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

Taking the long way home
posted Monday, September 29, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 11:04 PM - 0 comments

As the sun sets on the day after the Xstream Expedition, we're all making our way home in our different ways. My father and I are taking the longest way home, driving Yak's truck and the Sylvan Sport Go trailer. It'll be another long day in the car tomorrow, but it'll be good to sleep in my own bed tomorrow night.

I can't say enough good things about the Go trailer. It's been out trusty gear hauler as well as shelter from the blistering sun and driving rain we experienced in Moab. Every detail has been thought of and perfected, creating quite possibly the best AR support vehicle that I've ever used. I'm looking forward to the next time I come into a TA and I find the Go trailer waiting for me.

Checkpoint Challenge Teams Learn the Ropes
posted Wednesday, September 10, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 9:43 AM - 0 comments

The participants of this years Checkpoint Challenge got some training in this weekend up at Red Top Mountain.

Checkpoint Zero / Inov-8 team members Jenn Rinderle, Allen McAdams, and Peter Jolles taught the recruits some adventure race survival skills, rapelling, and gave them some orienteering practice on both foot and canoe. This weekend they will get a chance to put their skills to the test in the Midnight Rush Adventure Race put on by the TrailBlazer Adventure Racing Club.

All participants in the Checkpoint Challenge are outfitted with the Race Pro 12 pack from Inov-8. It's the perfect pack for sprint racing featuring 12 liters of storage and Inov-8's patented H2Orizontial Hydration System that puts the 2 liter bladder around your hips for better weight distribution and stability.

The following racers wrote essays explaining why they should be selected as this years Checkpoint Challenge team members: Will O'connor, Christa Gray, Chris Wade, John Franco, Brian Carlson and Naqi Athar.

Are you ready for some AR?!?
posted Monday, September 08, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 10:20 PM - 2 comments

I have a real dilemma ...

It's fall. The candidates are busy trying to impress the polls. I have an important choice to make. And no, it's not which presidential candidate will receive my vote ... I must decide if I'm going to watch football or race!

Every year I miss the Georgia-Tennessee football game because I'm out in the woods. Well, my beloved Dawgs happen to be ranked number 2 in the polls as I write this. So, I'm especially conflicted as the fall adventure racing season heats up just as the Georgia football season gets underway.

Do I swap my paddle for the remote control? My bike for a couch? My energy food for some nachos and chips and join my Bulldawg brethren at the local sports & suds? College football is king in the South. So, I'm not alone in being conflicted (see this board post on race entry vs. game tickets on the Trailblazer message board).

This weekend I'll be mentoring in the Midnight Rush 12-hour race as part of the Checkpoint Challenge, which matches members of Team Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 with newer racers. Jon and Peter will be taking teams out, too. My beloved Dawgs, meanwhile, will be facing off with the South Carolina Gamecocks. I know where I'd rather be.

As much as I love watching Georgia, I'd still rather be racing, especially this weekend when I get to share my passion for the sport with two guys making the leap from sprints to 12-hour races. So, while I'm tromping around in the woods, I likely will be singing the Georgia fight song in my head.

Or, if my teammates are not so lucky, I may sing it out loud. Go Dawgs! Sic 'em. Woof! Woof! Woof!

- Paul (P-dawg)

Taming The BEAR
posted Thursday, September 04, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 10:47 AM - 1 comments

We hadn't originally planned on racing The BEAR, but when the opportunity to purchase a used C-1 in Orlando presented itself, we needed a good excuse to make a road trip out of the weekend. We checked race schedules and this race was a perfect fit.

Since the main goal of the weekend was to pick up a new canoe, we didn't bring any of our usual race boats and instead opted to borrow a very fast wooden racing canoe from a friend who lived in the area. We checked with the race director to see if the boat would be ok, and got the thumbs up. This small fact may not seem significant, but as the tale unfolds, it was nearly our undoing.

The race started with a short run to collect some information posted on an information board in the Bayard Conservation Area. After writing down the clue and making it back to the main TA, it was off to the canoe leg of the race. We put into the nearby St. John's river, and noticed the water was somewhat rougher than what we had hoped for, but we managed to keep our boat upright for the 10 km paddle to the only paddle checkpoint.

As soon as we turned around, we were hit by a series of waves and were swamped. Our attempts to empty the boat and continue onward were squashed when the wind continued to pickup and the waves got even bigger. As we floated in the river and watched the rest of the race pass us by, we decided we'd just swim to shore and portage back to the TA. This turned into the longest portage I've ever done, over 7 miles in the hot baking sun.

Against all odds, and to the surprise of many racers and officials, we did make it to the TA, hopped on our bikes, and continued the race. The bike loop was short and relatively uneventful compared to our so called paddle. We made our final transition to another trekking section and collected the remaining checkpoints. During the last 2 sections we saw a lot of teams still on the course, but didn't have any idea how we were placed. To our surprise, we crossed the finish line and were told that only one team had crossed before us, but they weren't in our category. We had won!

Races like this one just go to show, in adventure racing, don't ever give up, you never know what can happen.