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SouthEast, PA, United States
This Blog is all about me and my life as a mom of a beautiful 9 year old and my dear husband who entertains me as much as my girl does.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lenape Survival Challenge

One of the races I was looking forward to this spring was the Lenape Survival Challenge.  It is described as

"A unique two person team event that begins with a 4.5 mile
run through the scenic hills of Schwenksville, followed by a
.5 mile run/climb up and back down Spring Mountain, and finishing
with a 2.5 mile canoe race down the Perkiomen. "

I wasn't worried at all about the running part in the beginning. The mountain was going to be walked up no matter what (although my partner is MUCH better at walking hills than I am), but the canoe, now that is a different story.  We got there bright and early and people started asking us if we were ready to get wet. Apparently everybody falls in the river.  In addition, there are several parts where you have to navigate the rapids with the dive team standing by who will rescue you if you go under three times. Nice to know they let you suffer first before they save you.

The race started almost on time (amazing for any race) and we took off up the first of many hills. This course is not flat by any definition. My partner was awesome and we went right up the first, then the second, then the third hill.  We passed so many people who dropped to a walk while we held it steady up those hills.  We were doing awesome for a pair who was concerned that we would finish last.  The 4.5 miles went quickly and soon we were at the bottom of the ski resort, Spring Mountain.  Here is where I got tired. Walking quickly uphill is not easy. My partner, Jodie powered ahead and I did my best to stay with her. We passed 3 other teams on the mountain. At the top we turned and ran down the steep hill into the valley again (okay I kind of jumped down and almost walked in a few steep spots versus run but I got down).  Now the fun part was set to begin.

We rounded the bend and ran to the canoe launch point. We donned life vests (thank goodness for those) and tentatively stepped into the waiting canoe.  We had a quick 5 minute lesson before the start of the race with a guy standing on a picnic table pretending to paddle. It wasn't quite enough.  I had NEVER steered a canoe before and I was in the back so it was my job.  We zig-zagged down the river and crashed into some trees twice. I just couldn't get that darn thing to turn.   Eventually I figured it out (even though 2 other teams passed us) and we were headed down river.  The rapids were approaching and we were nervous.  The girls in the canoe in front of us almost flipped and I quickly turned to the left of where they went down hoping for a better path. I was also heading for the divers, just in case.  We made it safely down the rapids and grounded out on the other side but we easily pushed off and were on our way again.  We succesfully navigated several more obstacles like trees and rocks and other rapids and were elated with our acomplishment. We even had time to pose for some pictures along the way. 

As we approached the end, we had to go under a bridge and head for the bank on the left to exit.  At this point we were so confident and distracted by the finish line, that we didn't see the HUGE rock under the water. We hit it and flipped sideways. The life vests are awesome and my head never went under.  All I could think was "Wow that's cold water!" We popped back up and grabbed the swamped canoe before it could go downstream without us.

We had no way of getting in the canoe or getting the water out, so we towed it to the exit. It was a bit scary as other canoes careened into us but the guy at the ramp finally helped me flip the canoe and empty it. We carried it up and out of the water and across the finish line!

We had finished in 1 hour and 32 minutes which was well under out goal of 2 hours. We were wet and cold but estatic. 

1 comment:

Tri4Success said...

"Apparently everybody falls in the river." Yep, you just saved it for the end. Sounds like a fun race! Awesome job!