Mojitos on Monday CPT Championship Race Report

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Mojitos on Monday and a few other local teams including Florida Xtreme and Crew Zen competed at the very challenging 2013 Checkpoint Tracker Championship race in Knoxville, TN. The event gave some of the best teams in the country fits but was also filled with really cool segments. Read all about the Mojitos journey here...

Checkpoint Tracker Championships – The Unclearable Course
Race Report by Jeanette Ciesla
Knoxville, Tennessee
October 11-12th, 2013
Mojitos on Monday:
Lot’s of controversy in this one. The course was brutal. Not sure if it is humanly possible to clear it in 30 hours which I think threw off some of the top teams. Needless to say we only picked up ~ 1/4 of the points.
During pre-race we received the final map and some brief instructions. Then the floor was opened for questions, but ended quickly after most were shot down with, “you’ll find out tomorrow”. The race was advertised as a 30 hour but start to finish time equated to 32 hours, so we speculated it would be expedition style. We showed up at 730am with 3 busses waiting for us and received the first map, instructions, and a custom plotter. It was an hour ride to the drop off – Windrock Park, an ATV park in Oliver Springs, Tennessee, NW of Knoxville.

Mojitos on Monday: CPT Championship Map

Mojitos on Monday: ATV ParkMost of the race was “anything goes”. We chose to bike the first section. The ATV Park reminded me of a redneck ski-resort. It was a huge 72,000 acre park with rated trails which made for some interesting mountain biking. Holy crap, those trails were tough - very steep inclines, big loose rocks, and kids hauling ass on four wheelers. Early in the race we ran into Tecnu looking for a reentrant we had already found and were far away from. It looked like they had dropped their bikes and were attempting a long bushwhack. They seemed a bit crabby. We found the first few points and decided to head back to the main TA for the shooting challenge.

In order to prevent a bottleneck teams were allowed to split up between shooting and a 2-CP O’course. We all wanted to shoot, so Gareth & Dave went first and headed off to collect the points while Erik & I got a nice break. We shot AR 15’s at a stationary target and some pumpkins – Dad will be proud.

Mojitos on Monday: Shooting Range

The second stage was a long bike to a mega trek section similar to the first in another section of Windrock park. It was night and very dark. We again gathered a few points and did the math – we only had 15 hours to complete a 60 mile bike/paddle so opted to cut our losses & move on.
It was a 30 mile bike ride on paved roads to the paddle TA. It never occurred to me that we should skip the paddle all together and bike it back to the canoe drop. That probably would have worked out much better for us because the 30 mile marathon paddle up the Tennessee River in the blazing sun took us 10 hours to complete and only got us 2 points and there were many more to get closer to Knoxville.
During the last mile or so of the paddle, reality sunk in and I honestly didn’t think we would make it back in time and would be DNF. It was already 3:30 and we still weren’t sure exactly where or what to do at the finish. We decided to paddle 200% and dropped our gear as fast as we could, making it to the finish with TWO minutes to spare. What a crazy finish, Yeehaw!!
My overall impression is satisfactory. I think it was probably an amazing course but we would have needed another 24 hours to see it all. I am disappointed that we missed out on the cave, rappel, and single track. My main gripes are that they needed more volunteers & that the course was too hard, however I guess the second is not really a legitimate complaint for a championship race.
Mojitos on Monday: Sunrise PaddleThe team chemistry was perfect, making the time pass quickly. Erik literally carried a ton of gear while towing for a good portion of the race. Dave was strong & steady throughout, helping wherever needed. And Gareth did a great job navigating even through the sunrise paddle when the fog was so thick we could only see a couple feet ahead.

Congrats to everyone who raced.

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