Friday, May 23, 2008

Harvesting Dungeness Crabs with the Dundas Family

Check out this vid below. 

"Ya Rookie" MOMAR 2008

The day I had been waiting for finally arrived, May 10th, MOMAR 2008. I was to race this one solo since my partner Frenchy was sick and couldn't make it up. After a vote of confidence from a close friend and training partner I was to run this one solo. I figured that would be great since I could only blame myself and I could go as fast as I wanted. There was light rain at the start of the race but overall it looked to be a good day. The race started well for me as I took off with the lead group and felt solid. Minutes into the race we hit the first transition and most of the experienced guys dusted me while i played with my shoelaces and packed my bag just right. These guys were quick in the transitions while i looked like a disorganized kid. Onto the bike where i managed to catch a few guys on the next part of the course which headed uphill to the orienteering section. In the orienteering section I managed to do pretty well collecting most of the checkpoints pretty quickly and catching glimpses of the leaders running through the woods leaving me wondering what the hell I was doing and where I was going. I hooked up with Money and we collected a few check points together. I had two checkpoints to go and when I went to punch my second last check point I reached deep into my pockets and to my horror realized I had lost my map and check cards. I checked even deeper in my pockets hoping to find the map with that long lost quarter and that 20 dollar bill I lost in 89'  but nope, noway, nohow, no nothing. It was gone. Pulled out by some crafty tree. "Teach you a lesson you little punk," the tree smirked. F#@$. S#$@. You have to be f@#$%^& kidding me. The crux of the race was in my hands. Money said to just forget it and keep running with him but I choose door number #2(no deal loser), and went to look for my map. Of course I couldn't find it. I wasn't on any trail prior to that and knew that we had bushwhacked to get to the second last check point. After what seemed like an hour of searching( i think it was only 15 minutes) I gave up looking and was ready to give up the race. I was so upset, so disappointed in myself. I was looking for someone to blame, I have always been on team, there was always someone to blame, not my fault, hahahahahahahahahahaha.......oohhhh I realized quickly how much I love solo racing. Crux decision #2. Quit or keep going and change my focus. Lots of thoughts went through my mind as I walked on a trail by myself as the reality of being done my "race," set in. I felt that that was the toughest part of the whole thing, going from competing and being up there to not competing and being down there. Man I was upset at myself. My decision was to carry on and new that i had a ways to go when I came out of the orienteering and saw most of the bikes gone, with competitors that did not look like competitors. It was as soon as I got on the bike that i left my disgust behind and realized I was going to have to crank for 3 hours. The biking was fast and I was pretty happy with my performance since I had not heard anyone this year calling me Napoleon Dynamite on my bike. I felt really good blowing by people on the uphills and even downhills on my new Specialized Stumpjumper. I was laying waste to trails like Recycle, Pseudo Pseuga, and the Powerhouse Plunge.(not really but I was going fast and I was reckless). I realized I had finally made it into no mans land where I was ahead of the mass but behind the guys and groups who had not lost their maps. I had a pretty good trekking section and rappel and ended that section in the transition back onto the bike. Not realizing I had just stood on and ripped the nozzle off to my Platypus I put my backpack on and proceeded to pour the remaining contents of my energy drink all over myself. Deron, one of the volunteers, was kind enough to tell me my pack was leaking. Thanks. Insult to injury. The last leg was a bike back up to Quest for the run up to the cafeteria where the race ended for me at 5 hours and 30 minutes. I was greeted by my brother and sister which made me really happy. It felt great to finish and although I was upset, i left most of my grief on the course. I spent the next half hour, one of the best half hours of my life eating a massive amount of cookies and chocolate. Wicked day, wicked race, wicked learning experience. This has now motivated me even more to train, compete and win. WHAT'S NEXT?

Thanks so much to Jen for all of her amazing support and training expertise. She designed an amazing tough course and helped me with all of my gear problems. Thanks to Adrian for giving me my second map and thanks to my brother Brad, sister Shannon, and Brad's wife Tara for being there for me. Special thanks goes to my nephew Sam. Thanks for coming out west little man. It was great to see you and thanks for being at my race and coming to visit me. You rule. Congratulations to Toran and Jo for winning the Co-ed doubles section. year you can hold the map. Missed up here and I look forward to racing with you soon.

Student Mentor Program

At the end of April I headed up north to Hartley Bay as part of King Pacific Lodge's Student Mentor program which I had been doing for the last 4 years. In this program all of the students at the school are interviewed and then take part in a tourism program which I develop and deliver to them. From there four students are chosen to work at King Pacific Lodge. There they will work in areas of their interest and will be matched up with a mentor at the lodge. The program has been very successful and has created employment for the youth of the village. This year I created a small adventure leadership course for the grade 10-12 students at the school. Within this program they received their Flatwater Kayaking Skill certification with Paddle Canada. The 11 students did an outstanding job. They learned new strokes, practiced wet exits and performed rescues on each other. I was very proud of them as they battled through their fears and gained confidence by the minute. The last part of our course was a boat ride up into a stunning inlet north of the village which is a place of strong tradition and an area of food gathering. On the trip we saw mountain goats feeding up high on the ridges and bears wandering the estuaries feeding on sedge grass below. The course was a big success and I will be heading up in the fall to deliver the Level 1 certification to the grade 10-12s and the Flatwater course to the grade 7-9's. Congratulations to all of the students and thanks to Cam and Eva for having me at their house and to Marvin for help with the kayaks and the fantastic boat tour.