Sorry. I'm up late and can't sleep so I might be a little nutty right now, but truth be told, I'm a little nutty most of the time!My name is Bridget, and I'm a 20 year-old junior at Grand Valley State University, majoring in Advertising and Public Relations. Sometimes I feel like I'm a major geek b/c I'm really interested in AR, and running and running shoes and gear! I worked at a popular running store in south-eastern Michigan for 3 years. My friends call me the ShoeNerd, Shoe Guru, Running Freak...etc. Last summer I got a different job. I worked at REI (only the best freaking store on the face of this planet!) It was no surprise that they placed me in Footwear/Outerwear because of my previous employment history. I miss working there and wish that the company would build a store on the west side of Mich near my school!! Hopefully I'll be working there again when I go home for the summer. Anyway, I'm a friendly person and if you are on facebook, feel free to add me as a friend :-D
Here is some info about my experiences with Adventure Racing and AR goals for the future *this may be on the longer side because I love to share my experiences and would really love to read about other people's experiences as well--so leave comments or post them in the community--I'll read them all!*
--I've done two races, Indian River(MI) 2002 and 2003. Sadly, the 2004 race was cancelled and I haven't heard anyhthing about the 2005 race yet.
*I hate biking through sand. LOATHE IT. Seriously, I've had nightmares in which I'm dragging my bike up mountains of sand and it goes on and on until I finally wake up! Scary huh?
*At the 2002 IR-AR, my race partner totally bonked and we had to take a refueling break. Our food supplies consisted only of bitter energy gels and those chalky energy bars that we just could not manage to take one more bite out of. An older, far more experienced racer offered us some of his dried cranberries and it was like stumbling across the holy grail! The cranberries tasted great and my partner bounced back quickly! Since then, this has been my favorite energizing/restoring snack food.
*It seems there will always be a checkpoint that is damn near impossible to get to b/c it is secluded in the nastiest, most grimey, god only knows what's lurking within it, area of swamp. And I must say that it feels incredible when you finally see that little orange flag!
*My most extreme adventure racing experience so far was during the IR-AR 2003. On one of the biking routes, there was a river crossing...the river was at least 30 feet wide, up past our waists, freezing cold (the race was in the middle of May-but it feels like January in Northern Michigan),the current was strong and provided many ankle twisting and knee-popping moments for me, had to carry our bikes across it (my highly inadequate for Adventure Racing Huffy "Mountain Bike" from childhood felt like I had an elephant on my shoulders), and when we got to the other side there was no river bank. Just a cliff. A cliff of sand of course. There were a few tree roots sticking out that helped us pull ourselves up as we lugged our bikes along with us. Looking back on that memory, I still get misty eyed and think to myself "I'm a freakin beast! I'm so kick-ass for accomplishing that!" Confidence, not Overzealous ;-D
*I've never "trained" for those two adventure races. I'm a runner and before those races I had been in decent running shape but as far as specific training for the race itself, never.
*My race partner (a best friend and teammate from high school cross country and track, running mentor, one year older than me)and I were always the youngest adventure racers participating. And *gasp* we are both females! We were just finishing/out of high school and the next youngest-female racers besides us were well into their 30s. Our first race in 2002, we were the only female racing team that didn't drop out of the race!!
--My future Adventure goals:
*During the summer, I bought my first pair of rock climbing shoes and I'm honestly in love with them <3
So it is my goal, or rather dream to do an adventure race out west and climb some mountains! But this will be far off in the future when 1)I'm done with school 2)I have the financial support 3)the experience of high altitude conditioning and enhanced/specific climbing skills.
*Since the Indian River Adventure Race might be cancelled for this year too, I want to do some short Sprint races near my hometown in Michigan. There are many Sprint races in the Brighton/Ann Arbor Area. Also there are some urban ARs and I think that would be really neat and fun.
*I want to do an overnight Adventure Race.
*Also, I would like to do an extended AR, or challenge (maybe a week, or two!)
*I want to experience different ARs in every type of climate.
*It's my fantasy to run an ultra marathon, 50 miles+
*Oh and a couple months ago, I applied for an internship with Raytheon Polar Services, a highly competitive program, in ANTARCTICA!! But was not selected...which is a good thing b/c it's from Oct-Feb of next year and that will be my senior year at college and I'm already booked up with events and organizations that I'm involved in.
Perhaps after next year, I will apply again. ANTARCTICA. Talk about EXTREME CHALLENGE!
That's all for now folks, peace.