"Bigger, Better, Wetter, Longer...." Swamp Donkey Race Report 2010
by John Ford
These words pretty much sum up the ongoing adventure that has become the highlight of many known as Swamp Donkey Adventure Racing.
Lets start with "Bigger"... In just 4 short years The Swamp Donkey Team have put on 8 separate races, challenging over 1,000 racers! In the "Swamps, Snow, Ice and ASS(iniboine) every race keeps it fun, demanding and exciting for both racers and volunteers. Culminating with 2010 being a complete "sell-out"!
"Better"... The races have established Manitoba as one of the "Top 3" for Canadian (if not North American) adventure races in the "Sprint" series. The interest has grown every year and our sponsors have answered every time with thousands of $ in prizing! The racers are getting better every year and with new participants each race says, adventure racing is here to stay!
Now for "Wetter"... The first year (2007) we heard there just isn't enough "swamp" in The Swamp Donkey Adventure Race! Well you know what they say "don't wish too hard"... In 2010 we again experienced a wetter than average year. Swelling rivers, lakes, swamps and sometimes trails or roads which challenged racers and Race Organizers to come up with creative ways to "navigate".
"Longer"... As each year passes the Swamp Donkey crew have come up with some creative courses. Judging by the waypoints (over 300!) on our GPS we have covered a lot of terrain in and around the Falcon Trails/ Falcon Lake area. Every year John, Rick and Alex are out there working hard (& having fun!), challenging new and returning teams and racers.
The Adventures of Hero's and Champions... the saga continues...
CRA-RASH!!!... The skies roared to life unleashing a torrential deluge rivaling that nae seen since 40 days and 40 nights of biblical proportions!!!
TA-DAA!!... Our adventurous "Hero's" (aka the Race Crew) embark on their journey to Falcon Trails Resort in the stunning Whiteshell Provincial Park. They prepare to do battle with the elements that again attempt to thwart them and literally "Reign (or in this case RAIN) on their parade. "Bring it on....", the battle cry goes out to what has been their arch nemesis... Mother Nature!... "Is that all you've GOT!!!" But two days later when the heavens finally subsided, it left our "heros" down... but not out.
KER-BLUNK!!!... Treking and wading through puddles that had now turned to lakes, "Boy Wonder"... (aka Alex Man) began setting points on Friday. While "Extreme J"... (aka John) and "Iron Rick"... (aka Rick) traversed through the back country in the "Wilderness Supply-Mobile" checking for pitfalls. "Kaptain Kurt... (aka Kurt) was on hand to make sure the landscape would be kept safe for generations to come! Back at the"Secret Headquarters" a legion of "Super-Helpers" prepared for an onslaught of 75 teams of real "Champions" that would combat the forces of good and evil, the following day!
WHOOT- WHOOT!!!... The 250 warriors discovered their fate on the morning of September 25... A day that would live in infamy! All ears and eyes were on "Extreme J" and "Iron Rick" as the dynamic duo described the fate that lay ahead and the arch enemies along the route. It would take extraordinary powers to defeat the villainous trails, waterways and unknown obstacles that stood between them and the freedom of the finish. Soon after assembling their specialized gear and adorning battle armour, their journey would begin. Some wished they had "super human strength and speed", others revealed specialized costumes of spandex thinking they had "superpowers", while a few kept their "secret identies" a mystery.
KER-BLAM!!!... A shot was fired and the teams of "Super-hero's and Super-heroins" were off and running, charging, and stomping, (some sauntering) off on their adventure to defeat the enemy or be defeated in the process. A spectacle that left well wishers and throws of fans cheering and shouting out words of encouragement. The physical ability of each and every one would surely protect them from peril. Just as these "Avengers of Adventure" were there, in a flash, they were gone!
KER-SPLASH!!!... Wielding Kevlar paddles and adorning vests worn on the chest that would allow our courageous avengers to float (a super power needed), they transported themselves to waiting two wheeled vehicles. After mounting their steads they proceeded at breakneck speed over obstacles, navigating impenetrable terrain, and never looking back
En-route, "Super-Friends" would assist, cheer, encourage and ensure the brave warriors along on their epic journey to defeat what ever stood in their way.