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The Beast Races return to Port Gamble
PORT GAMBLE — For those who have signed up for the full Beast Adventure Race, 24.8 will be a number lingering in their heads, at least until they cross the finish line.
“The Beast is a pretty good haul,” said competitor Mark Schorn.
The Beast Adventure Races will be held May 17. There is a long race, and a short race. The long race is approximately 24.8 miles. The shorter race is approximately 12.4 miles.
The races include kayaking, mountain biking, and trail running. The races are similar to other triathlons, in how they are setup; however, kayaking replaces swimming, and mountain biking replaces road cycling.
Schorn, also a member of the North Kitsap Trails Association, said the kayak portion can be grueling. A few years ago, Schorn said it took him well over an hour to finish the first leg of the race, although others finished quite a bit faster. Since then, the kayak portion was shortened, he said.
“We had a nasty head wind,” Schorn said. “It felt like forever” before he was able to make it back to shore.
The kayak portion is 6.2 nautical miles.
The mountain bike portion is 12.4 miles. For Schorn, the biking section is a bit easier, since he is accustomed to the Port Gamble trails.
“I’m so familiar with mountain biking,” Schorn said. “That’s a bit easier for me.”
Then comes the 6.2-trail-running portion. Racers transition from their bikes to foot just outside the forest, and proceed to run back in, loop around, and to the finish line near the kayak launch on the waterfront of Port Gamble.
Racers can either compete alone, or in teams of three. Schorn said he was working on putting a team together.
“Teams are more fun, in that you have three of you working for a goal,” he said. “Each segment is very doable.”
The races are open to people ages 13 and older.
This is the fourth year of the race. It returns after a one-year hiatus in 2013.
There are about 20 volunteers for the races.
“It’s a great race,” said organizer and owner of Olympic Outdoor Center John Kuntz said. “It really highlights Kitsap as far as adventure sports go.”
For more information on The Beast Adventure Races visit www.unleashthebeastnw.com.