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Wild Summer Race

I shot some video today at the Wild Summer race. The weather was perfect - a sunny, 80 degree at William O'Brien State Park and surrounding areas. The race format was interesting - there were three basic loops, one for each of the three major disciplines: trekking, biking, and paddling. Teams could choose to do the loops in any order, and had to come back to the central location and check in before going out on the next loop. Each loop had a separate set of maps and passport that the racers would pick up at the time they left.

Dan W and John H were out in full force with the cameras - and the only reason Jason wasn't was because he was running the race - so I didn't worry about taking photos and focused on video. I only managed about 45 minutes, but I think that's because I was getting a little more selective and not taking "junk" video. Still, some of the parts I like the best were unscripted and unexpected (why is that a surprise?)

I started out by running around the western section of the park, behind the railroad track. The score-O format really spread out the teams and so I didn't have that much footage for the first two hours. Then I drove around the bike course looking for something good. It was arranged in a big loop around the west side of Big Marine Lake (although the farthest CPs were optional), so it should have been straightforward to find teams on certain segments of road. Unfortunately, the next hour was slim pickings as well! I started to get worried about having enough footage.

A little after noon I headed back to the central checkin, and after a quick consultation with Gail and Dan, was cleared to take one of the extra boats out onto the river. It was fun paddling one of the inflatable kayaks solo - I had to kneel in the middle, slightly towards the back, but had my good paddle so it wasn't at all hard to keep it straight. But it would still turn on a dime if I let it - I could turn more than 90 degrees with a single sweep stroke and proper hip movement. It was also fun to be able to A) go straight when another 2-person boat was spinning in circles, and B) outpaddle a 2-person boat upstream. No, I'm not intending to brag about my AwEsOmE paddling SKILLZ... but I did overtake a boat on the way to CP 1.

Anyway, there was some good material on the river, including a team splashing through knee-deep water on foot with the boat in tow, and a team portaging across an island in the middle of the river and getting caught in a squidgy-squodgy bog.

I spent the last hour of the race running around the park again, since there were almost twice as many teams who saved the trek section for last, as opposed to the other two disciplines. Heading south from #3 I saw a four-person team, all in dark clothes, running a good pace towards the southern railroad crossing. Following a hunch, I cut SE through the woods and onto the track (the video guy don't need to follow no steenking rules), then down to the crossing in time to identify WEDALI a couple hundred meters down the trail. I ran hard to catch up, and followed them and a couple of other teams through 6-7-A-8 until the time started to run out.

I've already captured the video and got some of the highlights marked already, so I should have something ready this coming week. Stay tuned!