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:
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.