A group of Summerville friends had quite an adventure in Florida.
The Summerville-based Fat Boys team participated in the 2014 Pangea Adventure Racing Sea 2 Sea Race held in the Sunshine State Feb. 13-16. Team members Joe Bradley, Matt Halter, Jeff Cisar and Comp McCurry finished the course, which ran from Florida’s Gulf Coast to the state’s Atlantic Coast, in 68 hours and 59 minutes and with 52 points to win the four-man, elite-open division.
“Whoever clears the most checkpoints wins,” Halter, the team captain, said. “We had teams in our division finish with a better time, but we cleared more checkpoints than they did.”
For adventure racing, teams combine the skills of running, biking, canoeing, mountain climbing and navigating. Using only a map and compass, participants race through a course, hitting checkpoints along the way.
The Fat Boys cleared 52 of 72 check points on the course to place 13th overall for the race. The second-place team for their division only cleared 47 checkpoints.
“There were professional teams that don’t do anything but these adventure races that cleared all 72 check points,” Halter said. “We are just thankful we have a sponsor that helps us participate in some of these races. For us, it’s mostly about incentive to stay fit and an excuse to get together. We all have government jobs so if it weren’t for the sponsorship of Dr. Ed Nolan and the Trident Pain Center we wouldn’t have all these stories we come away from these events with.”
Halter works for Dorchester County; McCurry is a Summerville High School coach; and Bradley and Cisar work for the Federal Government.
Their team cleared 31 checkpoints during the hiking portion of the race, 18 during the biking portion and three during the canoeing portion.
Along the way, they encountered wild monkeys on the banks of a Florida river and coyotes in a forest during a biking portion of the race.
“They say monkeys got loose during the filming of Tarzan in the 1970s and now there is a colony there,” Halter said. “During past races we have heard wildlife noises in the distance, but this time we got pretty close to a pack of coyotes. I think basically they just wanted us out of there and we were fine with that.”