Tuesday, June 26, 2007

F.E.A.T. Family Eco Adventure Tri @ the Star of the North Games

This past weekend was the last couple days of the Star of the North Games held in Rochester (www.starofthenorthgames.org). Jace and I entered the Family Eco Adventure Triathlon (F.E.A.T.) which was at Quarry Hill Nature Center. It consisted of a 2.5 m Bike, .5 mile Canoe, another 2.5 bike section and finished with orienteering. This is a race for adults of any age paired with a child up to age 18--your category is determined by gender and the age of the child. The race organizers were really good at keeping this a fun event for kids by telling them they get penalized if they're not smiling and that smiling and having fun is a requirement to race.. We were in the age male age 7-10 category (shhh... Jace is only 6). This was the biggest cat with 9 teams of 37 total. We got thru the bike/canoe/bike portions and were in 5th or 6th place--however, we were in heat 4 so you realy couldn't tell where you were. Jace was huffing and puffing pretty hard. I kept telling him to lighten up if he is tired--we have to have fun, but he kept looking back trying to see if anyone was gaining on us. Once we got thru the bike, canoe, bike sections we hit the orienteering leg and Jace caught fire! I couldn't slow his little legs down. We had to hike/run thru the woods following compass coordinates (not just North, South, etc) while answering questions about landmarks, bugs, forest life, water flow, etc... It wasn't the easiest thing to do. We passed several teams that were running a little slower, off course, or both. The problem with catching them is if they trust you're orienteering skills, they can just follow you and answer the questions (however, you were penalized 1 minute per wrong answer). With just a couple questions left to go, we had about 50 yards on the following teams, but were over taken in the last little stretch by 2 teams as the other boys were a little bigger and faster. We did manage to take 2nd place in our category. The winning team in our category had the overall fastest time as well--they had carbon fiber oars that they stashed in the transition area and smoked everyone in the water! Carbon fiber! What the... this event was for fun!!! Anyway, for anyone with kids, a nephew, niece, neighbor that you can team with, I suggest you do this next year. It was a blast and a good bonding experience.

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