|Unleash the Beast|
|Sunday, 08 May 2011 11:41|
The Crew got a special opportunity to staff the Northwest Adventure Sports Expo 2011 in Port Gamble. The north end of the Kitsap Peninsula is woods with an extensive trail system, and the old lumber mill town & port now serve as a wonderful home for sea kayaking and outdoor recreation. This was the 2nd annual Expo, with race competitors from all over the NW, along with adventure-based vendors nationwide. The heart of the Expo, though, are four competitive events for the rugged.
Paddle The Dragon is a 6 mile kayaking open-water race from the Port Gamble waterfront, across Hood Canal and Admiralty Head to the Dragon, an assembled driftwood sculpture at Hood Head, and return. On a normal summer day, this would be a fun and relaxing paddle with light, cooling breezes and great scenery. On a transitional spring day in Puget Sound, it becomes an adventure. The temps hovered in the low to mid 50's, the winds were unrelenting, and the rain was mixed with hail and sometimes limited the visibility across the shorelines on either side of Hood Canal.
The Twisted Sister Mountain Bike races were run in classes for teams, experts, experienced peddlers, and novices. The weather quickly obliterated any trail markers in the thick woods along the 14 mile course. If you didn't already know the course, or stayed within visual range of the leaders, you stood a good chance of making the wrong turn in peddling off into oblivion. The trails were wet to start with and were totally mudded by late morning.
Similarly, the 5k Woods Run wasn't a typical road race. One of the runners wore soccer cleats to keep his traction!
Finally, there was combined Unleash The Beast Triathlon where all three legs were combined into one event. A team of three could compete or an individual could attempt the entire course. At night, our Crew served as the Camp Hosts for those volunteer staffers and competitors staying through the weekend. During the day, we served as race officials, and as traffic managers throughout the town and on the courses. It was wet and wonderful. If you think you'd make a good kayak-mtbike-woodsrun triathlete, first take a look at this video.