News Doug Theis on 05 Sep 2017

Team Ragged Glory Wins First Place Overall in the 2017 IndyQuest Urban Adventure Race

Team Ragged Glory loves the IndyQuest Adventure Race. We’ve participated in this urban adventure for over a decade, and it’s one of our favorites. We had planned on fielding two teams of two, but our teammate Bobby Bruton from Cali had to cancel. We consolidated down to a single coed team of three: Nancy Gawrys, Cheryl O’Dore, and me, Doug Theis.

The weather on Saturday, August 4 was nearly perfect; sunny, cool, and some cloud cover. The three of us showed up early at Opti Park in Broad Ripple, which was the start/finish line. We received maps and race directions at 6:30 AM. We reviewed the course layout and timetable. It was laid out as follows:

The race would start at 8:00 AM.

The course was divided into two loops, and before the first loop there would be a mystery start. The first loop was a 15-mile bike ride from Broad Ripple that took us south on the Monon Trail, then downtown to the statehouse, Crown Hill Cemetery, Rocky Ripple for an out-and-back canoe paddle, then the Riviera Swim Club, then back to the start finish line. All checkpoints had to be visited in order. Race directions only included first loop details.

There would be an on-foot navigation section between the first and second loop, most likely in Broad Ripple village. We would receive the on-foot navigation map once we finished the first loop, then the second loop instructions after the navigation section.

Based on the checkpoint locations on the map, we knew that the second loop also started by going south on the Monon, then East on 34th St to Emerson Avenue, back up to 56th St, then back to the finish line.

The horn sounded at 8 AM. The mystery start was a half mile jaunt on foot across the Monon White River bridge then a wade in Williams Creek to pick up our passports, the paper grid where we punched at each checkpoint to prove we completed the course. This was the first of five water events in the race; Directors Jay Newlin and Jerry Lyons made sure we were wet early and often. Using our race packet-supplied picture of a rubber duck with specific clothing, we found our actual rubber duck from a pile in Marott Park, checked in with the volunteer, and picked up our passport. Back to the start, we climbed on the bikes and started the first loop.

The first loop included many of the fun special tests that are the hallmark of IndyQuest:

An army crawl under netting in South Broad Ripple
A checkpoint under the Monon Trail bridge in Fall Creek
Another 100 meter long wade that was up to our chests in Fall Creek
Throwing darts and a board and hitting two matching pictures
A crayon rubbing of the dedication date for the Hendricks statue at the statehouse
A billiard ball carry between two pipes and then placement on a pvc pipe balance
A drink of beer or water at 2Deep Brewery
Find a number painted on the road just outside of Crown Hill Cemetery
A two-mile paddle on White River in Rocky Ripple
Wrist rocket sling shots to beak a ceramic tile strung on a line.
A 2 meter jump in the diving tank at the Rivi into a loop made of two pool noodles,held in place by a teammate
Diving for pre 1970 pennies in the 6 foot lane pool
Shuffleboard – complete 30 points at the Rivi

After arriving back at the start/finish, the volunteers told us we were in the lead. We received a map of the navigation section, a 1.5-mile loop on foot of five checkpoints in Broad Ripple village. We finished the foot loop and returned to the start/finish, where we received race directions for the second loop. That loop was a 10-mile ride that included more special tests:

Knocking down a hinged “stop” sign with a sand bag at Opti Park
Completing a tic tac toe with bean bags on 9-hole box at a cornhole court at Canterbury Park
Playing a full disc golf hole at Washington Park
Moving a pool rope buoy from one end of a 50-foot rope that was wrapped and twisted around a children’s playground
Another creek slog upstream in Fall Creek at 56th St.
Completing a 3D tetrahedron puzzle made from six golf-ball clusters of differing shapes and sizes
Counting the concrete benches in front of Eastwood Middle School

Because the second loop checkpoints could be completed in any order, we weren’t sure if we were still in first place. We arrived at Opti Park, completing the course in just under five hours. Jay, the Race Director told us we were first place overall! The second place overall team Jambs finished 15 minutes later, followed by the rest of the teams.

A steady pace, good map planning and quick transitions in the special tests were our keys to winning first place. We found out later that we were the second oldest team in the race, second only to our friends Shrimp Cocktail. Age and guile beat youth and speed! Thanks to Jay, Jerry and all the race volunteers for making this event happen year after year.

News &Race Reports Doug Theis on 15 May 2016

Team Tenacious Glory Races the Mission Lite 4 Hour Adventure Race

The Dino Series Mission Adventure Race is among the longest running adventure races in the Midwest. Eric Henricks, Nancy Gawrys, and I (Doug Theis) participated in the Mission Lite four hour race on May 14, 2016 at Lieber State Recreation Area near Cloverdale. Here’s the story of our race.

Teams received maps at 6:30 AM. We copied the race checkpoints from master maps. Our points looked like this:
2016-05-15 06.52.12

At 7:30 AM, we attended the race meeting. Brian Holzhauzen, Race Director, told us we would be completing the race in segments, and we would only receive race instructions one segment at a time. The race would be four hours long and start at 8:00 AM. We would collect as many points as we could, and return to the start line at or before the four hour mark. Every minute late would cost one point. Each segment would have to be completed, gathering as many points as possible before going on to the next segment. Our first segment would be a biking section, which turned out to be about 22 miles. Here’s the instructions for the bike segment:
2016-05-15 06.53.33

The diagram on the bike segment race instructions showed more detail on the three points on the lower right corner of the larger map.

We started fast and got off on the wrong trail for a few minutes, but corrected the problem and started collecting points on our passport. Nancy slipped jumping a log and fell on her cracked ribs, but continued on. About 25 minutes in to the bike leg, my rear bike tire popped, and went immediately flat. We stopped and changed the tube, but found this:
2016-05-14 15.59.20

Was this huge L-shaped gash going to put us out of the race? Eric said he’d fixed a similar problem before with a dollar bill. We settled on Nancy’s race bib, folded over four times, as my tire patch.

2016-05-15 12.30.57

2016-05-15 12.30.42

2016-05-14 15.59.27

The patch worked! We rode the remaining 19 miles and completed the bike segment without any more tire problems.

Here’s our bike route:
Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 6.38.54 PM

When we returned to the transition area, Brian told us we were in first place! But a team was on our heels, and there was only 70 minutes left in the race. We received the next segment map, a paddling segment. Here are the instructions:
2016-05-15 06.53.15-1

We didn’t think we had time to get both controls, but we headed down to the canoes to get what we could. We paddled to the further point as it looked easier to find on the map. We headed to the hilltop and found the control. But time was short when we got back to the boat. We paddled straight back to the dock and ran to the finish line, getting back with 8 minutes to spare.

Here’s our paddling route:
Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 6.38.03 PM

Eric’s MacGuyver trick with the race bib and his excellent navigation earned Team Tenacious Glory a first place overall and first place for three person coed division.

2016-05-15 12.40.27

Here are the race results and final standings for all 34 teams.

Thanks to Dino Series for hosting the race and for keeping adventure racing alive in central Indiana!


News Doug Theis on 12 Jan 2013

Team Ragged Glory races again in 2013

Team Ragged Glory races again in 2013! Our team has included almost a dozen people over the last eleven years. We look forward to spending more time in the woods with our friends.

Our plans this year for adventure races include:

Planet Adventure 24 Hour May 18
Planet Adventure Urban Sprint August 17
Indy AR, if it is held

We’ve always raced in Indiana, so we’d love to hear your opinions on good 6-24 hour races in the donut states (Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio)?

Race Reports Doug Theis on 24 Aug 2012

2012 Planet Adventure Urban Sprint Recap by Nancy Gawrys

Today’s race was a blast. Jay Newlin always puts on a good race. I raced as Team Ragged Glory 2, taking one of Doug’s brothers-in-law, Joe Madren, as on of my teammates, since I was a late entry. (Should have been in Pike’s Peak but my calf has not been good!) Doug raced as TRG 1 with his brother-in law-Jeff. We decided we would stay together the entire race.

The race start was at Flat12, a beer garden on Dorman and New York. We left the start at 8am on foot to spread out the field. After about 20 minutes of running around in circles looking for clues, we returned to the start to collect our bikes. We proceeded on bike to the Fireman’s museum, Harrison Home, Field house, Monument circle, (where we had to climb to the 59th step, a race decision error that cost us hardware), and then to the Natatoriun where we jumped off the 3rd platform. From there we proceeded to White River for a short canoe. We should have known that something was wrong at this point because we were ahead of Garrison’s Team (they went to the correct step) and in 2nd place overall behind Dark Side. The challenge on the canoe was a choice between eating a cricket and running a mile. We all ate the cricket. Yuck! We gathered our bikes again at this point and went on a tour of parks to Bahr Park and Rhodius Park where the challenge was an Angry B ird slingshot.

I should mention that Doug’s city navigation was near perfect! We then proceeded on bikes to the canal where one team member walked/swam in the canal while the other member walked the bikes. We had to switch teammates in the canal at least once. Once we all exited the canal. we rode to the City Market and into the catacombs for a punch. From there we went to the Slippery Noodle and then into Gen Con to find a Princess Leah who would sign our passport. Interesting! The zip line was next, near a bridge at Kentucky and I70. From there we went to Pogue’s Run and trekked our bikes through 2.25 miles of tunnel.

At this point in the race we were leapfrogging between 2nd, 3rd and 4th place. This was a very tight race with no room for error. Now came the much needed relief of heading back to Flat12 for a drink of beer challenge! This is always my favorite challenge. The last segment of the race was a big bike loop from Spades Park to Brookside Park Church to Bethel Park (an Archery Challenge) to Lady of Grace to Garfield park (a build a dice challenge which was mentally challenging especially at this point in the race) to Hebrew Cemetary and then back to Flat12 and the finish. We were in 2nd place behind Garrison’s team leaving the last checkpoint. We decided to head up Shelby to the finish and got stopped by a cemetery procession and the Crit that was going on on Fountain Square. The two teams behind us made different route choices and passed us. We were also struggling with a nearly flat tire on Joe’s bike. Once we turned in our passport, I realized that I had failed to write down one clue on our passport, a rookie mistake that completely took us out of the running for hardware. All in all though, we raced very well, finishing in under 5 hours, a mere 12-15 minutes behind Garrison’s Rootstock Team. It was a beautiful day to be playing in the city.

News Doug Theis on 15 Aug 2012

Team Ragged Glory fielding two teams for the 2012 Planet Adventure Urban Sprint

Planet Adventure is hosting the 2012 Urban Sprint Adventure Race this Saturday, August 18, in downtown Indianapolis. Team Ragged Glory rides again in the form of two two-person teams: Jeff Boxell and Doug Theis on one, Joe Madren and Nancy Gawrys on the other. We’ll stick together on the course like we usually do. I’m pleased to be racing along side of two brothers-in law and Nancy Gawrys once again. See you at the race!

News &Race Reports Doug Theis on 15 May 2012

Team Ragged Glory Official First Place Finishers of the 2012 Planet Adventure 10 Hour Challenge

Planet Adventure posted the results of the 2012 10 and 30 Hour races, and Team Ragged Glory placed first overall. We were the only team to hit every single checkpoint on the course before the deadline. I had a great time with Bob, Julie and Nancy. Thanks to Planet Adventure for the tough course.

Race Reports Doug Theis on 10 May 2012

Planet Adventure 30 Hour Challenge Race Report – Heather Kluch

Heather’s race report is hysterical!

Race Reports Doug Theis on 04 May 2012

2012 Planet Adventure 10 Hour Race maps and elevation

Because too much adventure racing is never enough, I mapped out each leg of our ten hour race using Runkeeper:



Mountain Bike

Road Bike

Photos &Race Reports Doug Theis on 03 May 2012

2012 Planet Adventure 10-Hour Challenge Race Recap by Doug Theis of Team Ragged Glory

Tell City, Indiana. The place where a Northwest Airlines plane crashed in 1960. The place where, in 2007, the most brutal Planet Adventure 30 Hour Challenge took place. Reading the location of the 2012 Planet Adventure Race conjured up a cramp in my stomach. What were we getting ourselves in to? The answer: brambles, endless poison ivy, the remnants of a forest fire, and a rappel into a gravel pit, mountain biking, road riding, and huge amount of fun.

Julie Nor, Bob Mueller, Nancy Gawrys and I (Doug Theis) planned to race together. I like racing with four; it helps keep the team dynamic positive and it puts an extra set of eyes on the team. Julie and Nancy had not raced together, but the four of us had been racing with each other as Team Ragged Glory in different combinations since 2004. The 30-hour event and the 10-hour event were to be held on the same weekend for the 12th edition of this great Midwest adventure race. That meant one less race in our 2012 schedule. We decided to do the 10-hour course.

The weather forecast was all over the place and kept changing in the week leading up to the race. Race day we expected strong storms, a low of 54 and a high of 70. It would turn out to be a little different from what we had planned.

Saturday morning, we packed our bags at the hotel in Tell City and headed to the start line at Mano Point on the Ohio River in Derby, Indiana. At 8am, we received the maps and the race directions. The race would begin at 10 am play out as follows:
• Short paddle
• Huge trek/orienteering section with a rappel
• Mountain bike
• Another Trek
• Bike roads to the finish line

Race Directions

There was a hard cutoff of 8 pm, or ten hours of racing. Teams would lose one checkpoint for every minute they arrived after 8 pm.

At the pre-race meeting, after we were briefed on the race, Nancy announced to the group that it was Bob’s 52nd birthday. All the racers collectively sang Happy Birthday to Bob.

TRG: Julie, Doug, Nancy and Bob

We planned, marked maps, dropped bikes and readied ourselves for the race. Nancy would carry the passport, Bob would navigate, and I would manage the race directions. Nancy and I would be in one canoe, and Bob and Julie would be in the other. It seemed warm, but we all packed plenty of clothing, expecting strong storms and a wet race.

The gun sounded at 10:06 am. The temperature was 61 degrees. We grabbed our canoes, and put them in the Ohio River. We paddled on the Ohio for 200 meters, long enough to get to Little Oil Creek and paddle upstream. Race Director Mike Garrison eliminated paddling checkpoint CP1 from the race, so we skipped the originally planned portage, picked up a punch at CP2, and paddled to the take out at TA1. This first leg took us a little less than two hours.

Looking at the map, the first trekking section didn’t look too challenging; seven controls in a hilly wooded area about 2 miles wide by 3 miles long. We had to swim back across the Little Oil Creek about half a mile into the trek, wearing our PFDs . The temperature was 73 degrees, much warmer than we expected. The sun was shining and there was no sign of rain.

Paddle and trek section

But as soon as we crossed the creek, the brambles got thicker. We crossed a large area where there had been a forest fire, climbing over burned fallen timber, slowing us down even further. But the control placements were cool. CP4 was down under an overhang in a deep reentrant, only visible from Nancy’s point of view as we passed it. CP6 was hanging from a tree accessible only by climbing a 20 foot boulder. We were all bleeding from the brambles that seemed to be everywhere. Poison ivy looked like carpet. We found the fourth of seven controls in the trek section and headed to the rappel at CP9 on the edge of an old gravel pit.

Gravel pit

Skirting the north edge of the gravel pit was rough going. We shared the trail with Brian Schaffer’s 30 hour team JAMBS and arrived at the ropes together. We were the first 10 hour team to the rappel! Great news, but there was plenty of race left. Going down the ropes was fun, but the snake grass, the heat and the crazy hills at the bottom of the excavation started to take their toll on my body. The temperature had risen to 80, and the air was still and humid. I was heating up fast and the climb out of the gravel pit took most of what I had. Nancy, Bob and Julie all gave me a little helpful advice and kept me going as we headed towards the final control in the trekking section.

All along the course we had seen fellow 10 hour team Dude Where’s My Car. As we approached the final trekking point CP10, we approached from the high ground, and Dude approached from the low ground, converging at the same reentrant. Neither team could find the control. The area was overgrown and there were multiple small parallel reentrants that al looked the same. Bob and I decided to reset from the trail and take one more run at it before skipping it and heading to the bike transition at TA2. When we got back to the area, Dude had done the same thing, resetting from the low ground. We were again in the same area. Julie decided to check one more reentrant and found the control. We punched CP10 and headed to the bike transition. The temperature was holding steady at 80.

We got back to the bikes, refilled our water containers, ate a little and changed out of the long pants that had heated us up but protected us from the poison ivy. The next section was a mountain bike leg that was being cut short to just two controls, CP 12 and CP 16, roughly six miles total. The race directors also were cutting the second trekking section because the first trek was so difficult it had taken more time than estimated. Also, the cutoff rule was changed so that teams arriving late would only lose a maximum of two checkpoints. So a team that wanted to complete the course would have that option, albeit in the dark.

Mountain bike section

So all we had to do was finish six miles of mountain biking and about 12 miles of road riding, picking up a total of four more controls along the way to the finish line. We left everything that wasn’t mandatory at TA2, and headed out to the Mogan Ridge Bike Trails. The trails were a combination of single track, fire roads, gravel roads and horse trails. We had plenty of downhill and big rocks to negotiate. We kept moving and saw Team Wales as we picked up CP16. One of my great joys is seeing our friends racing with us side-by-side on the course. Wales’ Dana Fielding and Dave Tanner are old friends; they were the only team on the course with a higher average age than Team Ragged Glory. We old racers stick together. As we finished the mountain bike trails, we picked up our gear at TA2/TA3, and rode out for the final bike leg. We spoke to Aaron and Chase of Dude; they had failed to find either mountain bike checkpoint. If we could pick up the final two controls and finish the race, we had a good chance of finishing first!

The final twelve miles of the race was relatively flat with a couple of big climbs. The temperature had dropped 9 degrees in first part of the ride. The wind seemed against us. Bob towed me, then Nancy, helping both of us to recover as we picked up the final two bike controls and headed back to Mano Point and the finish line. In the final few miles, we passed Dude and another team. We finished with 45 minutes to spare, the only team to gather all the controls on the course.

Final bike section on the roads

Here are some comments about the race from the team.

Bob: The swim was great; at first it felt bad and then it was refreshing. I’m glad we went after CP 10 again and ended up getting it. All in all, it was an awesome birthday!

Julie: I loved the CP6 on the boulder and Nancy’s climbing skills to go and get it. Bob’s navigating skills were once again impeccable. Love the fellowship of the trail with TRG and also the teams we bump into.

Nancy: I always love the water, and in this race the creek swim was cool. I loved the fact that we reset on CP10 and found it.

As for me, I’m proud to have teammates who are friends. They helped me when I was weak. We race well together because we are friends. We win because of great navigators like Bob Mueller.

The finish line

The biggest thanks go to Planet Adventure and the race directors, John Farless, Mike Garrison, and John McInnes, and all the volunteers. Even though the volunteer pool was small, the group pulled off a great race.

News Doug Theis on 30 Apr 2012

Team Ragged Glory finishes the 2012 Planet Adventure 10 Hour Challenge

Variable forecasts, poison ivy, brambles and a monster trek section didn’t hold Team Ragged Glory back from finishing the 2012 Planet Adventure 10 Hour Challenge. The course was the toughest sprint race we’ve ever done; 1.5 hour paddle, about 5 hours in the woods on foot, and another 2 hours on the bike.

Photo by Arbors Edge

Thanks to John Farless, Mike Garrison, John McInnes and all the volunteers for continuing this amazing and historic Indiana adventure race. We’ll post more shortly!

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