Easing into the season at Dawn to Dusk

Written by Ryan Van Gorder
Created Date: Friday, 25 May 2012 08:33

All Out Adventures raised the bar with another stellar event at the 2012 12-hour Dawn to Dusk Adventure Race. DART toed the line with over 200 other adventure racers and went on a point to point journey from Santa Margarita Lake into the heart of San Luis Obispo where the finish line was filled with music, a full on BBQ, Beer garden, massage stations and a festive downtown scene. Now that’s finishing in style! Fitting a point to point format in a 12 hour race is a real logistics accomplishment, and from a racer standpoint it was a huge success. Boats were transported close to the finish line when we were done, bikes were moved smoothly and injury free throughout the course, food and gear drops were where they were supposed to be and there was plenty of water strung out along the course to keep everyone hydrated.

Sean Clancy, Jennifer VanGorder, Ryan VanGorder and Rick Baraff (who we’ve raced against for many years) came together to for this race. This proved to be a wildly fun crew to drag kayaks through the mud and  bike/run up/down every hill near San Luis Obispo with. The race started with a 800 meter kayak portage to Santa Margarita Lake where we all seemed to run over the dried out tributary arm that lead into the lake. After some confusion we found the arm of the lake and continued to push, pull and paddle our way out to the lake. We were mid pack and slowly working our way up. As we got out of our boats for CP2 we spotted the leaders and figured we were 18 minutes back. Evidently they found the lake a bit easier than we did. 

Back in the Transition Area (TA) we left on foot for a quick checkpoint and on to our bikes. Lost a couple of minutes by staying on the single track and not directly hitting the road in route to TA2 and our bikes, where we plotted the next three checkpoints (I made a rookie mistake here that bit us a bit later). A quick pedal and a solid pace line got us to TA3 in no time,  where we left on foot around 30 minutes behind the lead teams. We followed the road and enjoyed the most pleasant bushwhack ever through a vineyard with views for miles. When we arrived at what we thought was checkpoint five we spent some time looking in a reentrant for a rope, the clue was “climb the rope”. Finally I decided to check the UTM coordinates and where I plotted back in TA2…Oofffaaa!  One UTM grid off, which meant we were exactly 1 kilometer north of our objective. We recovered and hit the checkpoint without much issue but realized that we had just dug a hole that would be tough to climb out of. At CP5 we plotted the UTM coordinate for CP8 (received them at CP5) and I double checked CP6 and CP7. Good thing, CP6 was off by 1k as well.

Eventually we ended up at CP7 where everyone seemed to be hanging out. There were two features in the middle of a man-made lake that we had to swim to for CP9 coordinates (to plot again) and a punch the passport. This little jewel was refreshing and would make for a nice picnic/nap spot, but we were out of there as soon as possible. We climbed for the next hour or so, popped out at a radio tower with pink ribbons on it and could see the peak where the flag was supposed to be. Turns out the flags were mis-placed earlier at this radio tower and had just been moved to the right hill before we got there. Beautiful views all around we were glad to be heading down to our bikes.

The 2nd placed team of two was leaving the TA as we were arriving, we high fived and then transitioned to our trusty Turner bikes. A healthy serving of climbing was next on the menu followed by some deliciously technical single track that our Flux's ate up. It was a real treat to have some good mountain biking inserted into our race and to ride all types of single track down into the town of San Luis Obispo. TA5 was close enough to the finish to trick us into thinking there might be an easy orienteering section into the finish, but we got served another mountain, a lake and some good distance to the finish line.  I’m not quite sure the official finish time, but when it was all said and done we were happy to be stuffing our faces with BBQ, drinking a beer and cheering on other racers as they finished. We held on for Third overall, congrats to Tecnu and Johnny Angel for holding position up front and everyone else that stepped up to compete in a tough and fun AR. We’ll be back next year for sure.