Saturday, November 29, 2008


I just registered our second team for the upcoming Castlewood Adventure in St. Louis next weekend. Teams will be as follows:

Four Person Coed

John Clausen
Amanda Clausen
Justin Montgomery
Maggie Conley

Two Person Coed

Kelly Sumner
Krista Patterson

There is some tough competition all around for this race but there is a large field of newbies as well. I look forward to showing them what this game is all about.

Castlewood Update 11/30/08 - 91 Teams are currently listed for next weeks race. Wahoo. Should be a bit dodgy at the start. I'm hoping they have put a little more thought into spreading teams out off the starting line than they did last year.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I just happened upon a photo of our own Johnny Woodward laying it down in the 2008 Vets Run back in November.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


We had a good showing at the Jerry Tabb Road Trip this year. We added a few twists with an optional adventure duathlon but not many people bit. We had one team and a solo try the the duo, and both were teammates. John and Amanda got the official win with Ryan actually taking first place time wise but finishing second because he couldn't complete the team mystery challenges by himself. He was a great sport about it, knowing he had kicked every ones arse.

Attendance overall was a little down this year. A bright spot for the year was that we had a huge turnout for the boy scouts this year. In fact, boy scouts ended up beating out a two time national orienteering champion for the win, as Mike Eglinski opted to try the team event and was required to try his hand at a couple of non-orienteering skills such as a washer toss and a fun little game that required you to settle three tennis balls in some holes in a piece of plywood, something Mike hadn't practiced I'm sure.

I think the highlight of the event was when Ryan decided to shortcut a route to a checkpoint, a choice that probably saved him 100 yards at most, by busting across a small inlet of water to reach a sliver of land that held a lone checkpoint. Upon reaching the CP, he must have seen the well established trail that lead to it but still opted to swim back across the 15 feet of water to reach shore. Volunteers on shore weren't sure what to think of this guy crashing out of the water and brush. I guess it worked.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I just did a new video from pictures taken by Karen Holtman during the 2007 Castlewood Adventure Race. Karen and Todd Holtman will be filling race director duties during this years race. Hope to see you all out there. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I joined up with a friend at work to support a wonderful fundraiser last month. Dick Murray has been blessed with a wonderful grandson, Luke, who was born with Down Syndrome. They formed a team for the Annual KC Buddywalk and together we raised thousands of dollars for much need aid to the KC community. Luke's Skywalkers took first place for the largest new team. We had great weather and a wonderful time. I'll be sure to get in on this early next year as we plan more fund raisers ahead of the walk.


It looks like ORF will have two teams in the Castlewood AR in December. John, Amanda and Justin are pairing up with a new teammate, Maggie Conley for the four person coed division. I'll be bringing a two person coed team if all works out with potential teammate Krista Patterson. More stuff to follow.

Krista is pictured above running with her team during the 2008 Jerry Tabb Road Trip Orienteering Event.


I threw in with Nancy Day and Ryan Slebos of Inertia for a new race this year called the Milford Lake Challenge. Set in a large lake near Junction City, Kansas, we didn't know what to expect from this first time race directors efforts. We were pleasantly surprised.

Billed as an eight hour course that would require one teammate to follow along in a kayak while the other two or three cruised along on bike and foot. Thankfully, this format did not occur as the winds on the lake were expected to pick up and the boat of choice was a cheap inflatable two-person kayak. It would have been impossible to make the eight mile paddling sections required. Thankfully the director recognized this and modified the course the week before.

The full team kayaked about four miles together on the lake, out and back up a small creek branch. Several teams had flats in the boats and some even had multiple flats. Not fun. We were lucky enough to get out front and didn't have any leaking problems. We had two boats with Ryan and I in the lead and Nancy tethered in the back solo. Some teams were all over the place in the boats but I think the tethered boat in the rear helped keep us running true and fast. Nancy said she felt like a water skier at one point. We ended up coming off the water in first place and headed into a bike section.

This was the last time we would see the TA as the rest of the race was made up of bike drops and orienteering sections. We made it to the first bike drop and took out on foot to nail the second and third CPs with no problems. The nav here was simple.

Jumping back on the bike, we hammered down a highway and into a small town. We were supposed to take a small road straight out of town but this is where our game plan fell apart as we ended up on the wrong road. We scrambled around looking for some signs of where we might have gone wrong and had finally given up and were headed back into town to try again when Ryan noticed a road that pinpointed our location just north of the actual road we were supposed to be on. We headed back out on our original road and ran right into the CP not 300 yards farther down from where we turned around. I also got a flat during this same period so we were sitting about one hour back from our lead we had as we headed into town. Argh!

Having raced with Inertia before, I knew what came to make up for lost time. I still wasn't back up to full speed with my training so trying to keep up with Ryan and Nancy was just brutal for me on foot. It was actually pretty hot for October and the heat took it's toll on me during the trekking sections. Ryan had me in tow and we would run the flats and down hills and walk the steep hills. Each time we transitioned from a hill to a flat, Ryan would just say "OK" and we'd begin to run again. I started to consciously wish for just one more minute before he spoke those ominous letters. Nothing doin. He'd bark and off we'd go. One CP was at the edge of the lake and I took a precious few seconds to jump in and bring my core temp down a bit. This was my saving grace. It was a whole new ball game for me after that dip.

The beautiful thing about this race was that every CP was a manned CP. They must have had 20 volunteers. This allowed us to check on how far back we were from the leaders at each one. We gained about five to ten each CP and ended up finishing 30 minutes ahead of the second place Team Greenhorn.

The post race party included free food at a local bar. We got back, showered up and ate a pre-party meal at the same bar and finished with their free pizza buffet. I loved this race.

I really had a great time racing with Nancy and Ryan again. It was eye opening for me how far I've fallen off my training in the last year and I've since kicked it into high gear on that front. Thank you both for pulling me through.

Picture to follow.


Off Road Fixation bucked the odds just to get to starting line at the 08 Berryman Challenge and went one step further and crossed the finish line with our coed team after four years trying on the Midwest's most treacherous 36 hour monster.

The hurdles were plenty. Ryan Netz cancelled on us this year due to work commitments. I was battling Mono and was unable to train till about two weeks before the race and Michelle had surgery on her shin for a brown recluse spider bite that got infected. We decided as a team to toe the line anyway and just do what we could. We started as a three person coed without Netz, Michelle sporting a hole the size of a quarter that went clear to the bone on her shin. Talk about guts.

The race started just before midnight on Friday night. Plotting was on the clock and we had to wade across the Current River before we reached our first CP. Ugh. Cold and wet right off the bat.

We couldn't run during the 20+ mile trek but power walked to save as much time as possible. Our nav was spot on thanks to John Clausen's great work. We could tell Michelle was in deep pain during the trek so John and I both assumed she might call it quits at the end of the trek but she decided to give the canoe a try when we got to the transition.

Since we did three person, we only had one canoe, which allowed the person in the center to catch a few Zzzz during the 32 miles section. This allowed us to stay focused later in the race. We held our own during the paddle but didn't set any records here. The paddle ended at the Start/Finish/TA and again we thought Michelle might give up the race in exchange for a cozy sleeping bag after a long night and day of pain and suffering. This girl is tuff as nails and decided to hit the bikes.

We continued to navigate well on bike and Michelle was stronger on the bike than she was on foot. We made a bad choice to bike whack a couple of times and paid a heavy time penalty. The clock was running down on us and we finally decided to skip the last two CP's on bike and head straight to the finish. We followed what looked like a well established jeep trail down into a ravine and thus began the worst bike whack I have ever experienced. We couldn't turn around and each step further seemed to bring thicker and thicker brush. I was never so happy to see pavement as when we stepped out the other side of the ravine just miles from the finish line.

We cruised in to the finish with five minutes to spare. Yup, that's right; 35 hours and 55 minutes into a 36 hour race. It would have been fine to have finished the race without all the hardship but finishing with everything stacked against us just made it that much sweeter. Well done team. I was proud to race with each one of you.