Women paddle, bike and hike their way to adventure in Buff Betty race

October 07, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION |
  • A team of competitors run to the next challenge Sunday during the Buff Betty Woman's Only Adventure Race at Greenbrier State Park.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

BOONSBORO — Fifteen-year-old Callie Hagerman scared the people in her team when she flew over the handlebars of her mountain bike Sunday during the Buff Betty Woman’s Only Adventure Race at Greenbrier State Park.

Hagerman, of Alexandria, Va., was coming down a hill when she squeezed hard on her hand brakes.

The momentum caused her to flip over the bike and crash to the ground, causing a scrape to her arm.

“It really wasn’t bad,” Hagerman said at the finish line.

Competitors were required to carry certain equipment with them, including a space blanket.

During the race, Marissa Holmes and Stephanie Post of Stanardsville, Va., realized they did not have two blankets, and Post described ripping the one blanket they had with her teeth to make two.

“It was painful and hilarious,” Post said.

The stories were varied as women described what they had to do to successfully compete in a six-hour race that included paddling, mountain biking and hiking.

The estimated 80 women competing in the race had to make it to a system of checkpoints throughout the park.  But they could take any route they wanted to reach those points. Using a map of the race course, competitors had to paddle on the park’s lake for about two miles, had to run or hike about six miles, and had to ride mountain bikes for 12 to 15 miles.

Racers could compete individually or in teams of up to four people.

First-, second- and third-place winners were designated for fastest completion of the course. First-, second- and third-place winners also were named for individual racers, two-person teams, three-person teams and four-person teams.

The fastest first-place winner was Stina Bridgeman of New York, who competed individually and completed the course in 3 hours, 23 minutes. Second place went to Laura Hanlon of Annapolis, who also competed individually and finished a minute behind Bridgeman. Third place went to three women competing on the A-List team, which completed the course in 3 hours, 33 minutes.

Adventure races are held throughout the country, but Buff Betty co-organizer Michelle Faucher said her event is unique because it involves only women.

Holmes said the fact that the event was limited to women made it a nice, unintimidating way to enjoy some competition.

Faucher, who lives in the Reston, Va., area, said she and Andy Bacon just started offering races this year through Adventure Addicts Racing Inc. They held one other race this year in the Front Royal, Va., area and hope to offer four events next year, she said.

The Buff Betty race used to be hosted by a different organization and was last held in Cunningham Falls State Park in 2006, Bacon said. Bacon and Faucher worked out an agreement to bring back the race, and Bacon said Greenbrier State Park was an ideal location because of its lake.

“There’s so many great parks. We knew we wanted to do a race somewhere in this area,” Bacon said.

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