I’m covered head to toe in scrapes and bruises – even my right eyebrow is soar. I have a sprained ankle that looks like a cantaloupe. My fingers are too swollen to wear my wedding ring. And ... I did this to myself willingly, even happily.
The drive to test our limits – physical and mental – is a mysterious, powerful force. For me, it’s where I find that state of flow. Everything else in my life – people, worries, even thoughts – totally melts away. I have only present moment awareness: the next river crossing, the next 100 feet of elevation gain, the next gnarly bike drop.
In true yin-yang fashion, the more I’m willing to be fragile in daily life, the more strength and power I find out there. And, the more I’m willing to deal with stinging nettles, willows as thick as molasses and breathing so exhausted and heavy that I audibly sigh, the more I get to experience alpenglow on the Tetons from an 8,620-foot peak and the deep satisfaction of crossing the finish line.
So what the heck did I do this weekend? I signed up for – and managed to finish 25.5 hours later – the Teton Ogre Adventure Race.
Here’s the course overview from the race directors, followed by a few pics. It’s a mix of pics taken by Darren Steinbach and Mary Mullaney, as well as those I managed to snap while getting as many calories and fluids into my system as humanly possible.
Teams started at 8am on a 26mi bike leg up and over some beautiful remote country. Lots of wild flowers, amazing single track, and elevation gain.
After that, teams get on the river for a 22mi ripping fast paddle down the iconic Snake River.
Unbeknownst to the racers, in order to get up and onto the trail above the river, they must tackle a small ropes challenge to scramble up a 20ft slot canyon. Keep in mind, that is with all their paddling gear!
Once they drop off their rafts a 3-mile hike later, they're onto the mega trek. 6,000ft of elevation gain over 18mi to get all the mandatory and optional points!
This will take teams into the night, and onto the final bike leg up and over the Big Hole mountains to Victor!
A huge thanks to my team mates, the other racers, the volunteers, my daughter and husband and the race directors for making this happen for me!
Also, check out my post on the Teton Ogre Adventure Race from last year.