Huddle with Super Dave from Road Runner Sports - the days marked man!
Showdown in the mud pits!As with all great idea s and events - Southern California is where it is all born. Bob Babbit, the publisher of Competitor magazine has been running the Ride and Tie events out here for over 16 years. Finally Brooks Shoes has stepped up and put on the first 'official' series of ride and tie events called The Muddy Buddy. The format is a two person team, one mountain bike and a great off road course. This weekend the San Diego stop of the Muddy Buddy came to Camp Pendelton - the event sold out in no time - 450 teams. Everyone was out - all sorts of strategic teaming up was going on and the usual gauntlet of challenges was set.
One thing that factors into choosing a team mate is size. One wants to have some-one that is roughly the same height so that there is not a huge difference in regular seat height on a bike. Otherwise some-one lands up riding their share looking like a circus monkey with their knees hitting their ears. So my initial choice to race with Paul was out the window. And so the inter office challenge evolved - Roch and Paul vs Heather and myself. However we could not persuade Heather to come out and risk it all on a mountain bike and in the mud, especially since she had just finished doing her Ironman. So I chose the next best partner - my old adventure race teammate (who was constantly being mistaken for a woman anyway ) - Kenny Souza.
Add to this the fact that Road Runner Sports was offering free Brooks shoes to any team that could beat Super Dave Jewell and his partner. The course was 6 miles long with 5 sections just over a mile long, with an obstacle at each change over -Crawl through pipes, wade through mud, climb over walls, leap over hay bails and all that sort of nonsense. I thought Kenny and I had a shot at Paul and Roch. Paul is pretty hefty these days, and Roch is constantly overworked and overtrained. Kenny and I were in full taper.
Paul and Roch took of in the first wave of all male teams and Kenny and I went about 5 minutes later in the mixed wave. It was quite an experience. The trails were narrow and having taken the first bike leg was running into the back guys from the first wave who were running. The bike changeover was nothing short of amusing with everyone throwing their bikes down and hoping that their partners could pick it out when they came into the changeover. It all took barely 40 minutes - and when all was said and done Kenny and I were about 1 minute behind Roch and Paul's time. They were feeling very 'chuffed' - however what they have not realised is that we had a 2 minute handicap since we were basically a womans team and we had the liability of having to wend our way through their wave. We could have gone a good few minutes faster had we had clean sailing from start to finish. I mean Roch was right in first place going round the first bend on the bike.
So, the truth be known - Kenny and I were undoubtedly the winners in this challenge, AND we beat Super Dave. Free Brooks shoes for all and bragging rights for me. Don't you love how this all works!