Big Blue Adventure Series set for this weekend
The Big Blue Adventure Series is tough enough for the participants if they know where they’re going. But in this event, not only do participants have to be outstanding endurance athletes, they have to know to find their way as well.
One of the most difficult – and rewarding – events in the Big Blue Adventure Series will take place this weekend in the Lake Tahoe and Carson City area, the Kit Carson 24-Hour Adventure Race.
About 100 participants consisting of teams of two, three and four will begin the race at 10 a.m. Saturday. The winning team will finish the event in about 18 hours while other teams fortunate enough to finish will take up to 30 hours to complete the race. Competitors will cover an 80-100 mile adventure course.
The course will consist of 15-plus miles of kayaking on Lake Tahoe, about 50 miles of mountain biking over a 10,000-foot elevation gain on various terrain and about 20 miles of running and hiking. What makes this event unique is that the competitors won’t know where they’re going until they arrive at the course.
Competitors need to have orienteering, navigation, map and compass skills to find their way around the course.
“The Kit Carson is one of the most challenging events of the entire series,” said Todd Jackson, race director and president of Seventh Wave Productions, which produces the Big Blue Adventure Series. “It requires an incredible amount of endurance and considerable experience in adventure racing. It also happens to be one of the most beautiful and rewarding courses you can conquer.”
Jackson said along with the physical challenge, the course also takes its psychological toll. He said about half the teams that compete are looking to win while the other half are just happy to finish the race.
Teams can be co-ed, all men or even all women. Jackson said about 70 percent of the competitors are men while 30 percent are women. There are also individuals who just look to complete the race on their own.
Jackson said most of the competitors are in their 30s and 40s, but there are those in their early 20s who compete. He said the average age of the competitors is 36.
Since its inception in 2002, the Big Blue Adventure Series has grown from just one event in its first year to 14 events this year. The Kit Carson event is also part of the series in which competitors earn points to the overall series title.
Events include the 24-hour format, such as the Kit Carson, sprint races and off-road triathlons. Other events included the Ocean Blue in Half Moon Bay, Calif., which was held last month. Upcoming events include the Folsom Lake Sprint on August 18 and the Tahoe Big Blue at North Tahoe on September 22.
“We just saw there was a trend for this kind of sport,” said Jackson, commenting on how the series began.
“There’s a lot of variables that go into this. You really try to shave off minutes where you can. Teamwork is a huge key.”
And of course, the top teams have at least one competitor who has outstanding navigational skills.
“It is important to have a pretty good navigator on your team,” Jackson said. “Usually when you build a team up that’s one of the things you’re looking for.”
For more information, go to http://www.bigblueadventure.com or call (530) 546-1019.