Salomon Adventure Challenge
Rain Yes, Bugs No
May 11, 2003
After a sunny week in Southwestern Ontario, Sunday, May 11th brought grey skies, rain…and more rain. Oh well, at least the newly arrived black flies took most of the day off!
The Bark Lake Salomon Adventure Challenge saw the largest field of teams to date in this Series' short history - 86 teams! Some came for the HUGE prizing, some came to duplicate last season's fun, but all came to have a blast. Eight hour races usually attract folks from a 2-4 hour radius from the Host Site, however, the highly anticipated Bark Lake event drew teams from as far West as Wisconsin, as far North as Elk Lake, as far East as Quebec City, and as far South as Windsor.
Nestled in the Haliburton Highlands, the terrain surrounding the Bark Lake Leadership Centre is fantastic for adventure racing. This year's racecourse featured some beautiful settings, highly varied terrain on the biking section, lots of choice in the on and off-trail trekking portions, and a scenic paddle. Almost right away, despite the high number of teams, people found themselves away from the group and experiencing the course away from the group.
The racers embarked on their journey with a 4 km rails-to-trails run toward the small town of Tory Hill after a quick bus ride to the start line. CP1/TA1, the start of the bike section, lay north of here along a road that paralleled this trail. The only thing separating teams from the TA was untracked bush, and teams quickly jumped in at a number of different points. Some climbed up and down, others hit swamp, while others finessed their way to a new logging trail leading right to the TA. Team Inertia, winners of Salomon AC Talisman, reached the field of bikes just six minutes ahead of Team Last Minute of Toronto and took a mere 47 minutes to complete the opening 7 km. Team First Timers of Kitchener got turned around a little and later vowed that next race, they're going to think less and trust their compass more.
The Mountain Biking portion of the race that followed was a 24 km section of dirt road, paved road, single track, and 4x4 trail that skirted Glamor Lake, wound its way through the rolling terrain, and finished off just west of Blue Hawk Lake. The volunteers remarked that teams hit CP2, CP3, and CP4/TA2 muddy, wet, and with huge grins on their faces. Team Taiga of Ottawa blew by the early front runners with Team Kinetic Konnection of Windsor giving chase. Team Running Free of Toronto, Jimmy's Night Out of Ottawa, and Diabetes/Phat N' Dirty of Toronto also had excellent results on their bikes. A few later teams took some wrong turns but eventually found their way while three teams decided that the post race meal was far too tempting and elected to call cabs for a ride back to HQ.
At the head of the pack leaving CP4/TA2 on foot was a quest to run down Team Taiga - Team Kinetic Konnection commented that the whole time in this 4 km long matrix of trails they were searching for 'Taiga tracks'. Team Flash 5 of Midland continued their strong performance and made excellent time here as did Team Beowulf of Toronto who jumped 6 placings. Unfortunately for Team Three's Company of Toronto, they met up with a Salomon AC gear truck heading northbound out of TA2 while the next CP was southwest - oh well, they'll take home a set of compasses as the winners of the Suunto Survival Award!
The final portion of the race was a 7 km paddle across Koshlong and Bark Lakes - with a wee, 1km portage connecting the two thrown in for good measure. Rain continued to fall and every so often, it would pick up to reach 'cats and dogs' proportions. A couple of teams noted that if they hadn't been paddling at a decent clip, they may have been moving backwards. Thankfully, no lightning was seen and the race continued without pause. Team Yéteam of Quebec City, winners of Salomon AC Mont Ste. Marie, as well as Team Budaidh No Bas of Sydenham worked hard on the paddle and portage, along with all the front runners, but Team Taiga's quest for gold was too much and they cruised to victory back at Bark Lake. For their efforts, they win an $800 credit toward their participation at Raid the North Extreme Atikokan, ON: On the Path of the Voyageurs in August.
All told, 77 of 86 teams reached the finish line (90%!) and although everyone was 'bagged' (sorry, bad joke) after a hard day's work, everyone left with a thirst for their next Salomon AC. Remember to watch for 'Be Seen' in June as the Bark Lake Salomon AC will be featured in this 1/2 hour TV Program.
See you in Parry Sound!
Odyssey Production & Hub Onsite:
TOP TEN RESULTS
Salomon AC Photo Sales
Visit Odyssey Production and Hub Onsite's websites for more images from Salomon AC Bark Lake...and if you find one you like, just order it right from either site!
For Full & Detailed Results and an entire Team Listing CLICK HERE!
||3 hrs, 55 min
||4 hrs, 1 min
||4 hrs, 2 min
||4 hrs, 2 min
||Diabetes/Phat 'n' Dirty
||4 hrs, 6 min
||4 hrs, 8 min
||4 hrs, 22 min
||4 hrs, 23 min
||Quebec City, QC
||4 hrs, 25 min
||Jimmy's Night Out
||4 hrs, 26 min