LBL on the horizon

Not so very long ago, I brought you the exciting news of my adoption into the Team Virtus family, and now our first race together looms large on the horizon.  Seeing as you’ll be hearing even more about them, I thought I’d introduce you to my teammates for the LBL Challenge Adventure Race.  Because I have little room in my brain for anything that isn’t obsessing over the race, I took the liberty of stealing the blurbs from the always entertaining Virtus blog, but I’ve been assured that it’s ok because now it’s my blog, too.

First up is Bob, who I first met last March at the Deuce.  Since then we’ve gotten to bike together a few times and hang out before and after the last couple adventure races (and I guess during, too, at times).

Then, there’s Casey, who I finally got to meet in person at September’s Berryman after months of commenting on his blog posts…and his titles (or Luke’s titles, depending on who you believe)…and his spelling…

And, finally (alphabetically, anyway), there’s Luke.  I first met him last February at the Castlewood Cup 15K, and then he was my tour guide to the wonderful world of maps at the Deuce.  He’s also had the dubious pleasure of biking with me, most notably taking one for the team by being my partner in the Tall Oak Challenge.

I still am kind of pinching myself that I get to race with this team, some of the nicest, funniest, hairiest people I know (and that goes for the whole Virtus team, not just the once I’m racing with this weekend). I have some awesome local friends who have their own adventure racing team, so it’s really nice to have a place where I belong (and even have my own Tenacious D-inspired nickname!) rather than having to sit around and hope somebody needs a teammate.

LBL will be my first 24-hour adventure race.  The website tells us our event “will consist of 40-60 miles of mountain biking on paved and gravel roads, jeep roads and single track trails; running, trekking and bushwhacking 15-30 miles and paddling 15-25 miles”.  The course is unmarked and teams navigate with a map and compass to checkpoints located along the way.  Teams with the most checkpoints in the least amount of time win.


We leave in two days for Tennessee .  Two days.  It should come as no surprise to anyone who reads my blog that I’m practically peeing my pants with excitement.  I’ve spent the last two weeks daydreaming constantly about the race, getting my gear together, obsessively checking the weather forecast, and doing my best to not email the guys 10,000 emails a day about how many minutes until the race.  Thank goodness for the teaching job that demands my attention.  While my kids are in the classroom, I’m focused on them (except for when they ask me about the race) and can give my system a brief respite from the adrenaline surge.

The guys aren’t much better, though.  Luke sends regular countdowns while looking into paddle options and trying to corral the other three of us into making decisions, Bob is reading race reports from previous LBLs and staring at maps trying to guess how we’ll start, and Casey is researching the canoes it looks like we may use (rereading the blurb under his picture might give you a hint why).  A quick look at my inbox shows at least 28 LBL-related emails in the past week, and that doesn’t count my responses or anything I may have deleted.

As is typical for me as a race looms near, I’ve made the transition from simple excitement to bipolar mood swings between hyperactive puppy and hyperventilation.  What am I nervous about?

  •  The mountain biking, in particular at night, though at least I’ve been on the singletrack at LBL and felt comfortable.
  • 24 hours of racing.  Wow, that’s a long time.
  • Slowing the guys down.
  • 24 straight hours of racing
  • Hoping that having a girl along doesn’t cramp their style
Judging from the emails and comments like this, though, I think we’ll do just fine.

I’m not really worried worried about all this stuff.  I know there will be times that it’s wonderful and times that it’s awful, but through it all will be the joy of doing something big in a cool place with awesome people.  Bonkhard Racing puts on fantastic races, I’m looking forward to meeting some new friends in person, and I completely trust and enjoy my team.  I guarantee we’ll have more fun than anyone else out there.

Unfortunately, once again there’s no online coverage for you all to be able to check in and see how we’re doing, but I’ll update the SuperKate facebook page/twitter if I can or you can follow @teamvirtus on twitter or “like” Team Virtus on facebook.

Two more days.

I can’t wait.

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6 Responses to LBL on the horizon

  1. Dorothy Lamb says:

    We’ll be cheering you all along here in Minnesota!!! Good Luck and I know you all will do a GREAT job!!!! Can’t wait to read the write ups!!!!!

    • Kate says:

      Thanks, Mrs. Lamb! If the race lives up to even a fraction of our expectations/hopes, it should be pretty amazing. I’m glad you had such awesome sons for me to tag along with (and I’m sure you and my mom could commiserate about the joys and trials of raising three rowdy boys :D).

  2. Golden Girl says:

    Good luck, “Kage” at LBL!!! Although you are no stranger to long distance races and adventure racing, this 24 hour race takes it to an entirely new level. Adventure racing begins many days before the official start and lingers long afterwards. You are well into the adventure. Thanks for blogging to the many Virtusites! We will be cheering you along the way and will anxiously await the great stories to come out of this race.

    • Kate says:

      Thanks, Susy! You’re so right…I feel like I’ve been in overdrive for about 2 weeks. One of these days I’m going to get to meet you in person!

      • Golden Girl says:

        It would be great to meet you, Kate! When the co-ed Team Virtus does their first expedition adventure race, I want to go, not to volunteer for the race organizer, but as the on site Team correspondent for the Virtusites back home. Wish someone was doing it this time. The Golden Girls are off on our own adventure. We are doing the Possom Trot Orienteering Club’s 10 hour Rogaine. It starts at 1pm Saturday. We’ll see how long I last.

        After reading many of their posts, I know the guys can call it really close with their arrival time at the start. Don’t fret, they some how manage to take care of business. Besides….you have 24 hours! Oh mercy! Good luck!

    • Kate says:

      Oh, my gosh…we definitely could’ve used a correspondent at LBL!

      And we actually managed to make it comfortably before the start, the race was wonderful and hard and eventful and there will most definitely be a lot of stories to tell! From what I hear, you guys raced a strong race at Possum Trot. Way to go!

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