Day Three of Untamed New England, presented by Plum Creek, brought a new set of challenges. Overnight Thursday, most of the lead teams hunkered down in the Shaw Mountains. One team, Columbia Vidaraid, made a strategic decision to move non-stop through the Abenaki trek, getting to TA3 at Mudbrook Camp early Friday morning almost an hour ahead of Thursday’s leader, Peak Performance. With the Moosehead Lake paddle eliminated, teams instead biked from TA3 to Greenville. Alternate Course teams waiting at Mudbrook were allowed to continue once the lead team came through. Once in Greenville, teams received a map with 11 different points. Unlike regular checkpoints with a punch, this urban orienteering course operated more like a scavenger hunt where teams had to correctly answer questions about each point on the map. While moving through Greenville racers had a chance to try out the local eating establishments – the Ecuadorian Guambras team stopped for a pancake breakfast at Auntie M’s, many teams savored crepes from the crepe truck (and one of the French teams declared them to be truly authentic), and another team requested burgers at Flatlanders in tin foil wrappers to go.
The Town of Greenville, the Media Host and Safety Coordinator Partner for Untamed New England, sits on the southern-most tip of Moosehead Lake and boasts 1,646 year-round inhabitants. Those numbers swell in the summer, and skyrocket to upwards of 10,000 the weekend after Labor Day when the town hosts its International Sea Plane Fly-In. 2014 will mark the 41st anniversary of the Fly-in, a fun and educational event staffed entirely by volunteers.
In other town news, Perfect Strangers team member Ron Flick, who had trouble steering for the entire bike leg due to faulty bearings, was able to get his bike repaired at Northwoods Outfitters. Bryan Greaser from Timber Wolves has teamed up with Perfect Strangers, and they continued as an unofficial three person team.
For the top teams the afternoon was a race over the mountains on foot from Greenville to TA4 at Big Squaw Mountain Ski Resort. Columbia Vidaraid was the first team to punch in at 2:50PM, with Peak Performance following an hour and a half behind. At first it appeared there was time for Vidaraid to beat the 6:30PM dark zone at the start of the whitewater rafting, but according to the satellite tracking data provided by Pinnacle Tracking, it appears that they had to backtrack, which killed their chance for an almost certain first place finish and gave Peak Performance a chance to close the gap to 24 minutes. As of 7:30AM Saturday, seven teams had checked in at Harris Station. With the dark zone stop enforced at Harris Dam until 10:30AM on Saturday, we expect to see an exciting race to the finish.
With the elimination of the Moosehead Lake paddle, the Friday night cutoff at Mudbrook Camp for teams still on the Abenaki Lost World trek was changed from 7:00PM to 12:00 midnight. Thirteen teams are still on the full course. The last team to make the cutoff, Raidpulse.com from Quebec, Canada, came through at 9:45PM. Eight other teams previously on the full course remained in the mountains overnight. When they get to TA3, they will be transported directly to Big Squaw Mountain, skipping the urban o-course and trek.