Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dave Mingori is half of winning team at Tuckerman's Inferno

Never one to take the easy route, rather than run Boston or du the du at Wrentham, Dave Mingori chose to compete as half of a two-man team at the very challenging Tuckerman's Inferno race this past weekend. For those who don't know about the race, it's an adventure/multisport race that starts with a hilly road run, goes to a kayak and then a bike, then it's a hike up the side of Mt. Washington and then a ski down Tuckerman's Ravine. You can do it as a full team, two-person relay, or individual. Dave was part of a a two-person team, handling the run, hike/climb and ski. Here's his report:

So, I'm alive, and we won the 2-person division of the Inferno (plus some wonderful bonus skiing in Gulf of Slides on Sunday).

Executive summary:

1) Mark and I were 13th overall (1st place in the duo division) out of 90 total teams.
2) I split 53:02 for the 8.4 mile run (8th fastest run).
3) I split 52:30 for the 3.1 mile hike from Pinkham into the bowl (also 8th fastest split; ~2000' elevation gain).
4) I then proceeded to become seriously dehydrated and cramped horribly in the transition to ski, the ski climb and the ski down.

Here's the details for those who are interested:

After our final planning strategy, my teamate and I decided to drive my car to Pinkham Friday night and leave it, which turned out to be a VERY smart move. Out of the condo at 6:15, dropped off Mark's kayak then over to Storyland for the start. I finished the 8.4 mile run just over 53 minutes (either the 7th or 8th fastest run - quite a competitive run field this year). My support vehicle (ie the parents) then drove me to Pinkham to get geared up for the hike. Meanwhile, my sherpa had already started up with boots, skis and pack.

Mark put in an exceptional kayak, ending up with the 5th or 6th fastest time on the water. A solid bike (what we thought would be our weakest section) brought him to Pinkham and we're top 10. I maintained our position on the hike. Made it to Hermit Lake in 35 minutes, putting me right on pace for my goal of 45-47 minutes. Unfortunately the crowds made it REALLY tough on the final narrow stretch and I also got taken down by a dog!

Yes, a dog came out of nowhere, clipped me right below the knee and sent me sliding off the trail down into the bushes. Just a few scrapes, but lost time there. Made it to the base of left gully in 52 minutes (ended up also being the 8th fastest hike). So now for the ugly part. I knew I was getting dehydrated so I took some extra time to down a couple waters. My right quad was beginning to cramp a bit (no thanks to the dog and my fall). I finally get my boots and skis on when a buckle breaks. My first thought is forget it and go, but then I realize I can fix it. Overall though wasted way too much time in the transition. I was figuring on 4-5 minutes but it ended up being over 10. The climb up Left Gully, usually my favorite, was pure torture. The ski down even worse. Quads cramping every other turn. 40 minutes later I cross the finish (last year when I did just the ski I went up and down in 24!)

I crossed the line, fell over and then literally had both quads seize up. I could not bend my knees for the next 5 minutes or so, just laid in the snow guzzling gatorade and water.

But.... it was all worth it as we won the 2-man division in just over 4:30. Interesting in that we had figured a "best case" time of 4:15, and had I not had my issues we'd have been real close.

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