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

Yukon or bust: There's paddlin' in them thar hills!
posted Saturday, June 21, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 9:53 AM - 0 comments

Allen and I are headed to the Yukon this afternoon to paddle in the Yukon River Quest.

Our iPods are loaded up with plenty of Skynyrd, Steve Earle and Allman Brothers tunes. We're triple checking our gear list now, and making sure we know which planes to board. Then it's off to the area of the Klondike gold rush. We should arrive in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, the race start, on Sunday.

Thanks so much to our wives Lisa and Mel for helping us start this adventure, and another huge thanks to Jake at Numa for sending me a new pair of Numa shades in time for the race!!

Some teams -- including us -- will be carring SPOT devices. You should be able to track us here. Hopefully, you'll see us go the right way -- literally -- as we approach Five Finger Rapids (pictured).

I don't generally fret over huge distances in long expedition adventure races. But, the prospect of sitting in a boat for 460 miles certainly has me wondering. But, I'm sure by the finish line I'll have a smile on my face and WAAAY more knowledge of 20th Century world history than I had at the starting line (Allen is a history teacher, and rarely at a loss for words).

Wish us luck, and follow our teammate Patsy as she's racing in the Primal Quest this week!

- Paul

Greenway Challenge
posted Monday, June 02, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 10:00 PM - 0 comments

Saturday, May 31st was the 6th annual North Chick Greenway Challenge Adventure Race, benefiting the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy. The race, which included biking, running, paddling, and various obstacles, was held at Greenway Farm in Chattanooga, TN. Race director, Jim Farmer, a former adventure racer himself, always puts on a fun challenging event and this year was the best ever. Racers could compete in a solo division (paddling or non-paddling option) or as members in a relay team.

I chose to compete in the open women solo division (with paddling and prize money 5 places deep :). Our division was stacked. Most of the area's best female adventure racers were lined up beside of me ready for a Lemans style start of the biking leg. Lisa Randall took the early lead while I hung on to 2nd. We battled back and forth until the cyclocross obstacles began, then Lisa left me in her dust. (Note to self: got to practice my mounts and dismounts before next season). After a tough downhill singletrack section, we returned along the greenway to the TA, dropped our bikes, and began the run.

I knew running was my strength and I had to put lots of time on the field during this section because paddling is my weakest event. The run started out with a brutal straight-up bushwhack. So much for my running plans. Luckily the hill wasn't too long and the rest of the run course was beautiful. A fun ropes section, technical single track and back to the TA where we ran to the start of the paddle.

As I said earlier, paddling is my weakest event, but since it was only 2 miles and down river, I thought it would be over quickly. I was wrong. The river kept going and going. I thought I had missed the take-out (not that I was paddling quick enough to miss anything). Fortunately I saw some other paddlers up ahead so knew it was just slow going. Cursing myself for not paddling more this winter, I kept thinking about the $150 1st place prize money. "Paddle, paddle, paddle," I kept repeating to myself. Finally I reached the take-out, carried my boat (with the help of some awesome volunteers) up the hill, and ran to the finish.

This was a wonderful event. Jim says he makes a race he would want to run and the course reflects this idea. The Greenway Challenge is a race to mark your calendar for and spend gas money to get there. Awesome place, awesome volunteers, awesome pizza, awesome schwag, and awesome prizes. What better way to spend a late May Saturday morning?