back and help, they said they didn't think so, so I hung tight and waited for news. Thanks to some very helpful other teams, he got the chain fixed and re-started the stage. We're still not sure if they're going to give us the original start time or the second start time for the stage, hopefully the later since he did start at the start and complete the whole thing, but we'll see! If not we'll be out about 25 minutes, which would be a real shame.

Stage 7 our guy rocked out. I don't know how he went that fast, it was crazy! It's a sandy rutted tough "road" allowance. Took at least 10 minutes off of our 2011 time.

Stage 8 and our "wicked awesome roadie" came along. I always feel like I'm pretty good on the bike, but then there's this whole other level I can only envy... he was just so fast. I won this stage last year, and he killed my time by several minutes.

Stage 9 (me)!

This stage is an 11km running stage (advertised as 10.5, but Garmin wouldn't lie, would it?). It was midday and super hot, near 30C. I started out at about a tempo pace, trying to really pace myself through the hills. When I reached the first corner, I realized someone was right behind me... "red shirt"! He was from the Flying Squirrels team, and the last thing I wanted to see when trying to keep from blowing up! I told myself to keep my pace and ignore him, if he's faster then he's faster, let him go...

After the first forest section, I looked back - he was still there, about the same distance back. Through the next forest section I just kept my head down and didn't look... but I could feel him stalking me! We hit the road, back out in the full sun - I was drenched in sweat and really feeling the heat, but he must have been too as he still was about the same distance back.

Somewhere in the next forest section I lost him. There was a series of switchbacks where you loop back to where you just were, and I didn't see him - he was gone. This was a relief, now I could just focus on kicking out the last half of the stage at my pace!

Once again, out on the road, and the sun cooked me. I clung to any hint of a wind, lifted my shirt a bit, but it was really hell. Finally we went back into the forest for the last section before the checkpoint... then it got all sandy and tricky with the footing, but at least most of the hills were now behind me! I flew down the final trail and emerged from the forest having taken at least 5 minutes off of our 2010 and 2011 times. Yay!

Stage 10 and our guy rocked it out again! This stage starts out quite nice, but as you go the trail gets more and more rough and the terrain gets tougher and tougher. First 1/3: nice, good trails. Second 1/3: hilly, trail gets rougher. Third 1/3: swampy! He earned us yet another ~5 minutes off our previous years time... these are starting to add up!

Stage 11 and our "wicked awesome roadie" was back... he hammered it, somehow finding 4-5 minutes over last year's time over a 25 minute stage. Stunning. I would really hate him if he were on anyone else's team.

Stage 12 (me)!

I had gulped down enough Gatorade to recover from my previous sauna stage... and actually felt really good at the start of this stage. The first 1/2 is mostly downhill and very fast, I was flying. The second 1/2 is flatter but sandy - that was really the only obstacle, the sand. It sucks some of your pace, but all in all I really had an easy go. Nobody around me the entire time, just push push push! I think I took about 10 minutes off of our 2010 or 2011 times, I was around 5:15/km pace vs previous years I know we were over 6.

Stage 13 and it's "wicked awesome roadie" again for his last mini-prologue. Once again he hammered it, flying out of the forest at the end like a bat out of hell! At this point we were actually 1st overall on the road, which doesn't necessarily mean anything as other teams could have rested long between their stages (and we knew at least a few had). But it was really nice being way up there, easy to get parking at the checkpoints!


Stage 14 and the final run stage... it's been a lonnnng day, but our runner still matched his time from the previous year. He was one long traffic light away from beating his time, so really we were bang on.

What can I say? I'm delighted! Nobody got lost, and other than the chain calamity we were all just so fast, faster than I ever would have imagined. Everyone - including me - found time over last year that I didn't always expect was there to be found. It was just a fantastic day and our team was really on it.

Results will be posted in the next day or two, but I already have the result I wanted - we finished around 7pm, which was well into the 10 hour range. Fast fast stuff. Yay!

Re: Jono and DoubleBellyBuster's Moraine Adventure Relay

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:15 pm
by scrumhalfgirl
awesome! Sounds like it really came together for the whole team!

Re: Jono and DoubleBellyBuster's Moraine Adventure Relay

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:08 pm
by Spirit Unleashed

Re: Jono and DoubleBellyBuster's Moraine Adventure Relay

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:02 pm
by Double Bellybuster
Thanks Jon.

Stage 3:

Three runners had started this stage ahead of me so we were roughly in 4th place of 34 teams. I wanted to keep us within striking distance of the lead.

Jono, Bill and I had run this stage a week earlier so I was familiar with the terrain and difficulty. I was armed with a good idea of the pace I should run and had a handy satellite download on my Garmin that would help in the event I got lost.

While waiting for Jono to come in off the bike, I lost the satellite signal to my watch. So no pacing or map assistance. So I just gave 'er. I passed a young lady on the defending champs' (by 90 minutes) team for third place eight minutes in.

The satellite signal did not return and I was running far too quick, particularily in the heat. I knew there was two hills I would have to walk due to incline toward the end but my quick unknown pace in the heat had me struggling in the 1.5K to 4.5K stretch where the bulk of the 100K net incline for the leg was found and I found myself walking a couple times for 5-10 steps to get my breathing and heart rate under control and to keep cramps and GI distress off as the effort I was putting out in this stretch seemed comparable to a 5K road race and would have me crashing in the heat.

Beyond 4.5K, the downhills offset the uphills and I got into a rythym. I thought I would be handing over third place at the end. But a dude at 7K flew by me and then ran up the steepest incline of the leg at 7.5K. This made me a bit conscious of my unknown pace and kept me moving but I did not have the wheels to stay on his heels. I later learned that he ran a 45 minute leg, four minutes quicker than the best third leg recorded in 2011.

Things became to look more like parking lot as quickly as I had hoped and I was able to finish in 54:43, significantly quicker than the 58 minutes I had targetted. Good to know that the pace I knew I was erring on the fast side with was more than quick enough to offset the 60-75 seconds of planned and unplanned walking over the leg.

A good time - Jon has rounded up some fun characters for the day and they all turned out to be adventure-racing machines.

Re: Jono and DoubleBellyBuster's Moraine Adventure Relay

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:39 am
by Robinandamelia
Congrats you guys, sounds like quite the adventure.

Re: Jono and DoubleBellyBuster's Moraine Adventure Relay

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:14 am
by Miss*Smiles
Congratulations you guys! Sounds like a fun adventure :D

Re: Jono and DoubleBellyBuster's Moraine Adventure Relay

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:41 pm
by jonovision_man
Update: we won! Sort-of! :lol:

We were declared part of a 3-way tie for 1st, as the finishing times were so close and they only do timing for each stage to the minute.

1. 9:49
2. 9:50
3. 9:52 <--- us!

Kind of cheesy but we'll take it! Our goal was closer to 10:30 and hope for a podium, so this was a great result for us!


Re: Jono and DoubleBellyBuster's Moraine Adventure Relay

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:23 pm
by barebuns1
Congrats on the unique Adventure Relay. :)

Re: Jono and DoubleBellyBuster's Moraine Adventure Relay

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:28 pm
by Double Bellybuster
jonovision_man wrote:Kind of cheesy but we'll take it! Our goal was closer to 10:30 and hope for a podium, so this was a great result for us!

Agreed. I understand the placing logic - with 28 measurements for each team rounded to the nearest minute, that is 28 x +/- 15 seconds of inaccuracies on average...for each team. I would be just as thrilled to be named third and know we were within three minutes. But this is all good.

I wonder if this result will drive them to watches with second hands in future years.

Re: Jono and DoubleBellyBuster's Moraine Adventure Relay

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:30 pm
by Double Bellybuster
It looks like we are back this year.

Will there be a new Running Mania team to compete with? Good day and good cause.

Re: Jono and DoubleBellyBuster's Moraine Adventure Relay

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:33 pm
by Double Bellybuster
I would not have been able to recount this level of stage-by-stage detail that Jono was able to recount but here are my recollection of my time on course.

This 100 Mile Canoeing, Mountain Biking and Trail Running Race is the most important annual fund-raiser for the huge Oak Ridges Moraine greenbelt that stetches across Central Ontario north of Toronto. Here I am finishing my Stage 3, a sandy uphill running leg through the Ganaraska Forest:


Good job by Jon recruiting the right dudes for each of the 14 legs, I am glad I was able to contribute in my first year on the team...and not get lost. Team results:

2010 - 13:31:00, 18th/33 teams

2011 - 11:28:00, 7th/32

2012 - 9:52:00, ???/34

Transition times were removed by rule from total course time to enable safe road traffic and transitions. So we did not know our result on Saturday but it appeared extremely close for podium positons. There were surely younger, larger and shockingly even more athletic-looking teams out there but Team Blood of the Ridge crossed the tape four minutes after the first finisher and hours ahead of most. Left to right below is what a worn out runner (me), paddler/runner, cyclist/runner, cyclist and cyclist/runner/captain look like, with a paddler and cyclist/runner missing from the picture:


Finally on Wednesday with no winner announced, a dead heat was declared by organizers and we were event champions...or rather three-way co-champions. Very appears their system, after a gun start, of recording 13 stage starts and 14 stage finishes for each team to only the nearest minute on the clock left a greater probable measurement error than the apparent difference in result. Only one team had ever broken 10:30:00 before and this year three broke 10:00:00 with close-to-identical results so this first-ever close finish of crazed teams to the finish may lead the organizers to measure times more precisely in future years.

This event was a blast and put on the calendar for 2013 already while post-event beers were going down but now the stakes have increased as it will be a 2012 tiebreaker as well.

Will there be Running Maniac competition in 2013?