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

AR Haiku: The mini van
posted Saturday, June 30, 2007 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 5:15 PM - 0 comments

This week my trusty Jeep Grand Cherokee had to go on the disabled list.

It would be out of action for just a day, no longer thankfully. But, not wanting to miss any paddling with my fellow mates on Team Checkpoint Zero/GoLite, I begged my wife for the keys to her mini van. The Honda Odyssey has done its duty as a team hauler before, but mostly shuttles the family around to Cub Scout meetings, lake weekends, play dates, school, etc.

She thankfully obliged, so I took off to the river Friday morning with my kayak strapped to the roof and my smelly training clothes and paddling gear piled inside. I have to say it was a wonderful ride.

As a dad who's desperately hanging on to every shred of cool I think I have (as if), it can be hard to climb inside the mini van and consider striking a cool pose as I rumble up to stop lights -- like I did in my 20s when I had a light blue 1978 280Z sports car. Mini vans scream utility, not style. But in reflection, I think they're a great 4-wheel analogy for adventure racers. Shouldn't we, in the heat of battle, be more concerned about performance than how good we look in our spandex shorts and our skinny carbon-fiber bike?

So, in tribute to my wife's Honda Odyssey and to mini vans everywhere, I wrote this Honda Haiku. Excuse the weak reference to former Chrysler chief Lee Iacocca in the first line. I had to stick to the strict 5/7/5 Haiku syllable rule (Lee Iacocca is credited for taking the mini van to market for the first time in the '80s).

Lee I is a god
Paddles, bikes, boats, gear boxes
It all fits just fine

- Paul Cox

Rookies Lay Siege on AR
posted Monday, June 18, 2007 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 9:34 PM - 0 comments

Jon, Peter and I had the pleasure of captaining three teams of first-time adventure racers in this weekend's Siege on Fort Yargo sprint adventure race in Winder, Ga.

Our teams didn't win the event sponsored by Trailblazers Adventure Racing Club, but we must have had the most fun. And I believe all the rookies want to come back for some more!

Checkpoint Zero, in partnership with GoLite, sponsored the Checkpoint Challenge in which aspiring racers were invited to write an essay on why they wanted to race on three Checkpoint Zero/GoLite teams. Those chosen got a race entry, some great GoLite gear, and hopefully learned a little about adventure racing from us during the event.

Thanks to Yak for putting this together and for all the Zeros who made the weekend very memorable.

- Paul

Team news
posted Friday, June 15, 2007 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 1:54 PM - 0 comments

The last couple of weeks have been quite busy for various team members. Here are some results:

6/2: Alan & Jon win masters C2 division at the Stone Mountain, GA 7km Paddlethon also placing 3rd overall.

6/9: Paul wins his K1 division at the 11 mile Back to the Chattahoochee River Race in Roswell, GA and Alan also tops his division in the male C2 division with help from canoeing legend Rod Price from Florida.
Jon tackles the 2nd annual Ultra O-Gaine 24 hour rogaine event in Chattanooga, TN and pulls out a win racing solo.

The MIX is over but my ears are still buzzing
posted Monday, June 04, 2007 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 2:04 PM - 0 comments

Wow. The MIX was a crusher! If the nearly 400 miles didn't work racers hard enough, the mosquitoes were ready to finish them off. I can still hear them crawling into my ears!

The scenery was beautiful, the caving section was a first for me, the kayaking on the big bays was great fun (CPO/GoLight won the prize for the fastest kayak section, Yahoo!), but the mosquitoes nearly drove me insane!!! At the end of the race my face and neck were covered with their little insect carcasses.

The team should all be back at their respective homes today. Michele, Peter and I drove through the night Saturday, arriving home yesterday. Jeff flew out of Michigan Sunday.

Race highlights: We nearly got sprayed by a skunk, Jeff Woods and I took huge crashes on our bikes, Michele Hobson and I walked right up to a sleeping baby fawn in the swamp (he didn't even move), seeing a 6'5" Peter Jolles squirm through a cave at the speed of light, and hanging out with three of the coolest people I know.

We finished 4th after leapfrogging with the top two teams (EMS and BagelWorks) for most of the race. It really hurt to drop back at the end of the race. Ultimately, we lost 1.5 hours to WEDALI and the other two teams when we chose to take a short bike route to the final paddle put-in that, unknown to us, was just covered with many inches of new sand, making it nearly unridable. But it was a grueling, well-run event that featured absolutely AMAZING volunteers who were ready with a Coke and a smile at each TA.

Congrats to PVS Tech/AbsEndo/BagelWorks, Eastern Mountain Sports, WEDALI and all the teams that took on this huge race.

Thanks so much for all the shout-outs posted to Checkpoint Tracker. They really encouraged us to go hard. And to our sponsors -- we definitely appreciate all the great GoLite gear that kept us warm on the water and covered in the swamp, and the Nuun that kept us moving in the heat!

We'll post a full race report soon.

- Paul Cox