2006/03/11 – Eco – Lonestar: Basic


Muleshoe Bend

What Is It?

A 2-3 hour course that will challenge teams with mountain biking, trail running, and possible mystery events. Course will be marked so teams do not need navigation skills.

Team Name: HoustonFitAr/X-Patriots

The reasoning for the name is, we are both apart of Houston Fit AR. So that’s the first part of the name. The second part is because I’m Canadian and Andrea is from New Zealand, and we both are currently living out of our respective countries, hence we are the X-Patriots.

Team Mates

Andrea Strand


Coed Sprint


9th out of 12th. Finishing time of 2:09.


This was a really fun race, except for the bloody Pink Balloon which will give me night mares for years to come.

Andrea and I started off going to get checked in at around 6am. Get our paper work finished up, then go back to our Transition Area (TA) and set up. We also had to put on our racing numbers. We were team 22. Then it was hurry up and wait for the pre-race meeting at 6:30am.

At the pre-race meeting we found out that we will be starting out with a two mile run, then a bike. With more to follow after that. We also found out that the 10hr racers were going to be starting out with us doing the same run and bike, and then they would be off doing their own thing.

Andrea and I both agreed that it would be best to start off slow and see how things go from there. And it wasn’t long until we were last on the run. But then it wasn’t much longer until we started passing the people that went out way too fast. Not bad for only a two mile run to start with. At the turn around point we had to pick up a plastic chip, to be used later.

When we got back, we had a good speedy transition, it was under two minutes. Pretty good for changing shoes and putting on all of our bike gear! Only way to get faster here I think is to get proper racing bike shoes that have Velcro instead of laces. And we were off on the bike leg.

We decided it would be best if I went first, that way I can call out the obstacles as they come up so Andrea can concentrate on finding a good line for herself without having to think too far ahead. This was her first time racing out on trails so I tried to make it as easy as possible for her out there. And she did an awesome job! I was quite pleased with our bike ride. We passed quite a few teams out there, and didn’t have many people pass us in the process.

Around half way through the bike we picked up a second plastic chip. When we got back to TA, we handed in both chips to find out we had to do the same run we had started the race off with. I really dislike running, but this was still better than The Pink Balloon.

We had another sub two minute transition which was good. And we headed out, going a bit slower than we did when we started, but then we were tired. My legs were starting to feel like Jello at this point, but we continued. We had to slow down to a walk but then we would pick it up again. Once we got to the turn around we had to look at a sign on a post and remember the words (Eco – Lonestar) to continue on the next leg of the race. On the way back from the half way point, it felt like my IT Band on my left leg was starting to go. So we walked a bit so I could get that relaxed a bit. Which is odd since it was my right leg that had the IT Band issue last November. But it subsides shortly after we get on more level roads and we finish jogging back in.

We get back to the TA and find out that we have 3 mystery events left, and we are done.

The first event was one person had to put two pirate patches over their eyes, so they could not see. Then the other person had to direct them through a little obstacle course, consisting of road blocks and big blue blow up tube thing and a yellow flag at the end where we had to turn around at, using only claps. Andrea went first with the patches. We quickly decided that I would clap when she was about to hit the barrier. This was a bit of a mistake as she started to veer off path and I had no real way of directing her. But we struggled through it with her only tripping up a couple of times on the side barriers.

We got our stamp for that and then on to the second mystery event, which was the same one, just reversed roles. This time though just before we started I stated we should have a bit better system. One clap means go straight, two claps go right, three claps go left, and four claps means we are doing something (going over barriers or around the flag) This worked out much better and we go through that no problem.

Third, and final mystery event. The Bloody Pink Balloon. I will have nightmares about pink balloons for eons to come because of this event.

We had to do the same obstacle course. This time holding a ping pong ball with two spoons, hands not allowed to touch it. And then we also had to hold the Pink Balloon, between our heads. Nothing else could touch the balloon while we were going through the course. Now, take a minute and scroll down to check out my pictures, specifically the ones of Andrea and I standing side-by-side each other. This is where the challenge to this came into play, the massive height difference. She couldn’t go over the road barriers, so we had to go under those. But then there was the big blue blow up things. That when I straddled my feet couldn’t touch the ground. The other catch to this event. If you dropped either the ball or the balloon you had to start over.

We had no problem with the ping pong ball. That was stuck safely in between the two spoons. But the balloon, we had all kinds of problems keeping that between us. We had to restart this leg of the race some where between 5 and 8 times until we finally made it all the way back, to where we could finish the race by popping the balloon. And boy did I pop that thing! We had to sit on it, and well I jumped up a bit and landed full weight on top of it popping it good, and jarring my back side a bit, but it was worth getting rid of that thing.

And because of that Pink Balloon, we lost several places in the race, as we lost at least 15 minutes to trying to make it work. Once the official results are posted we will know just how bad that balloon really hurt us. Based on official results if it wasn’t for the Pink Balloon we might have been able to make it 5th or even 4th! Oh well, that’s how it goes.


I am hoping to see if some of the people from our group had pictures of the obstacle course so you can see better what I was talking about up above.

Final Thoughts

It was a great race, except for the Pink Balloon, and a lot of fun! We had some struggles through out the race, but we came out on top of those struggles to finish the race, meeting our goal. It was a lot of fun racing with Andrea and we work very well together. We had good strategy on everything for most of the race to keep in pace with our conditioning. The only part we actually had problem with was the balloon bit. But that’s one of those live and learn things of which we did. It took us many attempts, but we finally got it done.

After the race we hung out and helped the two teams which other Houston Fit AR members were apart of for the 10 hour race. It was a great time, and I got sun burned pretty bad. The area was a great place for the race and I am hoping they have another race at this venue again.

Days Later… (2006/03/13)

I’m still upset about that stupid Pink Balloon! But oh well. I will get over it. I’m actually feeling really good today and have no aches and pains. My sun burn is turning brown and doesn’t sting as much. And I’m very amped up for finding the next race to do.

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