The Backpacker Bushwhacker Adventure Race powered by FORGE Racing was held on Sunday, March 25, at Chicot State Park, just outside of Ville Platte.
The venue proved to be a great place for an adventure race and the weather was absolutely perfect. Teams, as well as a couple of solos, gathered to run, bike and paddle all across the park, hitting checkpoints along the way. Team Backpacker (Jeff Diamond, Darius Sampey, and Holly Ratcliff) put together a great course, one that would have been suitable for a 12 hour race.
The format for this race was different from what many experienced racers may have run in the past. Instead of a point-to-point format, racers were given a map with over 25 different checkpoints, each worth either 1 or 2 points depending on how far from the transition area they were or how difficult the checkpoints were to locate. Racers had 5 hours to hit as many checkpoints as they could, grabbing tokens such as colored straws or balloons along the way, to prove they had been there. For every 15 minutes after the 5 hour cutoff, teams lost a point.
Each team member also had to do a run on a zip line as and a rope traverse.
Congratulations to the Hammer Head Sharks (Walker Higgins, Dustin Branton and Dalton Fetters) for getting the most points, as well as Team Massey’s for winning the 3-person co-ed division and earning a berth into the United States Adventure Race Association national championship in October.
Everyone had a blast and left with some great shwag, such as a Salomon trail running shirt and a CamelBak water bottle. Lucky racers also won door prizes such as sleeping bags, Native sunglasses, and Salomon trail shoes.
Thanks to the Backpacker and FORGE Racing for putting on such a great adventure race.
By Brenton Day
Photos courtesy of Brenton Day