Monday, March 31, 2008

Tango & Cash Triumph at Baronscourt

There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Sperrins on Saturday 29 March, as a slight departure from instructions by a couple of other teams gifted Tango & Cash with victory at the CCAR Baronscourt Adventure Race.

Baronscourt 2008 Race Results - XLS file, 33K

(A younger, fresher Tango & Cash at last year's Baronscourt race)

Warning: Race Report - danger of boredom ahead

The weather was brutal for the start, too wet even for our blazers, with lashing rain dampening everything including spirits. However, the rain was soon forgotten as the hooter sounded and 70 eejits galloped up a mucky slope in search of 2 bits of laminated paper.

Back down the slope, the car was our brief campaign headquarters. We quickly marked our checkpoints up, and were the second team to hit the trails, just behind Team Purple 2 (the Purps), who set a helluva pace.

We tried to stick with them as best we could, with NTSR right up on us too. The Purps, just ahead, were extremely gracious in telling us where the first few checkpoints were, but after they cocked one up a bit later on, we decided we couldn’t risk listening anymore, heheheee!

A long slog and a superb tarmac descent took us to the main road, and then the Ulster American Folk Park. The traditionally-clad Folk Park team were all very cheerful in their duties, if a tad bemused at all the frantic activity, and we were soon in and out and back on the bikes.

Still pretty much neck and neck with NTSR and the Purps, the superb tarmac descent was markedly less enjoyable as a climb, but we all dragged ourselves up and slogged out the climb back up into the forest.

The Purps were FAST up the long drag to the forest and we lost sight of them, but for some reason they stopped for a KitKat half-way down the descent towards the bike-drop, and we whizzed past them in full tuck.

Just as we entered the gates of the estate, Davy lost his chain, but thankfully we were freewheeling too fast to pedal anyway, and we made it down to the bike-drop first.

We picked up our map and headed down to TA3, then wondered where the other guys had gone to, as they would definitely have taken us easily on the run down - we assumed (correctly, as it turned out) that they had headed straight out to clear the map checkpoints instead of visiting TA3 first (where they would have learned to only collect 3 markers at a time), and this ultimately proved to be their downfall.

We decided to hit the boats first. The weather had by this time turned gorgeous, and in the beauty of the scene paddling up the lake, we allowed our minds to wander briefly to consider how jarred off the guys were going to be when they finally made it to TA3 with a bunch of markers already picked up! But, snapping ourselves back to life, we hardened our hearts and got back to task.

We picked up the 2 lake markers, beached the boat to pick up the one on the earth bank, and headed back to TA, staggered round another 2 loops to get the rest, and we (Davy, that is) also managed to nick an extra 3 minutes at the bean bag task.

Utterly spent, barely shuffling, and bereft of any more expletives, we pulled off our bibs and collapsed into the vat of soup at the finish at 3:20pm, after 4hrs and 5 minutes of racing; trying to hang with the guys on the bike section wasted us, and made this definitely our most tiring and painful race to date.

Nice buns again, Joan. A genuine thanks to all the folks at CCAR, who, in the face of many unseen challenges, put on a great event every time. Fantastic fun to take part in, and superb innovations to be found in every race. Well done, guys.


Anonymous said...

Well done lads. You deserved your victory. Following the instructions is as big a part of this game as travelling fast. Team Purple (the original, not those number 2 blow-ins) will be focusing on both parts in the coming months to close the gap. Good luck lads. EddieO

Tango and Cash said...

Thanks, Eddie, and well done on your own performance - good to see you lads back on the circuit!!