Monday, July 14, 2008
Next Stop for DART-nuun: Gorge Games!
This weekend will be a major test for Team DART-nuun. We are headed to Hood River, Oregon for the 2008 Gorge Games 24 hour adventure race. Hood River is one of my favorite stops on the adventure racing circuit, nestled on the Columbia River downslope from beautiful Mt. Hood. I have raced here in the past, and have visited many times for training outings when I lived in Seattle. Hood River is truly one of the most unique spots in America, and perhaps the best place to live for a multisport athlete. You have Mt. Hood, the Columbia River (home of the best windsurfing or kite surfing on Earth), endless trail running and mountain biking trails, and most importantly Full Sail Ale brewery!
From the Gorge Game site:
Each July, droves of windsurfers, kayakers, mountain bikers, kiteboarders and adventure seekers of all kinds flock to Hood River to compete in The Gorge Games, a week-long adventure sports festival. Thousands more come to watch the athletes as they kayak over 25 foot waterfalls, mountain bike for 24 hours and launch gravity-defying aerials with their windsurfing boards and kiteboards.
The Gorge Games, which began in 1994, are the Pacific Northwest’s premier outdoor sporting attraction. Every July, the games bring world-class athletes to the Columbia Gorge’s intense rivers, pristine forests and mountain peaks.
This year's Gorge Games adventure race promises to challenge the strongest teams with paddling into extreme wind, brutal climbing on foot and mountain bike from sea level to over 6,000 feet of elevation, and tricky navigation. If we are to keep our win streak intact, we will need a flawless race. We know going into this race that we will have to dig deep, but after our experience at Baja Travesia we know we are capable of handling Epic Suffering. In addition, this year's Gorge Games will be televized on Fox Sports Net, broadcast to up to 84 million households.
We're showing up in peak condition, with the best equipment and sponsors, and the best navigator in the field...
That's right! Glenn Rogers recently won the ROGAINE National Championships in New York. ROGAINEs are 24 hour wilderness orienteering events. Glenn's partner in the race was Matt Hayes, who competes for another top Pacific Northewst adventure racing team, MerGeo.
The squad for Gorge Games, as well as the upcoming Kit Carson Big Blue 24 Hour Adventure Race and the Moab Xstream Expedition Adventure Race will be Sean Clancy, Glenn Rogers, Mari Chandler, and Ryan Van Gorder. We are competing in the Checkpoint Tracker national circuit, hoping to accrue enough points to win the series.
We hope to be fresh enough at the Gorge Games finish line to enjoy a nice Full Sail Pale Ail and jump in the river for a swim. Unfortunately, at the Baja Travesia in March that was not the case. Although we won the race, we were, um, shattered at the finish line...
Here are some BEFORE and AFTER photos from the Baja Travesia...you can see how 75 hours of nonstop racing through across the Baja penninsula shattered us. To my knowledge, there are no photos in existence of Mari Chandler ever being shattered, except maybe in her professional running days with the Nike Farm Team. That doesn't count. Ryan Van Gorder was 'shattered' when he was airlifted out of Primal Quest Utah in 2006 with severe heatstroke, but that wasn't a laughing matter. RVG, we need some other embarassing photos of you please. ASAP would be great. Thanks.
(packing the caravan to Mexico in the San Diego Yacht Club parking lot)
(Glenn, we're not done yet! We have a 5 mile beach run to the finish in Ensenada)