Sunday, April 22, 2007

2007 Collegiate Nationals Adventure Race

A week ago, I traveled with three friends to Reno, Nevada to compete in the 2007 Collegiate Nationals Adventure Race. The Collegiate Nationals is a series of "extreme" sport competitions for college students from all over the nation. They are hosted by College Sports Television (CSTV), a TV network that beat ESPN to the university level sport showings by a couple of years. It's my understanding after talking with one of the camera men of CSTV that ESPN has only recently revealed its new channel of ESPNU for ESPN University that also focuses on all college sports including those listed as extreme.

Other competitions included in this weekends outing were whitewater kayaking, downhill skiing/snowboarding and boxing. The entire production is pretty interesting. More information about the Collegiate Nationals and pictures from our race can be found here.

We competed in a sprint style adventure race, consisting of running, mountain biking, and paddling. I was impressed by the course they had set as it started and ended in downtown Reno. The expected winning time was set at 2 hours and 30 minutes. We started with a run upstream to a whitewater paddle downstream to a mountain bike through the city to a single track ride in the foothills, to a trail run, back on the bike to the original transition area, to a mystery event which was a run back upstream to a final island hop through the finish line. My partner Jenn Kuhlmann and I came in at 4th for our division with a time of 2 hours and 51 minutes.

The race was super fun. We had a great time. 23 school competed. A few factors contributed to the overall adventure race feeling including the snow flakes that touched down during the map distribution and the 43 degree river water.

A special thanks to Backcountry.com for their contribution of some GoLite clothing for both Jenn and me. The GoLite DriMove Short Sleeve Top acted as a great wicking baselayer while the GoLite Cruise Jacket shielded the unwanted water and wind, also providing great ventilation and movement.

The trip was fun, the people were great, and the competition was challenging. I look forward to more adventure racing opportunities in the near future. Plans of a possible 12 or 24 hour race are in the making for later this summer. We'll keep you all posted.

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