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

Planet Adventure
posted Saturday, April 12, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 10:03 PM - 0 comments

They say getting there is half the fun, but I'm not so sure as we found out as we tried to get to the Planet Adventure Race. We had originally set up a team to race in Indiana, but three weeks before the race, I got a call that one teammate was out with a knee injury. That's fair enough. Luckily Hunter Orvis had just goined up with us and volunteered to take the spot. Then, less than a week before the race, we had another member realize that he had scheduled two races on top of each other. Luckily Hunter was able to make a few calls and find another last minute stand in, Mark Harris.

Sounds good right? Well, the day before the race I get another call and now our girl has the flu and probably won't make it. That's 3 for 3 on team mates now, but once again we got lucky and Marks teammate is able to fill in with less than 24 hours notice. So much for advanced planning.

So, with the issues of assembling a team behind us, we set out to see what damage the course would inflict on us. The course opened with a short bushwack to our bikes, where we picked them up and rode some great single track in the Hoosier national forest. By the end of the first section, we had about a minute lead on EMS. We later found out that they had been having bike issues, as usually they are very strong riders. Next up was a unique orienteering section, in which we were told that we could get in any order, but to throw in a twist, we could skip a single point. This was difficult to do on the fly, as we didn't have a long time to figure out any strategy. In the end, we chose a roughly CCW route, skipping one point early on. I don't know that our route was optimal, but it was good enough to be one of the faster times through the course.

Completing the rogain, we made our way to the paddle portion of the race. Now this was not any ordinary paddle by any means. The water level was was about 14 feet over normal, and the reservoir was backed up miles and miles. This meant the paddle wasn't on a river, but on a flood plain, floating through the forest and the trees, literally! We were lucky enough to make it through the section before dark, but many teams didn't, and several were forced to the bank to made camp for the night.

With a quick transition to the last trek section, we made our way and finally got onto our bikes for a 20 mile ride to the finish. We had going back and forth with GOALS for 3rd place at this point, knowing there was little chance of riding down EMS or Alpine Shop. As we made our way onto the first section of single track I heard a little yell but didn't think much of it. After proceeding down the trail a little further I finally realized that there was no one behind me. Turning around I quickly found the reason. That little yell was because of a fall, and that fall turned out to be a race ender. Somehow the rear derailleur had gotten forced into the wheel, which by some stroke of unfortunate luck resulted in the in the rear skewer breaking. I'd never seen that, and couldn't think of a fix. We decided to throw in the towel then and there.

It turned out to be a little disappointing result, but I am glad that we went. The Planet Adventure race was an excellent event, well run, and in a beautiful part of the country. It'll certainly be on my list to hit up next year.

A Wife's Perspective: Stepping in to Make a Difference
posted Friday, April 11, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 11:36 AM - 0 comments

This year, Henry and I decided to do more than simply support the team and volunteer at checkpoints while Paul is having fun in the woods. Henry, 7, wanted to have something of his own to do, something worthwhile, something to help people. So with a little research and a little direction from Jessica Koelsch of WeCeFAR, we found the Nike Reuse a Shoe Program. Nike accepts old athletic shoes at any of their retail stores. The shoes are sorted and recycled and used for playground, and court surfaces. Not only are the shoes being put to good use, but they are not filling up a landfill.

This has worked out well for us. When Paul signs up to do a race, we contact the RD and ask permission to collect shoes at registration and then simply find a Nike store near the race course to drop off the shoes. So far we have collected 35 pair at Swamp Stomp and 43 pair at CPO race. We will be in Blue Ridge this weekend. So look for Henry's homemade Nike ReUse a Shoe sign and bring us your old, tired worn out shoes.

-Lisa Cox