Posts Tagged With: Storm Events

Rockstar 2016!

We had a great time this weekend volunteering at the Rockstar Adventure Race. Injuries and family commitments prevented us from participating at the race but didn’t stop us from volunteering. We had a great time, volunteering lets us feel involved and connected with the race.


Storm Racing out did themselves this year. There were a few technical difficulties, including a devastating fire at Bark Lake just weeks before the race but I’m sure the racers didn’t notice a thing.

Our job this year was to man the swim area where racers jumped into about 8 feet of murky, fishy water looking for a silver CD. Some racers just loved jumping in the water and others not so much.

This year there was a family category. It was great seeing all the kids out trying an adventure race. This race wasn’t easy and although not everyone walks away with a medal, all the participants are winners.


Check out the video below!

We had an amazing day with two of Bark Lakes finest lifeguards, Laura and Elana. There were the best, professional and fun!

Perfect summer weather (for sitting on the dock in the sun) great racers and the sisters together, we couldn’t have asked for a nicer weekend!

Categories: #happydays, Adventure Race, Volunteering | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Days! The Rockstar Adventure Race!

This post is a little late but the Blister Sisters were at it again in the Rockstar Adventure Race that was held on July 25th at Bark Lake. I think that was the 7th time we have done this race and we still love it. Race director Sean Roper does an excellent job keeping this race fresh and keeping racing teams guessing.

The rain clouds were out at sun up.

The rain clouds were out at sun up.

After a grueling 25k mountain bike ride down rocky, hilly and wet ATV trails and Ontario cottage country backroads, we rolled in to the trek and paddle portion of the course. We chose to trek first and saved the paddle for later on in the day. Going forward with our new found but unpracticed compass skills we felt positive that we would find this new course a breeze and that controls would appear right where our compass pointed us.

He he, not so! The first control was the paddle board. Glenis did an outstanding job of getting through that task quickly. Then we moved on to an over grown trail to find 2 more controls. That’s when the trouble started. Its all fine to know what direction to go but the problem was we didn’t really know how far to go in that direction. That’s a skill we haven’t mastered.
After wandering and back tracking on an all but non-existence trail, having not seen a sole for what seemed like hours, we stumbled on a control. We were back in business.
With our new found sense of accomplishment we trotted off to the next control by a beaver dam. Success! After looking at the map and our compass we stumbled across the dam to bushwhack to the next target.

We hacked and stumbled through the dense undergrowth, pausing to take readings with our compass to stay on track only to find ourselves at the edge of a large marsh. Once again we need to back track, through that bush that has probably never seen a human. We took a reading that should have intersected with a trail only to find ourselves back at the beaver dam. We probably couldn’t have done that if we planned to end up there. So we tripped back across the dam and onto a trail. At this point we decided to chuck the compass and go back to just reading the map. Apparently we need a lot more practice before we rely on a compass to get us anywhere.

Sticking to a trail we found the next control. Then we waded through a creek and onto to an old ATV trail. We planned to hit a control on the edge of a large marsh. Fortunately for us, other racers had already been there ahead of us so a path around the marsh was already stomped out in the long grasses and through the bracken waters. It seemed like quite a hike only because there were storm clouds gathering all around us. It had been raining on an off but usually after a brief shower the sun came out. This was looking a little more ominous.
Our joy of finding the control was seriously hampered by the huge storm that blew in as we stood planning our next move. We were nearly blown off our feet, the temperature dropped and the rain pelted us sideways. We hustled up into the bush and contemplated our escape. The decision was to go back the way we had come in along the marsh, in the rain and lightning, bushwhacking wasn’t an option. The rain was pelting down in buckets, we were soaked through. We didn’t give it a second thought when we waded through the rushing creek that drained the marsh and climbed onto an ATV trail. The trail had a stream running down through the middle of it but strangely it was the nicest run of the day.
Time was running out but we decided on finding one more control. A sound control, we had to find it by listening for a sound in the forest. No easy task with the rain pelting down. Once again we over shot where it was supposed to be, but on the way back the rain had slackened off and we could actually hear the bush. There it was; a rock song,- the Stones I think; playing in the bush. Off we charged and Glenis ran forward to punch the control. Next thing I know she is yelping and holding her butt, she had disturbed some ground wasps, and one of them got her right on the butt cheek! With her leg going numb we hustled off to the finish line!

The Blister sisters! Thanks Heather for the Pic!

The Blister sisters!
Thanks Heather for the Pic!

We never did get in the canoe, every time we thought of paddling the rain came along with lightning and thunder. We did have a great time though. What a rush to be out in the bush wondering what is around the next corner. We will be back next year for sure, hopefully with improved compass skills!

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Where did June go! Our June Update!

Just a little post to update everyone on what we were up to last month.

June was a training month for us, lots of running and stretching. As June is bug month around here and it was pretty rainy, we were on the road a lot, not too much trail time just so we didn’t get eaten alive by the mosquitoes lurking there.

We did get involved with the Relay for Life. The Relay for Life is a fund raiser that the Canadian Cancer Society holds to raise money for cancer research and to help fund their outreach programs. We don’t usually fund raise but for this event we did manage to pull it together and raise a few dollars. We decided that everyone who donated to our Blister Sister team would get a thank you gift from us so we knitted up socks, finger less gloves and running hats to give the all great people who donated to our team. The event was held in the evening at a local private school’s track. We walked 17k in the 6.5 hours we spent walking around the track into the early morning. It was particularly inspiring when they lit all the luminaries remembering folks who had passed and those who were survivors. It reminded us that we were doing this not for the ones who had passed but for the people who weren’t even diagnosed yet.

Relay for Life luminaries

This is my dad’s luminary.

The very next day we were out having a great time volunteering at ESAR – Emergency Services Adventure Race by Storm Events. The race was held this year at Hardwood Hill Ski and Bike Park, the same park that will host the mountain bike portion of the Pan Am games this month. ESAR is comprised of team made of Police, Fire, EMS, Military and Civilian teams.

Of course we weren’t actually at this venue, we were some there “out there” at CP2 and 4 checking riders and runners in an out of the check points. Checking in and out of a check point helps the organizers keep track of all the teams. If someone checks in and doesn’t check out, we can only assume they are lost or injured and they need help. Try telling an EMS guy or a cop if they don’t check back in I’m call a search party of their co-workers to go look for them. They soon caught on about the checking in and out of a manned check point. We had great time with everyone. We love volunteering at adventure races.

Glenis at ESAR 2015

A Blister Sister in action!

This weekend we are volunteering at the Rebecca Run. For the last 14 years the Blister Sisters have been there to help out any way we can. It really is the best little 5k around, family friendly and very inspiring. Check it out.

My next volunteering roll with be with the Pan Am Games #Toronto2015. I’m tasked with being a floor manager with the Sports Presentation team at Hardwood Mountain Bike Park. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Among all this volunteering we are training. Our next event is the Rock Star Adventure Race. This is our all-time favorite event. There is something about being in the bush with no idea where you are and being able to find your way out that appeals to us (and knowing if we really do get lost someone will come and find us!) With our new found skills with a compass this should be a lot of fun. A race report to come!

Categories: #happydays, Adventure Race, Other stuff, Volunteering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Days – Storm the Trent!

We had a crazy great time at Storm the Trent this past weekend. You can’t beat that feeling of choking up a lung as you peddle like mad up a rocky, rutted ATV trail! We ended up doing just over 50K of running, cycling and paddling on Saturday. Hot, dusty and a ton of fun, everyone should try this race! Have a look at our slideshow.

The Blister Sisters!

The Blister Sisters!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Categories: Adventure Race | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Being Picky

Sometimes you have to be picky. As we gear up for another great year we are being thoughtful deciding which events we want to enter.

There are so many events available to enter now that we have to be a little picky. There are a number of things we consider.

Location – can we drive there in a few hours and return home the same day or do we need to stay overnight? Not that we don’t like staying overnight but for some events, spending hours in a car makes them a little less appealing.

Expense – there is another consideration. Event prices are going up every year. You would be hard press to find an adventure race or ultra; or even a marathon or half at the $50.00 range any more. The expense of running any type of events requires the organizers to charge a higher entry fee.

Then there is the sure number of events. We could do an event just about every weekend. We have to consider the type of event we enter and the time it will take us to recover from the event. We just aren’t as young as we used to be. After all bruises, scrapes and stitches take time to heal! Back to back events are tough to pull off.

That been said, we are having fun reviewing our favorite race websites, investigation new ones and marking on our calendar when every event takes place.

Registering for Raid the Rib

Registering for Raid the Rib

We are excited that we are planning to navigate through Raid the Rib Adventure Run in April. We have in listed our friend Jean to be the “bandage” to the Blister Sisters and the Bandage. In May we’ll be storming along running, riding and paddling in Storm the Trent – Ontario’s best adventure race.

Now we just have to plan the rest of May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December to complete a great year!

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#happydays The Tarp

The Tarp
Volunteering is very rewarding. Pretty well everyone who volunteers knows that. It’s the feeling that you have made a difference that makes you go back and do it again. We have really enjoyed every event we have volunteered at.

We are a little selfish when we volunteer at races. We do it because we are a little jealous of the people who are competing. We just want to be a part of the fun of being there. A great perk is when the competitors thank us for being there. After all, most of these events would be hard to put on without volunteers.

We know we are appreciated by the groups we volunteer for. Take a look at the slide show below to see the lengths Heather at Storm the ‘Scarpment went to make sure we stayed dry during the event. We were howling with laughter! Thank you Heather!

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It’s pretty easy to volunteer at races. On most race website there is a volunteer link or just shoot the race director an email. You will enjoy the reward>

Here is a link to Phil the Photographers photos of Storm the ‘Scarpment

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Volunteering at Storm the ‘Scarpment

Volunteering at Storm the ‘Scarpment

Tomorrow Glenis and I along with photographer Phil are volunteering at Storm the ‘Scarpment. The event is held a Kelso Quarry (at the top of Glen Eden Ski Hill at Kelso Conservation Area in Milton) and involves doing as many loops of an eleven kilometer course as you can in 8 hours. During each loop you will run, ride and paddle. The easy part is that it is a marked course, other than that, nothing is easy about this race.

Kelso Quarry Park

Kelso Quarry Park

This is an adventure race put on by Storm Events and like most adventure races there are teams. The solo and teams of two work together on each loop they choose to do. There are also teams of 2 and teams of 4 who compete as a tag team with two runners on the course at time. They get a little break between each loop they do. It should be fun to watch the competitors during this event and how they plan out their day.

All smiles in the canoe!

All smiles in the canoe!

The Blister Sister did this event a few years ago. It was tough. We managed to get three loops in before we decided we would run out of time if we did a fourth. We did have a blast doing it. Glenis got dumped in the lake a few times at the canoe transition because I was laughing too hard to steady the boat. We stumbled around the quarry over the obstacles, hiking ourselves over the walls and crawling on our bellies under the netting. The scariest part was the biking portion. Flying down the ski hill was one of the scariest things I have done. Glenis threw caution to the wind and was a kamikaze on the downhill almost taking out some of the maintenance men on the ski lift. It was a awesome day!

Hitting the wall!

Hitting the wall!

Oh Yea, we came in second in the team of two females category!

Enjoying our 2nd place win!

Enjoying our 2nd place win!


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#100happydays Day 72 The Rockstar

#100happydays Day 72 The Rockstar

Another great day volunteering! You might have read before that the Rockstar is our favorite adventure race and it still is! Today we were stationed at CP31, the stand-up paddleboard station. As with all but a couple of mandatory check points, CP31 was optional. Teams came to us either on foot or by canoe and one racer in the team was required to stand-up paddle board through a course about 30-40 meters long. During the paddle they were required to pick up a flag from a floating buoy and bring it back to us before they could punch the CP completed.

Paddle boards

Paddle boards

Everyone who did it said it was challenging. Considering they had just ridden their bikes 25K and then either run or hopped in a canoe to get to us, their wobbly legs were put to the test. Many of them told us their feet cramped just trying to grip the board

Sorting out canoes

Sorting out canoes

It was great to see all the young kids out who were participating in the 4 hour race. These 10-12 year olds really put their parents to the test. Those who tried the stand-up paddleboard were great.

A younster waiting for her Dad to paddle in.

A youngster waiting for her Dad to paddle in.

After 7 hours at our station we had about 50 teams go through, had a lot of laughs and got some great photos. Phil, the photographer, stood in the water up to his waist for the entire time anyone was on the course. He must have been out there at least 6 hours. We did take a little break during a lull in the middle of the afternoon to attempt a game of beach volley ball. We are not Olympic contenders. You will be able to see Phil’s photos on in a few days.

Phil the Photographer

Phil the Photographer

As usual, Bark Lake’s staff pulled together an excellent dinner for all the racers and volunteers. No, yogurt cups and bananas here, it was lasagna with salad and ice cream Sundays for desert. After dinner we gave race director Sean a hug and said good bye to all our friends to leave the racers to enjoy their evening. They all stepped outside their comfort zones today and deserved the great after party.

The Blister Sisters

The Blister Sisters

Explaining the course

Explaining the course

It really is a beautiful place to paddle.

It really is a beautiful place to paddle.


Click HERE to see more of my pictures from the day.

Categories: #100HappDays, Adventure Race, Running Free Newmarket | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#100happydays Day 30 Volunteering at ESAR!

#100happydays Day 30

We had a crazy great day volunteering at EASR today over in Paisley Ontario. EASR is geared to emergency services personnel but there is a civilian division too. We were hoping to participate this year but an injury has put us in volunteer mode. It was a perfect day for riding, running and paddling. Congratulations to all the participants, you did great!

We had a blast setting up our CP in full Blister Sister mode!

#100happydays Day 30 Bikes!

#100happydays Day 30 Bikes!


#100happydays Checking out the Map

#100happydays Checking out the Map

#100happydays Day 30 Gear Check

#100happydays Day 30 Gear Check

#100happydays Day 30 CP2

#100happydays Day 30 CP2

#100happydays Day 30 Hi James!

#100happydays Day 30 Hi James!

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