The cooler, rainy weather only served to enhance the adventure at Saturday morning's Adventure Race at Brushy Creek Recreational Area.
"The rain just keeps you cool while you're running," said David Luers, of Fort Dodge, who is the chief of the Fort Dodge Fire Department and one of the contestants in the event.
The race was put on by Webster County Conservation, and was like a triathlon with extra challenges. Participants ran 3.18 miles, or about 5 kilometers, paddled a canoe or kayak 1.5 miles out around an island and back, and biked 11.5 miles, in any order they chose. Racers received a stamp on their "passport" at checkpoints along the way.
-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Some racers start out on bikes while others run at the starting whistle of the 2012 Adventure Race at Brushy Creek. There were 38 people in the race Saturday morning who ran hard in spite of the rain.
The racers were given maps beforehand. The course was fairly straightforward, but some racers still faced frustration as they made wrong turns.
The racers gathered at the beach around 9 a.m. to learn the course they would be running, but the sponsors did not explain the extra challenges.
"They're being very secretive about the challenges," Luers said before the race. "They did say they will test your brainpower and fine motor skills, so I think that means we have to throw something or balance something."
Adventure Race results
Thirteen teams of two, nine individuals and one relay group of three competed in the Adventure Race Saturday.
The course was 3.18 miles running, 1.5 kayaking or canoeing, and 11.5 miles biking. First, second and third place winners are:
First place - Dustin Miller and Jeremy Rasmussen, 1:55.09
Second place - Eric Hart and Gary Barber, 2:01.04
Third place - Tony Bacon and Jason Miller, 2:02.90
First place - Troy Martens, Elsa Martens and Joshua Hansen, 2:23.03
MEN UNDER 40:
First place - Christopher Nims, 1:46.56
Second place - Brendan Crimmins, 2:01.03
Third place - Joe Reitano, 2:03.13
MEN 40 AND OVER:
First place - Mike Bandstra, 1:47.0
Second place - Trevor Meers, 1:55.17
Third place - Michael Landwehr, 2:02.15
WOMEN UNDER 40:
First place - Deidra Nims 1:54.05
WOMEN OVER 40:
First place - Tracy Crimmins, 3:04.03
"They said, 'think trivia games,'" said Elsa Martens, of Fort Dodge, who was running the race as a relay with her dad and another friend.
"I thought it would be more like that show with the big red balls - 'Wipeout,'" Luers said.
Racers received a stamp on their "passport" at each checkpoint to prove they had completed the task.
After the race began, Park Ranger Pat Shehan was at the edge of the lake helping people set off in canoes and kayaks. He said the racers had to stop at the island, run up a hill and complete a challenge there.
"I think it is identifying bird calls," he said. "They play you a call, and you have multiple choice to identify the bird."
Other challenges included identifying the furs of different animals and identifying animal tracks, Shehan said. There was also a challenge to throw golf balls into buckets.
Thirteen teams of two, nine individuals and one relay group where each member completed one leg of the race were in the event. There was a wide range of ability, and different racers brought different strategies.
"We're all completers, not compete-ers," said Sue Shivers, Luers' partner, before the race began.
"I think that's the attractiveness of the race," said Troy Martens, Elsa Martens' dad. "It involves people of all skill levels."
Tracy Crimmins said she didn't know what to expect.
"I run all the time, but I haven't been in a kayak for 10 years, and I don't mountain bike so I borrowed a bike," she said.
Others were a bit more experienced. Eric Hart, of Boone, said he's been in plenty of these kind of races, but not the Adventure Race.
For Hart and Joe Reitano, Boone, the race is almost like a practice. They will be entering a race in New York later this year that has an upper time limit of 24 hours.
"They give you a map, and it says you have 24 hours to finish," Reitano said.
"There's no route for that, just checkpoints," said Hart.
For this race, his group decided to do the biking first, Hart added.
"If it starts raining later on, we thought we could get the biking done before it starts," he said.
Chris Nims and wife Deedee Nims of Robins, entered the race as individuals.
"We're going to bike first, give legs a rest in the kayaks, then run. That's our strategy," Christ Nims said.
"I've never biked or kayaked in a race before," said Deedee Nims.
"Yesterday was our 10-year anniversary, so this is something fun to do for that," Chris Nims said.
Hart's strategy paid off, as the rain didn't really begin to fall until the second half of the race.
Chris Nims was the first racer to make it back, followed closely by Mike Bandstra, of Des Moines. Each man won gold in his respective age group. They both sprinted to the finishing tent and presented their passports, which were soggy and falling apart.
"The biking part was tough, as far as knowing where to go," Nims said. He went clear to the highway and came back instead of staying on the trail at one point. "All of a sudden the turn creeps up on you pretty fast.
"I think the running was my strongest part."
Deedee Nims pulled in shortly afterward, wining the gold medal in the under 40 women's division.
"I'm glad I did the biking first," she said.
Deedee Nims also misread a sign and ended up doing extra mileage.
"If I hadn't run that extra mile ..." she said.