Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 Team Blog
presented by Inov-8

Up, up and away in Va.
posted Monday, July 24, 2006 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 9:49 PM - 0 comments

If in doubt of your location, just go up.

That's what Odyssey President Ronny Angell told racers before last weekend's One Day Adventure Race in Roanoke, Va., in the foothills of the Appalachians. And it wasn't just pre-race hyperbole.

Team Checkpoint Zero with racers Scott Pleban, Michele Hobson, Jon Barker, Paul Cox and Diane Baker in support finished second in the event that included a beautiful paddle on the James River, a ropes section strung across a small waterfall, an orienteering course in which each CP was placed at the top of a mountain, and a "biking" section that was more push than ride.

The Zeros had the lead after the first bike and the paddle section, but they ultimately couldn't hold off friends and eventual race winners Mighty Dog. Bad dog!

More details to come in a full race report.

Bitten by the Dogs; CP Zero takes second at Odyssey One Day
posted by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 4:23 PM - 0 comments

So I got a few updates by phone over the weekend, but didn't manage to get them posted...sorry fault.

In a nutshell the team started strong and raced strong to the end. If fact from what I gather they led the field for most of the race. They encountered a couple of mechanical problems with their bikes and had a racer under the weather, but they held on for a strong second a little over an hour behind Mighty Dog.

Look for a race report in the coming days and for us to muzzle the Dogs at Midnight Rush next month :-)


Virginia or BUST
posted Friday, July 21, 2006 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 1:37 PM - 0 comments

Not sure if Paul got the basement cleaned yet...if not it'll have to wait. Team Checkpoint Zero is ready to GO. Jon, Paul, Diane and Monty (mascot) are departing Atlanta this afternoon to spend the night at Michelle's crib in North Carolina. Thanks Michelle!

We'll continue the journey in the morning and meet up with Scott in Virginia in time for the 1pm start tomorrow afternoon.

The team for this weekend's Odyssey One Day Adventure Race is the same one that raced in Michigan at the Coast to Coast. Hopefully the Red Bull will keep them awake this time around :-)

Diane Barker, Support Crew

Zero's Odyssey
posted Wednesday, July 19, 2006 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 10:31 PM - 0 comments

Team Checkpoint Zero is excited to be back in action this coming weekend at the Odyssey One Day Adventure Race in Roanoke, Va.

Jon, Scott, Michele and I are looking forward to racing in the beautiful mountains of Southwest Virginia and paddling the scenic James River. I grew up in nearby Lynchburg and know firsthand how spectacular the scenery can be. Jon's wife, Diane, will be helping with race coverage. Stay tuned for a race report.

Did you know our third president Thomas Jefferson built an octagonal country villa -- Poplar Forest -- in nearby Bedford, Va.?

And no, I haven't finished cleaning the basement (see previous post), but there's still one day left!

Paul Cox, team historian

Will I get a clean basement out of all this?
posted Thursday, July 13, 2006 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 4:49 PM - 0 comments

Last night my husband, Paul, asked me if he could race with his Checkpoint Zero teammates in the upcoming Odyssey 1 Day Adventure Race in Roanoke VA the weekend of July 22nd. This race will be a tough one and also will serve as a practice run for these four teammates before they tackle the Beast of the East together in October.

Now, some wives may be upset about getting only one week's notice. I usually would be upset because he was supposed to drive me and our son Henry to the airport that weekend as we head out for a week-long vacation (he has to be at work that week, so he's meeting us in Michigan a few days later). But, honestly, I wasn't upset at all. Why? Because maybe FINALLY our basement will get cleaned out. Let me explain ...

Paul's normal routine is to return from a race and leave all his gear in a pile in the middle of our basement floor. That may be okay for a day or two, but for Paul it stays there until he needs the gear again. So, I have had a pile of racing gear in the middle of our basement floor, sans a few small items he had needed for training, since he returned from the Michigan Coast to Coast on Sunday, June 4th. As Paul begins packing for Roanoke VA, all of the gear will have to be sifted through and hopefully the items he doesn’t need will be put away and maybe even returned to their rightful owners?!?

Ahhhh, a woman can dream can't she? Anyway, here's to having a clean basement, at least until Paul returns and leaves his gear to sit until his next ADVENTURE.

A wife's perspective offered by Lisa M Cox

Finding a Needle in the Briar Patch
posted Monday, July 10, 2006 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 10:58 PM - 0 comments

Tim Abbott of Team Checkpoint Zero should have know what was coming when he and teammate Michele Hobson got lost trying to drive to the start of the 24-Hour Ultra O-gaine the weekend of July 8 at the Pine Log WMA north of Atlanta.

"The vegetation in Pine Log WMA seems to be unique in its intelligence and ability to find any part of exposed skin and shred it," says Tim.

Tim teamed up with Michele to run the course that proved particularly nasty. Team captain Jon Barker took to the woods as a soloist.

Says Jon:

It started well, but sunk quickly with a wasted 60 minutes after misplotting CP2. I joined forces with some old friends and rivals for a lot of the course. I would have happily quit after suffering with my feet at the fourteen hour mark. Stupidly hung in there through some classic dehydration, finished tied with Jim Farmer for first in the solo division and tied for third overall. We would have tied for second with our friends Kip & Jessica Koelsch who we had joined forces with for a large part of the course but Jim and I got greedy with 45 minutes left and tried to get one last needle from the haystack. All in all a successful and almost fun time.

The course was heinous; thick, thick brush, load of thorns & stickers. Nasty big snakes and spiders and 2" orienteering flags hidden 1/2" above the ground in the middle of a bush.

Will I be back next year? God, I hope not but I probably will. As always, thanks to Diane (the missus) and faithful pooch Monty for volunteering and making me smile in the middle of hell.

Says Tim:

Michele and I had an interesting time over the weekend fighting all types of prickly and thorny vegetation searching for hidden flags some of which you could not see when standing 5 feet away from them. The vegetation in Pine Log WMA seems to be unique in it's intelligence and ability to find any part of exposed skin and shred it.

The event started off badly for us as we got lost just trying to find the Pine Log WMA, made the mistake of only having a State map to guide us from Blue Ridge to White and we swear that someone had put up some signs pointing us in the wrong direction. So what should have been less than 1 hour trip took almost 2 hours and we arrived half way through the pre-race briefing and then we registered while everyone else was doing their maps and starting on the course.

On the whole the nav was challenging but enjoyable except for the hidden points that were either on the ground or surrounded by vegetation thus requiring significant searching which was particularly painful in the blackberry bushes. Both Michele and I decided to carry trekking poles which did come in useful though a particularly villainous briar stole both of Michele's poles somewhere between CP2 and CP3.

On the first section we gave up on CP7 as it did not look like it was on a very distinct feature and we skipped CP11 because we thought at that time that you could skip up to 3 CPs in each section and because the pre-race briefing advised that you should use up all your skips options - in hindsight I don't understand why they advised this. We later found out that you could only skip 3 CPs in the first three sections.

The second section was the memory section which was not too bad apart from the vegetation and we initially walked past the creak crossing way point to M3 as the creek was dry and we were looking for some water. In the third section we decided to skip CP16, had a prolonged search for CP18 in some more blackberry bushes and then gave up on CP20 pretty much because we were both fed up with the course by then and the idea of jumping in the car and heading back to Blue Ridge for some food and beer was much more appealing than wandering around in the woods searching for another CP buried in a hole in the ground somewhere.

Personally my favorite part of the course was the night navigation though the number of hidden flags made the course much less enjoyable then it could have been. I think we got back to the "Hash House" around 5pm and were on the road by 5:30pm and thankfully we did not get lost on the way back to Blue Ridge. Anyone know why it is called a "Hash House"?

Oh, and I'll add that both Michele and I repeatedly cursed our missing teammate Paul Cox who entered us for the race and then bagged it about a week before the race. Michele has saved some thorns to stick in his eye when we see him next.