2012 Castlewood 8-Hr Commentary


12/08/2012 - POST-RACE UPDATE

The Castlewood 8-Hour Adventure Race.   Eight years of tradition.   Eight years of great fun! On Saturday, Dec 1st, 236 Bonk Hard Racers on 79 Teams were poised and ready to head out from Castlewood Shetler #1 on a St. Louis County adventure!   Abnormal 60+ degree weather allowed racers to lighten their backpack load and drop heavier required clothing gear.

At 7:00 am, with cow bells ringing, it was off on a 3 mile TREK to find 9 CPs within the state park and return to HQ for the first transition of the day.    With a quick punch at the Shelter House (CP10), along with a quick change, teams mounted their bikes and headed out on a 14.5 mile BIKING leg via paved roads, paved trails, and single track collecting 11 CPs en route.   But wait .... what is this? At CP21 (Cedar Bluff) teams were surprised to find a manned CP waiting for them.   It was an optional BONUS-O!   Teams quickly dropped their bikes in the middle of the woods to find 3 CPs by TREKKING 2 more miles via the underground railroad tunnel.

After returning from the woods, it was back on the BIKE for 3.5 miles to head toward Glencoe, the canoe TA.   There was much to think about at CP22.   Teams checked in, punched, received a UTM slip revealing 2 more CPs along the river, and executed their plan of strapping bikes into canoes for the 6 mile PADDLE on the Meramec River.

Teams landed at the Castlewood State Park Beach (CP25) and were greeted by race officials requesting a GEAR CHECK.   As in all Bonk Hard Races, fail a gear check and lose a CP.   Teams really, really, really do not want to lose a CP. Map 6, the last BIKING leg map and clue sheet, was distributed at the Beach as teams unloaded their bikes from canoes and sped out for an additional 5.5 miles on park trails and roads to the finish!

The outstanding weather made way for outstanding finishes! 59 teams found all 36 checkpoints and passed the gear check!   Amazing!  Racers enjoyed Papa John's pizza and soft drinks after the race.

Award Results were as follows:

4-Person Co-ed:
1) 33 Down - Jeff Ryan, Jason Noakes, Josh Borgmeyer, Sunny Gilbert - 1st Place Overall
2) Alpine Shop - Jeff Sona, Carrie Sona, David Frei, Doug Nishimura - 2nd Place Overall
3) Kuat - John Bradley, Mark Gullett, Laureen Coffelt, Don Buttram - 3rd Place Overall

4-Person Male:
1) 4Play/Momentum Racing - Scott Phillips, Will Scherff, Scott Kiefner, Joe Perry
2) On the FFOGY Side - Nathan Goff, Steven Vehige, Jeff Mittler, Mark Mueller
3) Chain Reaction Racing - Jim Lorenze, Steve Timm, Chris Lofgren, Matt Schumacher

4-Person Female:
1) LOST - Cynthia Woodcock, Carol Crooks, Stacy Turpin, Yvonne Bucheit

2-Person Co-ed:
1) Tri2 Adventure - Teresa Telford, Jeremy Jamerson
2) Silverback and Baby-Got-Back - Tamara Weimer, Marc Weimer

2-Person Male:
1) Dirty Guys - Clayton Cummings, LeGrande Rives
2) Iowa Wolfpack - Joe Froehlich, Bill Stevens
3) Garmin - Bob Billings, Dan Cool

2-Person Female:
1) Team Super Mega Awesome - Cory Redmond, Vanessa McKenzie

The 2012 Castlewood 8-Hr presented by Alpine Shop was one for the record books!   Racer check-in began on Friday, Nov 30 at the Kirkwood Alpine Shop location.   Not only did the racers receive a TREMENDOUS 30% discount on all purchases in the store, our friends at Columbia Sportswear  gave away 40 Columbia long sleeve base layers with Omni-Heat and Omni-Wick technology, to the first 20 men and the first 20 women arriving for packet pick-up!   $2,400 in prizes was given away BEFORE race day!

Just prior to the race, a name was drawn from the field of racers for a Columbia Electro Amp Jacket (battery charged, push-button warmth - even Captain Kirk would be envious!) and first time racer, Clayton Alley from team We're Not Dead Yet, was the winner!!!

For those who stayed around for awards, you know that this was a prize table like no other in Bonk Hard Racing history.   Our presenting sponsor, The Alpine Shop LOADED up the prize table with Backpacks, Gear Bags, Waist Packs, Head Lamps, Bike Helmets, Biking Gloves, Bike Pumps, Bike Lights, Map Cases, Compasses, Gaiters, Gift Cards and more!   It was INCREDIBLEIN-CRE-DI-BLE!!!

Add to the list above, the Watches, Backpacks, Compounder Shells, Jackets, and Gloves provided by Columbia Sportswear (along with theSUPER prizes already presented by Columbia) and you can see why this was an award ceremony not to be missed!

Let's not forget kuat.   Yes, kuat.   All you have to do is say the name, and a smile runs across your face!.   Kuat provided a $549 NV bike rack (a racer favorite) for our prize table and it did not last beyond the first round pick!   Awesomeness.

Lucky award audience members took home "sacred" tubes of Zanfel, a MUST HAVE for Adventure Racers!  Other lucky members took home Columbia ball caps, Bonk Hard Racing blankets, water bottles, and vintage T-shirts.

Over $6,800 in prizes were given out to Castlewood Racers!!   It was a day to remember and a smashing way to end the year! All this was made possible by the EXCEPTIONAL SPONSORS who follow and support our races.   We are so very, very grateful for their continued support of Bonk Hard Racing events.

Please make time to visit the stores, shop for products, and spread the word of the following Bonk Hard Sponsors whose products and services we respect and admire:

Alpine Shop - (made possible by Todd Oswald) - If you love the outdoors, then you will love the Alpine Shop. Gear, clothing and footwear for races, hiking, camping, climbing and beyond.   The Alpine Shop staff can help make your adventures great ones. Once in the store, you will not want to leave!   Fill that cart!   Shop online or in person at one of the 3 amazing stores.

Columbia Sportswear - (made possible by Jean Matthews) - Columbia Sportswear USA produces the most comfortable, visually appealing, and well constructed clothing and products for outdoor activists.   It is true - Columbia knows sportswear. Shop their retailer distributors (Alpine Shop) or online store for super products.

kuat - (made possible by Luke Kuschmeader and Aaron Houston) - Bike racks and accessories by kuat.   Functional, sleek, impressively easy to load bike racks.   Everyone wants a kuat.   Rack love lives on.   Put your sweet ride on a sweet rack.

Zanfel - (made possible by Dan Boelman) - Zanfel is not only a racer staple for poison ivy relief, but it helps relieve the pain of swelling and itching from bee stings, chigger bites, mosquito bites, and other insect bites.   Make Zanfel a part of your regular gear list.

St Louis Orienteering Club - (with the support of Bryan Niehaus) - The St Louis Orienteering Club (SLOC) organizes top quality navigational courses in and around the St. Louis area.   Sharpen up those navigational skills by participating in an SLOC orienteering event.   We are grateful for the use of SLOC maps for the Castlewood event. 

Many, many thanks go out to our Castlewood Volunteers.   These people make sure you safely arrive and depart transition areas as well as keeping track of your team along the way.   Please join us in thanking the following individuals ....

Greg Garnett - CP10 (HQ) & CP25 (Castlewood Beach)
Emma Gossett - CP10 (HQ) & Finish Line
Kate Geisen - CP21 (Cedar Bluff)
Dave Vehige - CP21 (Cedar Bluff)
Cyndie Guffey & daughter - CP23 (River Watch #1)
Steven Willi - CP24 (River Watch #2)
Steve Kerley - CP24 (River Watch #2)
Laura Scherff - CP25 (Castlewood Beach)
Mary Piper - CP25 (Castlewood Beach)
Suzanne Renner - CP22 (Glencoe) 
Jackie Dozier - CP22 (Glencoe)
Beth James - Photographer, Errand Runner
Mary Welter - Racer check-in, Photographer, Errand Runner, Set-up, Clean-up
Dorothy Frieze - Racer check-in, Food & Drinks, Set-up, Clean-up
Riley Thompson - Racer check-in, Finish Line, Set-up, Clean-up

It is our state, city and county governments who provide us with super venues and invite us back each year for outdoor enjoyment.   Please join us in thanking the following ...

Route 66 State Park & Castlewood State Park, Don Fink, Randy Becknell and staff for 8 great years making use (in part or whole) of a beautiful Missouri State Parks. 

The City of Wildwood, Gary Crews and staff for welcoming us each year to their city and allowing use of Wildwood city streets.

St Louis County Parks - Margaret Kenny and staff for use of the wonderful St Louis County biking trails.

St Louis County - James Hayes and staff for use of St Louis county roads. 

At the awards ceremony it was noted that 2012 brought many experiences and blessings. Bonk Hard Racing registered 1082 participants in 7 events. I  n 2012, one person raced all 7 events --- JASON BETTIS who raced with us as Team Fusion and Dynamic Earth/ Team Fusion.   We thank you Jason, for your continued participation in Bonk Hard Racing events as well as introducing the sport to others.   Jason received an Osprey Daypack as our 2012 Bonk Hard Racing SUPER RACER.

Seven events in 2012 required over 70 volunteers, and it was volunteer EMMA GOSSETT who received the 2012 Bonk Hard Racing SUPER VOLUNTEER award.   Volunteers allow us to create events.   There simply would be no events without volunteers. In 2012, Emma volunteered at The Bonk Hard Chill, The Smithville 8-Hour, The Berryman Adventure, and The Castlewood 8-Hr.   As volunteer help, Emma is willing to be placed anywhere on the course for any amount of time.   Often she is located in very lonely remote spots in order to make our races a success.   Her calm nature and experience is welcomed by Bonk Hard racers.   She delights in seeing teams succeed on their adventure.   Emma and her team, Orange Lederhosen, have hauled extra canoes, kayaks, and bikes to our races for other people to use during a race, all for the joy of adventure racing.   Emma received a Columbia Jacket.

It is with humble gratitude we thank you for racing with us.   As a racer, a sponsor, a volunteer, we welcome and appreciate your feedback.

We hope to see you many times in 2013.

Gary & Ellen Thompson

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