Smithville 8-Hr 2013 Commentary


05/21/2013 - POST-RACE UPDATE

The fourth annual Smithville 8-hour Adventure Race was held on Saturday, May 11th.   Breaking with tradition, packet pick-up occurred the morning of the event where teams received the first two maps and clue sheet - an initial trekking leg followed by a biking leg.

With a Bonk Hard cowbell start at 9:00 am sharp, 156 racers on 60 teams were off on a 6 CP trekking leg (Map 1) between Sailboat Cove and the Smoke & Davey trailhead.   These CPs could be found in any order and required navigation over varying terrain that ranged from open fields to thicker vegetation.

After approximately 3.5 miles of trekking, racers returned to the race HQ at Sailboat Cove, transitioned to their bikes and were off on the first 5.5 mile biking leg (Map 2) on surface roads to the transition area at CP9.   There teams were greeted with a gear check and received the next set of maps (Map 3 - canoe leg, Map 4 - next biking leg).

Teams were required to carry their canoes to the lake which was no short haul.   Early teams took a more direct route to the lake which involved a bit of canoe whacking.   Subsequent teams followed the, albeit longer, mowed path to the lake.   And to quote George Costanza of Seinfeld fame, "The sea was angry that day my friends.".   Yes, the lake was being whipped up but a brisk north wind.   Teams were allowed to find the 6 water CPs in any order but given the wind, many teams chose a counter-clockwise route that minimized the impact of the winds.   Throw in the stump monsters submerged throughout the course and the angry birds (geese) at CP12, the 4.5 mile canoe leg would prove to be the memorable leg of the day.

After the windy ride and with wind blown hair, teams carried their canoes back to the TA and remounted their bikes for the next biking leg.   This 12.0 mile leg was primarily on the paved biking trails along the shoreline of Smithville Lake.   Considering its generally northerly direction, the winding trail minimized the impact of the wind by going back into the woods from time to time.   As riders neared the end of the paved trail, they received the next set of maps at CP24 (Map 5 - single track leg, Map 6 - trekking leg).

Whether racers would get to use the single track trails was an unknown at race time.  Approval came at 10:00 am so Map 5 Plan A was given to teams confirming what most had hoped.   After a short ride on paved trails, teams were required to stay on the single track on the east side of the Smoke & Davey trail system.   Once 4 CPs were found, teams headed out on Highway W, across the bridge to the next TA after 4.0 miles of riding.

Teams dropped their bikes at the Highway W Lake Access TA where they were required to plot 2 additional CPS on 1:24000 Map 6.   CPs 30 to 34 could be found in any order.   The eastern side of the map was a wooded series of reentrants while the western side of the map was mostly open, cultivated fields.   Though the distance was only about 2.5 miles, the going was slower due to vegetation and millions of cornstalks.

Once back to the TA, teams received Map 7 which disclosed 6 more miles of primarily single track riding on the western side of the Smoke & Davey trail system.   After collecting the remaining CPs, teams finished up riding on paved trails, through the Bonk Hard Racing arch to the thundering sound of cowbells.

After a quick photo op, teams were treated to pizza and pop followed by a lot of story swapping. 37 Teams found all 41 checkpoints and no team missed the 7:00 pm cutoff time so everyone should take pride in a job well done. Congratulations to ALL racers!

Award Winners were:

1st Place - Stinging Nettles - Jason Elsenraat, Laura Elsenraat
2nd Place - On the FFOGY Side - Nathan Goff, Mandy Goff
3rd Place - Overeducated and Underprepared - Kate Wilson, Justin Grisham

1st Place - 2 Y's Are Enough - Suzanne Renner, Jackie Dozier
2nd Place - SK Lost 3 - Patricia Allacher, Jina Kugler

1st Place - G-Force - Bob Billings, Dan Cool
2nd Place - Aussie Tri Hards - Spencer Norris, Jason Ross 
3rd Place - Past-R-Prime - Remington DeGarmo, Rye DeGarmo

1st Place - Team Fusion - Melisa Lemus, Mark Gullett, Shawn Gates, Jason Bettis
2nd Place - NSPIRE - Michelle Thompson, Craig Bontrager, Micah Kohles, Dave Dyer
3rd Place - Solar and Wind KC - Nathan Clausen, John Clausen, Amada Clausen, Johny Woodward

1st Place - Boom Boom Pow - Jeri Lewis, Stacey Rybar, Charmion Harris, Tina Rohrs

1st Place - Team Manamanamana - James Beal, Jeff Fadden, Scott Obstarczyk, Sean Larson
2nd Place - Orange Lederhosen - Derrick Boos, Kyle Boos, Sheldon Thompson, Michael Molina
3rd Place - Old Age Mutant Ninja Warriors - Eric Vajentic, Andrew Davis, Dale Hemmie, A.L. Adair

Our SPONSORS make our races possible. Please visit their stores and engage their services for top quality products.

kuat - Just prior to the start, lucky racer, David Eaton of Team Wandering Aimfully, was the winner of a NV-Core bike rack ($439 retail value) provided by kuat. kuat remains the top ranked rack maker in the world.   Checkout their products that just keep getting better.   Easy load, easy unload, incredible design. kuat racks make your mouth water.

Zanfel - A must-have for any racer, or rider in the out-of-doorsZanfel has been a Bonk Hard Racing sponsor for over 9 years!   Their fabulous and effective, fast-acting poison relief have our racers and riders jumping in the isles for the $35 tubes of glorious lotion.   Six lucky racers took home tubes of coveted Zanfel relief!

Columbia Sportswear - Columbia once again loaded up our prize table with top quality jackets, base layers, gloves, and other fabulous outdoor clothing items.   Columbia knows how to dress and protect outdoor enthusiasts in stylish, comfortable, functional clothing.

Dynamic Earth - Hiking, mountain climbing, camping, paddling, Dynamic Earth can suit you up for your next outdoor adventure.   With a watchful eye on earth-friendly products, Dynamic Earth continues to be a supporter of our natural world while providing top notch products for outdoor activities.


Many of our PRIVATE and PUBLIC supporters may go unnoticed, but be assured they provide the framework for a well run event. Many thanks to:

Clay County Parks & Recreation - for use of beautiful Smithville Lake area and Sailboat Cove Pavilion.

Earth Riders Trails Association - Maintainers of the Smithville single track trails.

Burton's Bait & Tackle - Provided boat support during the canoe leg.

Our local police officers that serve our towns and counties help us make sure that our events are safe as well as fun.


Many, many thanks to our volunteers who donate their time to making your race day a good one.

Riley Thompson - Check-in, CP7, Finish Line, Clean up
Dorothy Frieze - Food & Refreshments, CP7, Photos, Clean up
David Vaughn - Set-up, CP24, CP29, CP35, Photos, Clean up
Emma Gossett - CP9, CP16, Photos, Checkpoint Pick-Up
Claire Paterson - CP9, CP16, CP24
Gary & Melinda Perry - CP24, Photos
Tiffany Schweer - CP29, CP35
Derrick Boos - Checkpoint Pick-Up
Kyle Boos - Checkpoint Pick-Up

Congratulations to all our racers!   Regardless of your finish position, you tackled a great course.   We are proud of your efforts, hope you had a wonderful experience, and also hope to see you at another Bonk Hard Racing event soon.

With great respect,
Gary & Ellen Thompson

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