Timeline of Events(Updating when possible)
12-3pm: Racers were sort of “penalized” for being early. They were told they had to chop wood for 2 hours and later found out after completion they didn’t have to do it. First puzzle piece was given for checking in and chopping wood. Each racer has their own puzzle. When they’ve earned all the pieces and assembled their puzzle, they’ve completed the Winter Death Race.
3pm (00:00): RACE CLOCK BEGINS. Racers who were on time began the time trial up the mountain. Ascent included 70 pound sandbag (women have a 30 pound sandbag) and full ruck. Racers who did this were as follows (time trial length listed):
#220 Mark Jones – 1:38
#196 Flo Zurkinden – 1:48
#300 Steve Noviello – 1:57
#324 Robert Bailey – 2:01
#308 Eric Delahaye – 2:20
#133 Ted Coffin – 3:04
#316 Timothy Midgley – 3:25
#186 Andrew Coleman – 3:55
#189 Chris Rice – 3:55
#188 Jonathon Binnie – 4:35
#323 Mitchel Vaughn – 5:26
Approx. 4:30pm (01:30): Other racers have trickled in who have missed the official start clock. They are instructed to check in and prepare for instruction. Meanwhile, time trial racers are starting to return. They have an advantage now. The late racers will have to make up their time trial tomorrow.
5pm (02:00): Fire starting class with Steve, a survival expert, and Josh, an off-the-grid type of guy who lived without a light switch for 21 years. (Quickly writing this explanation after discussing with a racer, so I apologize if not accurately described.) An email sent Thursday evening required racers to bring an Altoid box. Steve showed them how to put a hole in the top of the box, then cut cotton fabric into strips after pulling it and spreading the fibers. Place box in fire with strips inside until fibers catch fire. Quickly put out the fire. This builds up carbon on the fibers to eventually ignite the fire. This box would be something to prepare ahead of time for wilderness survival since it requires a fire to make. Then gather beech tree bark and shred into small strips. Knead in hands to form it into a nest. Place charred cotton fibers in nest and create a spark with flint and steel. Once spark catches on fibers, they cup the nest in their hand and gently blow on the spark until it spreads. This technique would come in handy later.
6:30-7pm (03:30-04:00): Andy Weinberg lead racers to Amee Farm down the road for ballet class. Last 4 racers were still on mountain for the time trial when the rest of the racers left. Took about 30 minutes to get to Amee Farm from base camp at Riverside Farm. At the farm they stripped to shorts and race bibs. Ilene Blackman was brought in to conduct a ballet class. She has been dancing since age 7, and when asked her age she replied, “I never tell. It’s a show biz thing.” You put the age out there and you’re stereotyped into certain rolls, she said. Ilene began by having each racer introduce themselves with a dance move. Class continued with first through fifth positions to start, and advancing to more complicated combinations.
10pm (07:00): Joe Desana decides the racers aren’t working hard enough. He instructs them to hold a 10 minute leg raise, pointing toes, arms raised parallel to floor. He adds a minute for every person who drops their foot. Total time ends up being 13 minutes. Next, Ilene demonstrates a position that resembles a squat with arms straight and hands on knees. They must hold this for 20 minutes. Three racers were punished for joking around too much. They had to do burpees on the frozen pond. Next up were 500 leg extension kicks with the left leg, then the right leg. Finally, Ilene wrapped up the class with some waltz technique.
Approx. 11pm (08:00): Andy informs racers they have 25 minutes to get dressed, throw their packs back on and get back to the Riverside Farm.
A week before the race, participants received an email to find a partner and bring proof of email communication to race check in. They were told the next task would require that partner.
As racers return, they receive puzzle pieces for completing ballet and their fire starting skills are now tested. They must start a fire without a lighter or match and get it knee high to move on to the next task.
Meanwhile, first DNFs due to injuries occur.
#177 Mark Harvey
#204 Edward Koropchak
11:48pm (08:48): First pair finishes fire task.
#301 Peter Coleman
#308 Eric Delahaye
Now begins summit repeats. The racers will summit the mountain as many times as possible between now and 5am. No one will be allowed to start a new ascent after 3:30am though. Odd numbered trips will be with full pack and 70 pound sandbag (30 for women). Even numbered will be with just the pack and no sandbag. Racers checked in with Anthony Matesi at the cabin near the summit. They pass the word to each other to knock 3 times and he will inspect the sandbag and ruck then radio back to base to keep track. Once they return to base, they receive another puzzle piece.
12:35pm (09:35): Last two racers complete fire challenge and begin summit repeats.
#322 Valerie Harriman
#197 Melody Hazi
Summit repeats continue through the night. Summits completed range anywhere from 1 to 5). Two more racers DNF before 5am.
#308 Eric Delahaye
#144 Jonathon Westervert
5am (15:00): Andy gives instructions for racers to hike up Sable Mountain. He estimates this trip takes 4 hours for fast climbers, up to 6 for others.
To be continued….