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

Off to the Wild Wonderful
posted Friday, May 23, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 9:58 AM - 0 comments

Our team is off to the Odyssey Wild Wonderful today. This will be the second race in the Checkpoint Tracker Series that features live GPS tracking of all teams. I'm not sure how well it will work in the gorges of WV, but hopefully you'll be able to track us as go.

The team is definitely excited and amped up to go race this weekend. We're definitely looking for an official finish this time around, and we hope it's a good one. Stop by and give us a shout-out while we're on course!


Taming the West (ern Carolina)
posted Sunday, May 18, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 7:20 PM - 0 comments

Locally known for putting on great races, once again, Steve Morrone of Kando Adventures did not disappoint and put on an excellent race. The race started out with a scavenger hunt to find the paddling equipment that had been dropped in 3 different locations in the park. We were given three different coordinates, but not told what was where. Based on last years start of the paddle section, we set out for the further out points and were not disappointed to find the paddles and PFDs.

Getting onto the water first, we had a little trouble finding the first point on the water. In the middle of the paddle section we had a bonus orienteering section that allowed the team to split up and attack the points as best we say fit. We had a little miscommunication in where we were supposed to meet up, which had me running up and down the coast looking for Susan and Michele in the boat.

We managed to get off the water in about 4th place, hot on the heels of Secret Squirrel who we knew were fast and looking very strong. We elected to head out towards the trekking section, and quickly knocked out the first couple points. next we headed for the rope section, and along the way we lost our way, buut managed to bump into Secret Squirrel and another team that were equally mystified as to the location among the numerous hills.

Eventually finding the start of the zipline, we made our way across and back to the bikes to the last portion of the race. We knew that it would be a stretch to get all the points and make it back to the finish before time would run out. Most of the points were straight forward, and we got a little lucky on finding unmarked trails, but at the same time, we got caught by a couple trails that were on the map, but were way too overgrown to travel on.

Coming down the wire, we had a couple points left and barely managed to find them before starting the long bike back to the finish line. With just minutes left, we crossed the line and learned we were the only team to collect all the points and secured a spot in this years USARA National Championship race in the fall.

Great thanks to all our sponsors, Inov-8, Numa, and Nuun, as well as all the other competitors that make this sport so fun. Check out some of the photos taken by Carol Garrity here.

The Hot Seat
posted Friday, May 16, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 1:02 PM - 0 comments

Yep, that's snow.

I asked an outfitter in Canada to send me a picture of the kayak Allen and I will be paddling in the Yukon River Quest so we can figure out how to outfit it for the race. Specifically, I wanted to know what the seats were like since we'll be in the saddle for about 460 miles. "Good gawd," I thought when opening the images (seat pictured at right). "There's snow in the boat!"

Thankfully, Marie at Up North Adventures assured me the snow is gone now. Allen and I really are looking forward to the trip up north to see how the gold rush adventurers traveled.

This slideshow prepared by the race organizers and this video on You Tube offer a glimpse of what the race will be like.

Allen and I will be paddling like fools from now until we leave for the Yukon in late June. And we'll be shopping for such necessities as a hood ornament for our kayak (perhaps this one if we can figure out to get the lights to work) and some waterproof speakers for my iPod so we can crank up some Skynyrd (at Allen's request) as we paddle through the Canadian wilderness.

Join us at the Hooch sometime during the next month!

- Paul C.

E-Fix: an Epic Adventure
posted Saturday, May 03, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 6:06 PM - 0 comments

Oompf! Dat's a lot of cheese. Those were the word posted on a convenience store sign on the trip up to beautiful West Virginia. All we can say is Oompf! Dat's a lot of elevation - 42,000 feet no less. We rolled to the starting line of the 2008 Endorphin Fix knowing that the next 3 days would treat us to beautiful scenery, lots of climbing, and no doubt some pain and suffering.

The adventure began with some insanely fun whitewater rafting in the New River Gorge. What a treat! Next up was a canoe and portage leg to take us to our bikes. Several teams went up the wrong trail (including us) to make the portage a little longer. We also tested the limits of Paul's portage wheels by stacking two canoes on top of each other when one set of wheels collapsed.

After the next few legs of the race, some biking/trekking, we encountered one of the most brutal biking legs in the history of AR! It seemed that we kept going UP and UP and UP. I'm sure there was a downhill in the mix, but I don't remember that part. During the epic bike leg, we ran short on food and water. Not good when you have 3 hours remaining in 80 degree weather! Thankfully a kind local shared some refreshingly cool spring water with us to save the day.

On the whitewater swim, our legs were revived and the cool water seemed to breathe life back into us. Next up was an orienteering section and we still had some daylight to spare. Peter was on fire with great navigation and we were elated to clear the next section. We kept on moving quickly through the course, excited to be checking off the miles at CP's as we journeyed. We made it to the finish early Sunday morning (8:40 am) with a sense of accomplishment to have finished what we consider to be one of the most brutal races put on by Odyssey. Our support crew (Paul's dad and Peter's dad) greeted us with sausage biscuits in hand. Yummy!

Post-race buzz centered around the toughness of the course along with some discussion about the new rogaine format of the race. In the end, we cleared all of the checkpoints except one that was marked with flagging tape. It cost us the win as it was mandatory, but we still feel proud to have cleared the course in a race of this magnitude. Thanks to everyone back home for all the shout outs and motivation while out there. We'll be back for the Wild, Wonderful 24 at the end of the month to conquer the gorge!