2013 Castlewood 8-Hr Commentary


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12/14/2013 - POST-RACE UPDATE

The 9th annual Castlewood 8-Hour Adventure Race could just have easily been the 10th annual Bonk Hard Chill!   Having been spoiled by 60 degree weather the past two years, the only way to ensure the average high did not rise was to have a day like we had on Saturday, December 7. 

With pre-dawn temps nearing single digits, 168 Bonk Hard Racers on 61 Teams were poised and ready to head out from the Wyman Center on a St. Louis County adventure!   There was an inch of snow on the ground so hiding your path from others would be hard to do.

Just prior to the race, a name was drawn from the field of racers for an AWESOME kuat Sherpa bike rack and racer, Darren Latham from team Lesson Not Learned, was the winner!!! Thank you, kuat!!

At 7:00 am, with the sun on the horizon, it was off on a 2 mile TREK to find 4 CPs within Greensfelder County Park and return to the HQ for the first transition of the day (and perhaps a stop by the fire or the warmth of the buildings at the Wyman Center).   With a quick punch at CP5, along with a quick change, teams mounted their bikes and headed out on an 8.5 mile BIKING leg via paved roads and paved trails within the City of Eureka then into Route 66 State Park collecting 8 CPs en route.

At Route 66 State Park (CP13), the canoe TA, there was much to think about. Teams checked in, punched, received a UTM slip revealing 2 more CPs along the river, and executed their plan of strapping bikes into canoes for the 6 mile PADDLE on the Meramec River to Sherman Beach County Park.   This proved to be the coldest leg of the race. Check out the photos on the Bonk Hard website for the latest in ice beards and icicle laden bicycle tires. At the end of the icy paddle (CP16) was a nice beachside bon fire where many thawed and warmed frozen hands and feet.   And once you were warm, there was the obligatory GEAR CHECK!

Then it was back on the BIKEs on the snowy single track trails of the Cedar Bluff unit of Castlewood State Park.    CPs could be found in any order on the Al Foster and Stinging Nettle trail system and also included a hilly, snow covered loop north of the railroad tunnel. Then it was back to the Wyman Center on the Al Foster trail and surface streets within the City of Wildwood. But wait .... what is this?   At CP24 (Bluffview Trail trailhead) teams were surprised to find a manned CP waiting for them. It was an optional TRAIL TREK!   Teams quickly dropped their bikes along the trail to find 3 CPs by TREKKING 1.5 more miles along the snow covered and sloping Bluffview Trail.

After returning from the trail, it was back on the BIKEs for the ride back to the Wyman Center. There, teams were given Clue Sheet #2 containing the UTM coordinates for the remaining 8 TREKKING CPs in Greensfelder County Park.   After a quick plotting session in a heated building, teams once again ventured into the woods.   As more and more teams were on the course, the navigation became easier and easier as elephant tracks in the snow lead from CP to CP.   And when it was all said and done, teams were greeted with cowbells and Dominos pizza!   Though it was the coldest Bonk Hard racing event ever, the hardy souls who challenged themselves and the elements can be very proud of what they accomplished!   It was a great day!

Award Results were as follows:

4-Person Co-ed:
1) Alpine Shop - Jeff Sona, David Frei, Mike Barro, Emily Korsch - 1st Place Overall
2) Ridge Runner/Downhill Bikes Branson - Dathan Atchison, Melisa Lemus, John Bradley, Mark Gullett - 2nd Place Overall
3) 34 Down - Jeff Ryan, Josh Borgemeyer, Jason Noakes, Sunny Gilbert - 3rd Place Overall


4-Person Male:
1) Off the Front Racing - Todd Dohogne, Zdenek Palecek, Dave Hagen, Adam Rybar
2) On the FFOGY Side - Nathan Goff, Scott Kiefner, Jeff Mittler, Kenson Goff
3) Chain Reaction Racing - Jeff Powell, Steve Timm, Chris Lofgren, Matt Schumacher


2-Person Co-ed:
1) Tiny Trail Ninjas - Jason Elsenraat, Laura Elsenraat


2-Person Male:
1) Team Fusion - Shawn Gates, Jason Bettis
2) Toporadicals - Nathan Graves, Brian Rodenbeck
3) Dirty Guys - Clayton Cummings, Aaron Fanetti


2-Person Female:
1) Alpine Shop NNC - Carrie Sona, Yvonne Deyo


Our presenting sponsor, The Alpine Shop LOADED up the prize table with Head Lamps, Bike Helmets, Bike Pumps, Bike Lights, Map Cases, Compasses, and $1000 in Gift Cards!!   Alpine Shop rocks!

Add to the list above, the Watches, Backpacks, Compounder Shells, Jackets, and Gloves provided from long time sponsor Columbia Sportswear, and a fantastic prize table was in place!

Six lucky audience members took home their all time favorite "gear" - Zanfel, a MUST HAVE for Adventure Racers!

Castlewood, Bonk Hard Racing's end of the year event was made possible by EXCEPTIONAL SPONSORS who follow and support our races. Their support is what makes Bonk Hard Racing events shine.   Please make time to visit their stores, shop for products, and spread the word of the following Bonk Hard Sponsors whose products and services we respect and admire:

Alpine Shop - (made possible by Todd Oswald) - If you love the outdoors, then you will love the Alpine Shop.   Gear, clothing and footwear for races, hiking, camping, climbing and beyond.   The Alpine Shop staff can help make your adventures great ones.   Once in the store, you will not want to leave!   Fill that cart!   Shop online or in person at one of the 3 amazing Alpine Shop stores.

Columbia Sportswear - (made possible by Jean Matthews) - Columbia Sportswear USA produces the most comfortable, visually appealing, and well constructed clothing and products for outdoor activists.   It is true - Columbia knows sportswear.   Shop online at Columbia, or at retail distributors for super outdoor products.

kuat - (made possible by Luke Kuschmeader) - Bike racks and accessories by kuat. Functional, sleek, impressively easy to load bike racks.   Everyone wants a kuat. Hitch mounted or roof mounted, you will love to load up bikes and gear on your kuat.   Rack love lives on.   Put your sweet ride on a sweet rack.

Zanfel - (made possible by Dan Boelman) - Zanfel is not only a racer staple for poison ivy relief, but it helps relieve the pain of swelling and itching from bee stings, chigger bites, mosquito bites, and other insect bites.   Bonk Hard Racers carry Zanfel as a part of their regular gear list.   Put it in your gear bag.

Dynamic Earth - (made possible by Matt O'Reilly) - Dynamic Earth wants to help you with your next outdoor adventure.   Their staff will help you gear up as well as providing advise and direction for your next outdoor experience.   Hiking, climbing, cycling, paddling and adventure racing are some of the events Dynamic Earth sponsors, along with the many in-store clinics to assist you.

St Louis Orienteering Club - (with the support of Bryan Niehaus and Brian Hey) - The St Louis Orienteering Club (SLOC) organizes top quality navigational courses in and around the St. Louis area.   Sharpen up those navigational skills by participating in an SLOC orienteering event.   We are grateful for the use of SLOC maps for the Castlewood event.

Many, many thanks go out to our Castlewood Volunteers.   These people make sure you safely arrive and depart transition areas as well as keeping track of your team along the way.   Please join us in thanking the following individuals ....

Greg Garnett - Set-up, CP5 (HQ), CP27 (HQ), Finish Line 
Sean Fink - Set-up, CP5 (HQ), CP27 (HQ), Finish Line 
Jeff Geear - CP27 (HQ), Finish Line 
Lukas Lamb - CP13 (Route 66 State Park), Food
Becca Lamb - CP13 (Route 66 State Park), Food
Steven Adams - CP15 (River Watch)
Jessea Campbell - CP15 (River Watch)
Suzanne Renner - CP16 (Sherman Beach) 
Jackie Dozier - CP16 (Sherman Beach)
Diane Diebold - CP24 (Bluffview Trial)
Dave Vehige - CP24 (Bluffview Trial)
Joyce Cox - CP25 (Hwy 109 Crossing)
Leonard Sona - CP25 (Hwy 109 Crossing)
Travis Irvin- Photographer

It is our contracted private property owners and state, city and county governments who provide us with super venues and invite us back each year for outdoor enjoyment.   Please join us in thanking the following ...

The Wyman Center, and its entire staff welcomed us back and set up one fantastic Race Headquarters for the Castlewood 8-Hour Adventure Race.

Route 66 State Park & Castlewood State Park, Don Fink, & Randy Becknell and staff for use (in part or whole) of beautiful Missouri State Parks.

The City of Wildwood, Gary Crews and staff for welcoming us each year to their city and allowing use of Wildwood city streets.

The City of Eureka, City Council, for use of the city streets and trails.

St Louis County Parks - Maggie Kenny and staff for use of the wonderful St Louis County parks and biking trails.

During 2013, Bonk Hard Racing registered 948 participants in 8 events.   In 2013, as in 2012, one person raced all 8 events --- JASON BETTIS.   We thank Jason, for his continued participation in Bonk Hard Racing events as well as introducing the sport of adventure racing to others.   Jason received a GoPro Hero Camera as our 2013 Bonk Hard Racing SUPER RACER.

We sincerely thank you for an outstanding year of adventure.   As a racer, a sponsor, a volunteer, we welcome and appreciate your feedback.

Planning your 2014 SEASON?   Our race schedule will be:
03/15/14 - Bonk Hard Chill Adventure Race
04/26/14 - The OGRE (bike race)
05/10/14 - Smithville 8-Hour Adventure Race
09/20/14 - Berryman Adventure Race
10/18/14 - Perfect 10 (orienteering)
12/06/14 - Castlewood 8-Hour Adventure Race

As you can see, in 2014, we will not be offering the LBL Challenge. However, the LBL Challenge will return in 2015 with new and exciting twists!

We hope to see you many times in 2014.

Gary & Ellen Thompson

© Bonk Hard Racing, LLC  2005 - 2017