September 20th, 2008
Home > Events > Terra Firma Extreme

Terra Firma Extreme
Rocky Hill Ranch, Smithville, TX
Web site

OMSART Members: NB, brewer and EZ-e

Stats Map of Event Unofficial Results
Trail run... 3 miles
Bike to Bike Drop... 9.2 miles
Navigation from PC1 - PC8 - 12 miles (though this was straight-line navigation... since we didn't go straight line, I'd say this is more like 15-20 miles).
Paddling... 12 miles...
Bike from boat take to Mystery Events... 6.5 miles
Bike from Mystery Events to TA... 9.2 miles
Mountain biking in Rocky Hill... 10.6 miles

Click to enlarge this map in a new window

4th Place
in Male Open

13 hours
38 minutes
59 seconds

Official results here.

Pictures below

13 hours… 45 minutes.  Up until this race, I think the longest I’d done any sort of physical activity for was either day one of the MS150 or the Hotter ‘N Hell hundred… both on a road bike… and each about 100 miles of cycling, and I think the most time spent doing either one was around 6 hours…

This race was nearly double that.

Before I get into the details of the race, let me say a few words about the days before the race.  Two weeks prior to the race, brewer and I spent a week riding mountain bikes around Colorado LINK.  The week after that, I hit the gym as usual, but I needed to bleed the brakes on my mountain bike… and I think in reality, I was a bit lazy and simply drove to the gym all week.  Then last weekend hurricane Ike decides to wreak havoc on us, so I spent the entire week cleaning up and volunteering in the wake of the storm.  I reckon the chain sawing and loading ice into cars for a couple of days could count as a workout, but I omitted it from my training log LINK.  And my food intake… both quality and quantity waned considerably in the aftermath of the storm.  At first there was simply so much going on that I forgot to eat, then when volunteering in Houston, fresh food was a tad difficult to find, so I simply ate what I could… and ended up losing four pounds—something I definitely do not need to do. Basically what I’m trying to say is that I didn’t train for this race, my nutrition was crap, and I had no clue it was going to go nearly 14 hours!  So given my lack-luster training program, I wasn’t on top of my game…

I ended up at Rocky Hill Ranch about 2200 or so on Friday evening after an uneventful drive from Houston only after clearing the unbelievable traffic inside the outer loop.  I set up my tent, chit-chatted with brewer and EZ-e a little, and set my alarm on my faithful Timex Iron Man for 0530—that would give me an hour before the pre-race meeting to get all of my gear together for the race. 

I think I crawled into my tent around 2300 with every intention of going right to sleep.  As I flipped… flopped… tossed… and turned ‘til about 0200, I realized three and a half hours of sleep probably wasn’t going to do much to enhance my already ill-prepared body for the race…

And sure enough, the alarm went off at 0530, and upon opening my eyes, I felt as I expected to… like crap!

I crawled out of the tent, went over and signed a waiver, gathered all my gear and ate a roll and a Power Bar for breakfast before the 0700 start.

The first part of the race was a three-mile trail run.  Having done many of them as the first legs of sprint races, I found it a tad difficult to “throttle back,” if you will, and wanted to run a little faster.  Fortunately brewer kept reminding me we still had a long way to go (we just didn’t know how long at the time).  We finished the three miles at around a nine-minute mile pace. 

Next we picked up our maps and started plotting all the check points.  We were given the coordinates for the ranch, a bike drop, and check points 1-11.  After plotting it all out, we took off on the bikes to the bike drop—a ride of just over nine miles through the ugly hills of Bastrop park on road 1C (if you’ve ever done the MS150 and taken the route through the park, you know it’s ugly!).  And somewhere along this route EZ-e’s bike decided to eat his chain, so we had to stop for a few minutes to fix that…

After dropping the bikes, it was time to start navigating.  Unfortunately we incorrectly plotted the very first point on the topo map, so we spent several minutes looking in the wrong place before replotting it again and finding our mistake.  Checkpoints 2-4 were pretty straight forward, but then came checkpoint 5.  DAMN IT!  For whatever reason we simply couldn’t find it at first… and it I were to guess, I’d say we spent about 20 -30 minutes dicking around trying to find it.  We finally decided to skip it and take the 18-minute penalty.  A hundred yards or so on our way to checkpoint 6, guess what we found… checkpoint 5.  DAMN IT!  We stamped the passport and pressed on to checkpoint 6.

Checkpoint 7 had a clue of “Chocolate,” and as we emerged from the woods, we found out why… Checkpoint 7 was a chocolate shop.  As we approached, the lady wearing the Terra Firma shirt was on her cell phone.  Seeing I wanted to talk with someone, a table of four ladies said come up here.  At first I thought they were associated with the race… until the school-girl giggling kicked in.  I said, “Are you guys flirting with us, or are you associated with the race?”  One of them replied, “We’re four single women… of course we’re flirting… it’s like a smorgasbord with you racers coming through here!”


Notes below... need to finish writing this up...

Trail run... 3 miles
Bike to Bike Drop... 9.2 miles
Navigation from PC1 - PC8 - 12 miles (though this was straight-line
navigation.... since we didn't go straight line, I'd say this is more like
15-20 miles).
Paddling... 12 miles...
Bike from boat take to Mystery Events... 6.5 miles
Bike from Mystery Events to TA... 9.2 miles
Mountain biking in Rocky Hill... 10.6 miles


Lap 1 30:21 Run
Lap 2 44:03 Maps/Plotting
Lap 3 52:37 Bike to drop
Lap 4 4:59:00 Nav PC1-PC8
Lap 5 2:47:19 Kayak PC8 - PC9
Lap 6 5:50 Transition back to bike
Lap 7 1:40:18 Bike to PC10, mystery events and bike to PC11
Lap 8 1:59:24 Mountain bike
I'm not so sure about Laps 2 and 8.  Did we really spend 45 mins plotting and transitioning to bike?  The mountain bike leg seems long but then again I was out of it.  Oh wait - I hit the lap button when we rolled into the ranch again.  Lap 8 includes the TA portion of Ernest's flat and the light installs.





Anyway, we kept racing after a bite of chocolate and a fueling up on a few drinks. 

After checkpoint 7, we had to run another six-ish miles to checkpoint 8 which was the boat drop.  My knee had had enough... I tired to run, but it was simply too painful  I'd suffer through it a bit, but for the most part, it was a fast walk... slow jog at best.  We eventually got to check point 8... who knew we'd be paddling for the next nearly three hours? 

brewer and I were in the two-person kayak, and EZ-e was tethered to us in his kayak.  We paddled and paddled and paddled... and then paddled some more.  It was uneventful to say the least... just a long boring paddle. 

We finally arrived at checkpoint 9 and pulled the boats out of the water to find our bikes waiting for us--damned glad to be out of the boats.  

After refueling on a snack and more fluids we hopped back on the bikes and peddled back to the bike drop for the mystery event.  The first part was to throw a rope with two golf balls tied to each end and make it "land" on a rail of a rack that had been fabricated from PVC pipe.  Then we had to do the synchronized-walking thing on two planks of wood with rope handles (pictures below).  And finally we had to walk through a pool and retrieve a bolt from the bottom.

We hopped back on the bikes and headed through Bastrop Park again to the transition area.


More will go here later..


The final leg of the race was an 11-mile mountain bike ride through the aggressive trails of Rocky Hill Ranch.  We






The girls at the chocolate shop

Falling asleep in the chair at the end

Check point 1

Check point 5

EZ-e’s bike… chain… flats… toob change…




Race Pictures

Plotting all of the checkpoints on the topo map...

EZ-e says, "Umm... Yeah!"




Transition time fellas...

no clue what I'm doing... I can only assume it's important...

"What happened to my water?"

"I guess I don't need this hat..."

And we're off to find the check points...

"I must find dry ground for my shoes!"

Pulling the boats out after 12 miles of kayaking...

EZ-e and brewer... barefoot and pregnant...

"EZ-e!... we're over here!"

Sorta like horseshoes... but without the horseshoes...

brewer concentrating...

NB concentrating....

"DAT's right... I'm done with this... you boys press on!"

EZ-e's manly face!


OK... here I am tired.  Very tired!

"You want us to pick up bolts from the bottom of the pool?  Why don't you just get the pool boy to do it?"




EZ-e pushing his brain back into his head...


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