It was a banner weekend of racing at the tenth running of the Shenandoah Epic. The third USARA regional championship of the 2022 season drew more than three hundred racers to the beautiful and brutal Virginia Appalachians for a characteristically physical Adventure Enablers course. Over 24 hours, teams traveled upwards of 100 miles on foot, bike, and paddle, with nearly 14,000 feet of elevation gain.
Brian Gatens of Team dARk Zone Podcast echoed Lamb. “Teams did what they could to get through – drinking more, taking in more salt, and slowing their pace. You could see it on every face in TA3. Teams had earned that TA.”
From TA3, teams entered the crux of the race, a technical foot section requiring the first real off-trail travel of the event. The Adventure Enablers’ description of the leg was foreboding: “The terrain is… exceptionally harsh. Trails are steep and rocky and off-trail areas are starting to get thick with underbrush, brambles, and rhododendron as the spring weather starts to move in.”
Team No Complaints/Odyssey AR made a bold decision in the waning hours of daylight to drop CP 4-8, the northeasternmost point on Leg 4. “Our team suffered some physical adversity early in the race that led us to alter our strategy,” said team member Sara Dallman. “It may have appeared questionable at the time, but it turned out to be very helpful in the end. Our great teamwork really helped move us forward in a positive way.”
By midnight, only five teams remained on the full course: the all-male Sparks Spangler Banner, and mixed teams Rootstock Racing, Untamed New England, Team VERT, and Strong Machine.
On the course, racers may have lost track of their position in the field, but dotwatchers at home were treated to robust media coverage from Adventure Enablers. In addition to live tracking from Enabled Tracking, the organization brought in Glen Gibson and Mike Chaney for round-the-clock color commentary.
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