Monday, February 15, 2010

Mt. Taylor Quad

This past weekend, I headed over to Grants to volunteer for the Quad. The Quad is a crazy, bike up, run up, ski up, snoeshow up, and everything in reverse race for 40+ miles up and down Mt. Taylor). I had two reasons for burning the gas it took to make it there.
1) Volunteer at a race in an attempt to give back for all the races I've done with great volunteers.
2) Learn about the quad so I know what to expect.

I know this much - the Quad is no joke. There are some serious athletes and determined participants.

I arrived in Grants around 7AM. I touched base with the staff and caught a shuttle to the bike/run transition area. There were a group of us just hanging out, waiting for the next pick-up truck to take us away. I rode on the back of some burly truck up to the next transition area. When I arrived at the run/ski transition, there was a nice warm fire ready. Initially, I wanted to volunteer at this area, but I decided to hoof it up to the next area - the ski/snowshoe transition. I figured I could learn the most there.

Silly me, I hiked it up the 2 or so miles in regular hiking shoes. Slow going in the snow, esp. Heartbreak hill (below).
As for the transition area, it was run by a no-nonsense snowmobiling couple. They had volunteered for many years and had the program down pat. We dug a couple pits for a fire and set up the timing mats.
My job, after shoveling snow, was to direct the racers up the hill. Soon enough, the elites came charging up the mountain. And even sooner, they had sumitted and were coming back down. Then came the masses.
And before I knew it, the cut-off time came and the racers stopped coming up. I helped pack up and we headed down the mountain. I'm leaving out the hour long snowcat ride, frostbitten toes, tortilla hot dog, altitude sickened racers, straggling racers and portopotty experience. All in all, it was a real good time.

So, from this, I am determined to complete the Quad solo. Its a goal. It will happen. Oh yeah. T-minus one year.

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