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Race Summary & Final Results

Race Summary

The final race in the 2000 Raid the North schedule saw 48 teams gather at the Opeongo Boat Launch in Algonquin Provincial Park for a 5:00am start in the darkness. Starting in canoes, teams would paddle north on Opeongo Lake to Opeongo River. Through a series of portages and lakes they would cover 35km in cool rainy weather before exiting the water at Shall Lake Boat Launch. This race featured a greatly anticipated rematch between Team Continuum, winners of the Mont Sainte Anne race as well as our Ontario race in 1999, and Team Spirit who finished second to Continuum in Mont Sainte Anne but went on to win the Fernie race and Raid the North Extreme.

Team Spirit were the first out of the water with teams TOMAAG and GLAR/PHAR both less than 15 minutes behind. Team Continuum, not known for the paddling prowess, would not emerge for another hour in 17th place.

Once off the water, teams would climb onto their mountain bikes for a 60km ride over logging roads, powerline service roads, abandoned railway beds and a well-known ATV trail called the "Mud Run". The situation was made a little more difficult by the on-and-off drizzle all day as many competitors wore their brakes down to nothing in the muddy conditions. The latter part of the bike ride saw teams re-enter Algonquin Park on a series of logging roads. There was no set route to take here and a number of options shown on the map. To complicate matters, there were a number of new roads that were not shown on the maps that teams were warned about. By keeping a careful eye on their map and compass, Team Spirit maintained first place at the end of the bike ride having only made a few minor mistakes. Team TOMAAG followed within half an hour but Team GLAR/PHAR was nowhere to be seen. A costly navigational error dropped them all the way back to 18th place. Meanwhile, Team Continuum began to make their push moving all the way up to 3rd place, closely followed by Team A Sunoy in 4th.

The end of the bike was the first transition area in the race for teams and it was also the halfway point in the race. Having such a long section of unsupported racing tested team's preparedness. Although there were no reports of teams running out of food, many teams were short on warm clothing and mentally exhausted from the challenge. Matters were made much worse for the many teams that made a wrong turn in the bike section taking them several kilometers east of where they wanted to be.

From the transition, teams would head into a 30km trek section through the panhandle of Algonquin Park. This is where the navigation really got challenging. The map showed a track that lead up directly toward the next checkpoint, CP#11, that ended less than a kilometer short of Kingscote Lake. CP11 was on the north shore of lake. This trail actually ended much sooner than shown on the map dropping teams into a challenging bushwhack to the lake. From here, they would proceed into another off-trail portion that would take them past confusingly similar hills, swamps and lakes to eventually reach the second transition area. Team Spirit moved steadily through the trek following their compass carefully and emerged at the transition at 3:38am on Sunday, very close to the estimated fastest time for the course. Team TOMAAG kept pace with Spirit through to checkpoint 11 but went terribly off course in the final portion of the trek. They eventually showed up at the transition area at noon, now in 8th place. With one team member suffering from exhaustion, they decided to call it quits at this point. Meanwhile, Team Continuum got lost for their first time in a Raid the North race. They lost several hours on the leaders looking for checkpoint 11, giving Team GLAR/PHAR and Team Apex a chance to move within an hour of them.

With only a 20km mountain bike ride left (albeit over very hilly, rough terrain) and a 5km paddle to the finish line at Silver Eagle Resort, Team Spirit continued to push thinking Continuum would appear over the hill behind them at any point. Little did they know they were now almost 5 hours ahead of the second place team, assuring them their 3rd win of the season in the Raid the North series. Once again, their excellent navigation skills and consistent pace carried them through. They are certainly the team to beat in our series.

The frustration for Team Continuum was not over yet as they made an error on the final bike section that allowed GLAR/PHAR and Apex to move just ahead of them. Riding furiously, they managed to catch them again and the three teams jockeyed for second place through the rest of the ride. They all arrived at the canoe put-in within minutes of each other and launched their boats and virtually the same time. It was an all-out sprint for the 5km paddle to the finish line. Team Continuum managed to get a small lead with Apex close behind but were focused so much on staying ahead they forgot to look at their maps and paddled into the wrong bay! When GLAR/PHAR saw the other two teams turning around and paddling back they quickly changed course and sprinted ahead to take second place by only 2 minutes! Team Apex finished 3rd with Team Continuum in 4th two minutes later. This was certainly the most dramatic finish to date in a Raid the North race.

In total, 10 teams officially finished the race with Team Only the Lonely also reaching but missing the cutoff time by only 29 minutes. Although not a long course (140km in total) this was definitely a technically challenging race. Navigation played a key role throughout. Those that didn't watch their map and compass all the time paid the price. Algonquin Park proved to be a great venue for the race course and the changing colours of the leaves made for a beautiful backdrop. Congratulations to everyone that competed and endured the rough weather on the Saturday. We hope to see you all back next year!

Final Results

Team Name
Finish Time
33. TD Evergreen Spirit
25. Apex
39. Continuum
12. Chaos
9. A Sunoy
35. Dynamics
11. Phoenix
17. MKC
38. Rock
01. Effort
30. Only the lonely
02. Freaks of Nature
CP 13
10. Gruff/Muskoka
CP 13
13. Extrazinho
14. Zawisa
21. Hugh Jass-Part II
26. TnT
34. Canadian Sport Rent
46. Dirt Vibe
49. Tigers in the Woods
27. Roman Legion
31. Wilderness Plumbers
44. Shic Shoc Merrell
47. Trailhead
Royal Bank Financial/Diabetes
41. Adrenaline Junkies
04. Canadian Outback
06. Dys-Jointed
16. Persistance
19. Courage II
20. O.A.R.
22. Kominsens
37. Fast Forward
40. Off the Wall/Gatorade
03. Harm
05. Pyromaniacs
07. Gusto
08. Urban Legend
18. Jesus Lizard
23. Schpeck
28. No Limits
29. Carnage
32. Enigma
42. Vertigo
43. Yien's Sherpas
48. Snafu
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