I am considering my first race and have a million questions. But, I'll start with just ones about the paddling format. Seems from what I can gather from what mostly vague info on the site that the paddling portion of the race is in canoes with double bladed kayak paddles. Is this correct? Also, I understand that the boat and gear is provided. I am an avid paddler and know that good equipment can make a big difference. Can I provide my own paddle and PFD? One more. How long typically is the paddling?
I keep reading about the transition area. During the race do the competitors always return to the transition area after each portion of the race?
I know I can't be prepared for everything, but a general understanding of how it occurs will help. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Pangea events typically feature a short "sport" division for beginners and a longer (usually double) "elite" division for more experienced racers. In the sport, they typically require that you use their paddling gear (single ended canoe paddles and their pfd's) while in the elite you have the option to provide your own (which most everyone takes, at least for the paddles). A caveat here: sometimes the boat TA is located some distance from the main TA, where you start and finish. If you are using your own paddles, be prepared to transport them that distance. (My teammate ran 5 miles carrying his paddles @ the BOAR a couple years ago.)
The length of the legs varies a little by location, depending on what's available but typically you spend about 1/3 of your time on each disciple. So in a 6 hour race, you'll paddle for about 2 hours.
The main TA: Again, this varies a little based on the venue. Most of the time, all of the transitioning happens in the main TA but not always. At the most recent race (the Luminescent) after the paddle, we got on the bikes to pick up a bunch of controls on our way to a remote trek TA, did the entire trek there then got back on the bikes for more controls on the way back to the main TA to finish.
Hope this helps (and that we see you at an event soon...)
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