Tuesday, May 9, 2000
Team El Faco Ba is a great group of people whose goal was to start and finish the race as friends. Well, they succeeded. They ended up in the middle of the pack but they are happy with how their first Raid went.
Kent Davidson, the captain of this group from Arkansas, had some surprises about the Raid, "Coming from a traditional orienteering background, this race is not about orienteering, but making the best use of local help." He added, "The trails are so complex and confusing, we ended up asking a lot," [this is allowed by the Raid, but teams can not hire guides]. He said with a laugh, "I really enjoyed the downhill mountain bike ride. We took photos, stopped at two restaurants. We had it together."
In discussing the local people that they encountered, Roberta Orr said, "It was harder to communicate with the people in the southern region. The mountain people were more gregarious and totally different."
Orr's husband, Robert, explained an incident that happened during one of the many dark zones, "Around CP27 we slept in the hay loft of a local family. They cooked for us, it was really cool, we enjoyed the people."
Another high point for Robert Orr was "getting to our crew even started thinking about them a day away, just wanting to be there, to get there. What were they doing?"
Greg Eason thought that overall Team El Faco Ba was "efficient, we always had good luck." Asked if he would do the race again he replied, "Yeah, but not going to pay out of pocket again."
Roberta Orr was asked what part of the race she really enjoyed and she said, "What surprised me is how much I enjoyed the canyon. Never really done that, it was wonderful."
Craig Zediker who is usually pretty upbeat and talkative is fast asleep after being very sick all day on the bike ride. Kent wanted to make a point of mentioning their daily newspaper, "The Arkansas Democratic Gazette, the oldest newspaper west of the Mississippi, has been very supportive of our team."
Team Intergize.com did not do nearly as well as they would have liked. They started the race very ill and could never quite recover. They did have some luck though with checkpoint cut offs. Tricia Helvenston said, "From CP12 to CP13 I made it by 10 seconds to get through. I was going so fast [on the bike] and everyone cheered when I made it. We made the hydro cut off by two minutes."
Tim Murray, thought the team did well in "mountain biking and the middle trek in Nepal. We killed it." He had one story about an incident during the rafting, "A high point was seeing this 4 or 5-year-old kid carrying this huge catfish over his shoulder, at least 30-40 pounds. He had to be the town hero."
Scott Helvenston said that he has "a lot of satisfaction in finishing. But we started off digging ourselves in a hole [health problems and mistakes], they added up. We didn't go for the chute [the lead] at the [first] trek. Got really bogged down there in the single line up to the monastery."
Tim Murray also said they had a lot of trouble with their horse, "She was slow and froze whenever another horse approached. Our horse got untied one night and it took seven or eight minutes to find. Then she fell twice." Tricia added, "We towed the horse it didn't tow us. Scott Helvenston admitted, "morale was a little low at that point."
I asked Scott Helvenston if he planned to do another Raid. He looked at his wife Tricia and said, "I would, but it was a big chunk out of our life. Struggling whether it was worth it right now."
Provided by Susan Hemond-Dent for Raid Gauloises