Team Stories – Way Too Phat
April 19, 2006
Way Too Phat (R.Tibert, G.Moore)
12/27 teams in PC-24
Course Time: 23 hours
As usual the January snow and cold induced our need to again (since 2001, SAR challenge) to register to “race”. Feet have long since healed and the toe nails have returned in full form.
Race day: Early morning start up, by meeting for breakfast at Sunnyside and then out to the new registration area for this year.
This is one of my favorite times because we only see familiar faces at these events. Great folks like Pat Chan (PEI), Shawn and Denise B (NB), Bachman bros (NB), Jodi Isoner (NS), Mark Campbell (NS) just to name a few, and the list goes on and on.
We registered, grabbed our maps and headed out to the start site to finish line for last second packing for the course. The community tent wasn’t used that much this year since we were allowed to go back to our cars for warmth. (I kind of liked it the old way)
The course was huge and the points were scattered! My limited knowledge of orienteering strategies made it easier to come up with a plan for the day and evening. Our plan was to go to the top of the course, counter clockwise and return back for midnight for KFC and re-stock or liquid and food. Then the left bottom part of the course would be the rest of the grave yard shift and morning.
Deja view!! At the start line and it’s foggy and wants to rain. A quick pre-race meeting and all were ready. At the start line we figured most would go to 138 and we figured that would be a great warm up and a confidence booster. We left 131 for the end of the course. Teams spread out quick! You just gotta like those starts!! My pack felt heavier than usual but I thought perhaps I wasn’t used to it. 138 was fun, just to the right of the trail. Next we jogged up to 129 for another easy one, then to 130 to practice bushwhacking. There we met 2 girls standing on the road and they motioned to head into the woods now. We thanked them and walk on the road a little further before taking our bearing and slipping into the bush. In hindsight we would have saved 15 minutes of walking though swamp, had we taken their advice. Met Allie and her partner at this point, they ran by us later! 124 was a sweet easy one, then to the scout camp. (Brings back memories of scouting) Met Geoff and Leah whom seemed to be doing well at this point, we commented that it was cool for couples to race together.128 was a nice walk on the trail then back to the scout camp. It seemed that the scout services were enjoyed here, but we didn’t stay. Off to 237 and it was a direct hit, we followed the shoreline to a trail then back out to the main road to get to 240. I missed this one, walked right by it, the walking was so great in the bush that we got there too quick. Realizing we are almost 1 km up PanukeLake, we back tracked to get our points.3 guys having Heinekens was the highlight of this point. We back tracked again to 225 and stopped to clean and inspect feet and “other” chaffing areas. Getting my KFC lunch, I noticed one of my chickens was pulverized by a huge rock someone had placed in my pack at the start line. Well I wanted to keep that rock and return it but the teammates laughing made light of the situation. From here we headed up the road to 211 on top of a hill, then a short bushwhack to 243. We were happy with the compass now! We hiked around the lake through the bush to go to 241. We finished this one at dark and the fog rolled in. We figured there was water supply drop down the road, indicated by a “W”. The fog was so thick! We missed the water drop. Kind of a panic feeling since we can’t see 7 feet ahead of us, only large map details were of any use to me right now. We headed up the road to 226 and once we entered the cold wet woods the fog wasn’t as bad (trees were thick!) I trapped some swamp water here, purified it (floaters?) and we found a trail just above the lake. We see lights along the water and we keep going toward 227. We hit the stream and followed it to the lake where we met two guys whom said they didn’t find the flag and had been there for 40 min or so. We didn’t find it either and after I fell in the river sideways, I figured we were in the wrong cove, not that it knocked sense into me. We bushed it up to the road then debated the top two (216 & 248) figuring it was too late we reluctantly headed to 218 then 212. We met Marion (PEI) and her partner here and they made the same “nav” mistake we did. The fog was so thick that the intersections on the road were not obvious.
We arrived at the Scout camp sometime in the night and feasted on luxurious hot chocolate. (These guys were great!!) From here we headed to 213 and to 230. We are running out time now and we only packed enough supplies for midnight. We were teamed up with “Too Phat” and the four of us started to take inventory of “grub” 1 cliff bar (no one wanted) 8 sour soothers (everyone wanted), 11 choc ball coffee beans (hand full), 3 1/2 worms. Team members started to sleep walk so the beans were tasty! Daylight started at CP 209 and we realized how slow we had become over the night. We bushwhacked over to 122 then back to the start finish line to do the last one we saved, 131. I think we were 30 min early but we are done for this race. Top 10 but not really, we punched a flag in the wrong hole, so that dropped us to 12th. Time to get in shape I guess!
The meal was fantastic at the Lion Club hall and the emergency hotdogs and hamburgers at the base station were a sight for hungry stomachs. Thanks to all that came and thanks to the organizers and the sponsors.
See you next year
Ron & Gary