Monthly ArchiveApril 2008

News Doug Theis on 17 Apr 2008

A Newfound Respect for Mandatory Gear by Nancy Gawrys

Once again I’m packing for the race and transferring my “mandatory gear” pack from my tub to my pack. This is a pack of materials I have now carried for five races. It consists of the waterproof poncho ($.99 at Target), waterproof matches, a five year old emergency blanket and an all-in-one whistle, knife, and compass. I give no thought to ever having to use any of this gear, I simply think of the check mark that will appear when I present it at check in. Thinking I have met all of the requirements,I happily start the race.
…17 hours in to race I am not so happy. We find ourselves on the bank of Salt Creek with three other teams, having paddled around aimlessly for a couple of hours looking for the cutthrough that will allow us to continue on. We are cold, wet, and closer to an emergency situation than I have ever been in during a race. Everyone scrounges about there packs pulling out emergency gear. I grab my “waterproof” matches to try and start a fire, only to discover that, yes, While my matches are still dry, and do somewhat light,they are not powerful enough to ignite the damp twigs that we have gathered. Another more prepared racer pulls out a powerful lighter and the fire rages. Now the emergency blankets come out. Adventureres wrap themselves up, space themselves around the fire, and enjoy the “coziness”. I open my blanket, start to unravel it and it comes apart in several pieces. How old is this blanket? I have enough of a piece to maybe create a scarf for my neck. I look with envy upon glow of the fire on the intact orange space blankets of my fellow racers. At this point, I’d like to use my emergency whistle to blow for help but I do not have enough confidence in my gear to even get it out.

Race Reports Doug Theis on 10 Apr 2008

Small TRG races PA08

Nancy and Steve ended up being the only two members of the four person team TRG planned to have race PA08. Julie got a bad case of poison wood in the Bahamas and I (Doug) broke my finger a week before the race. So Steve and Nancy forged on and stayed on the course for 23 hours before calling it. Bob and I crewed for them. Steve and Nancy also picked up Scott Gondek along the way; his original team made an early exit because of an injury.

The course was excellent and the weather was better. Thanks again to the race directors for a great job.

Steve and Ron Stevens of Rest and Relaxation remain the only two people who have raced in every Planet Adventure. Nice job guys.

News Doug Theis on 07 Apr 2008

PA 2008: Great leaders make great races

A few words of thanks from Team Ragged Glory to the organizers of Planet Adventure 2008. We’ve done this race since 2001 and look forward to it every year. The race was extra special this year because it was back on PA’s “home turf” in the Hoosier National Forest.

To Jerry Lyons: Thanks for donating your time year after year in spite of all the irons you have in the fire. Your commitment to the sport and to the local racers does not go unnoticed. You’ve made the race that Greg Arnold started into an old and reliable friend.

To Dave Kauffman: Your attention and help in handling the fine details of running a race in real time has played a huge part in making the race the success that it is. Your willingness to execute tons of preparation along with the sleepless days and nights during the event is probably the most critical component of making the race come together as it does.

To Mike and Cristal Garrison: it’s a little unfair to lump you together when thanking you. But I find it amazing how you work together seamlessly and stay married and friendly with each other. Mike, your course design and leadership have added greatly to the race execution and to the racer experience. Cristal, your sincerity, your concern for the racers and your contagious smile bring both joy and comfort to the weary souls coming though checkpoints and transition areas. Many thanks to you both for taking on the mantle of this, our favorite race, and for bringing to it something more and something better.

And finally, thanks to Greg, Brandon, Monty, Susan and to all of the other volunteers that I have failed to name, we appreciate and thank you for your selfless behavior and your willingness to help us racers in our “play.” We can’t wait to see you next year.