As the 2013 season gets underway, team GOALS ARA welcomes a handful of new faces to the team. Last year, Jill McMillen took east coast adventure racing by storm in her first year racing, having impressive finishes atop the podium in several races. Splitting her time primarily between NYARA and GOALS, she is going to become a familiar face on the east coast circuit, and we’re all very excited to have her join the team.
Along with Jill comes Jason Brown, a seasoned decathlete who impressed us a few years ago with his blazing speed and impressive finishes in several GOALS races. We’ve become friends over the years, and I for one am glad he is racing with us now rather than against us.
And finally, while not a new face to adventure racing, Derek Lawrence of Adventure Pocono has come out of early retirement to throw his hat into the ring once more. We’ve been working hard for the last couple of years to bring Derek’s old teammate Brian Reiss into the fold, and we’re fortunate to have Derek join him.
So, with a full roster for 2013, GOALS ARA is looking forward to kicking off the year, and we have already raced a handful of events this winter and spring, though mostly as solos or in pairs. After a monster season last year that included 18 races, 2 expeditions, and the USARA National Championship, the team probably won’t be around as much, but we’re eager for the races we do have lined up.
With that in mind, we kicked off the season with a trip up to CNYO’s annual fun in the snow with the 17th edition of the Snowgaine. After a couple years away, Abby and I returned to upstate New York, and while he couldn’t join us for the first day, Jason came up to run around with us for the second day. All in all, we had a grand time, and the course was beautiful as always, buried in several feet of hard-packed snow. The course was faster than usual, and for the first time, I was on a team at snowgaine that cleared the course. In general more teams than usual did so, but we were still happy with the race and enjoyed seeing friends from north of the border and some familiar faces from the East Coast Adventure Racing circuit.
Jason and Jill both went out for the Adventure Racing Addicts new sprint race, Brake the Habit, a 6 hour event in Maryland. Rumor is Jason had a blistering start as a solo racer, leading the large field of teams after the first leg, only to find his boat sinking during the paddle. Still hoping to read a report of that one! Jill was out with Josh Gillespie on his first adventure race, if I’m not mistaken, and while I haven’t heard their stories, they seem to have had a good time!
And finally, NYARA kicked off their adventure racing season with the annual Fool’s Rogaine, which had a fair bit of foolishness to say the least. 6 hours of biking and running for me, racing by my lonesome, in Wawayanda State Park in northern Jersey. Abby and Jonathan also were out in the woods, Jonathan also running solo, while Abby raced with good friend Val Nordquist. No results as of yet, but I do know that I severely choked on route choice, thoroughly embarrassing myself even though I was the only one “laughing” in the woods as I marveled at several stupid decisions. Despite that, we all had fun, and it was wonderful seeing a number of our friends after the offseason.
So, next up is the GOALS ARA Savage. Abby and I are teaming up with Bruce for his final hurrah as he prepares to move to Indiana, and Chris is racing with his wife Debbie as she prepares to take on some longer races this year. As for Bruce, he has decided to move to Indiana so he can spend the next six months scouting USARA nationals…He also has a new job out that way. We’re bummed to see him go, but thankfully he still we be racing with GOALS, just on a more limited basis.