Salomon Adventure Challenge: Canadian Championship
|1||Simon River Sports||1||adidas divas||1||Beowulf|
|2||adidas Canada||2||Squatters||2||XPLORE- MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR|
|3||Archipela||3||Wild Kats Unlimited||3||Raid Pulse.com|
|4||Hunger||4||3 Amigas||4||STORM Racing|
|5||Dead Reckoning||5||Muskoka Trail Blazers||5||Tree Huggers|
LEADERBOARD - View CP times and category rankings.
COURSE MAP - an overview of the course on a satellite image of the area.
PHOTO GALLERY - view some great shots of the race.
Click here for the pre-race information.
What a great way to end the season! 48 teams made the trip to Bark Lake to compete in the 2006 Salomon Adventure Challenge Canadian Championships.
The race was to start at 0400 after an hour bus trip to the remote start line. However, teams got to start the ‘adventure’ part of the race early as the bus company decided to send only one of the three buses promised! Race Director Geoff Langford spent an anxious 30 mins waking up the bus company’s dispatcher, who woke the other two drivers and got them on the road to Bark Lake. Teams were gifted an extra hour plus of sleep until buses two and three arrived!
Finally reaching the start line at 0630, teams gathered at a fork on a back road, headlamps barely necessary, for a 0640 start. Temperatures were cool and the sky had been threatening rain as teams headed out from the start line near Buckhorn. Nonetheless, the sun rose immediately at that point, making for a beautiful morning.
The race began with a 5 km trek to a remote checkpoint. Hard core volunteers Neil Baker and Gail Mueller had hiked out to CP1 with course designer Bob Miller many hours earlier in anticipation of a 0400 start. Needless to say they were very excited to see the first teams arriving just after dawn.
Bob Miller once again treated the races to an exciting and tough course. One racer was heard exclaiming that it was ‘Miller Time!’ as he got off the bus! A tribute to the FAR course designer and accomplished adventure racer. From the first trail run to the outstanding portages and river paddling, Miller had teams amazed at the course, winding trails and amazing views.
At the front of the pack some of the strongest teams in SAC history: Simon River Sports, Raid Pulse, adidas Canada, Xplore Mountain Hardware, Archipela and Beowulf fighting it out for the top spots. And, new to SAC, the Championships had its first solo racer: Paul Phillips!
The first trek managed to scramble the field nicely, with Teams Xplore Mountain Hardware reaching TA1 first, followed closely by Spizzed, Raidpulse.com, Xilarate, and Kinetic Konnection. It was a fast and furious TA as teams searched for canoes with yokes. A quick portage down to the water and teams were off on what many described as the most interesting paddle they'd seen in a short race. adidas Canada arrived at TA2 early enough to grab one of the lighter canoes, but the combined weight of their muscular bodies was too much for the lightweight canoe. After a quick flip in the lake, they returned to grab a heavier, more stable boat and were off. As luck would have it, the adidas divas arrived shortly after, grabbed the nice light boat their boys had left behind, and were off like a shot, making excellent time in the paddle.
The canoe section featured 9 portages, ranging from 50m to over 900m, which created different challenges for different teams. The paddle ended at CP4, located at the end of Beaver Lake Road near Catchacoma. We’re not sure what really happened, but two teams came off the paddle with bleeding teammates. Tree Huggers' Jamie Follas and ECCO-ESAR's Kevin Rich both had the same story - they managed to get hit in the head with their canoe during portages. Hopefully that was the reality, and not some dissention in the ranks!
The next stage - a 50km+ mountain bike - shuffled the standings again. The first few kms of snowmobile trail were blocked with blowdown from recent storms, keeping teams on their toes. Teams were able to gain time - or lost it - with the many route decisions and options through this section. The riding was fun, fast and just a little technical, some mud, some rocks, and some roots, passing by Pencil Lake, and up and over Green Mountain. Perfect AR biking. But teams had to watch signs and their directions closely to avoid major errors and detours.
Seventeen teams in total made it onto the advanced course, heading off on a rogaine-style trek to get back to Bark Lake and the finish line. Simon River Sports (SRS) proved once again that they were unstoppable. Benoît Létourneau, Benoît Tremblay and Alain Beaudry made an impressive showing, coming from an early slow start (32nd at CP1!) and finishing the race with a commanding time over the second place teams. Yes, teams. It was a sprint to the finish for teams adidas Canada and Beowulf. They gave it everything they could over the last km, and there still needed to be a photo finish.
"It really was a well designed
course. Lots of challenges for everybody. It was a really great
end of season race. And Bark Lake Centre was a great venue for
it. Great job. Looking forward to next year."
Ann, Team Wild Kats Unlimited
"Great race and excellent course Bob! Thanks to all staff and volunteers for making it a great weekend."
Cathy Gallagher, Team Beowulf
"Thanks for a great and wonderful weekend. I enjoyed the race, the course, and the Ontario fall colours! And my shoulders still hurt from all the portaging!!!"
Trevor Baine, Team Xilarate
"Congrats on another great event. I had a
blast, and I know my new guy had an awesome time too."
- Steve Meyer, Team Hyper-Active
I was so thrilled to have won one of the spots on the (Salomon Women Will...) team, and getting to race with Dave was a great experience (though today I can barely walk!). I learned a lot from Dave about what type of pace and commitment it takes to really be competitive, and also about planning and teamwork strategies. I was really motivated to step up my training and am thinking now of joining you guys in Mexico in March. Anyways, I think that these contests are a great initiative, and wanted to let you, and all of the Frontier staff, know that you put on a great end of the season race. Thanks again!"
- Sally Heath, Team Salomon Women Will...