Falls Lake Challenge results spreadsheet
Don and Lainey's pictures
More Pics (posted 6/11/10)
Team GungHo shared their race recap below. Feel free to leave a comment about your team's approach to the course.
Gung Ho’s Falls Lake Challenge Adventure Race Recap
"Ike and I were back in action together taking on Falls Lake, north of Raleigh. This was a step up in length and difficulty from last month’s 6 hour race at Harris Lake as this was an 8 hour race and the terrain was steeper and the distances greater. There were 12 teams in our 2 man division and 35 teams overall.
There were some pre-race rains but it had stopped as we arrived to check-in and set up. With the recent rains, the bike course was changed to have more county roads/forest service roads riding instead of mountain bike trails.
We were given the map coordinates at 9am. 25 of the 28 were given to us. The coordinates for 26-28 would be given at the CPs for 7 (on the bike), 10 (island on the paddle) and 24 (along the orienteering trek). It took us 30 minutes to plot all of the points, determine our strategy and head out on the course.
Basically there was a biking section with 9 checkpoints to the North and west (worth a total of 250 points), a 12 CP trekking section across the lake worth 120 points and 4 points worth 40 points along the lake. We decided to go for the biking first since it was worth so much, then paddle to the trekking and get the paddle points if we had time.
I got a new map holder for my bike and it was awesome! Riding and looking at the map was so much easier. We biked 3 miles to the first CP at a dead end road at the bottom of a hill, a couple of teams were ahead of us. We caught up with one team on the uphill as we went for CP7. A couple of teams ahead of us took wrong turns and followed in behind us as we ventured off the main road and up an old forest service road to the CP by a pond. Found it fine and wrote down the coordinates for CP 28 (in a culvert back near the start). We had leaped ahead of 3 teams now and grabbed CP 1 down in a gully off another forest service road. We were up to 6.5 miles biking and had another 2.5 miles to get CP 6. We found it easily on an old railroad bed and headed for CPs 5 and 4, both of which were on the abandoned railroad bed. It was 2 miles from the road out to CP 5 on an isthmus, picking up CP 4 along the way. We could tell there were three teams ahead of us as we passed them on their way back out.
We headed for CPs 3 and 2 which were about 5 miles away. It was full of “fun” uphills and downhills. We found CP3 after biking to it from the forest service road and decided to cut back to the road by bikewhacking through the burned out forest, saving a little time. We passed a bunch of road cyclists as we crossed back over the lake to get CP2. It was on a peninsula and hidden a little but Ike got it. Now we began the long bike back to the start/finish with one CP to get. It was 6 miles to CP 9, the last 1/2 mile was on a 4 wheel trail. We missed it and after double checking realized we overshot it and found it quickly then. Cost us 5 minutes. We then biked back to the transition area, picking up the culvert CP in the park. Ike had to walk through another dark tube to get it.
So, after 3 hours and 27 miles, we made it back, clearing the bike course. We were exhausted as it was very hilly and a lot of riding.
We sat down for 10 minutes, ate some food, and reconfirmed our strategy for the paddle/trek section. It was pretty windy so we decided to paddle to the trek and try to clear the trek course and then see how much time was left for the paddle section.
We paddled the 1.25 miles to the TA on the other side of the lake, another state park. There was a gear check and then we paddled 5 minutes to CP 25 and parked the boat there for the trek.
There wasn’t a clear loop, so we decided to try to minimize the distances with trails and bushwhacking. We got CP24, which gave us another of the missing coordinates, it was a CP located back near the start/finish. We moved on to CP23, then 21 and 22 covering about 2 miles of hiking. We moved along a road and then dropped down along a creek to get CP20, about ¾ mile. We jogged to CP19 along a pond and got it easily and then moved to CP17. We were starting to get concerned about time and decided to go for CP18 and leave CP 16 as it was a good ways past 18 and the team we saw at 17 said they couldn’t find it. On the way to CP18 a 3 foot black snake crossed our path, not sure if that is like a black cat crossing your path or not.
After getting CP18, we began the long trek back to the boat, heading over to get CP15 via some bushwhacking. From CP15 we had a 1.5 mile jog/trek back to the boat. We were really starting to wear down so we weren’t moving very fast. We got to the boat with 1.5 hours to go.
We paddled 1 mile to CP14 which was along the lake, but further from the finish. After finding it easily we determined we didn’t have enough time or energy to go for CP10, 12, and 13 as they were further out. We paddled 1 mile over to the shore line and got CP 11, as it was on the way to the finish. With 45 minutes to go, we had a 1.5 mile paddle and a 1 mile bike to get the CP we learned about on the trek.
We paddled in silence as we were both at our physical end and just looking forward to stopping all physical activity. We pulled the boat out of the water with 25 minutes to cut off time, walked over to our bikes and rode to CP27. It was hidden under a deck but we found it and rode back to the finish, checking in 15 minutes before the cutoff.
We finished in 7 hrs. 45 min. with 390 points out of 440 possible, biking 28 miles, paddling 5 miles, and trekking 8 miles. All this, and we had no idea how we did compared to everyone else as we weren’t really around any teams except on a few occasions."