Author: Erren

Team Giant Slayers – race report

MOJO Raid 6 Hour Race Report 2017

You can sign us up for 2018 now!

You might think we will be back because of all the wonderful reasons to participate in Adventure Racing and Rogaining. We all know how amazing it is to play and explore in Australia’s natural outdoor environment. I love the native animal sightings, the feeling of adventure taking paths and off trail routes most will never know exist. I love the physical challenge and feeling of accomplishment at each checkpoint. I love the strategy and mindfulness required to plan a route with food and water logistics. Let’s not forget the allure of a good map and finding its meaning play out in the surrounding topography. Climbing that hill for the joy of a beautiful view from the summit. The rogaining community full of warm greetings from now familiar faces. The gear geek in me which loves the bikes, map boards, kayaks, paddles, multiple compasses, favourite hydration pack, specific shoes and clothing.

The Mojo Raid 2017 had all these in spades. Yet they weren’t the highlight for me.

With my son, Noah this was our 3rd Mojo Raid as team Giant Slayers. Noah is now 13 and I can emphasise the TEEN. His height is shooting up and his voice has broken. As his Dad this new stage has challenged me. When he doesn’t listen (he knows more than me apparently), stubbornly insists on doing things his way, back answers, sleeps in too much. It is all normal teenage patterns of behaviour. It can push my buttons and drive me crazy. My wife points out that I’m hitting cranky old man stage at the same time. Our Father/Son relationship is being challenged and redefined. I spend too much time frustrated and just a bit cranky.

At Mojo Raid we get to come together as team mates. The father son relationship is complemented with the dynamic of working together as teammates to take on the Raid. We spend the Friday night camping and removed from TV, IT, social media. The peaceful bonding starts to happen like magic.

With the wind and waves on Somerset Dam the consensus was Kayaking wasn’t a good option. I thought we weren’t going to get wet. At the race briefing Erren and Jo point out only 1 person from the team would need to get the boat ramp check point for 100 points. Noah very quickly tells me that we have to get the 100 points and that it will be me. When the race starts we head straight to the boat ramp and see the Mojo team’s sense of fun. Checkpoint 52 is an inflatable pool shark about 20 m out into the heavily wind swept, cold and muddy lake with a small crowd of Mojo volunteers on the bank in fits of laughter at the whole scene. Most teams bypass the checkpoint but a few have the lucky team mate removing unnecessary clothing and plunging into the refreshing water. After a quick Mick Fanning impersonation the shark is dispatched. Noah and I are having a hoot. The laughter on the shoreline is absolutely infectious and sets the mood for the entire race.

We trek the long ridge to our high point. Following the taped trails through dense bush and beautiful rocky creek lines keeps the navigation straight forward. There is a 12 hour team in sight behind us and it motivates us to keep moving. As we meet teams moving in the opposite direction we hear several kind warnings about the bees swarming at the base of the waterfall checkpoint. By the time we arrive at the waterfall our minds have hyped the stories into killer bees waiting to strike. Well not quite but Noah has never had a bee sting, he didn’t want to start here. You’ve got to love these opportunities for character development.

Past the bees and we are enjoying the company of that 12 hour team as we now travel together. Their kids at home are a bit younger than Noah. The defined trail means we pass plenty of teams moving in the opposite direction that are all smiles enjoying the event every bit as much as we are.

A couple more checkpoints and we are back to HQ ready for the kayak leg. The wind and waves are stronger than earlier so like most teams we trek easily along the lake edge to the punch the compulsory ‘kayak’ leg checkpoint.

4 hours trekking done with 2 hours to go. The bikes are a welcome change cruising along the dirt roads. I’m thinking we should stick to checkpoints without much elevation. Noah tells me we should push on with our plan and climb the sizeable hill to checkpoints 18 and 16. As we pushed our bikes up the hill we saw plenty of others doing the same and people choosing to walk their bikes down the steepest section rather than ride. We appreciated the view from the top but I more raptured with the joy of being a proud Dad as Noah is pushing his physical boundaries on the climb and testing his determination and bravery when we ride cautiously back down.

A quick ride up the valley as we figure we could squeeze in 2 more checkpoints. Turning for HQ at checkpoint 20 and a 12 hour competitor tells Noah I said I’d treat him to whatever he wants from Maccaa’s. All lies! Noah excitedly puts the proposal to me. The idea has him excited so I agree on condition he rides back to HQ without stopping. Noah is inspired with enthusiasm that outweighs any caution. He races down the dirt road and loses control. His bike and body are swerving all over the dirt rode completely out of sync. I’m riding behind him and immediately have that sick feeling as time slows waiting for the moment of impact, blood and thinking this is going to be carnage. Somehow he pulled off the save of the day and got his bike under control. That sick feeling takes a while to go. We ride with care and finish with a comfortable 10 minutes to spare.

What an awesome event. You can feel the enthusiasm and passion that Erren and Jo put into this event. Thank you so much for allowing us to have this experience.

During our 6 hour event Noah was challenged in quite a few different ways. I got to put away the cranky old man that has been coming out a little too frequently at home. Instead I had the opportunity to be Noah’s teammate and used the opportunities presented to provide encouragement, support and work on our Father/Son bond through this shared experience. What could beat that?

Geoquest 2014

:: g e o q u e s t

It’s funny how 6 plus months of training and planning can boil down to just over 24 hours of racing. The whole event was a whirlwind chock full of ups and downs and hard effort and emotion.

This was to be the first geo half for our rookie team and our first time of racing or training together. As a team we had communicated solidly via social media and met up at the Rogue 24 hour. I think that out first rookie error for this race was in that we had not actually trained together. This meant from the outset that we were a mismatched team in relation to our strengths and abilities. Training together may have assisted us in identifying these deficits prior to the race start.

Competency day was fun and the geo atmosphere was amazing. The race was well planned and organised. Map hand out time came and we were relieved to find that we only had to travel 120 odd Km’s to complete the half. We knew that we could all do this based on our rogue experience and with 48 hours it was a shoe in. The course didn’t require too much planning as there were distinct paths and really it was a case of just going and doing it. The geo half started with a split rogaine and a swim for the guys in the team. A miscommunication in this leg meant a delay in return to TA which cost us half an hour straight up. The mountain bike leg to Smokey Cape was next and it was quite fast until the sand. When you live on a mountain sand is not a common trail feature and we were slightly unprepared for the intensity and skill it takes to ride successfully. Finally we made it to the TA in the shadow of the light house and then it was off on a trek to South West Rocks. The trek was not too challenging except a few steep hills and a very long beach walk. Finally we made it to the Rocks and off onto a split orienteering leg. We were all pretty keen to get to the next leg before dark which was the mountain bike / pack raft section. We made it just after night fall and then had the joy of finding the campfire on the other side of the bank… The drunk guys at the camp fire thought it was rather funny all these crazy people coming ashore at their what had probably been a choice quiet campsite. They offered lots of things including use of their tent but told us they were not allowed to help us… Which was quite funny given how drunk they were. Rafts deflated and feeling chilly it was back on the bikes and some fast riding to the national park for the rogaine. Lots of very steep hills to hike a bike up though to get there. The rogaine proved challenging for many reasons and somehow along the way it was decided that a time penalty would be better than finding the checkpoints. With a 12 hour penalty for 4 checkpoints incurred this was perhaps not the best decision. We would have in hindsight been better to try for at least a couple of easy ones. But that’s hindsight hey, woulda, shoulda, coulda.. Back on the bikes and some more massive climbs and an unplanned for checkpoint on the bike leg. A broken chain proved to be slight respite for the hills. Soon enough we were riding on the hardtop to the next TA and everyone’s favorite leg… The car transport to the kayak start. We had two support vehicles and had to travel via the Pacific Highway yo get the kayaks. We were a little shell shocked as we watched our front support car brake suddenly and a big grey thing moving nearby. The big grey thing turned out to be a domestic horse (17 hands high) and it’s friend a pony who must have escaped from a nearby paddock. The crew in our car decided that in the interest of public safety and other teams who we knew we were using the same route we would try to catch the horses. They had bridles so it was quite easy to pull up in front and they walked to us. Police called, race directors notified we waited patiently for someone to rescue us from holding the horses until finally a kindly farmer took them in. Back to the race. Arriving at the kayaks we were told that there was a wait to get the boats back. The wait ended up being quite long but eventually our ship er boats came in!! Now I like kayaking but 16k in the dark and cold with a cramp in your shoulder pushes the friendship slightly- but it was really nice to see the sun come up and some warmth arrive!! Last trek on the beach and through more sand and finally we crossed the finish line!

Was it the race we wanted? Maybe not. Was it challenging and interesting? Yes! Did we overcome our challenges to cross the finish line? Yes! I am grateful for the opportunity to have done this race and I am thankful for the team and support crew that made it happen. The most important lesson for me was to have raced with your team prior to doing a bigger race. In our case this would have helped us understand each other better and work better as a team. Also keep focused on why you are doing the race. Determine up front if you are racing for the experience or the podium. I have learned many things and I look forward to next year. This is such an excellent race and if you are wondering if you can do it I would say – yes!

JT

New minor sponsor

MOJO Adventure would like to welcome our newest supporter + sponsor to the MOJO | Rogue | SIX…  Tailwind Nutrition

Tailwind-Logo

 

 

Tailwind Nutrition will be sponsoring one of our transition areas where you’ll be able to sample their products under race conditions and will be available to provide you with the best hydration and nutrition information on race day.

Pre race you’ll be able to discuss your hydration and nutrition needs, sample products during the race and have all your questions answered post race. You’ll even be able to purchase product directly from Tailwind at the event.

If you would like more information prior to race day then follow one of the links below…

Click here for the Tailwind website and here for the Tailwind Facebook page

 

Where to buy…

If you would like to purchase Tailwind products our preferred supplier is Tri Running Toowoomba and you can

find their website here and their Facebook page here.

MOJO | Rogue | SIX

Part adventure race, part rogaine, the MOJO | Rogue | SIX is a race where teams compete to collect as many check points as possible via trekking, mountain biking and kayaking all while navigating with map and compass. Run in partnership between MOJO Adventure and Rogue Adventure, we will be offering up two course options of either 2 hours or 6 hours length. The event will return to the scene of the 2014 Rouge24 at Lake Perseverance but never fear, we will cover predominantly new ground never used in a race before.

Set for Saturday 22 August 2015, this will be one of the best value adventure races you’ll ever get your hands on, and a perfect introduction to beginners in the sport. MOJO Adventure are intimately familiar with the location and will bring you a course highlighting the best bits of the area.

For more details and we’ll also notify you when registrations are open via email if you have subscribed to our newsletter and via our Facebook page.

Team Giant Slayers

Race Report from Team Giant Slayers

Mojo Rogue Adventure 2 hour Race Report

Team Giant Slayers

Wow what an awesome weekend. This is the most participant/family friendly event going around. Two different race length options, teams could be from 2 to 5 members, boats provided, low cost entry and a rogaine format allowing you to participate to your own skill and fitness level. It seemed too good to be true and our team number 002 shows how keenly we signed up. My 11 year old son Noah had done 1 beginner introductory adventure race before and was ready to give it another go. The 2 hours being just right for his experience and fitness.

We drove out from Brisbane on Friday afternoon and set up camp at the beautiful Lake Cressbrook. With the 2 hour race starting first it gave us novice teams plenty of time to register and organise our race plans before the 6 hour crowd flooded into HQ. Unlike other events were the race planning feels like cramming for an exam there was a good amount of time to sort ourselves out. We really appreciated this.

Leg 1 and we all hit the kayaks. Erren and Jo had done so well to organise these boats which were lighter and handled so well compared with the bath tubs I’ve paddled in other events. With a 50 minute cut off for this leg we set our sights on all but the furthest checkpoint (No 5). Everything was going smoothly until checkpoint 6 which required a short hike. An unmarked trail and a little navigation uncertainty had us questioning how long to spend looking for it. There seemed no easy way through the scrub until we saw another team exit from the lantana. Following their lantana tunnel lead us straight to checkpoint 6 and we were back on track. Heading back to the kayak and Noah tripped falling onto 2 small cactus seedlings. About 20 tiny cactus spikes in his hand and knee brought us to a painful halt. Character building. After removing the small needles and a few deep breaths we had lost time and momentum. We paddled back to transition picking up checkpoint 1 on the way and made it just within the 50 minute cut off.

Leg 2 was mountain biking and we knew this was our weakest discipline, only planning to get the closest 3 checkpoints. We ticked 17 and 18 easily and abandoned the rest. We had lost time and preferred to use what was left on the trek leg.

Leg 3 and we set off following the lake shore line picking up check point 10 easily. On route to checkpoint 11 and I had a navigational brain failure and sheep mentality moment. We crested a hill and knew the next hill along contained the checkpoint. But with 2 teams heading towards the biggest most obvious hill in front of his we set off after them despite it being the wrong compass bearing. When we crossed the creek which we clearly didn’t need to on the map it caused me some concern but not enough to stop chasing those teams in front and besides we had to go up a hill and this was the most prominent hill. Off the edge of the map we go. At least with 2 other teams nearby we weren’t the only ones making obvious mistakes. When it finally couldn’t be denied we were on the wrong hill a redirection took us directly to check point 11. With more time lost we abandoned checkpoint 12 and quickly headed towards HQ. Strategically we had left checkpoint 13 (10 points) very close to HQ as an option if we had time. We ran through HQ, clambered to 13 and made it back to HQ with less than 30 seconds before cut off. After 2 hours it provided us with a real race against the clock exciting finish.

At the presentation and everyone was a winner. Literally there was a small field in the 2 hour and with the number of team categories (male, female, mixed, novice, family etc) we had all placed in at least 1 category. Well done to Erren and Jo for recognising every category and making us all feel like we had achieved. On top of this I won one of the awesome random prize draws so kindly donated by TriRunning Toowoomba. Thank you TriRunning Toowoomba it is a great piece of kit.

Post-race meal was another top notch effort with Pizza from the local town and I only wished they could deliver to Brisbane. The race HQ atmosphere was so good Noah preferred to hang there rather than go back to our camping site. Jarod from Peak Adventure had set up his slack line which drew us all in and kept the kids amused for hours. As Noah and I helped out packing up after the 6 hour event we both noticed how many families were doing the 6 hour event. They stood out for me as the families participating had the biggest smiles and were undeniably focusing on the fun and family experience.

Noah and I are ready to sign up for the 6 hour next year as this was the highlight of our year.

Thank you so much Jo, Erren, Liam, the volunteers and the sponsors Tailwind (will be giving this a go), TriRunning Toowoomba and Johny Sprockets Bike shop.

Jonny Sprockets – MR6 Major Sponsor

Welcome to our second major sponsor for the MOJO|Rogue|SIXJonny Sprockets

Jonny_Sprockets_001

 

 

Jonny Sprockets is our favourite local bike shop and has been a long time supporter and preferred supplier to MOJO Adventure… they are all about great service, great products and the some of the best prices you’ll see anywhere! If you’re looking for a new bike they can set you up with anything from kids balance bikes through to high end TT bikes plus the best mountain bikes on offer world wide! Jonny Sprockets also carry a full range of parts and accessories, they can also make your whip run like new having on staff some of the best bike mechanics in the game.

The Jonny Sprockets team will be on hand at the MOJO|Rogue|SIX to answer any questions you might have about your bike. There will also be plenty of products you can see firsthand and even purchase at race HQ. Plus, being a major sponsor, Jonny Sprockets are also donating some awesome prizes for competitors in the MOJO|Rogue|SIX… it will be worth signing up for the race just to get your hands on some dope product!

For a fully list of bike brands and services provided by Jonny Sprockets check them out…

You’ll find the Jonny Sprockets website here and their Facebook page here.

Major Sponsor

Welcome to our first major sponsor for the MOJO RaidTri Running Toowoomba

TriRunningfinal

 

 

 

Tri Running Toowoomba is more than just a shoe shop… they are a highly specialised store geared to provide you with the advice and products to make your running experience as good as it can be. From beginner to pro, from road to offroad, Tri Running Toowoomba can kit you up in some of the best running shoes on the market, supply your nutritional needs and get you into some awesome run specific clothing.

Tri Running Toowoomba is also our preferred supplier of Tailwind Nutrition products and a whole lot more so why wait until race day to check them out…

You’ll find the Tri Running Toowoomba website here and their Facebook page here.

MOJO Adventure :: tales of the river…

…a true yet somewhat misguided account of an adventure

In the beginning a few good friends gathered new toys and discussed ways that they could test their toys on far away waters. These toys or ‘yaks’ where generally the result of inner team wheeling and dealing and no one is really sure which kayak used to be owned by which person or who really owns what now, except the red fast one, which has been owned by one member of the team only… for now anyway.

Anyway enough ‘yakking’- the destination of choice became the Noosa Everglades. Some local publicity yielded a field of willing players and it was decided 3 days would be the best length to ensure adventure and relaxation.

A few come and try paddle days and the field was prepped, well as prepped as they could be so with multiple gear purchases, including a million dry bags, we packed the cars and headed coast ward. In typical MOJO tradition the adventure started with good coffee, and thanks to Gary’s friends some of the crew got to have a Westbrook experience over dinner which ended up being a laugh fest.

An early chilly morning followed, with us gathering at Elanda Point with many tentative thoughts of ‘will the boat float’…

Now it was while loading up our kayaks that the tale takes a strange twist… joining us on the shore was a person whom we shall refer to as ‘the lady of the lake’. To protect the integrity of the person we shall only say that the ‘antics’ of the lady caught us off guard and became the source of an extended tale that grew as the adventure went on. Leaving the lady safely on the shore we set off across the placid but shallow waters of Lake Cootharaba, then after the lake we start the trek up the river via a few pit stops. The river wound and we paddled, laughed, sang and reflected, sometimes alone, sometimes together, and after 24kms and nearly 6 hours we ended up at camp 9. Setting up camp and cooking up great camp food, we laughed some more, felt chilly (no camp fire permitted.. ) and by 7pm we all went to bed… Zzzzzzzz

The next morning we woke up early and set off to camp 5 which was our meeting point for the rest of the crew. Somehow the mythical coconut water appeared and Erren’s well chosen camp spot became known as “coconut point”. After lunch we set off to the sand blow, (approx 14k)at a cracking pace and ended up interval running the incline. The sand blow is incredible and an absolute bucket list thing to see. We carved our MOJO logo into the sand, took some cool photos and then ran down the hill back to camp. Some mentos in a tin tube in Jo’s pack made for some very loud maracas which ensured she wouldn’t get lost. We stayed up a little later that night – until at least 8pm and then off to sleep. It was a bit chilly in our tents except for Lyle who had a -20 degree sleeping bag.

The weather forecast of 20-30km/h SE had always predicted Sundays paddle would be hard with the wind sweeping us backwards. A few of the crew finished at Harry’s hut and the rest of us (read: Jo) unloaded gear that was causing our (her) boats to lose stability in the wind. A few kilos lighter and much more stable it was another 11k of wind and waves to the end. The first lake we crossed gave us an indication of our final journey with wave heights up to 20-30cm. We disembarked for lunch at the Kinaba info centre and a good stretch, some twisties and then the final 4k home.

The wind was really blowing now and when we crossed the lake our boats where being tossed everywhere… now we should have been tired and sore however the lake was such an adrenalin rush that everyone just dug in and rode the waves. It was probably one of the best experiences in a kayak so far.

Finally ashore, and we start loading the boats on the trucks and who should be there? The lady of the lake.
After laughing into out life jackets and having a chat to her we re-packed the vehicles and we where off!

What an excellent adventure with awesome people!

The Crew: Lyle, Gaz, Jo, Andrew, Clayton, Sue, Nikki and Erren.

Some photos from the trip…


Adventure Racing 101

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With our inaugural adventure race coming up in August we though it appropriate to run another Adventure Racing 101 course to get everyone new to the sport of AR off to a flying start… and hopefully not lost!

The night will be hosted at Tri Running Toowoomba on Tuesday 21st July 2015 @ 7:00pm

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Gear
  • Navigation
  • Race history
  • Bike maintenance
  • Trail running

Cost is $10 (cash only) and includes a light supper.

If you would like to register your attendance please email info@mojoadventure.com.au or click here for our Facebook events page.

iAdventure Gold Coast 2013

:: r a c e r e p o r t

It was a bright and steamy morning on the Gold Coast, lovely day to herald the start of the first iAdventure race of 2013. Our prep for this race had been good but not stellar, as we are increasingly aware that no matter how much you train you can never really prepare for an Adventure race. Nevertheless we rode and ran trails in an attempt to prepare our bodies for what lay ahead.

The iAdventure team always post up great pre race notes, the ones for this race advised water and lots thereof. Ironically it also advised of water and lack thereof. Slightly bemused and perplexed we waterproofed our gear appropriately and headed off to race HQ.

Compared to other venues the race was based in a very civilized setting. Real toilets and coffee at hand…. Nice!

We checked in and got our maps and started planning. E is our master navigator and with a number of races under our belts and a few bigger races to come this year, our goal was to refine our navigation, and not necessarily go with the crowd. This strategy would prove somewhat interesting and challenging as the race ensued as our navigator was sweating over a few of the decisions he made… actually the sweating was quite literal, we do live and train on a mountain after all.
Maps marked and gear on board, off we trotted into the jungle… I have to admit it doesn’t matter how much we train, the first couple of kilometers are always hard. A combination of nerves and sprinting to keep up always leaves me a little smashed… plus E is not a morning person! It was great to be running to our bikes, but as we had already dropped them to the track , we knew that the bike leg would be muddy, slippery and steep.

The bike leg was fun if not a little congested at times and a low hanging vine almost decapitated me earning me a special “tattoo” across my eyes for my troubles. E had also lost his sunglasses along the way and was a little annoyed to be riding sans glasses as it was very muddy… riding with his eyes closed through the muddy sections seemed quite productive though.

All the bike check points were right where E thought they should be and as the non navigator this was reassuring… as a tip for other potential racers make sure you are either the navigator or the keep your mouth “shutigator”. Matching competitive natures also helps to make the race more pleasant.

There were lots of ups and downs in the race, literal ups and downs that is, with mammoth drops and climbs, I think E got sick of me saying “really? another hill?” We even chose to scramble to the top of one through the bush rogaine style! (or mountain goat style anyway…) Soon enough we were riding again back to race HQ to the mystery leg.

By this stage we were a little muddy and very hot, it was a relief to be told we had to go for a dip and retrieve pool toys. It was so refreshing and we contemplated dropping the pool toys just to stay in the pool a bit longer. E managed to drop his compass in the pool which was thankfully retrieved and returned to him at the end.

A little jog through the ‘burbs ensued and we laughed at the locals reactions, one of the questions we had to answer was “is this the amazing race!” and of course we responded with yes! This leg too involved water and crawling under bridges.

Finally to the second last leg and kayaking… this was the first race we didn’t have to lug our kayak up a hill (thanks Matt) The kayak was relatively pleasant and although tempted to lasso passing jet skiers we thought better of it and kept paddling. We used the upstream leg to discuss race strategy for our next race, well I did and I think E was just confused as we had not yet finished this race! I blame the endorphins as we must have been feeling good by then.
A quick walk/jog to the last checkpoint and we were nearly home. The final checkpoint was on an overpass and then it was a quick dash back to race HQ and the finish line.

Finished!

As a woman adventure racing reminds me a bit of childbirth… lots of pain and effort but strangely rewarding and when you are going through it you think “why?” And “never again!” But off you go and enter again the moment the race entries open…

JT