Sumitra Ghate

Personal Summary

The only thing I’ve ever really been good at is not quitting so this is the perfect sport for me!

The things that make me do the happy dance are new adventures with my husband, Jim; spending time in the woods; good conversation and cold beers with friends and family; and racing with my incredibly talented Rootstock teammates.

Sumitra Ghate

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why the hell do we do this?

And we even PAY to do it! Those words were muttered more than a few times during the The Land Between the Lakes (LBL) Adventure Race over the weekend. (http://www.bonkhardracing.com/races/lbl_challenge/default.asp).

We had two Indy Rootstock teams that made the trip down to Kentucky to compete in the 24-ish hour event. The Land Between the Lakes is an outdoor lover's paradise sandwich. Two majestic lakes (Lake Kentucky and Lake Barkley) with heaping piles of mountain biking trails, sweet hills and a dollop of blue sky layered in between. It was gorgeous, despite the devastation that was caused by a February ice storm that was so severe that the region is now deemed a federal disaster area. Trees were uprooted, broken, and shattered. Somehow, the bonk hard racing crew, along with the many volunteers and the forest service, through their many hours of hard work, were able to get the trails and roads cleared to allow the race to go on. We cannot thank them enough.

The seven of us rootstockers loaded up the badonkadonk Suburban and James' ingenious inspector gadget trailer with our colorful bins o' gear, trusted steeds (bikes, man), MP3 players and aspirations for the race and headed out of town friday afternoon. 20 minutes later, it was time for a lunch stop. How can one ever pass up Hoaglund's egg salad on the way out of town? It just can't be done.

We arrived at the Ken-Barr Lodge road just in time to check in, unload and head to the pre-race "pasta" dinner. My guess is that the Ken-Barr Lodge was named after the older gentlement who served as the check-in guy/key maker/cook/manager of the place. It was an interesting, southern....... .ummm....Kentucky kind of place (imagine deliverance boy w/ banjo playing in the background). I'll post the pictures once I figure out how to download pics from my phone without spending a dime more on more phone accesory crap.

The race started off at 8 am Saturday morning. 8 am start time for an adventure race is the equivalent of getting a massage, sleeping in for 12 hours and then waking up to breakfast in bed. It just does not happen that often. It was wonderful to get more than a couple hours of sleep the night before a night of not sleeping at all. We started off with a short run through the woods, grabbing a few checkpoints along the way to the bikes. The single track was fast and fun. After more riding, running, and trekking (right past a few of our checkpoints!), it was time to hit the boats. It was now about 5:30.

The paddle was great for the first 2 hours. We were basking in the sunshine, happy as clams to be off the bikes and in the boats. Then the sun started to set. Soon, there were episodes of severe cramping, frozen hands and legs, and then it reared it's ugly head....the "why the hell do we do this?" conversation.

This conversation comes up every so often. Maybe not every race, but probably in every other long race. There is no rational, logical answer. We experience many special moments during a race; times when it feels like we're flying on the bike - tires two feet off the ground, or hitting that perfect long smooth stride up an outrageous hill, or feeling the pleasure of perfectly synchronized paddle strokes. Some of those moments are pure joy. But there are moments of suffering too. Sometimes there are more of those.

But we don't do it because it's easy.....we do it BECAUSE it's hard. Perhaps it makes us feel more alive. Perhaps it's because how we feel afterwards; we appreciate life just a little more.....sleep is just a little more restful, a hot shower feels like it is warming the soul rather than just cleaning our bodies, and a homemade meal quenches the hunger down to our core.

Perhaps the next time we have that conversation during a race, we can try to appreciate all those things.....yeah, guys, let's try that.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Team Indy Rootstock AR

Indy Rootstock is a diverse consortium of amateur men and women with a variety of careers, that have a common interest of competing in adventure races across many regions.

The Team is located in the amateur sports capital of the world, Indianapolis, Indiana.

We have been competing in an assortment of sports and sporting events for many years.