Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers is toeing the starting line as we write for the 2012 Gold Rush Mother Lode, held today, August 8th, and nonstop through the 12th. The five-day event involves paddling, biking, trekking and navigation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central California. It’s a part of the Adventure Racing World Series, an international circuit, and is one of the toughest domestic endurance events of the year.
Watch for reports on our Team site. (Also, you can see a video made by the team here from last year’s event, where we took 2nd place.) Below, our racer Chelsey Magness penned a quick sign-off before heading into the wilds. Take a read, and wish our squad good luck! —Stephen Regenold
August 7, 2012. . . Chelsey here reporting from the start of the Gold Rush Motherlode Race. Jason and I are in a bit of a whirlwind, as we just came from the Outdoor Retailer show where we were busy drooling over all the new gear. The show, while super fun for us, is not the best tapering activity to do before a big race!
“Overwhelmed” is an understatement as we watched and listened to race director Mark Richardson unveil the course “in a nutshell” to us — 285 miles total with over 20,000 ft of elevation gain. We have 103 hours to do 28 miles of paddling, 145 miles of biking, 103 miles of trekking and 7 miles of pack-rafting.
There are only 13 teams this year, but the skill level runs deep. We hear the ones to watch out for are Team Columbia from Spain, Team Tecnu, Team Sole and Team Dubai from the UAE. We are super excited to have some international teams to compete against.
As Jason and Daniel plot checkpoints, Paul and I are busy making sure our packs are ready to go, gear is all set and that we have all the important notes written down — such as where the black bear with her cubs are likely going to be, after what CP the pack of dogs live, and at what location the last drops of water for a long time will be on the dry course!
We start on the water, 28 miles paddling on sit-on-top kayaks. . . and it is supposed to be in the triple-digit temps all week long. Battling heat exhaustion and dehydration are going to be main concerns.
We all feel super excited, ready and dialed in for the race. This race especially has a homecoming feel for us. This year our squad is Jason Magness, Paul Cassedy, Daniel Staudigel and myself, Chelsey Magness. Signing off!
—Follow Team GearJunkie/YogaSlackers on the Gold Rush Mother Lode site throughout the week.