Fuego y Agua Events – Hunter Gatherer – Part 2
Friday morning arrived after a relatively sleepless night in the bunk room. My sleeping bag is rated for colder climate sleeping, I found myself sleeping on the plastic mattress more than in the sleeping bag and used my bag full of clothing as a pillow. Definitely my needs for luxury have decreased in the last couple of years. As I sat down to breakfast Zac Wessler asked me if I wanted to help mark one of the Survival Run obstacles, repeatedly saying it was going to be really cool! Not one to pass up an opportunity, I found myself strapping on sneakers and bushwhacking through the scrubs to the cave obstacle.
After a car breaking down, a walk back to the camp, then back to the dead car, we began a hike by eye to find where the cave, the cave being just a hole in the ground. Just as we were thinking it had to be close Zac turned and there was the cave. Our task was to go down, mark the cave with reflective stickers to guide the racers and place pictures of petroglyphs for the racers to find in the cave. Having gone into a few caves I was expecting something larger than we found. Only when you first got in could you stand up, otherwise the entire 40+ minutes it took us to navigate around I was on my hands and knees or crawling on my stomach.
The first thing I saw was a snake in the cave and drug my body across the rock as far away from it as possible and hoped it wasn’t poisonous and wasn’t pissed we were in there. Then a few bats flew at Zac and I. This wasn’t a made up obstacle, this was real, gritty and dark! We put the tape and reflective stickers up, and continued to pull ourselves through the cave. It was the real deal, I saw lots of spiders, some frogs, the air was heavy and hot. Both Zac and I were sweating. The last little part was the tightest and I can say at that point I just wanted out and to see daylight again. I couldn’t imagine being a racer doing it, and was glad I was only in it for the ultra. We popped out of the cave covered in organic matter, probably from bats and there was Jason Rita. He was running around getting comfortable with the terrain for the 100K race he was planning to run. It was a funny sight two people popping out of the hole in the earth! We chatted then he ran off…
We got back and it was just about time for packet pick-up for the survival runners. One thing is for certain packet pick-up for a survival run is not simply standing in a line and waiting your turn to show your ID. The runners were told to bring there knife and that was about it. Many of the ultra runners, myself included, knew it would be entertaining to watch whatever they were about to do and milled around after picking up their own bibs the conventional way. Josue said a few words then quickly pointed to stack of cut logs and indicated different logs for different groups of people based on their weight.
As the runners picked up their logs and headed for an unknown trek following the course markings up a hill they were told when they got to the top they would be told their number and have to carve it into a piece of wood. A group of us followed them and skirted up a short cut to the top of the hill. Below are a few photos from packet pick-up…
More Photos on our Facebook Page
After packet pick-up we all enjoyed a pre-race pasta dinner together at the camp and people mingled around all hitting bed early as Survival Run check-in was at 3:15 and ultra runners after that. Last minute gear packing was done then another night of restless sleep with anticipation for what was to happen the next day!
Note: This was the regular ultra runners packet pick-up… and swag included at registration. Not a bad haul pre-race.