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Little-Big Adventure race report

April 21st, 2009

The Osprey Brand Team, a group of 10 ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, checks in with Karl Harrelson, our BT’er from Virginia. Karl attended the Little-Big Adventure triathlon this past Saturday. Here’s his account of some furious paddling, running, and riding through VA…

Saturday morning brought the sun with it. It has been a fluky spring here in Virginia. Some rainy days, some cold days and a few nice, warm ones. Fortunately, this turned out to be a nice, warm one. A determined group of Moms, Dads, sons and daughters turned out for the Little-Big Adventure Race in Pocahontas State Park near Richmond, VA.

Attention RACERS: Karl took a ton of photos and videos at the event. You can find the entire collection on his Flickr page here…see if he snapped an action shot of you and your little one!

Native-American princess, Pocahontas would’ve been pleased with the course. A half-mile canoe sprint followed by a 3.5-mile mountain bike race, ending up with a 1.5-mile run got more than a few hearts racing! Two-person teams of one child from 7-to-17 years old and one adult knocked the cobwebs of winter off their bikes and the dust off their shoes. It was inspiring to watch the parent/child teams work together to accomplish this common goal. That was evident by the bright smiles and high-fives at the finish line. At times the transition zone took on a chaotic appearance with bikes, canoes, paddles, helmets and participants all converging in one spot. But the organizers, Running Kids, kept things moving smoothly along and provided an excellent adventure for one and all.

There are few events that bring families together these days, but Little-Big was just the ticket. Nothing quite cements that paternal bond like a mom’s or dad’s encouraging word or pat on the back. What a great event, I thought. It made me wish for childhood again. I witnessed some outstanding efforts by both parent and child in succeeding at their goals even when injured or exhausted. These kids today proved that their generation is not soft and doughy. They showed their muscle, grit and determination on a demanding course. They, and their parents, should be very proud of this accomplishment.

Also noteworthy, a portion of the proceeds of this adventure race benefited the Coalition for Active Children (COACH). COACH is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote a healthy future for children and their families through education and awareness about the lifelong benefits of increased physical activity and good nutrition. Sounds like a very worthy cause, huh?

Osprey Packs drew considerable attention at the Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Sponsor Tent. BRMS is an Osprey retailer in Richmond and store manager Nick Orrell introduced race participants to the advantages of a variety of Osprey Packs. There was a pack for all types of outdoor activities. We gave away some great Osprey hats and coozies and one lucky girl went home with a nice Osprey backpack for her next adventure. Everyone walked away a winner after completing this grueling battle against the clock. If you ever have an opportunity to enter such an adventure, you should jump at the chance. And what better way to cross-train for a triathalon than hiking and backpacking? A winding trail and an uphill grade will get your heart beating faster than a cat up a tree!

Blue Ridge Mountain Sports: Since 1972 Blue Ridge Mountain Sports has served as the outfitter for the Blue Ridge Mountains from New Jersey to Virginia to Tennessee. BRMS in Richmond is located in the Chesterfield Towne Center at 11500 Midlothian Turnpike. Phone – (804) 794 – 2004.

For more information about Karl check out his bio page here.

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