Missoula has the Dirty Dash, São Paulo has Adventure Camp

August 29, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Missoula has the Dirty Dash, São Paulo has Adventure Camp

We woke early on Sunday and got into nonstandard hiking clothes – a hot pink/orange race t-shirt, shorts, running shoes and socks – no long sleeves, no long pants. Teams (Marcel and I named our team “The Gringos”) are penalized for not wearing the race shirt, and/or for not having the right gear, stickers on helmets, etc. Thankfully Gambá had emergency blankets, a compass, PFDs, and bike helmets for us to borrow. Unfortunately, we didn’t bring a small day pack, so we jury-rigged some systems to carry all our gear for the day.

 

Image below: Marcel Huijser and Bethanie Walder at the start of the Adventure Camp Race, São Francisco Xavier, São Paulo, Brazil

Marcel Huijser and Bethanie Walder at the start of the Adventure Camp Race, São Francisco Xavier, São Paulo, BrazilMarcel Huijser and Bethanie Walder at the start of the Adventure Camp Race, São Francisco Xavier, São Paulo, BrazilMarcel Huijser and Bethanie Walder at the start of the Adventure Camp Race, São Francisco Xavier, São Paulo, Brazil

 

We drove into town with Gambá and picked up our bikes. The brakes were functional! Not much else was, however. We each had perhaps three gears – it did not bode well for the mountain bike part of the race. But as they say in Brasil: “é o que tem pra hoje” (make do with what you have today). 

The square was a mass of hot pink/orange t-shirts (for the 25K) and black t-shirts (for the 50). We signed in, parked our bikes, and joined the crowd. Our race started with a 1K run to the kayaking put-in. We had to compete with about 100 other kayaks for space to paddle – and thanks to the ongoing drought, the water was so low that we often had to drag our boat. Fortunately Marcel was a steering genius and we were able to pull away and create a little space for ourselves.

But it was on the trekking where Marcel really impressed the other racers with his skills (and where he picked up his tick). We started out just following the people in front of us, and ignoring our map. We weren’t in a rush, so what did we care… But there was a point where it became clear the people in front of us weren’t sure where they were going any more. Marcel saved the day, figured it out and everyone followed him into the thick brush. Marcel reminded me to watch out for snakes. Then one of the people next to me yelled, “boa, boa, boa.” I stopped and looked, but didn’t see anything. Where was the snake? When the person realized I was not a native Portuguese speaker he switched to English, “good, good, good.” He was just happy that we had finally found the trail. I was happy that he wasn’t warning me about a snake. Marcel and I cracked up, and let the competitive racers pass us on the narrow, thickly vegetated trail. (Really, though, if I can’t even understand the word “good,” which I use every day when greeting people, I’m clearly not making much progress on my goal of becoming conversant in Portuguese.)

 

Image below: Marcel Huijser and Bethanie Walder participating in the Adventure Camp Race , photo made by another participant. Note for Tynille: we are practicing high knees!

Marcel Huijser and Bethanie Walder participating in the Adventure Camp Race , photo made by another participantMarcel Huijser and Bethanie Walder participating in the Adventure Camp Race , photo made by another participantMarcel Huijser and Bethanie Walder participating in the Adventure Camp Race , photo made by another participant

 

We finished the trekking in good time, with Marcel once again out-orienteering numerous participants to find the last check station. We realized there were two ways to succeed at adventure racing – either by being smart or by being fast.

We opted for smart, at least until the biking portion started. Then we were out of options. The dirt roads were steep and our bikes were shit. We didn’t have a backpack, so we had a small stuff sack with water tied onto the handlebars. I had extra water bottles stuffed in my shirt. We looked at each other and wondered whether we should even try to ride these bikes, but figured we might as well. We made it about 4km pedaling and walking before my chain broke. Fortunately I was able to cruise and/or scoot downhill much of the way back.

 

Below: Short video of Marcel Huijser and Bethanie Walder participating in the Adventure Camp Race, São Francisco Xavier, São Paulo, Brazil

Marcel Huijser and Bethanie Walder participating in the Adventure Camp Race, São Francisco Xavier, São Paulo, BrazilMarcel Huijser and Bethanie Walder participating in the Adventure Camp Race, São Francisco Xavier, São Paulo, Brazil

We signed in as finished (but incomplete) so they wouldn’t send a search and rescue team out for us,  met up with Fernanda, returned our bikes and the broken chain to the rental shop, and had a great lunch overlooking the plaza and listening to people cheer on the racers as they crossed the finish line. Then we set off for the 4 hour drive back to Piracicaba. Marcel didn’t find the tick until Monday!

P.S. You know you’re in the tropics when people wear fully zipped up thick down and/or wool jackets and hats when it’s 60 degrees out…

 


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February (6) March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April (9) May (1) June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December