Good morning again! Wow, Day 5 already!
Not being on scene anymore and having complete faith that at least several of the SPOT tracking devices are not working properly, I must admit to not really having an idea where we are in the standings right now. The PQ folks are doing a horrible job of reporting from the course. You would think they would have had someone monitoring the standings at the reservoir and providing some regular updates to keep us all in the loop, but……..Anyway, OrionHealth has certainly taken a firm grasp on the leadership of this race. Safe to assume that Salomon/Crested Butte is still rocking along in 2nd place (although their SPOT still has them back at CP 27, and we know they have made it at least as far as the swimming leg and that was yesterday!). The tracker currently shows us out in the middle of the lake, still. It would appear we have been out on the lake since almost 3:00pm yesterday, which would not seem correct. Hmmm, hopefully SPOT gets their trackers working correctly, or at least we could get some decent updates from the PQ staff, or the Spot really is correct and our team has cratered. Unknown, but I certainly hope we are happily plugging along on the river stretch this morning, still chasing Salomon/CB.
OrionHealth has just started on the mega long trekking section through the heart of the Badlands. It does appear from the maps that there are some decent routes through this 64 mile trek, but even the best case scenario I can come up with for OrionHealth to cross the finish line is somewhere about 24-30 hours from now, depending on their route finding and sleep needs. These guys are the current AR world champs, so I would tend to guess towards the quicker side! The downriver paddle took them 14.5 hour to do the 38 miles, which quite frankly is flying given the slow pace of the water and all the fence lines that the teams have to dodge along the way. Kudos to OrionHealth for blasting through that tough stretch through the night. I would guess the teams on the river right now are enjoying the daylight and increased visibility.
Route finding in the Badlands will be key for all the teams that are clustered together as could be the difference between finishing in the top 5 and earning a free entry to future PQ’s! Here’s hoping we are one of them!!!
That’s all for now!