Truly tuckered, (TUCARD 2021)

Maine’s Totally Unnecessarily Complicated Adventure Race And Duathlon (TUCARD, pronounced “tuckered,” because it tires you out) is a wonderful and insane event. No race route, complex terrain, boats, kayaks, bicycles… And an unbelievably complex rule set. The rules are a hoot to read:

Marsh Island Trail Runners: TUCARD 2021

This thing is crazy. And crazy fun. And this year, much to my surprise, I happened to win the race. I did so by running on trails, bushwhacking through dense and soaking forest, striding bravely into streams, frenetically bicycling down a dirt road, kayaking across Pushaw lake, kayaking across Caribou Bog, dragging the kayak across the bog, and finally running on more trails and through more water to arrive 8 miles and an hour and a half later.

Bafore the final race rules and way points are released you start planning and thinking and wondering where you might have to go. Here are some of my efforts. In particular I was searching for the golden ticket, a hidden waypoint that would allow you to skip all the other way points if you found it. Brian did give us a clue in the form of a riddle in a poem:

On a trail, clearly seen, / Far from tar, in between / A wet moose and a not / That dry caribou / Lies your path, in two sheds, / One on earth, and it’s said / You can see where it flows / Right in front of you

There’s an island in Pushaw lake called Moose Island. So I reasoned that the golden ticket was between the island and the bog. So, before the race began I went exploring virtually and physically.

Solving the puzzle in the poem… Searching for the golden ticket.
Sleuthing for the golden ticket
Biking in the woods looking for some thing that I don’t know how to identify.
One location I considered. I considered it enough that I even took a photo of it. Turns out, this is exactly where the golden ticket was.
Another location I visited. As it turns out, I laid around through this exact spot after the transition from the swamp.
I biked through water as part of my sleuthing. The sleuthing was very satisfying!
Katie and Jacob assist with set up the day of the race. Katie knows the craziness which is coming, and is enjoying it. Jacob, however is leery of his first tucard race.
Racers inside the starting circle
This is what a waypoint looks like. One stick with each racer’s name. Waypoint Pink
Katie watches at Waypoint pink, which was on the Forbes camp on Pushaw lake. That might be me and the distance.
The golden ticket! Just where I had once guessed. But not where I had suspected…
Mom and dad painfully wait at the finish circle.
Jacob arrives after a grueling slog, but in good spirits!
I complete my timing work sheet
Truly tuckered: Jacob and Nils and I have to then complete the race in reverse to collect our stranded kayaks and bicycles again… This was an unforeseen extra ordeal.
Now paddling back across Pushaw lake… so tuckered!
The wounds of an adventurer.

Kidney Pond con Marcos

Kidney pond has a set of cabins that we were lucky to reserve one of.
Our cabin was split in half with two rooms like this was perfect to have Marcos join us. He helped create more kid momentum.
Cooking on the porch was awesome. Except for when you hit your head on the beams.
This was Marcos’s first time in a kayak.
Perfect for paddle boards
Our fearless leader
The slippery rocks at the ledges were a ton of fun.
This expression proves the point. QED.
The beautiful lodge/library.
Playing football badminton is hard and rewarding!
This picture doesn’t do it justice. .It looks dull, but it is exhilarating.
A brilliant moon on our last night.

Katahdin 2021

This year we went up Heilon Taylor to Pamola Peek, down Dudley to Chimney Pond and back to Roaring Brook. The kids complained a bit (Liam hadn’t slept well before the 4:30a wake up and Reid had suffered some road rash the day before when playing on a friend’s mini motor scooter) but they were generally troopers. What a mountain!

Pardon the lack of shirts. It was a hot one!