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Transplant Athlete
Monday, October 05, 2009
  NVRacing Family Adventure Race

I found out about this event late last week and Q immediately wanted to do it. All we knew about it was what was posted in the description...it was family friendly, Q was old enough to participate, and it required 3 - 6 miles of running with "mystery challenges" thrown in. The weather was perfect for it.

We were given maps of the Lake Accotink area and were told that there were 11 billboards with unique codes scattered around the property. We had to write these codes on our "race passport". There were also 9 checkpoints scattered around the area. These checkpoints looked like Chinese lanterns and hanging from them was a hole puncher. Each hole puncher punched a unique pattern. We had two hours to complete the course and for every minute past that, we lost our highest value checkpoints. Each billboard was worth 1 point. If you got them all, then their points doubled. Each checkpoint was worth anywhere from 2 to 5 points.

Q and Maggie at the start

When the race started, Q and I immediately headed south to get the points that were off the main loop. Then we backtracked to the loop. We went around the lake counter-clockwise. I didn't listen closely enough during the pre-race meeting, otherwise I would have heard that Checkpoint #7 didn't exist and that Checkpoint #6 was about 3/4 of a mile away from it's position on the map. I got hung up looking for these points in the locations listed on the map and I blew through about 20 minutes.

The loop is almost 4 miles, by the time we got to the farthest point, Q was dragging. I gave her a powerbar and made her drink, but I had to carry her a couple hundred feet to the nearest billboard. The checkpoints were off the trail, so I had her wait on the trail while I punched our passport. I ended up carrying her another 1/4 mile on surface streets. We were really running short of time, so I was pushing her hard. I carried her for another 1/4 mile and when I put her down, she slipped and her knee hit the dirt really hard and broke the skin. It was downhill from there. We had 10 minutes to cover the last mile and I probably carried her for half the distance. I pushed her so hard she started crying. Because we were late, we missed Checkpoint #9 and we finished 4 minutes late, so we lost a few of the checkpoints we had scored.

They supplied lunch, but Q wouldn't eat any of it. We had invited Maggie and her father to the event and they placed third in the 6-7 female age group.

We placed Fourth in the 6-7 female age group. Luckily, they gave out medals to everyone, otherwise I would have had one pissed off kid to deal with. They held a raffle afterwards and I won a $50 gift certificate to Dick's Sporting Goods and Paul won an IPOD shuffle. While we were waiting around at the end, the pain set in my legs. I was running with her on my shoulders and my legs were now telling me that was a bad idea. 24 hours later and my legs still hurt.

The best part was spending the day with my daughter, although she doesn't see it that way yet.

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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