It’s been a busy few weeks for GOALS ARA. Abby, Brent and Bruce raced in the Southern Catskills at NYARA’s annual Longest Day. This year’s event was back to the more recent tradition of 30 hours rather than the challenging midnight starts from last year. As always, Denise, Rodney, Amy and the rest of the NYARA gang put together a treat complete with an epic off trail foot section, ridgeline bike rides, passage through an eerie set of ruins atop one of the many mountains we humped, and to cap it off a trip down North America’s longest zipline (over half a mile long, 500 feet above the canopy and with speeds up to 50 miles an hour…followed by four more ziplines). We managed third place in a strong field, and though we had some physical issues (we still are waiting for that race where we all feel solid) we felt like it was good final tune-up for Costa Rica. Check out Abby’s report for a more complete write-up.
After recovering, we’ve spent the last few weeks buying gear, sorting gear, selecting clothes, measuring food, packing all of the above, re-packing it, packing again. Yesterday, we all gathered in San Jose, Costa Rica, and after some last minute shopping for food, a local cell phone, and other random items, we crashed for a good long night of sleep, one of the last we’ll have this week. Today we meet the press, have our glamour shots taken, and meet the other racers, none of which are from North America or English-speaking countries (a first for all of us…though the ironic thing is: English is the official language of the race! Advantage? I’d still give it to all those folks who speak Spanish fluently). On Sunday, we get the official overview of the course and maps. Lots of maps if last year’s maps are any indication.
Before disappearing into the jungle, we’d like to thank our sponsors. We’ll be racing with the help of Black Diamond trekking poles, lighting from DiNotte, paddles from Werner Paddles, pants and shirts from Railriders, cushy socks from Thorlo, tires from Kenda, and of course the endless support from GOALS ARA. While we are focused on maps and rocks, trails and rapids, we tend to forget about our gear, but there are countless times throughout a race (especially a five day one) where the gear allows us to make it through. We run, bike and paddle faster, more efficiently and more safely with the constant support of our sponsors. Thank you.
For online tracking (hopefully), try starting with the following websites:
Hopefully someone will be out in the rain and mud reporting!