The Extreme North Dakota Spring Primer Adventure Race (END-SPAR) came and went last saturday here in Grand Forks, ND. 18 teams turned out to challenge the course and it was a pretty fantastic day of adventure racing all around. It was the third event I've helped to stage and by far my favorite, for a pair of reasons. First, my brother Jason and his fiance, Chelsea - were managed a well timed visit the week leading up to the race and worked tirelessly to help make my vision a reality. Secondly, i got to share that vision with my wife, Tammy, who did her first ever adventure race with perhaps the most experienced local team (by local i mean actually living right here in good old Grand Forks). The guys - Jim and Pat - weren't planning to race and hadn't been training as their teammate, Theresa (Jim's wife) was recovering from an operation. But they were coaxed into it and ended up taking third overall (missing second by seconds!) and first in the three person coed category. Tammy loved the race, much to my relief, and now is cautiously talking about maybe trying another one in the fall. Sweet!
Although the planning was time consuming as always, we were well organized and despite only having a handful of volunteers (thanks guys - couldn't have done it without you!) pulled it off beautifully. Jason and Chelsea were able to spend the entire day running with the teams and shooting footage - the video above which Jason put together give's a taste of the adventure that is just waiting to be found, even here in the most unlikely of places. In case you're wondering - Tammy's in the one in purple.
Now that it's over i'm struggling a bit with 'post race depression' which i'm coming to realize is even worse after planning an event than just racing in one (though it's no surprise, given the respective levels of effort involved). I'm envious of Ja and Chels getting to jump right into the next adventure - which for them is a 24 hour race out in Las Vegas that they hope to make their third straight win. Having to pound away at the thesis to catch up after the last several weeks (during which academia fell below setting checkpoints in a swamp on the priority list) isn't quite as fun as pounding away on the pedals, climbing desert single track, in search of a fleeting moment of racing glory.