Smithville 8-Hr 2012 Commentary 


05/10/2012 - POST RACE UPDATE

The Smithville 8-Hour : Bonk Hard Racers Take on the Heat!

Bonk Hard Racing's third running of the Smithville 8-Hour Adventure race provided participants with a full day of challenging fun with the added bonus of 94 degree heat!   Whew!!   That did not discourage or intimidate the 168 racers on 57 teams from 7 states!

With an 8:00 am start time (especially intended for racers to get a good night of planning and sleep) racers took off from Sailboat Cove on a 2 mile trek to CP3 (TA) at the Smoke & Davey Trailhead gathering a couple of checkpoints along the route.  It was a 12 mile bike ride to CP7 (TA) where the racers set off on a canoe-O after hauling their canoes down a slippery footpath to an apron of mud on the shores of Smithville Lake.  But wait ..... there is more .... the shallow tree stumped water required racers to take extra care not to get hung up on underwater tree stumps.   Punching the passports demanded a teammate to exit the canoe and tramp through the water and mud!

The 4.5 mile canoe leg led teams back to the put-in, now CP14(TA) and a gear check.   With a 6 mile bike leg to CP16 (TA), racers were about to begin the orienteering course.   Simply put ... it was HOT. Extra water was supplied for racers at this point for resupply.   CP16/CP26 became known as "The Oasis" and most racers took advantage of the bottled water.

One of the most satisfying aspects of course design is to see a number of teams enter a TA at the same time, then take off on the next leg in different directions, as they did at CP16. Perfect.   It is all about options and route choice. It's a good thing ... make that a GREAT thing!

The 4.5 miles of trekking/orienteering returned teams to The Oasis at CP26 (TA). Here, a new clue sheet was distributed and the remaining 7 biking checkpoints, on an 8 mile road and single track course, would deliver them to the finish line and the sweet sound of Bonk Hard cowbells.

Twenty-six teams cleared the entire course and 52 teams crossed the finish line! ALL racers made the 7:00 pm cut-off.   Super group of racers!! Great Job!

Congratulations to the 4-Person Coed team, kuat, who ruled the day with a first place finish in 4 hours and 51 minutes!! Right on their tails cameDynamic Earth / Team Fusion, 4-Person Coed, for a second place finish in 4:57. Wild Hares, 2-Person Male, claimed third place overall in a time of 5:28!!

Every team is congratulated for their performance at Smithville!!   Bonk Hard Racers racers persevere and possess the attitude of having a great time doing it.

With grateful hearts, we send out many, many thanks to our volunteers.   These folks make themselves available all day, watching over bikes, logging times, tracking racers, hauling food and water, providing racer assistance as needed, providing boat support, validating passports, running errands and taking photos.   They are amazing people who make adventure races possible.   Please join us in thanking those who volunteered at the 2012 Smithville 8-Hour.   They are: Shawn Goins, Dan DeVorss, Derrick Boos, Kyle Boos, Emma Gossett, Cynthia Twibell, David Vaughn, and Dorothy Frieze.

We sincerely thank Mike Kaullen, from Clay County Parks who secured the venue for the race, made arrangements with the US Army Corps of Engineers, and worked with us to make sure every racer was safe.

Gary Burton, from Burton's Bait and Tackle, was boat patrolling and keeping an eye out to make sure our canoeists were safe. We thank him for his support.

The Earth Riders Trails Association protects and maintains the single track around Smithville Lake.   Aaron Beeman and Neale Shour watched over trail conditions and we thank them for working with us and allowing us to use the trails.

Dynamic Earth.
EXTREME thanks go out to the Smithville 8-Hour Presenting Sponsor, Dynamic Earth.   Racer check-in at the Overland Park store went smoothly.   The racer discount on store items was FABULOUS!! A beautifully configured store with wonderful outdoor clothing and gear!!   Matt O'Reilly provided SUPER AWESOME prizes given out to our award winners!! INCREDIBLE! There was much "pre-shopping" going on at the prize table!!   The bike racks, hydration packs, back packs, base camp duffels, water bottles, clothing, socks, and other items made a clear statement ..... Dynamic Earth RULES with quality products!!!   We hope you will shop the Dynamic Earth Stores in Overland Park, KS and Springfield, MO.

Kuat Racks. 
Rack Love. Fact.   The most impressive, functional, useful, and sleek looking bike racks on the market!!   Bonk Hard Racing loves kuat racks and we sincerely thank kuat for their support throughout the entire year. In addition, the kuat bottle lock is ingenious. It looks like a water bottle, stores in the bottle cage, but look again ...... a neatly coiled bike cable pulls from the bottle and secures your bike! Unlock and wind it up again for neat storage.   Plus, it comes in really cool colors ..... even pink. :)   Thank you, kuat for putting bottle locks on our prize table too!!

Columbia Sportswear.
Columbia sportswear is cool and comfortable!!   We thank Columbia for prize shirts, jackets, and backpacks!   The wicking fabric in Columbia products keep you cool when things get hot, and racers needed that on Saturday!  Columbia knows sportswear.

Best socks EVER!! Swiftwick compression socks are a favorite among our adventure racers.   An extremely comfortable toe box, compression to improve the blood flow, a breathable fabric, all while keeping your feet dry and comfy!!  Incredible. Adventure racers love the knee high 12'' socks that protect their legs in the woods as well as the 0 - 2" Aspire socks.

Can you spell RELIEF? It starts with the letter "Z".   The woods at Smithville provided ample opportunity for poison ivy.   Many of our racers smothered themselves in Zanfel before they took off, others were fighting for the Zanfel at the awards ceremony!   Zanfel continues to deliver a top quality, fast acting, poison ivy wash that protects racers from serious reactions. Six lucky racers took home tubes of glorious relief!!! Zanfel.  

Bonk Hard Racing appreciates and congratulates ALL the racers who tackled the course at Smithville!!!   We thank you for racing with us and hope you will join us again on another great adventure.

Gary & Ellen Thompson
Bonk Hard Racing, LLC

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