Monday, September 28, 2009


Team Helly Hansen Vancouver Island MOMAR Cumberland Race Report

One of the many great things about the Cumberland MOMAR is that the start line is only an hour from home, therefore we get to sleep in our own beds the night before this world-class event. That being said, I'm not sure any of us arrived rested, but what the heck.
Coming off the 'team of 4' win in Squamish, and with Carey out for this event, we were lucky to recruit Jay Latiff to race his first MOMAR with us. We split into two teams of two, Jeff and Jay raced together in the mens division, Justin and I raced together in the co-ed division. It was a beautiful day for racing.
Classic fall weather and the huge turn out made the event extra special. The gathering of athletes that takes place the morning of the event on the shores of Comox Lake is one of my favorite times of race day - socializing and buzzing around getting ready is fun. But before we knew it the maps were being handed out and we were having team pow-wows pouring over the course details and realizing what Bryan had in store for us.
Even though she wasn't racing we can thank Carey for helping us win more than half that battle with the kayak section. She reserved us boats with Sealegs Kayaking and Bud was super helpful getting us organized and the boats were awesome. Three cheers also goes out to MOMAR racer-on-hiatus Jamie Gauthier for lending me his carbon wing paddle. Justin and I had a great paddle... technique was a little lacking on my part, but with some coaching and tips from Justin we were moving along nicely, playing an agro game of bumper boats with Mark James and his kayak partner Matt. Both HHVI I and II managed to finish in the top 10 boats.
Off the water and straight into the first trek section we were running along the short bit of pavement when I turned to Justin and said "dude my legs feel solid"... (I was thinking they felt like logs after getting out of the kayak).. Justin replied "yeah! right on, my legs feel awesome too!". I decided not to clarify and told myself I was in for a tough race! The run turned out to be a quick stage for us - we came across some awesome fans at check point #4 who told us we were 4 minutes behind the leaders. woot!!
Next up was transition to mountain bike, we were excited to have made it into transition ahead of Jeff and Jay, and on the way in got some encouragement from Frontrunners friends Norm and Graeme. Knowing the mountain bike section is our strength we hit it hard. The bike course included a logging road climb, some sweet classic cumberland single track and a fast decent. We had a really clean ride and I was feeling empowered not having batted an eye at the technical stuff. We rocked this section & flew into the next transition ready to hit the pavement for the urban navigation.
Urban Nav was short and sweet and we were back on the bikes within a few minutes. Justin nailed the hidden check point on this last bike section and we flew down the road back to the bike drop by the lake.
This year the orienteering section of the race was the final stage, I thought this would make it more crazy and panic filled, but as Alice pointed out to me afterwards, it was nice to enter this section with the teams spread out. Justin did an awesome job navigating us through the orienteering, and as we ran into our teammates part way through the O course we realized just how close this race to the finish was going to be for HHVI. We started to feel a bit of the pressure and made a slight error on the 2nd last c.p. but recovered quickly, dive roll included. One more c.p. to go! At this point we could hear Norona on the mic at the finish line, announcing the overall winners and top finishing athletes. We knew that once we got this c.p. we were just a short sprint to the line. We looked for the c.p. and we looked.. and checked the map again... and looked... and JUST as I said "Justin it is here!!!" we heard our teammates being announced at the finish! We sprinted in and managed to cross the line within a minute of them.

Pretty great day for Team HHVI: 1st place co-ed team of two, 3rd place mens team of two.

The after party really was as great as they always say, made extra special this year with celebration of the 10 year anniversary of the MOMAR. With our victory we got some awesome prizes from our title sponsor Helly Hansen as well as Smartwool socks! ya! Three great big cheers go out to the MOMAR staff and volunteers for putting on yet another seamless race, can't wait for next year.

Next up: Cross on the Rock race #2 and... (can't believe the season is upon us..)... YETI races!