Monday, May 22, 2006

2006 TRIOBA Sprint Adventure Race, Cle Elum, Wash.

Photo by Mike Bitton
An athlete punches checkpoint 4 during the TRIOBA Sprint adventure race Saturday, May 20, 2006, near Cle Elum, Wash.

Rain raked athletes at the start of the TRIOBA sprint adventure race near Cle Elum, Wash. Just a few hours later, sun scorched participants as they crossed the finish line. Ahh, springtime in the Cascades!

Normally dominant team DART was third overall, and nearly 42 minutes behind the first finishers, the 2-man team of Montrail Northwest. Second went to the 4-man team, which was only a few minutes back from the winners.

Because DART was the first co-ed team of four to cross the finish line, they lead the 2006 TRIOBA adventure race series in the points standings (only co-ed teams of four are elegible to earn points). Being on top is not new for the Seattle-area team, which has won the title of Pacific Northwest Adventure Racing Champions (just the TRIOBA sereis, really) for the past three seasons straight.

Second place in the 4-person co-ed division went to, another Seattle team, and DART's most serious competition. Mergeo actually beat DART at the final TRIOBA of 2005, where just two minutes separated the teams at the finish line.

Rosters have shuffled a bit in the off-season. DART lured Aaron Rinn away from Mergeo. To shore up its ranks, Mergeo recruited the two-person co-ed team Rubber Chickens, which is far more serious than it sounds. The Chickens are Georgia Daniels and Mike Miller, known throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond as expert trail runners whose specialty is endurance. I think any team whose members can run all the trekking sections of a race puts DART dangerously close to defeat. In years past, DART could easly make up time lost to bad navigation choices. This year, Mergeo will be a constant threat.

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